There is no denying that modern devices including laptops and Macbooks have a slim, featherlight design. While this is great, it comes at the expense of the number of ports available in the devices. This is where USB hubs come in handy.
Although USB hubs have been around for years, their growing popularity didn't start until some years back. A good USB hub can offer a lot of functionality, allowing you to do much more than a standard device.
The market is packed with USB 3 hubs that come with additional ports to connect multiple devices. For the best USB 3 hub on the market, read below.
What is a USB 3 Hub?
USB is an abbreviation for Universal Serial Bus. USB hubs over the years have become a safe place for many laptop and computer users because of the benefits that come with them. With it, you can expand connectivity and plug in many devices at once.
The USB ports available in laptops and computers are usually limited, limiting the amount of work done and even slowing you down. But with a USB hub, you can connect a lot of devices to the USB ports of the hub. Not just that, you can connect Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, SD memory cards, and many more with most USB hubs.
The USB 3 hub has been around for about 10 years. It took some time for laptops and computers to be made to fit the functionality of this USB hub. This is why it is popular in the market today. The functionality that it provides is second to none.
Why Should I Buy a USB 3 Hub?
There are many reasons why you may want to invest in a high-quality USB 3 hub. One reason you should buy the USB 3 hub is its speed. Ideally, a USB 3 hub is a lot faster than the USB 2 counterpart. Generally, most of these hubs run at 5Gbps, making it about ten times faster.
Another reason is the functionality and performance you get with this USB hub. With it, you can run simultaneous uploads and downloads faster and without any disruption. What’s more, it is compatible even with USB 2 devices.
So if you have the latest technology that works very fast, the USB 3 hub is the one for you. It works with very high bandwidth levels without difficulty and disruption. With this USB hub, you can enjoy improved connectivity and performance.
How to Choose the best USB 3 Hubs
Before choosing the USB 3 hub you will buy, there are things you need to consider.
- Number of Ports
This is one of the most important factors to consider and it is dependent on you. Before making a purchasing decision, ensure that you understand how many ports you will most likely need.
If you have an external keyboard and mouse, that's two already. If you transfer files a lot, then that's another port needed. So your need would determine the number of ports the USB 3 hub should have.
- Consider the Power Output
Generally, USB hubs come with varying power outputs, and there are two types. Some USB hubs come with an external power source while others do not have an external power source.
For those without an external power source, it's vital to know the load they can carry. For instance, if it's 500mA, ensure that the devices you use on the hub do not exceed that figure all combined. If you place accessories that amount to 700mA on a 500mA hub, it would likely crash. Therefore, you must opt for a high-powered unit if you intend to connect many devices to it.
Some USB hubs have ports that offer additional functionalities and fast charging. This is a good choice if are after versatility and want the benefits of extra features.
- Verify the Ports
The ports on the hub make it USB 3. Some use USB 2 ports in the USB 3 hub to make it cheaper and attract customers. But then, if the ports are for USB 2, the hub would still be very slow, and your goal won't be achieved. So ensure that the ports are USB 3 before buying.
- Safety Features
A good USB 3 hub should include safety features like overvoltage protection, surge protection, and overcharge protection. These safety features are especially useful if you want to plug in several devices or when transferring data.
Here are the 6 best USB 3 Hubs
Anker 10 USB 3.0 Hub
Reasons to buy
If you need a USB hub that can simultaneously charge 3 devices and does it really fast, this is the hub for you. It has gained popularity because of the number of ports it has. With a whopping ten ports, you won’t be stranded.
This USB hub has ten ports, seven of which are data ports for fast-paced transfers. The data ports work at the speed of 5Gbps. The remaining three ports are designed with Anker-exclusive PowerIQ for advanced charging technology at 2.1amps.
With this, you can charge all your devices at once. Although this device can accommodate many accessories, it has a compact design and it won’t take up much space.
However, you should note that this hub comes with USB-A to USB-B cable. This can be limiting if you want to use it with modern devices, and you will need to get a USB-B to USB-C cable instead.
- Nice design
- Many ports
- Fast speed
- Easy to use
- USB-A to USB-B cable
- No ports for video, Ethernet, and card reader
- A bit expensive
Anker 4-port Ultra Slim USB 3 Hub
Reasons to Buy
This is the USB hub for you if you need a portable hub for fast data transfers. It is designed with four data ports that allow for simultaneous uploads and downloads without hassle.
This Anker USB 3 hub can support 4 ports and sync data at speeds of up to 5Gbps. This is super-fast and enough to transfer an HD movie in no time. The hub is designed to work with USB flash drives, desktops, and laptops.
It is also sturdy and ultra-durable and is built to perform. Besides, it is tough enough to resist heat. The good thing is that no external power source is needed. All you need to do is plug it in and use it. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that this device is not suitable for charging devices.
- Sturdy design
- Highly durable
- Heat resistant
- External power source not needed
- No charging ports
TP-Link UH720 USB 3 Port
Reasons to Buy:
If you are big on data transfers but still need a hub that helps with charging, then this may be what you are looking for. It has nine ports, seven for data transfer and two for charging.
This USB hub has nine ports, making data transfer fast and seamless. It takes approximately 2mins 18seconds to transfer a 1080p movie, thanks to its two charging ports with 2.4A output designed for fast charging. What’s more, it also supports TP-Link Charging technology that facilitates fast charging and minimizes charging time.
It also has an improved circuit design that helps protect the hub against overload, short circuits, overvoltage, and overheating. Thus making it last a lot longer.
- Nine ports
- Great circuit design
- Fast charging and data transfers
- Well built
- Reasonable price
- Has an on/off button
- Not so portable
TECKNET RJ45 USB 3 HUB
Reasons to Buy
You may want to buy this hub if you need a good hub with an ethernet port. Besides that, you may find this hub impressive because it has three other ports for data transfer.
The Tecknet RJ45 has three superspeed ports for data transfer and they get the job done at rates up to 5Gbps. Also, this hub has a port for Ethernet, making it very handy when there's an issue with the WiFi connection.
The other benefit of this hub is that it is compatible with USB 2.0 devices. Additionally, its hub is lightweight and compact, so carrying it around wouldn't be an issue.
- Fast data transfer
- Has Ethernet port
- Easy to use
- No charging port
SABRENT 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub
Reasons to Buy
If looks and number of ports are a top priority for you, you should go for this. It combines good looks with peak performance which is not something you will easily find in the market.
In total, this hub is designed with 10 USB 3.0 ports that are compatible with Mac OS, Windows, and Linux OS. Seven ports are useful for data transfer at a speed of 5Gbps. Also, the hub comes with three ports for charging at a speed of 2.4A.
With about 60W power, you can charge your devices all at once. Also, there is a blue LED design on the hub that indicates the power status of the port. One favorable feature of this hub is that you can turn on/off each port. So, if you are not using a port, you can easily turn it off. This will help you conserve power.
- Nice compact design
- Aesthetically attractive
- Individual switches for each port
- Fast charging and data transfer
- Good quality
- Value for money
- Wide compatibility
- LED lights are not so bright
SABRENT 4-Port USB 3.0
Reasons to Buy
If you are interested in looks but don't need as many ports as the product above, this is a good one for you. It comes with the looks and offers high performance.
This other SABRENT product offers 4 ports for transfer with a speed of about 5Gbps. It also has switches for each port, which makes it quite convenient to enable and disable the inputs.
Impressively, there are LED indicators that show if the port is on or off. This hub is very portable and easy to use. Its compact profile makes it easy to store and carry along.
Also, it's compatible with many devices, so you most likely won't have a hard time using it with your devices. This hub is made with superior industrial quality, thus making it highly durable.
- Superior industrial quality
- Slim design
- Individual port switch
- High performance
- No charging port
Does a USB hub reduce speed?
Yes, there is a high likelihood that a USB hub can affect the speed. This is because connecting different devices to a hub means that they all share the same bandwidth. Nevertheless, a USB 3 hub has high bandwidth and this may not affect the speed that much, as is the case with a USB 2 hub.
Is a USB hub good for gaming?
Yes, you can use a high-quality USB 3 hub to enhance your gaming experience. Usually, most laptops probably have two or three ports which might not be enough when gaming with many gadgets. With a USB hub, you can easily connect all your devices to improve your gaming performance.
Do powered USBs perform better?
The answer to this is yes. A powered USB gets its power from the main light source, allowing it to effectively power all the connected devices. So with a powered USB, you can power more devices much more conveniently.
Will fast-charging damage my devices?
Fast charging can make a lot of difference when it comes to charging your devices by minimizing the charging it. On the downside, fast charging can lower your battery life compared to standard charging.
A USB hub comes in handy when you want to expand your connectivity. Most USB 3.0 hub comes with desktop PC or gaming consoles, allowing you to expand your usable spaces when connecting multiple devices. If you are in the market for a USB 3 hub, the above USB hubs are a good place to start.