Facebook Pixel Code
x
BestReview's Logo
Best For Your Buck Product
Best bang for the buck
Sabrent
Check Price
Best Of The Best Product
Best of the best
Anker
Check Price
BestReview's Logo

Best USB Hubs

Updated May 2018
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.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
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.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

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

  • 16 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 141 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.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    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.

    Shopping guide for best USB hubs

    Last Updated May 2018

    Even as the world is going gaga for new wireless devices like smart watches and Bluetooth headphones, one thing still hasn’t changed: the vast majority of gadgets charge over USB, and in most cases, a USB cable is the fastest way to transfer data between devices. The USB standard isn’t going anywhere, but what is changing is our need for USB ports for our ever-growing list of personal tech items – and that’s where USB hubs come in.

    USB hubs are small devices that include a handful of USB ports that connect to your computer or a power source through a single port. In much the same way that a power strip enables multiple appliances to plug in for electricity, USB hubs expand your capacity for connected USB devices. And many of them support USB charging as well as data transfer, so they can be useful for charging multiple gadgets at once.

    Read our USB hub shopping guide to understand the features you’ll be looking for, then check out our favorites in the grid above.

    USB speed standards are described with numbers, while USB interfaces are named with letters. For example, most Android phones use micro-USB-to-USB-A cables. Older cables transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds and newer ones transfer data at USB 3.0 speeds even though they have the same physical interface.

    USB hub charging tech

    USB hubs are designed to do two things: transfer data between devices and charge devices when connected to a power source. It can get tricky, however, because not all USB hubs provide power to connected devices, and not all USB hubs enable data transfer. Here’s what you need to know.

    • If you need your USB hub to charge your devices, make sure the product description explicitly states that it can do so. If you plan on charging multiple devices, each with different power requirements, get a USB hub with “smart” charging, which dynamically adjusts to charge any connected device as quickly as possible.

    • If you need your USB hub to connect devices to your laptop or desktop computer, make sure to buy one that can transfer data at acceptable speeds. Stick with a minimum of USB 3.0, and check individual reviews to get a better sense of what real-world transfer speeds you can expect.

    A smart USB hub

    Anker’s USB hub packs a whopping ten ports, but the best part is that three of them use the company’s PowerIQ technology to deliver up to 2.1 amps to a single device. That means your devices will always be getting as much power as possible, so they charge faster. We love Anker’s “set it and forget it” design, and the company’s solid reputation means it will last as long as you need it to.

    Beyond USB: port replicators

    As you’re shopping for USB hubs, you may notice that certain models are much more expensive. That’s usually because they include more than just USB ports. Sometimes called port replicators, these USB hubs typically use one port from your computer to host services for multiple other ports.

    Port replicators are ideal for use with laptops. Using just one of your laptop’s USB slots, these devices can add ports for many things.

    • Ethernet connectivity

    Even though WiFi can be fast, a hardwired Ethernet network connection will be faster. If you want a USB hub that speeds up your computer’s ability to download or transfer files, make sure you buy a port replicator with a gigabit Ethernet port.

    • HDMI or DisplayPort passthrough

    If you want to connect your laptop to an external monitor, get a USB hub that includes at least one HDMI or DisplayPort interface.

    • Audio

    If you’re ready to hear your laptop’s audio through a proper set of computer speakers, find a USB hub or port replicator that features a dedicated 3.5mm auxiliary headphone jack. This can be useful for listening to music from your workspace, especially if your phone doesn’t have a headphone jack.

    EXPERT TIP

    If you need a port replicator for your laptop, include the search term “dock” while you’re shopping. Computer docks are port replicators that also function as laptop stands.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    While it’s possible to “daisy chain” multiple USB hubs together, it’s generally a bad idea because it will limit the connectivity speed of each subsequent hub in said daisy chain.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    USB hub prices

    USB hubs aren’t very expensive, but there are a few “gotchas” to look out for, depending on how much you plan on spending. Expect to pay between $10 and $300 for a USB hub.

    Inexpensive

    You’ll find the most straightforward options for USB hubs cost between $10 and $49. These models have between three and ten USB ports and support USB 3.0 speeds.

    Brand name matters a lot in this price range, so stick with names you know or newer established tech brands like Aukey, Anker, Spigen, or even AmazonBasics.

    Mid-range

    Expect to see more port-replicator-style USB hubs for between $50 and $99. These models include additional ports for attaching more than just USB devices. However, most port replicators in this price range aren’t entirely stable. Users often complain about having to repeatedly reconnect devices throughout the day with these models. If you can live with a USB-only hub, you don’t need to spend this much. Conversely, if you truly need a USB hub with other ports, expect to spend more to get a reliable model.

    Expensive

    Many port replicators exist to provide stable connectivity options to your laptop via a single cable. Hubs that cost between $100 and $300 may seem expensive, but at this price point you’re essentially getting an easy way to connect a laptop to an entire desk’s worth of peripherals. If you carry your laptop around with you all the time but still need it to work at your desk with a separate monitor, speakers, mouse, and keyboard, you’ll need to spend at least this much.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    If you’re looking for a USB hub for an Apple laptop that only has USB-C ports, buy a port replicator that supports charging over USB, so you can keep your laptop powered while connected to all of your other devices.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    If you’re a Mac user and looking for a Thunderbolt 3 hub, use the search term “USB-C.” Although Thunderbolt 3 is a specification that uses USB-C, in practice both are bidirectional cables that use USB-C ports for transfer.

    A USB hub that lights up our lives

    Sabrent’s USB hub has a pretty unique feature – each USB port has an LED light, so you can tell when your devices are finished charging without having to pick them up. Leaving smartphones and tablets plugged in after they’ve finished charging is bad for batteries and can reduce the devices’ lifespan. We love anything that helps our phones last longer!

    Tips

    • Research the charging needs of each device you intend to connect to a USB hub. Each device you plan on plugging into your USB hub will likely have unique power and charging requirements, so it’s best to know your needs ahead of time so that you can buy a hub that will charge each device as quickly as possible.

    • If you’re an iPhone or iPad owner, only use Apple-certified cables with your USB hub. Because iOS devices are so popular, counterfeit cables are a big part of the market, and using the wrong cable can cause problems – from incompatible apps to dangerous fire hazards. Only buy Apple USB cables directly from retailers you trust, and avoid any brands that don’t carry Apple’s explicit “Made for iOS” certification.

    • Buy a bag of Velcro ties to keep your USB cables organized and out of the way when connected to your USB hub. Keep your workspace free of clutter! Velcro ties use the familiar hook-and-loop system to make reusable cable ties – like a zip tie you can use repeatedly. Grab a bag of Velcro ties and you’ll have a wire-free workspace in no time.
    USB hubs that transfer data work with all major operating systems (including Windows, OS X, and Linux) and don’t require any special software to use. The only setup is plugging it into an available USB port.

    FAQ

    Q. If I plug two devices into a USB hub, will they be connected together?
    A. Not without a computer to facilitate the transfer. USB hubs are designed to be connected to a computer for transferring files and require you to do so from the computer’s operating system. Devices plugged into the same USB hub will not be able to directly “talk” to each other.

    Q. Will a newer USB hub work with my older USB devices?

    A. Yes. The current USB speed standard is USB 3.0, but the USB-A interface (the part that connects to an open port on your computer or a USB hub) has remained the same, and each update has been backward compatible. If you have older devices that require USB charging, they will still work on a new USB hub, but they may charge more slowly than your newer devices.

    Q. Do I need to worry about my USB hub getting too warm when devices are left plugged in?

    A. No. Some devices will get warmer as they charge, but that happens on the device side, and typically near the battery. If you buy a USB hub that gets warm at all during use, return or replace it. The hub is not supposed to get warm, and it could represent a fire hazard.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jaime
      Jaime
      Writer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Kyle
      Kyle
      Writer