Affordable USB hubs to easily connect all your devices

Gizmodo Australia

Posted 28 minutes ago: March 3, 2023 at 4:30 p.m

Image: Bonelk

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Those of you who have bought a new laptop in the past few years have probably noticed a decrease in the number of USB ports. In fact, newer MacBook Pro models these days only offer three Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports, which has forced many to use a USB hub to transfer files or extend their screen.

While Bluetooth is an essential feature that all modern gadgets must have, there are still many uses that are overlooked when designers forgo the basic need for a USB port. For example, since we’ve been working from home, there’s a demand for computer monitors, which in turn leads to the need for an HDMI port.

With so many devices comes the unwelcome Gordian knot of cable management and a lack of available outlets. In the past, you may have used your laptop as an expensive USB charging hub to power up all your devices. But now all your devices are competing for priority in what is likely to be limited desk space. Choosing between charging your phone, mouse, keyboard, and exporting those files off your SSD is a matter best avoided.

Luckily, the solution to these problems is simple and doesn’t have to be that expensive because all you need is a USB hub to connect to your computer. However, don’t just shop based on price. Although USB is a standard, there are a few questions to consider before making your decision.

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How many ports do I really need?

This isn’t as silly a question as it seems, because it’s not just about calculating the number of peripherals to connect. More ports means a bigger USB charging hub and possibly the need for an external power supply to ensure connected devices actually work. Though a 49-port USB hub is still overkill if you ask us. A smaller hub might offer fewer ports, but might be easier if you’re constantly on the go and want something simple that you can only connect a few essential devices to.

Which ports do I need? Here’s a representation of all the different types of ports you might have. Image: iStock/SpicyTruffel

The vast majority of USB ports currently sold are focused on offering USB-A ports, but there are a few that will also include additional USB-C slots. Others may include ports that remove the data channels so they focus solely on charging connected devices, which could be a handy way to reduce cable clutter if you want to charge your smartphone through them.

How fast does it have to be?

If you’re only connecting a mouse or keyboard, a slower USB 2.0-compatible hub is fine, but you’ll probably want to buy a USB hub that will last for many years. If you use any storage device, USB 3.0 is far preferable thanks to its faster data transfer speeds. You can use a USB 3.0 storage device on a USB 2.0 hub, but you really should only do this if you’re looking for an excuse to take a coffee break, as those transfer speeds will be slow.

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Do I want or need more features?

USB ports on a USB charging hub can be taken for granted as the name and everything is right there. You don’t have to stop there, however, as some models offer additional features such as connectivity lights for ports in use, Ethernet adapters for wired internet, or built-in SD card readers for DSLR users.

The Best USB Hubs You Should ConsiderORICO 4-Port USB3.0 Clip-Type HubImage: Orico

ORICO’s hub is designed for those who need mobility, with a design that can be attached to the side of your desk or under your monitor to save space.

Where to Buy: Amazon ($32.99) | Catch ($33.69)

Sabrent 4-Port USB 3.0 Data HubImage: Sabrent

The Sabrent 4-Port USB Hub includes individual LED power buttons for each connection.

Where to Buy: Amazon ($14.99) | eBay ($19.99)

Tersely 4-Port USB 3.0 HubImage: Tersely

Tersely’s simple hub sells itself because it’s cheap and fairly small.

Where to Buy: Amazon ($12.95) | eBay ($19.99)

Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Ultra Slim Data HubImage: Anker

The Anker USB hub includes a long 60cm cable and four USB 3.0 ports for your peripherals.

Where to Buy: Amazon ($19.99) | eBay ($19.99) | Kogan ($32.95)

Kokovolta Vertical Data HubImage: Kokovolta

As the name suggests, the unique selling point of Kokovolta’s hub is that it sits vertically, making it a decent option for desk workers.

Where to Buy: Amazon ($25.90) ​​| eBay ($35.99)

Novoo USB Type C Hub AdapterImage: NOVOO

It only has two USB 3.0 ports, but the Novoo hub also supports 4K HDMI and SD/MicroSD card readers if you need an all-purpose hub.

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Where to Buy: Amazon ($29.99) | eBay ($39.99)

IVETTO USB 3.0 7-port hub, $39.43 Image: Ivetto

If you need a lot of ports, IVETTO has you covered with its seven-port hub.

Where to Buy: Amazon ($57.04)

MOKIN 9-in-1 USB-C HubImage: MOKIN

Need more ports and a wide range of options to accommodate the occasional HDMI adapter, SD card reader, or Ethernet port? This MOKIN can offer all that and more.

Where to Buy: Amazon ($99.99)

Satechi USB-C clamping hubImage: Satechi

If you happen to have the new 2021 iMac, you can use this nifty clamping hub that snaps onto your computer monitor. Not only does it provide six additional ports for card readers or USB-compatible devices, it also saves some desk space in the long run.

Where to Buy: Amazon ($89.99) | DigiDirect ($99.99) | eBay ($89.99)

Bonelk Long-Life USB-C to 4 Port USB 3.0 Slim HubImage: Bonelk

Ultimately, if you are just a simple person with simple likes, you can choose this USB charging hub from Bonelk. It only has three ports for HDMI, USB-C, and USB-A, and it’s available in bright blue or green, so it’s never lost in a sea of ​​monochromatic desk accessories.

Where to Buy: Bonelk ($44.99)

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