What is the best USB 3.0 hubs?
Source: | Author:sipolar | Published time: 2022-07-26 | 344 Views | Share:

Choosing a USB 3.0 hub

As laptops and tablets become slimmer, some functions fall by the wayside. The first to disappear are usually multiple USB ports. If you’re lucky, you can get a laptop today that has more than two ports. But gadgets such as Apple’s MacBook only have one USB connection. If you already have a wired keyboard or mouse plugged in, you’ll have to make another plan to access an external hard drive.

That’s where a USB 3.0 hub comes in. Typically the size of a laptop’s power adapter, a USB hub occupies one USB slot and expands that to several. You can easily find as many as seven or eight additional ports on a hub, and some even provide HDMI video slots or access to memory cards

Compatible with your computer

Naturally, the hub connects to your computer or laptop through a USB cable. The key is to ensure that it’s compatible. Most connection cables use a male USB 3.0 but for Apple’s MacBook, you must use a hub with a USB-C connector.  However, this isn’t a problem with Apple’s desktop iMac computers, as they have both USB 3.0 and USB-C ports.

Similarly, you won’t be able to connect a USB-C hub to your computer if it only has USB 3.0 ports.

Number of USB ports

The most important aspect most would look for is the number of USB ports on the hub. Simply put, the more ports you have available, the more gadgets you can connect or charge. Anything from a mobile phone and tablet to a keyboard and mouse can go through the hub. 

But as pointed out earlier, you must ensure that you connect it to the correct port. For example, a keyboard plugged into a charging port won’t be of much use — unless it’s a wireless model that requires a quick recharge.

Data vs. charging

When you look at the specifications of a USB 3.0 hub, you’ll notice that some ports are designated differently from others. That’s because the ports are generally two kinds: data and charging.

As the name implies, data ports are used for transferring information from a device to your computer. Think of a thumb drive, an external hard drive or a memory card. They also work with mobile phones so you can download photos or transfer music files. 

A charging port, meanwhile is exactly what it sounds like. While it can’t transfer data, it is used to quickly charge any connected device. In this case, gadgets such as mobile phones, power banks or wireless keyboards can recharge. 

But as technology advances, it has become more common to find ports on a USB 3.0 hub that can do both simultaneously. This lets you access and transfer the data from a connected device while it charges.

Just keep in mind that charging ports need to draw power from a source. If the hub doesn’t have a power adapter that connects to a wall socket, it will use power from your laptop to charge the device. This will drain your laptop’s power much faster.