Features USB-C, gigabit Ethernet, SD card, HDMI, and two USB-A ports. Integrated USB-C cable. Slim design. Lightning-fast data transfer and charging speeds. Durable.
A fairly pricey USB-C hub adapter.
Inexpensive. Features Ethernet, SD and micro SD, two HDMI, two USB-C, and two USB-A ports. Integrated USB-C cable. Impressively fast data transfer speeds. Best for streaming 4K video.
Unable to charge via its dual USB-A ports.
Affordable. Features two USB-A 2.0 ports, HDMI, SD card, and Micro-SD card ports. Integrated USB-C cable. Lightning-fast data transfer rates. Optimized for 4K content.
Some users may prefer a USB-C port instead of a cable.
Gives you 7 different ports, including a 4K HDMI port, three USB 3.0 ports, and a USB-C power port. Also features discrete SD and micro SD card readers. Metal construction. Offers 3 colors.
It's expensive, so unless you need a large variety of connection options, you'll pay too much.
Slim profile won't take up much space or weigh down a notebook port. Includes three USB 3.0 ports on either side for flexible expansion. HDMI port supports up to 4K output at 30 Hz. Ethernet port supports gigabit wired speeds.
Doesn't include a PD port for power or charging.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
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 while others have short cables. Design and durability varies, too, and 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.
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.
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 into. 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 combinations will vary, with most products offering between one and eight ports — though some may offer more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.