Best USB-C Hub Adapters

Updated August 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

27 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
193 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best USB-C hub adapters

Last Updated August 2019

Perhaps your laptop or computer only has a few USB-C ports. Perhaps you’re looking for a way to expand your connectivity options. Regardless of your situation, a USB-C hub adapter can help you get the most out of your ports.

There is no default type of USB-C hub adapter, and the number and variety of ports varies from one hub adapter to the next. Some hub adapters are compact and designed to fit against your laptop; others have short cables. Design and durability varies, too; if you’re a person who is often on the go, you undoubtedly want something that will last.

A USB-C hub adapter can be an investment, so it’s important to consider your needs and intended use before making a purchase. Read our shopping guide to learn more about this important purchase.

USB-C hub adapters can be useful for devices like tablets that lack the number and variety of ports offered by most laptops.

Why buy a USB-C hub adapter?

A USB-C hub adapter connects to a USB-C port, allowing multiple devices to connect for the purposes of data transfer, charging, and audio/video output. USB-C ports are faster and more powerful than traditional USB-A ports, though they are not quite as fast as Thunderbolt 3.0 ports.

Why might a consumer be interested in a USB-C hub adapter? Here are some potential scenarios.

  • You have a laptop with no USB-A ports and need to connect some older devices.

  • You’re looking to plug in an SD card, Ethernet cable, or HDMI cable.

  • You’re looking for a simple dongle to convert your USB-C port into another type of port.

  • You want to plug in several devices with the same connectivity.

  • You want your laptop and computer to be compatible with just about everything.
     

The number of potential uses for a USB-C hub adapter is limited only by the number of ports and cables available. As you shop, bear in mind what you intend to use your the for. This will help you narrow your focus. ​​​​​​​

DID YOU KNOW?

You may need to download a driver before using a USB-C hub adapter with your computer. The manufacturer should include all necessary instructions.

Number and variety of ports

This is the single-most important factor to consider when choosing a USB-C hub adapter. How many ports do you want, and what types of ports are you looking for?

USB-A ports are what most people still think of when they hear the acronym “USB.” That’s the wider rectangle that flash drives and countless other devices from the past couple of decades have plugged in to. These will usually be USB 3.0 ports.

USB-C ports are something you should be familiar with if you’re purchasing a USB-C hub adapter. They can be used for charging (in either direction) and transferring data or video at up to 10Gbs. Of course, with more USB-C ports, you can plug in more USB-C devices.

3.5mm ports allow you to plug in an audio output device, such as a pair of speakers or headphones.

SD card readers let you transfer data to and from SD memory cards. These can be found in standard and micro sizes in USB-C hubs.

VGA ports allow you to connect to an older monitor. These are rarely included in hubs with multiple ports and are typically sold as adapter dongles.

Ethernet ports allow you to connect to the internet via an Ethernet cable. This can be useful for tasks like gaming that require a stable connection.

There are other ports available in USB-C hub adapters as well, but these are the most common options. The number of ports and combination will vary, with most products offering between one and eight ports — though some may offer more.

Transfer speeds and resolution output

Since USB-C port adapters can transfer data at up to 10Gbs, this would theoretically be the speed of any USB-C port connected to another USB-C device. When a USB 2.0 device or SD card is plugged in, this speed will vary. Some hub adapters perform better than others, and you will have to take manufacturers (or other customers) at their word when they talk about data transfer speeds.

When it comes to frame rates and resolutions, it’s easier to get an accurate idea of the capability of a USB-C hub adapter. Some may be limited to HD output at 30 or 60 fps (frames per second), but faster hubs (especially Thunderbolt 3.0 hubs) can reach 4K resolutions at 30 or 60 fps, sometimes outputting to a dual-monitor setup.

USB-C vs. Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt 3.0 ports are a type of USB-C port that offer speeds of up to 40Gbs. These ports are compatible with USB-C cables and devices but reach their top speeds when connected to Thunderbolt 3.0 cables and devices.

If your computer has Thunderbolt 3.0 ports (as most Macbooks do), you should consider a Thunderbolt hub to get the most out of your machine. ​​​​​​​

USB-C hub adapter features

Portability

If you’re looking for a simple adapter, this may not be a consideration, since a one-to-one adapter will almost always be compact. For a USB-C hub adapter with multiple ports, however, you’re looking at a considerably larger device. Consider the dimensions and weight of a potential buy to determine whether it would comfortably fit on your desk or in your bag.

Some hub adapters are called “docks” and are designed to live in one place on your desk. These are best reserved for desktop computers and laptops that stay in one place, as carrying a USB-C dock around could prove to be difficult.

Durability

Many USB-C hubs have plastic housing, which is bound to wear and crack over time, especially if it reaches high temperatures. For the best results, look for the more expensive aluminum designs. An aluminum USB-C hub adapter should last you for years, even if it takes a few knocks.

Cable or no cable

Most USB-C hubs connect to your laptop or computer via cable. Some, however, are designed to plug directly into your USB-C port so that the adapter sits flush against your laptop. This can be a space-saving convenience, but it may also make the adapter more likely to heat up.

Power delivery

Here’s a simple yet important question: do you hope to charge devices rapidly with your USB-C hub adapter? If so, look for one that offers power delivery, or PD. With PD, up to 100W can be transferred to connected devices for rapid charging. This is an excellent feature to have if you intend to charge things like smartphones with your USB-C hub adapter.

EXPERT TIP

If your USB-C hub adapter becomes hot to the touch, try reducing the number of devices you are charging.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Unplug peripheral devices connected to your USB-C hub before unplugging the hub itself to protect your data and your devices.


Staff  | BestReviews

USB-C hub adapter prices

USB-C hub adapters that cost between $15 and $20 are typically either converters with a single port or basic hubs with a few USB-A ports. These usually have plastic cases.

In the $20 to $40 range are hub adapters with a variety of ports. The case may be made of aluminum. Some models in this range are designed for Thunderbolt ports.

For $40 to $80, you’ll find USB-C hub adapters with impressive resolution and fps capabilities and multiple ports. These typically have durable cases and last for years.

Tips

  • Some USB-C hub adapters require an additional power supply. If you plan to take your dock with you, this may be a dealbreaker

  • Charging too many devices (or even one power-hungry device) could damage your computer if too much power were to be drawn at once

  • When you charge devices through your USB-C hub adapter, you will drain your laptop’s power much faster than normal, so it’s a good idea to keep your laptop plugged in.

Other products we considered

A wide variety of USB-C hub adapters exist on the market, and the permutations of ports are nearly endless. Here are two models that didn’t make it onto our shortlist but still offer a great value. The EAUSOO USB-C Thunderbolt 10 in 1 Adapter is an excellent Thunderbolt option that includes ports like HDMI, VGA, and SD card. The aluminum case is sleek and durable, and customers love the variety of ports offered, including an extra USB-C port. Another model we like is the TOTU 8-in-1 Type C Hub, which offers several ports, including an Ethernet port, an additional USB-C port, and an HDMI port. The design is lightweight and slim, making this a great option for someone looking for a more portable hub.

Some USB-C hub adapters are ready to go and can simply be plugged in to your computer. Others require a bit more setup.

FAQ

Q. Can I plug one USB-C hub adapter into another?
A.
Yes. Depending on the processing power and memory of your computer, however, this may result in some sluggishness.

Q. My computer only has Thunderbolt 3.0 ports. Will this work with USB-C hubs and devices?
A.
Yes. All Thunderbolt 3.0 ports are compatible with USB-C.

Q. Can I charge my laptop through a USB-C hub adapter?
A.
Yes, though you should use another USB-C port if one is available to avoid putting too much stress on the hub.

The team that worked on this review
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer

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