These days, laptops are getting thinner and lighter. However, this often means there isn’t room for ports to connect your wireless mouse, external hard drives, and other devices. Thankfully, all you have to do is plug a USB hub into your laptop, and you can instantly add the ports you need. A hub will also bring all your USB ports closer, so you don’t have to reach around the back of your computer every time you want to connect a new device. Here is our list of the best USB-A and USB-C hubs you can get for any budget.
UGREEN 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub: Best Budget USB-A Hub
With its four USB 3.0 ports, the 4-port UGREEN hub is one of the best budget options you can get. These third-generation USB ports support faster transfer speeds up to 5 Gbps (gigabits per second. That means you can transfer a 1 GB file from your laptop to an external hard drive in around one second.
Unlike other budget USB hubs, the 4-port UGREEN also comes with a Micro USB port that you can use to connect directly to a power outlet. This will ensure that your power-hungry devices will work at peak performance without killing your laptop. Plus, this hub is only a third of an inch thick, so it is portable enough to bring with you where you go.
The Anker PowerExpand 7-in-1 is one of the best hubs for MacBooks and other laptops and computers that only have USB-C ports. This budget hub comes with two USB-A (3.0) ports and two USB-C ports. One of the USB-C ports can deliver up to 85 watts of pass-through power, which is enough to charge most MacBooks and other laptops.
Additionally, the Anker PowerExpand 7-in-1 lets you connect an HDMI cable to extend or mirror your screen to an external monitor or TV. However, the HDMI port only supports 4K video at a refresh rate of 30Hz. That means the image on your 4K monitor will refresh up to 30 times a second, which isn’t the best for watching movies or gaming. You can also use this USB hub to transfer photos and other files with the SD and microSD card slots.
If you need more than three or four USB ports, Acasis makes some of the best hubs to connect all your USB devices. This Acasis model gives you an additional 10 USB-A (3.0) ports to connect your external drives, webcams, printers, and more. Plus, this USB hub connects directly to a power outlet, so you can use it to charge your phone and other devices.
All of the USB-A ports on this hub also have a power button next to them, so you can turn your devices on and off without unplugging them. There’s even a small LED light next to each port, so you can quickly tell which ones are turned on. If you’re looking for even more ports, Acasis also makes a similar model with 16 USB-A ports.
Satechi USB-C On-The-Go: Best Hub For MacBook Users
If you’re looking for a USB hub that has every port you will ever need for your MacBook or USB-C laptop, the Satechi 9-in-1 On-The-Go is one of the best options. In addition to its high-speed HDMI port that supports 4K at 60 Hz, this USB-C hub also has a VGA port, so you will be able to connect to almost any kind of monitor, projector, or display.
This USB-C hub also has a gigabit Ethernet port that lets you connect directly to a router when you don’t have access to WiFi, or you want the fastest internet speeds. Satechi is one of the only brands that Apple features in its online store, so you can rest assured that it works with your MacBook. However, the tech giant only sells the 7-in-1 model that doesn’t feature the Ethernet port or the VGA connection.
In addition to having two USB-A ports, this hub also has two USB-C ports, one of which delivers 85 watts of pass-through power for charging your laptop. Plus, the Satechi 9-in-1 comes with two detachable USB cables to connect to your laptop, one of which is short enough to tuck into the body of the hub, so you never lose it when traveling.
Anker PowerExpand Elite 13-in-1: Best USB-C Docking Station
With a whopping 13 ports, the Anker PowerExpand Elite allows you to turn any laptop into a desktop computer. This powered hub comes with an easy-to-access 18-watt USB-C port on the front, which can fully charge an iPhone 11 Pro in an hour and 45 minutes. Plus, there is an 85-watt USB-C port on the back that can fully charge a 13-inch MacBook Pro in under two hours.
The front of the Anker PowerExpand Elite has a USB-C Gen 2 port that can transfer data at 10 Gbps, which is twice as fast as most USB hubs. Plus, there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the back that support data transfer speeds up to 40 Gbps. So, you could transfer a 20 GB file to or from an external hard drive in just six seconds.
You can also use the Thunderbolt 3 port to connect a 5K monitor at 60 Hz or the HDMI port to connect a 4K monitor at 60 Hz. You can use both ports at the same time for a dual-monitor setup, or you can connect up to three monitors to your laptop with a USB-C to HDMI splitter. This USB-C hub also comes with three USB-A (3.1) ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, SD/microSD card readers, and a headphone jack.