USB-C is fast becoming the standard port for any and all technology. Almost all Android phones have already made the switch, and Apple transitioned all of their hardware, save for their phones, to USB-C years ago. The switch is clearly an upgrade, but for many, other elements are still lacking, especially when it comes to their computers. The best answer to a lack of ports is generally going to be a hub. Today, we are going to be exploring some of the best USB-C hubs for almost any situation. Whether you are gaming, on a budget, or just want an overall great USB-C hub, we’ve got you covered! Let’s get started.
What is a USB-C hub?
A USB-C hub is simply a device that plugs into a USB-C slot (usually on a computer) and provides a central station to connect many other port interfaces to your computer. Instead of having a dozen cables all converted to USB-C taking up every port on your laptop, you can just have a single USB-C port with your hub plugged in. Then, you can attach your other standard cables to the hub.
In newer Macbooks, for example, there are only USB-C ports and nothing else. If you have a workstation with a wireless mouse and dongle, an external monitor, and a cell phone charger, you would need each of those cables to have one USB-C end to plug into your computer. Even more, you would be taking up almost all of the ports on the laptop just to have three things plugged in. A USB hub helps remedy this problem by acting as an interface where you can plug a standard HDMI, phone, and USB-A cable without needing all new cables.
What ports come on a USB-C hub?
USB hubs have been around for a long time, and most of them adapt to new technology. For USB-C hubs, a whole new world of interfaces has been opened up, mostly due to the transfer speeds offered and power delivery systems available on the newest USB-C ports.
A USB-C hub could potentially have any port that the manufacturer might place on it, but standard ports include:
- USB-A ports (the square USB port most are familiar with)
- SD card slots
- headphone jacks
- Ethernet ports
- HDMI ports
- and more!
Additionally, USB-C offers what’s called “Power Delivery” technology, allowing you to send up to 100 watts of power to or from any device that supports it. At the same time, you can ALSO transfer data through the cable. For reference, only 2.5 watts of power can be sent (usually one way) through a traditional USB-A cable.
Even COOLER is that you are able to daisy-chain USB-C ports equipped with Thunderbolt technology to transmit data and power. For example, you are currently able to daisy-chain two monitors together while only one is directly connected to the computer for video.
Different USB-C hubs can utilize different aspects of USB-C technology, so here is a breakdown of the various ones we think are best in certain scenarios.
The Best USB-C hubs ranked for every use:
- Overall winner: EZQuest USB-C Multimedia Hub
- For power users: Anker 577 Thunderbolt Docking Station
- 2-in-1 Laptop stand and Hub: HyperDrive 7-in-1 USB-C Hub Stand
- The best for Nintendo Switches: IOGear Dock Pro 60 USB-C 4K Station with Game+ Mode
- Best on a Budget: Hiearcool USB-C Hub
Best Overall: EZQuest USB-C Multimedia Hub
- Operate HDMI 4K external display to create extended or mirror mode with digital sound and HDCP
- Power Input: One USB-C 100W Power Delivery port version 3.0 with pass-thru charging up to 85W output and FRS technology or 5Gbs data
- Power Output: The USB-A port with BC1.2 outputs 5V/1.5A (7.5W), other USB-A ports each 5V/0.9A (4.5W). When using all the ports simultaneously to charge or power your devices, the total shared power is 10 watts
- Data: Three 5Gbs USB-A 3.0 ports. When using all ports simultaneously, the total shared data is 5Gbs
- High speed Gigabit Ethernet network connection with LED indicator
The overall winner for our ranked list of USB-C hubs is the EZQuest USB-C Multimedia Hub. The EZQuest sits at the top of quite a few internet lists, and it isn’t without merit. This hub is compact, has a sleek design, and comes with all of the basic ports the average person could ever need. On top of that, it’s reasonably priced and built to last.
The EZQuest features:
- 100-watt passthrough (for any Power Delivery needs)
- 3 USB-C A ports (one with Power Delivery)
- an SD card slot
- HDMI support for [email protected]
- Ethernet connection with an indicator LED
- printed labels on each I/O port
If you need something easy to travel with that has nearly every port you could need on a computer, this hub is a great find. The only drawbacks with the EZQuest are that it doesn’t support Thunderbolt technology (limiting the potential for daisy-chaining monitors), and it doesn’t support USB 3.1 (capping you at 5 Gbps transfer speeds instead of the 10 Gbps on 3.1).
Check out EZQuest USB-C Multimedia Hub on Amazon.
For Power Users: Anker 577 Thunderbolt Docking Station
- Compatibility Information: Works with Windows laptops or non-M1 MacBooks equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 or 4 port. Not compatible with M1 MacBooks or Linux or Chrome OS laptops.
- Incredible Expansion: Equipped with dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, 2 USB-C ports, 4 USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, SD/microSD card slots, and a 3.5 mm AUX port.
- Unparalleled Charging Options: With 85W and 15W Thunderbolt 3 ports plus an 18W USB-C Power Delivery port, PowerExpand offers multiple ways to get a high-speed charge for anything from laptops to phones and more.
- Dual Display: The Thunderbolt 3 port supports [email protected] while the HDMI port supports a resolution of [email protected] Connect to both simultaneously to enjoy crystal-clear streaming or mirroring across 2 displays in [email protected]
- Anker 577 Thunderbolt Docking Station (13-in-1, Thunderbolt 3)/PowerExpand Elite 13-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Dock, 180W power adapter, Thunderbolt 3 cable (2.3 ft), welcome guide, our worry-free 18-month warranty, and great customer service.
A “power user” is someone who wants to get the maximum potential out of their device and generally doesn’t mind paying for it. Whether you need a superb hub for fun or high-end work, the Anker 577 Thunderbolt Docking Station is a great option to consider. The Anker 577 is a 13-in-1 hub, meaning it has 13 ports that connect through its single USB-C port. With so much power potential (as we’ll list in the features below), it does require active powering through its included 180W power adapter.
The Anker 577 features:
- Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports (supports resolutions of [email protected])
- 2 USB-C ports
- 4 USB-A ports
- an HDMI port that supports up to [email protected]
- multiple power delivery options through PowerExpand
- Ethernet port
- SD port
- 3.5 mm AUC port
This hub is truly a beast. Besides the plethora of ports, some notable features of this device are that it supports Thunderbolt 3, allowing for daisy chains up to [email protected] refresh rates. Additionally, the PowerExpand system allows you to charge your laptop AND phone through this hub since it’s powered. The only drawback for this hub is that it doesn’t currently support new Apple M1 chips, although that could change in the future.
Check out Anker 577 Thunderbolt Docking Station on Amazon.
2-in-1 Laptop Stand and Hub: HyperDrive 7-in-1 USB-C Hub Stand
- [Laptop Stand Meets USB-C Hub] Our lightweight and foldable laptop stand safely supports laptops from 10-17 inches and features 7 integrated ports for all your connectivity needs.Compatible with Chromebook, Windows PC, MacBook, iPad Pro
- [Get 7 Essential Ports] Whether you need to connect to an expanded display or monitor, quickly transfer videos or files or get your devices powered up fast, our HDMI 4K 30Hz port, SD/MicroSD slots, USB C PD 100W port, or two USB-A 5Gbps ports will keep you powered-up and connected
- [Enjoy 5 Ergonomic Settings] Typing comfortably is anything but one size fits all. That’s why the 7-in-1 Type-C Hub Stand comes with 5 comfortable ergonomic settings allowing you to pick the perfect angle that fits your posture and body type.
- [Better Heat Dissipation] Our ultra-thin aluminum frame makes the 7-in-1 Type C Hub Stand lightweight, but it also allows for better heat dissipation and enables your laptop to ventilate heat faster.
- [Stable Silicon Base and perfectly Portable] The 7-in-1 USB C Hub Stand features a high-grade silicon layer of cushioning to ensure your laptop is securely in place.it’s built to be collapsible and lightweight(304g) so you can easily take it wherever life’s journey takes you.
Anyone working on a laptop for long hours knows just how much stress it can put on your neck. One of the best solutions to his problem is a laptop stand! The HyperDrive 7-in-1 USB-C Hub Stand is unique in the fact that it works as a laptop stand AND a fully functioning USB-C hub. Once the laptop has been placed on the stand, the angle and elevation can be changed with varying notches on the aluminum frame. Additionally, the dedicated USB-C cable plugs into the laptop, allowing you to use their full gambit of ports placed discretely on the left side of the stand.
The HyperDrive 7-in-1 USB-C Hub Stand features:
- fully functioning and adjustable laptop stand
- USB-C with Power Delivery
- SD and Micro SD slots
- 2 USB-A 3.0 ports
- HDMI support for [email protected]
Using a laptop stand can be better ergonomically and can even dissipate heat from your laptop faster than when it’s on a hard surface. The only drawback to the HyperDrive is that it doesn’t support Thunderbolt. Still, if you don’t need the insane speeds offered by Thunderbolt, this laptop stand combo is a great option.
Check out HyperDrive 7-in-1 USB-C Hub Stand on Amazon.
The Best for Nintendo Switches: IOGear Dock Pro 60 USB-C 4K Station with Game+ Mode
- Use as a portable Nintendo Switch dock while traveling(Nintendo Switch Original Power adapter is necessary for Game + Mode)
- Dock a USB-C DP Alt mode laptop , tablet, iPad Pro, or Android phone and work on a Samsung Galaxy Note tablet via Samsung DeX mode with a keyboard, mouse & monitor
- Connect an HDMI display/TV to view content up to 4K UltraHD*
- Charge the host device with up to 60W of power delivery pass-through
One of the coolest things about the Nintendo Switch is that you can play it as a portable gaming device or connect it to a dock and play it on a television screen. The dock you can purchase is cool, but there are some better options out there for anyone looking to game on their monitor in 4k. When the Switch is connected, it allows for the use of their Game+ mode.
The IOGear Dock Pro 60 USB-C 4K Station with Game+ Mode features:
- USB-C with PD passthrough
- HDMI supports [email protected]
- 2 USB-A ports, one 3.0
- Game+ Mode for Nintendo Switch
Gaming on a monitor can often be a better experience than gaming on a television. The lower latency and closer viewing angles can make things feel after and look sharper. If you are a Nintendo Switch owner and want an alternative to their dock, the IOGear is a really solid option. The drawbacks are that this hub only supports 60W of Power Delivery and doesn’t offer as many ports as some other hubs.
Check out IOGear Dock Pro 60 USB-C 4K Station with Game+ Mode on Amazon.
Best on a Budget: Hiearcool USB-C Hub
- UL/SGS Approved Hiearcool USB C Hub: The intelligent USB C Adapter has perfectly combined all the functions you need. USB C to HDMI hub equipped with USB3.0 x2, [email protected] HDMI, SD/TF Card Adapter, and Up to 100W/20V/5A Type C Power Delivery charging port.
- 4K HDMI to USB C Hub: The USB C Hub provides you with lifelike 4K 3840 x [email protected] HDMI images that bring an immersive 3D resolution experience.
- 100W Power Delivery Supported: The USB C Hub supports a 100W USB C pass-through charging, ideal for MacBook Pro/Air or and other USB c devices, your primary choice of USB C Hub.
- Efficient USB C Hub: Two high-speed USB-A 3.0 ports capable of 5Gb/s transfer speed for quick data transfer & Charging up to [email protected] Plug and Play, No Software, Drivers required.
- Travel Size SD/TF USB C Adapter: Aluminium Alloy Casting and 2.4ounce Pocket Size,5Gbps read and write, capacity up to 2TB cards.
Being on a budget can be tough, but the world of tech always has some really solid options for people looking to save money. The Hiearcool USB-C Hub is a solid option that is portable, doesn’t break the bank, and comes in a few different colors. The small size of the Hiearcool doesn’t hold it back from having 7 ports plus Power Delivery, making it one of the best deals you can find in this price range.
The Hiearcool features:
- SD and Mini SD card slots
- USB-C with 100W passthrough
- 2 USB-A 3.0 ports
- HDMI supports [email protected]
It’s not a ton of ports, but it’s a perfect variety. Whether you need to hook up a monitor, plug in a flash drive, or just charge your phone, the Hiearcool is a handy hub that can do it all on a budget.
Check out Hiearcool USB-C Hub on Amazon.
How To Pick The Best USB-C Hub: Step by Step
For as many options as there are, picking a USB-C hub is, thankfully, pretty easy. Make sure you follow these steps to make sure you get the perfect option for you:
- Set a budget. If you don’t have a budget, you can’t accurately gauge the type of USB-C hub you can afford! Although it isn’t the most fun part of the process, understanding what you can afford can help you disregard certain options or even pick a better option if it’s available. Overall, you can get a USB-C hub for under $100 that can do almost everything, so budgetary constraints in this category shouldn’t be too tough.
- Understand your use case. A “use case” is the primary use that you will be using a product for. If you are a video editor with a ton of portable storage, for example, data transfer speeds will be WAY more important to you than Power Delivery would be. If you have a lot of devices you need to charge, then Power Delivery would be essential for any USB-C hub. Understanding your use case is probably the most important element when choosing a hub, potentially even more than budget. Just because you can afford something doesn’t mean that option is even the best for you.
- Portable or stationary. In regards to USB hubs specifically, you will either need one that is portable or stationary. Portable examples on our list include the Hiearcool and the EZ Quest, while stationary ones include the Anker 577 and the HyperDrive. Obviously, anything can be portable if you have enough storage for it, but traveling with an Anker 577 isn’t the best scenario for most people. Instead, the Anker should be a constant feature for a home setup. If you plan to travel with your hub, make sure it’s portable. If not, then a portable option isn’t as important.
What To Know Before Buying a USB-C Hub
Thankfully, USB-C hubs are pretty simple, especially for being a tech item. Still, there are some things to keep in mind.
First, you need to make sure that your hub is compatible with your setup. The first compatibility check is to make sure your computer is USB-C. If your computer doesn’t have a USB-C port, this probably isn’t the article for you. A second compatibility check is specific to some Macbooks and certain USB-C hubs. Macbook’s new M2 processors aren’t totally compatible with some hubs, so make sure you check your hub’s specific compatibility notes before you buy.
Additionally, ensure that your chosen hub has the features you need. Although USB-C can be Thunderbolt compatible, not all hubs support it, and some hubs don’t support the newest versions of it. Another example of this is Power Delivery. Just because a USB-C port is present doesn’t mean it’s Power Delivery compatible.
What it’s Like to Use a USB-C Hub
Using a USB-C hub is a really simple process. For the vast majority of hubs, it’s as simple as plug-and-play. Once you have the primary cable connected, you should have access to the variety of ports and interfaces on the hub.
In some instances, a powered connection will be necessary (the Anker, for example). Some of the larger, more robust hubs need to be independently powered since they support daisy-chaining and device charging with power delivery. Powered hubs don’t draw power from laptops and instead provide their own.
Aside from that, a USB-C hub makes your life a lot easier! We highly recommend using one if you’ve been struggling to make everything work with the standard options on the newer Macbooks or desktops with a USB-C port.
Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API