© iStock.com/pavel_balanenko

Key Points:
  • The HDMI on the Hiearcool Hub can handle up to 4K, the USB ports up to 5Gbps, and the SD card reader up to 104Mbps.
  • The UGREEN looks slightly different design-wise, with ports only along one side of the hub and SD/TF slots at the end. It’s also smaller, sporting dimensions of 4.5 x 1.4 inches.
  • The Anker USB-C Hub is travel-ready with a unique hub design that slides right up next to your laptop and attaches directly to the USB-C ports, no cord necessary. 

USB-C hubs are a must-have for many MacBook Pro users, since most have at least a couple of laptop accessories. Depending on the MacBook, you might have anywhere between 1 USB-A port or none at all – that’s not great if you want to plug in more than a mouse!

The best USB-C hubs will adapt your MacBook’s single USB-C port into however many ports you need. Ideally, they’ll include a variety of ports and do it all without breaking the bank. That’s a tall order, though, and not every hub is suited to every task.

Do you own the 2019 MacBook Pro 13”? Then you’ll probably want to focus on getting a couple of USB-A ports for your troubles. If you want SD card slots, or want to attach an HDMI port monitor, then you’ll need a hub that has these extra options.

With all this in mind, we pulled together a list of the best USB-C hubs for each use:

USB C Hub Ethernet, Hiearcool USB C [email protected] HDMI Adapter,8 IN1 Multiport Type C Adapter 1Gbps 100W PD USB C Dock USB3.0 TF/SD Dongle Docking Station Compatible for MacBook iPad Pro Dell Hp Lenovo
$35.99
  • Multi-Function USB C Adapter: 1x 4K HDMI,1x Ethernet port,PD port,3x USB 3.0 up to 5Gbps,TF/SD card slot up to 104Mbps. Expand your work at home/office or on the go.
  • Elevated Performance [email protected]: Hiearcool USB C Hub delivers stunning 4K picture quality and a high fresh rate at 60Hz; no more lag, ensure you won’t miss a sec no matter online meeting or gaming.
  • Reliable Network: Always be ready to face a new challenge. 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet hub provides a solid network connection instead of spotty Wi-Fi when surfing online.
  • 100W Power Delivery: Hiearcool USB C Hub compatible with 100W USB C Power Adapter to provide high-speed power passing through.
  • Cooler & Safer: With an advanced inner chip GL823K, the Hiearcool USB C hub provides a cooler functioning temperature and stable performance. Keep your peripherals safe and sound.
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02/03/2023 02:21 am GMT

We rank the Hiearcool hub as the best USB-C hub on the market because, well, it just does it all. It has an incredible balance between size and portability, power, and options for ports. On top of all that, its price is mid-range for a quality hub, at only $35.99.

The Hiearcool is only 5.16 x 1.77 inches and has ports available along the sides and one end of its body. These ports include 3 USB 3.0 ports, a PD port, an Ethernet port, an HDMI, and even a TF/SD card slot.

It’s truly a jack of all trades, but it doesn’t lack in quality in any of these departments. The HDMI can handle up to 4K, the USB ports up to 5Gbps, and the SD card reader up to 104Mbps. You’d be hard-pressed to find fault with anything that it offers.

Additionally, the Hiearcool has different color options. Not everyone cares about this, but it’s definitely nice to have. Most USB-C hubs only come in silver or gray. This one adds black, metallic pink, and metallic blue to its color roster.

The Hiearcool hub’s only weak spot is the price. It does feel a little expensive if you were hoping to pay $20 or less for your hub. As disappointing as that may be, it’s rare to find a hub with more than USB-A ports for that price.

Considering the other USB-C hubs out there, the Hiearcool is a clear winner.

Check out the Hiearcool hub on Amazon.

UGREEN USB C Hub, 6-in-1 USB C to USB Adapter, 4K HDMI Adapter Multiport Dongle, 3 USB 3.0 Ports, SD/TF Card Reader, USB Converter Compatible with Laptop, MacBook Pro, iPad and More Type C Devices
$19.99
  • 6-in-1 USB C Hub: Expand more ports to connect more. UGREEN 6-in-1 USB C to USB adapter features a 4K HDMI output port, SD and TF card readers, and 3 USB 3.0 ports. All hub ports can work...
  • HDMI Port for 4K UHD Visual Feast: Mirror or extend your screen with UGREEN USB C to HDMI adapter to directly stream 4K UHD, Full HD 1080p, or 3D video to HDTV, monitor, or projector. You could not...
  • 5Gbps Superspeed Data Transfer: This USB C to USB adapter adds 3 extra USB 3.0 ports for connecting multiple USB peripheral devices such as flash drives, hard drives, keyboards, mice, printers, MP3...
  • Reading SD/TF Cards Simultaneously: Built-in SD and TF slots easily access files from universal SD card and Micro SD cards; Supports 2 cards reading simultaneously. With speeds up to 104MB/S, this USB...
  • Compact and Easy to Use: Compact and lightweight, allows you to expand your laptop's capabilities while on the go. No need for a drive, just plug and play.
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02/03/2023 02:06 am GMT

If the Hiearcool is outside of your budget, then the UGREEN USB-C hub is your next best bet. It offers almost every feature that the Hiearcool does for less cost.

The UGREEN does look a bit different design-wise, with ports only along one side of the hub and SD/TF slots at the end. Understandably, it’s also a bit smaller, sporting dimensions of 4.5 x 1.4 inches. The difference is minor, but it makes the UGREEN feel sleeker.

This USB-C hub is nearly identical to the Hiearcool with a few key changes. It has the same 4K HDMI, USB 3.0 ports, and TF/SD card reader with the same speeds; however, there is no PD port or Ethernet port on the UGREEN. 

It’s an amazing option if you don’t ever plan on using Ethernet for your MacBook. Of course, you’ll also have to say goodbye to the Hiearcool’s extra color options. UGREEN only offers the typical silver gray. 

For those of you who demand less from your USB-C hub, the UGREEN is simply more cost-efficient because it doesn’t include features you won’t be using.

Check out the UGREEN USB-C hub on Amazon.

uni USB C to USB Hub 4 Ports, Aluminum USB Type C to USB Adapter with 4 USB 3.0 Ports, Thunderbolt 3 to Multiport USB 3.0 Hub Adapter for MacBook Pro/Air 2020/2019, iPad Pro, Dell, Chromebook and more
$12.79
  • 【USB 3.1 Gen 1】Full USB 3.0 SuperSpeed data transfer up to 5Gbps, 10x faster than USB 2.0. Transfer files, HD movies, and songs to your USB-C devices in seconds. Designed for data sync not...
  • [Power Usage] Charging Not Supported. This USB Type C Splitter is designed for data sync not charging, we recommend you not use it to charge your smartphone and other devices. Also, for a stable...
  • 【Plug & Play】Transform one of your computer ’s USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 Ports into four USB A without any adapter, driver, or software needed. Provides you with maximum convenience. Compatible with...
  • 【OTG Supported】This USB C to USB 3.0 Hub allows a device to read data from a USB connection without requiring a PC. No interference with Wifi signal and no connection dropped issue. If not, feel...
  • 【Friendly Design】The built-in smart chip avoids overcurrent, overvoltage, short circuit and high temperature. Flexible braided nylon cable for extra durability. Aluminum shell with a nice metallic...
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02/03/2023 02:16 am GMT

Cost is king if you’ve already spent all of your budget on the actual MacBook Pro, and the uni USB-C hub understands that. It will supply you with as many ports as it can for a cheap price of $13.59.

By “as many ports as it can”, we mean 4 USB-A ports– nothing more, nothing less. Since they’re all USB 3.0, they support up to 5Gbps transfer. It’s a solid option if you only need to get a few USB-A ports for things like computer mice or keyboards.

The uni hub is 6.3 x 3.15 inches. That makes it the chunkiest of all the hubs we’ve reviewed thus far, which might be surprising considering it has far fewer ports. The sleek designs of previous hubs were only an option because of the higher cost.

Another thing you’ll miss out on for the sake of the price is passthrough charging. You won’t be able to charge any devices, such as a smartphone, through the uni USB-C hub. You’ll also be limited to connecting devices with less than 900 mA for the sake of stable connectivity.

As you can see, there are a lot of downsides to opting for a low-price hub. Still, you’ll have at least one option: you can buy a longer cable for a slight cost increase. The default is 0.6 feet, and for $6 more, it jumps to 4 feet long.

It’s understandable to want to save on a USB-C hub. After all, it’s not a very appealing piece of tech compared to laptop accessories or the actual laptop.

So long as you know what you’re getting into, the uni USB-C hub will solve your port problems with minimal cost.

Check out the uni USB-C hub on Amazon.

Anker USB C Hub for MacBook, PowerExpand Direct 7-in-2 USB C Adapter Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 USB C Port, 100W Power Delivery, 4K HDMI, USB C and 2 USB A Data Ports, SD and microSD Card Reader
$49.99
  • The Anker Advantage: Join the 55 million+ powered by our leading technology.
  • Massive Expansion: Expand your MacBook’s 2 USB-C ports into 1 multi-function USB-C port, 1 USB-C data port, 2 USB-A ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 SD card slot, and 1 microSD card slot—all from one...
  • High-Speed, High-Def: A multi-function-enabled USB-C port supports huge charging power up to 100W, data transfer up to an astounding 40 Gb/s, and media display at resolutions up to 5K.
  • Multi-Monitor Display: The HDMI port supports a resolution of [email protected] while the multi-function port supports [email protected] Connect to both simultaneously to enjoy crystal-clear streaming or mirroring...
  • What You Get: PowerExpand Direct 7-in-2 USB-C PD Media Hub, travel pouch, welcome guide, worry-free 18-month , and friendly customer service.
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02/03/2023 05:42 am GMT

Travel needs are always hard to synchronize with a tech setup, and things get even more complex with a USB-C hub. But it is possible to keep your MacBook Pro minimalist and travel-friendly with the Anker USB-C hub.

What makes this hub truly travel-ready is the way it connects. The unique hub design means it slides right up next to your laptop and attaches directly to the USB-C ports, no cord necessary. 

This design helps with safety (less likely to bang it up against things), easier cord management (critical when traveling), and makes it take up less space overall. The downside is that it covers up the ports on the laptop.

Thankfully, it includes another USB-C port directly on the hub so you still have an easy charging option. It also includes a 4K HDMI, 2 USB-A ports, and an SD/microSD card reader. Once again, there is no Ethernet available. In the context of travel, though, that’s not important.

The Anker hub does cost $59.99, which feels stifling. The price goes toward its very high-quality ports. It can support 40Gbps data transfer, and 100W of charging power. The Anker also has a special multi-function USB-C port that allows for 5K resolution media.

All in all, we think the cost is put to good use. For a USB-C hub on the go, it doesn’t get better than the Anker’s clean design and high-impact tech.

Check out the Anker USB-C hub on Amazon.

How To Pick The Best USB-C Hub: Step by Step

There are five key features you’ll need to consider when you buy a USB-C hub:

  • Type of Ports
  • Number of Ports
  • Price
  • Portability
  • Extra Features

Each of these will impact how well the hub works for you, so let’s go over each of these.

Type of Ports

The port hub that works best for you is always going to be related to what accessories you want to plug in. If all you want are some USB-A ports for your MacBook Pro, then you should get a USB-C hub that only has those.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you might not have more than a USB-A mouse that you want to connect. Instead, your priority might be to have an additional monitor because you do programming or visual design on your MacBook.

HDMI ports and other display ports are more important in that case.

Number of Ports

Second to the type of ports available are the number of ports you need out of a USB-C port. It’s rarely worth it to buy a USB-C hub if you’re going to eventually want more ports than it offers. Because of that, it’s better to have a couple of extra ports on the hub that you buy.

For example, even if you only need 2 USB-A ports for a keyboard and a mouse, you should still aim for a hub that has more than that. USB-A ports are a very common interface. Eventually, you might find that you want to purchase a USB-connected microphone for Zoom meetings.

Replacing a USB-C hub after the fact is an extra expense, and a very avoidable one if you consider both port type and port number when you first buy the hub.

Price

Price is always a relevant consideration, and even more so when you’ve already paid for a new laptop. A USB-C hub that only has some generic USB-A ports shouldn’t cost more than $25.

Unfortunately, hubs that have specialty ports and functions like HDMI ports, SD card slots, and lightning ports will inevitably cost more. Hubs like this can cost upwards of $100. It’s a steep price to pay, but the hub should last you as long as or longer than the laptop does.

Remember, it’s better to purchase a USB-C hub that has all of the functionality that you want from the get-go. If you buy a USB-C hub just because it’s cheaper, you might find yourself needing to buy yet another hub later.

Portability

Portability isn’t as important as some of the other considerations, but it’s still crucial if you’re planning on taking your laptop anywhere. A USB-C hub is yet another accessory on top of the actual laptop and all of the other accessories you want to use.

Whether you’re packing a suitcase for a flight or carrying stuff around in a backpack, the size and weight of the USB-C hub matter. Most hubs are relatively light and small. Still, some of them are much more portable than others.

Extra Features

Some USB-C hubs offer more than just a couple of extra ports. They might have Gigabit Ethernet capabilities, SD/microSD card readers, or passthrough charging. Let’s look at what each of these means and what they can do for you.

Best USB-C Hubs
USB Type C adapter or hub with various accessories – pendrives, hdmi, ethernet, memory card, cables.

©willi Lumintang/Shutterstock.com

Gigabit Ethernet

Ethernet allows you to have a wired Internet connection, which is more stable and generally better than WiFi connections. If you’re interested in connecting your Macbook Pro to Ethernet, chances are you’ll need a USB-C hub to help you do it.

USB-C hubs can have Gigabit Ethernet connections built in, and the ones that do will advertise it. These include a special LAN/Ethernet port that allows you to connect your Ethernet cable.

SD Card Readers

It’s common for high-end USB-C hubs to come with an SD or microSD card reader included. That means you’ll have access to extra storage, which is great news for people who don’t have a lot of storage on the actual laptop.

You can do most of your work on the Cloud (offloaded to the internet), but sometimes you want documents saved offline. SD card readers are a lifesaver for creating designs and writing papers all offline.

Passthrough Charging

Not every USB-C hub will let you charge things through it. Cheaper hubs generally let you transfer data, but not power. That means you can’t plug in your phone, tablet, or any other device.

Additionally, you won’t be able to charge your laptop itself through the USB-C hub unless the hub has passthrough charging. This is less of a problem, since most MacBooks have an extra port for charging. It can still come up if you’re using it for something else, though.

We’ll talk more about the specifics of passthrough charging in the next section.

What To Know Before Buying a USB-C Hub

There are a lot of small details and specs that come along with a USB-C hub. It’s easy to gloss over them, but they can drastically change how well your hub works and what you can use it for.

Not all hubs with an SD or microSD card reader are equal, for example. The speed at which they can transfer data (and therefore read the SD card) varies widely depending on the quality of the hub.

The speed should be listed in the product description for every USB-C hub that offers card reading. 60Mbps is the bare minimum, but while it’s functional, you might find that it’s a little slow.

Usually, specs above 100Mbps will be good enough. In some cases – like if you have a lot of large documents that you want to access regularly – you might want even more. It all depends on how often you plan on using the SD or microSD card and for what you’ll be using it.

If you need to charge your MacBook through the USB-C hub itself, check how many watts the port can take. Top-of-the-line USB-C hubs will usually give you 100W to work with, which is generally enough for all MacBooks and chargers.

You should also think about whether or not you’ll need to buy a replacement charger that works with the ports on the USB-C hub. This is entirely dependent on if the hub covers up the MacBook’s usual charging port, if that port is being used for something else, and if there isn’t a port on the hub that will work with your pre-existing charger.

Using a USB-C Hub: What It’s Like

Adding a USB-C hub to your computer setup isn’t difficult. You can use it pretty much out of the box, since all you need to do is plug it into your computer. Just like when you plug in a mouse or keyboard for the first time, you’ll get a notification moments after it’s plugged in that it has been set up.

Similarly, if you’ve never been able to plug in laptop accessories before now, you’ll have to set all of those up before you can get to using them.

Regardless of what you use it for or which kind you purchase, a USB-C hub will be a meaningful quality-of-life improvement.

Up Next…

The Best USB-C Hubs for Your MacBook Pro: Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can you use 2 USB-C hubs on MacBook Pro?

There’s no reason why you can’t use 2 USB-C hubs on a MacBook Pro. So long as you have the space to plug them directly into your MacBook, it should be fine.

However, we wouldn’t recommend plugging a USB-C hub into another hub. Since every USB-C has different data transfer and power limits, and not to mention is designed to be plugged directly into a computer, this won’t work.

Instead, it’s better to simply purchase 1 USB-C hub that has all of the ports you need. It’s probably going to be a more cost-effective option, too.

Can you add USB-C ports to a MacBook Pro?

You can add a USB-C port to a MacBook Pro, and we would recommend doing so. MacBooks are great laptops, but they are generally very lacking in ports. Some don’t even have USB-A ports, which is very problematic if you want to use a non-USB-C mouse or keyboard with your MacBook Pro.

Does Apple make a USB hub?

Apple does sell a USB-C hub, called the Satechi USB-C Multiport Pro Adapter. Apple computers (MacBooks) are known for having low numbers of ports.

Apple’s adapter makes it a lot easier to use accessories with your Apple laptop– or any laptop with a lack of ports.

Why are USB-C hubs so expensive?

USB-C hubs are expensive because they need to be high-tech to offer you quality, up-to-date ports, great data transfer, high energy transfer, and sometimes even Gigabit Ethernet connection or SD card readers.

Although USB-C hubs might not seem all that sophisticated, they aren’t simple or cheap tech unless you get a hub with only USB-A ports.

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