The best USB hubs serve as a seamless extension of your laptop or PC, and give you a wider range of connectivity with just one plug. We’ve rounded up all the best ones depending on the peripherals you have and the ports that you need – with our top choice being the Anker 5-in-1 USB-C hub.
While slimmer and lightweight computers come with several advantages in this day and age, one very frustrating trade-off is the limited number of ports that come with a more portable device MacBook Air owners will know the struggle, especially!
Luckily, not all hope is lost. With the help of a well-rounded USB hub, you can easily gain back the ports you’ve lost and even transform your laptop or PC into an all-encompassing workstation.
Whether you’re looking for a USB or USB-C hub that’ll enable you to transfer data at efficient speeds, use Ethernet, charge your devices, or perform multiple tasks at once, we’re certain that you can count on the models below for whatever activity or project you may have. Read on to find the right one for your setup:
This compact yet hardworking 5-in-1 USB-C hub from Anker is a must-have for digital nomads and is a favorite amongst photographers and filmmakers that spend time traveling.
Boasting 2 USB-A 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and an SD and Micro SD card slot, the versatile device allows you to plug in more peripherals, transfer files at 5 Gbps, connect your laptop to a projector or monitor (as long as you have an HDMI cable), and instantly access your photos and other media with just one USB-C port. The cherry on top? It’s only $35 and is backed by an 18-month warranty.
|Ports||2 USB-A, 1 HDMI|
|Item dimension (LxWxH)||7.48″ x 4.57″ x 2.32″|
|Cable length||0.5 ft|
|Card slot||1 SD and 1 Mirco SD|
|Price||$35 (see on Amazon)|
Here’s another Anker pick that’s perfect for MacBook owners. We love the design; the sleek 7-in-2 hub slots right in the two USB-C ports of your laptop without any additional cables, giving off a streamlined and stylish look.
Anker 7-in-2 USB-C hub offers the same ports as the 5-in-1 model, with the addition of a USB-C data port and a multi-function USB port that supports charging power up to 100w, data transfer up to an astonishing 40 Gbps, and media display resolutions up to 5k without heating up or stalling. And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, it also allows you to connect to 2 monitors simultaneously, so you can enjoy HD viewing across 2 displays.
|Connects via||2 USB-C Ports|
|Ports||2 USB-A, HDMI port, USB-C data, Multi-function USB-C|
|Item dimension (LxWxH)||4.72″ x 1.14″ x 0.39″|
|Card slot||1 SD and 1 Mirco SD|
|Price||$60 (see on Amazon)|
If you’re looking for an inexpensive but reliable hub, then the Sabrent 4-Port USB 3.0 hub may be the one for you. It’s compatible with most operating systems, and while it doesn’t come with charging features, its 4 USB-A ports will be more than enough if you simply need extra ports to connect everyday devices such as mice, keyboards, flash drives, printers and scanners.
Another thing that sets this hub apart is that it also comes with a power switch in each of its ports, so you can control energy consumption by simply turning your idle devices off without having to remove them from their respective placements. Plus, it’s also hot swappable (meaning you can remove components without rebooting the system), which is pretty neat for a hub under $20.
|Connects via||USB-A 3.0|
|Item dimension (LxWxH)||3.44″ x 1.48″ x 0.62″|
|Cable length||2 ft|
|Price||$19.99 (see on Amazon)|
The Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock is your all-in-one solution for a powerful and truly unstoppable workstation. Featuring the latest Thunderbolt 4 technology, you’ll have the fastest data transfer speeds at the palm of your hands, which is ideal for creatives working with 4k resolutions all the time. Its Gigabit Ethernet port also gives you a direct connection to the internet, which is a must if you’re constantly uploading and downloading content and want a faster, wired connection. Designed with pro users in mind, it also has its own power supply to keep all your gadgets running smoothly.
This high-end hub does come with a hefty price tag, but we think that its durable build and paramount capabilities make it a worthy investment for your workspace. Given the dock’s premium features and substantial weight, Satechi’s Thunderbolt 4 Dock is most suitable for those with a permanent desk setup, and won’t be the best option if you plan to tote it from one place to another every so often.
|Ports||3 Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, 3 USB-A data, USB-A charging, Gigabit Ethernet|
|Item dimension (LxWxH)||7.68″ x 3.35″ x 1.18″|
|Card slot||UHS-II SD card reader|
|Price||$299.99 (see on Amazon)|
If you’re in the market for a hub with enough power to double as a docking station (almost like giving your laptop a second engine) but is compact enough to take on the go, then look no further than Anker’s PowerExpand 8-in-1 hub. It’s a medium sized USB-C hub with a balanced mix of ports, and can provide high-speed pass-through charging up to 85W even while its other ports are in use.
Another advantage of this Anker model is that it supports 4k video signal at a refresh rate of 60 hz, which is considerably faster than its 5-in-1 and 7-in-2 counterparts. It’s a little bit pricier for an Anker hub, but we think it’s a pretty good deal given the viewing upgrade and amount of functions it serves.
|Ports||USB-C Power Delivery input, USB-C data, 2 USB-A data, HDMI, Ethernet|
|Item dimension (LxWxH)||4.76″ x 2.17″ x 0.6″|
|Cable length||0.6 ft|
|Card slot||1 SD and 1 Micro SD|
|Price||$80 (see on Amazon)|
Weighing only 2 ounces, this pocket-sized Anker 3-Port USB hub is most ideal for travelers that simply need additional ports for quick transfers. With its 3 USB-A 3.0 ports, you can connect everyday gadgets such as your flash drive, phone, or camera while maintaining a steady connection. And if you happen to be in a place with spotty WiFi, you can easily access the fastest speeds with its Gigabit Ethernet port (though it’s also backward compatible to 10/100 Ethernet).
The hub is equipped with surge protection to keep your gadgets and data safe, however, Anker has made it clear that it isn’t meant to be used with large capacity hard drives and other high power consumption devices. It also comes with a 1.6 ft. USB-A to USB-B cable, but if your device needs a USB-C port, the brand also has a connector that you can buy separately.
|Connects via||USB-A 3.0|
|Ports||3 USB-A 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet|
|Item dimension (LxWxH)||3.7″ x 1.18″ x 0.91″|
|Cable length||1.6 ft|
|Price||$29.99 (see on Amazon)|
If you don’t necessarily need Ethernet and just want something that can handle larger amounts of data, say, for streaming movies or accessing files from multiple hard drives at once, then this Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 aluminum unibody hub will be your best friend. It comes with a 2 ft. USB-A cable that connects to your laptop or desktop, and has a hook-and-loop installation strip to anchor it to your desk or wall. Aside from syncing data, you can also use the hub for mice, keyboards and headphones, or connect your Roku or Chromecast devices to a TV. The only downside we can think of is that the cable isn’t removable, so you’ll have to make sure that the length is long enough for your setup before making a purchase.
|Connects via||USB-A 3.0|
|Ports||4 USB-A 3.0 Ports|
|Item dimension (LxWxH)||3.35″ x 1.77″ x 1.06″|
|Cable length||2 ft|
|Price||$25.99 (see on Amazon)|
Got a desktop setup? Then chances are you already have an HDMI slot and Ethernet port, and likely just need more USB-A slots for your peripherals, hard drives and other devices. This 10-port USB 3.0 hub from Sabrent is the missing piece you need to take your workstation to the next level and improve your daily workflow. Similar to its smaller 4-port sibling mentioned on this list, it also comes with individual power switches that allow you to save up on energy without having to unplug any of your devices.
Since the hub runs on AC power, it may not be the most travel-friendly, and is best suited for those working in an office space or from home. It also doesn’t have slots for SD cards, so you’ll need to plug in an SD card reader to do the job.
|Connects via||USB-A 3.0|
|Ports||10 USB-A 3.0 Ports|
|Item dimension (LxWxH)||5.7″ x 1.9″ x 0.94″|
|Cable length||2 ft|
|Price||$59 (see on Amazon)|
This Satechi 4-Port USB-C hub is sure to be a welcome addition to users who’ve gone all in on USB-C, especially since most modern devices (particularly Apple products) only have 2 of the ports at best. It’s the first of its kind, and transforms one USB-C or Thunderbolt port into four USB-C connectors, which allows you to plug in your phone, flash drive, and other Type-C accessories without any additional adapters.
While the hub’s ports aren’t meant to carry video signals or support pass-through charging, it does have 5 Gbps transfer speeds, which should be sufficient for connecting keyboards, mice, and backup drives.
|Ports||4 USB-C Ports|
|Item dimension (LxWxH)||2.36″ x 2.36″ x 0.35″|
|Price||$39.99 (see on Amazon)|
With all the options available in the market, finding the perfect USB hub can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. To streamline your search, allow us to break down all the important considerations when picking out a hub for your workspace.
One of the first things people look for when purchasing a USB hub is how fast it can transfer data, which would ultimately depend on the USB version that the hub supports. There are 5 standards when it comes to transfer speeds, namely:
For the most efficient speeds, we recommend going for USB 3.0 and 3.1, which are the current standards for most modern computers. If you still have a handful of 2.0 devices, you’ll be glad to know that all 3.0 ports are backward compatible, which means that you can connect any 2.0 device the same way you’d connect a 3.0 device.
However, the data transfer rate between two different standards will be limited to the slower device, so connecting a USB 3.0 to a 2.0 device will only allow you to transfer data at 480 Mbps, even if the USB 3.0 is capable of transferring data at 5 Gbps.
Aside from a difference in transfer speeds, here are some other things to know about 2.0 and 3.0:
Just like their names suggest, the key difference between the two USB types lies on where they get their power from. A powered hub comes with its own AC adapter, while an unpowered hub draws power from the computer that it’s plugged into. The best hub for you will depend on your lifestyle and the devices you frequently use.
If you’re one who’s always on the go or only needs the basic accessories such as a mouse and mechanical keyboard, then an unpowered hub will be sufficient enough for your setup. But, for more heavy duty tasks that require more demanding devices, it’s best to go for a powered USB hub.
As a general rule of thumb, unless portability is an absolute necessity in your line of work, you’ll likely be better off with a larger sized hub that can accommodate all your peripherals and have a few extra ports for when you’ll need to plug in additional gadgets or upgrade your workstation. This not only gives you more flexibility, but will also be more economical compared to purchasing a brand new hub later on.
Another factor you may want to consider is the orientation of the USB hub’s ports. If you plan to place the hub on a computer tower or tuck it behind a monitor stand, then a vertical orientation design such as Sabrent’s USB 3.0 hub will be more practical. But if you’re looking to position it on your table with some ports facing out so you can easily slot in additional flash drives and other peripherals whenever you need to, then a side-out arrangement like the Satechi models mentioned on this list may be more appropriate.
All content is made up of individual still frames shown at very high speeds. A refresh rate refers to the number of times an image can be displayed per second, and is measured in hertz (Hz). A refresh rate of 60 Hz means that the image is being refreshed 60 times per second, while a refresh rate of 120 Hz would translate to, you guessed it, 120 times per second. The higher the refresh rate, the sharper the image and smoother the transition from one frame to another will be. Check to see what rates your USB hub is able to support.
Aside from the USB hub’s specs, it also pays to know the different port types to ensure that the USB hub you’re eyeing is compatible with your devices and their respective connectors (otherwise you’ll need to purchase more adapters!)
Here are the most common types of ports:
USB-A is the most commonly used port and is compatible with almost every USB version from 1.0 to 3.0. It’s flat and rectangular in shape, and can only be connected one way. You’ll find them on almost every computer and on one end of most USB cables… for now.
USB-B is an older port that’s also compatible with most USB versions. You’ll still see these ports on some scanners and printers, though they’ve already been overtaken by its younger, faster sibling: USB-C.
USB-C is the newest standard which supports versions from USB 2.0 and above. They’re smaller and slightly oval in shape, and can be connected either way (meaning they don’t have a ‘right-side up’). Most of today’s smartphones have a USB-C port, as well as Apple’s MacBooks and other modern laptops.
Thunderbolt is a new technology that supports high-performance data and high-resolution displays, and boasts speeds of 40 Gbps. They’ve recently incorporated the USB-C standard to their ports, but it’s important to note that not all USB-C devices are compatible with Thunderbolt.
An Ethernet port has a square shape with distinctive ridges at the bottom. Most desktop computers will have an Ethernet port that’ll allow you to connect to a wired network, but you can also find it on a lot of laptops. If you have a MacBook Air, which doesn’t have a built-in Ethernet port, you can still have access to Ethernet by connecting an adapter to your laptop’s USB port.
And there you have it! The top USB hubs to invest in for a fuss-free and efficient office, remote work or hybrid work setup. Here’s a rundown of all our picks:
|Specifications||Anker 5-in-1 USB-C||Anker 7-in-2 USB-C||Sabrent 4-Port USB 3.0||Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock||Anker PowerExpand 8-in-1||Anker 3-Port USB 3.0||Anker 4-Port USB 3.0||Sabrent 10 Port USB 3.0||Satechi 4-Port USB-C|
|Connects via||USB-C||2 USB-C Ports||USB-A 3.0||USB-C||USB-C||USB-A 3.0||USB-A 3.0||USB-A 3.0||USB-C|
|Item dimension (LxWxH)||7.48″ x 4.57″ x 2.32″||4.72″ x 1.14″ x 0.39″||3.44″ x 1.48″ x 0.62″||7.68″ x 3.35″ x 1.18″||4.76″ x 2.17″ x 0.6″||3.7″ x 1.18″ x 0.91″||3.35″ x 1.77″ x 1.06″||5.7″ x 1.9″ x 0.94″||2.36″ x 2.36″ x 0.35″|
|Cable length||0.5 ft||N/A||2 ft||N/A||0.6 ft||1.6 ft||2 ft||2 ft||N/A|
|Card slot||SD and Mirco SD||SD and Micro SD||None||UHS-II SD card reader||SD and Micro SD||None||None||None||None|
For those who have a fixed setup, we recommend Satechi’s Thunderbolt 4 Dock or Sabrent’s 10 Port USB 3.0 Hub for maximum functionality. But for individuals that often travel for work (or for leisure), Anker has a lot of highly portable options to give you the flexibility that you need – with our top pick being their 5-1 hub.
Looking to set up your home office?
Our team’s been working from home since 2014! Check out our tried-and-tested recommendations on the very best gear for your workstation.