The 9 best USB-C hubs of 2021 for connecting more devices to a computer
- A USB-C hub turns a single USB-C port into multiple ports for HDMI, Ethernet, and more.
- USB-C hubs are perfect for thin laptops that have limited connectivity.
- Many hubs are unbranded, but our top picks come from trusted manufacturers.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Modern laptops, tablets, and smartphones rely on USB-C for connectivity. A USB-C port can, depending on the device, transfer data, video, audio, internet connectivity, or all of these at once. That last part is key. Because USB-C ports are versatile and can handle multiple types of connectivity at once, it’s possible to turn a single USB-C port into many ports.
I’ve used dozens of USB-C hubs and tested hundreds of USB-C devices since USB-C became popular half a decade ago. USB-C was supposed to make connectivity simple but, because of its versatility, that hasn’t worked out. USB-C devices, including hubs, are available with a wide range of features, and they sometimes don’t work as expected.
The choices here come from brands that have a reputation for selling reliable, simple peripherals. These aren’t the least expensive hubs, but most remain affordable and you’ll see more consistent performance than with the least expensive options.
Here are the best USB-C hubs you can buy:
- Best USB-C hub overall: Aukey 6-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter
- Best USB-C hub for MacBooks: Satechi Type-C Pro Hub Adapter
- Best value USB-C hub: Vava 7-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter
- Best 12-port USB-C hub: Aukey 12-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter
- Best USB-C hub with DisplayPort: Cable Matters USB-C Multiport Adapter
- Best USB-C hub for tablets: Anker PowerExpand Direct 6-in-1 USB-C Media Hub
- Best portable USB-C hub: Dell DA300 6-in-1 USB-C Hub
- Best USB-C hub for USB-A: Anker 4-port USB-C Hub
- Best USB-C docking station: Vava 12-in-1 USB-C Docking Station
Updated on 03/17/2021: This guide has been updated with several new choices for the best USB-C hubs, based on extensive research and use. We’ve also included information on how to choose the right hub for your setup and an explanation of why you should avoid non-name-brand hubs.
The best USB-C hub overall
The Aukey 6-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter will fit most people’s needs and is still competitively priced.
- Ports: Three USB-A 3.0, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, USB-C
- Power: 87 watts
The 6-in-1 USB-C Hub from Aukey is a solid all-around choice if you need to expand a device’s connectivity at a reasonable price. It can quickly charge any laptop that supports charging over USB-C.
The hub’s HDMI port only supports 4K resolution at a refresh rate of 30Hz. A 4K display connected to this hub will feel slow and unresponsive, so I don’t recommend this hub for use with 4K displays. It’s not an issue if you use a 1080p monitor.
Aukey’s hub is fantastic value for money, making it our go-to recommendation for most people. It’s capable, affordable, and has the features most people want from a USB-C hub.
Best USB-C hub for MacBooks
The sleek design of the Satechi Type-C Pro Hub Adapter won’t mar your MacBook’s looks.
- Ports: Two USB-A 3.0, two USB-C, HDMI, standard and microSD card readers
- Power: 87 watts
Any USB-C hub will work with Apple’s MacBook devices that have USB-C ports, but Mac superfans may want a hub that complements their laptop. Satechi’s Type-C Pro Hub Adapter is the perfect solution.
Design is key. This hub connects to both USB-C ports on the left side of a modern MacBook and, once connected, fits snugly and securely on the laptop’s flank. The hub has a metallic grey, silver, or rose gold finish to perfectly match the look of your MacBook.
One of the USB-C ports supports power delivery of up to 87 watts for charging a connected MacBook. This same USB-C port can also pass video, so it can be used with a USB-C monitor.
Satechi’s Type-C Pro Hub adapter is expensive for the connectivity it provides. Its pricing is justified by its attractive, compact design, which fits nicely alongside modern MacBooks. This hub isn’t the best value, but it will look best on your desk.
Best value USB-C hub
No frills but with plenty of ports, the Vava 7-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter offers a lot for the price.
- Ports: Three USB-A 3.0, HDMI, TFcard, one SDcard, USB-C with power delivery
- Power: 89 watts
This 7-in-1 adapter from Vava is a good alternative to Aukey’s 6-in-1. Although not as attractive, it provides similar connectivity.
The USB-C power delivery is a key feature. This hub can handle up to 100 watts of power delivery and is rated to use 11 watts to power the hub, leaving up to 89 watts available. Vava’s 7-in-1 is among the least expensive hubs with this feature.
Like the Aukey 6-in-1 hub, the Vava 7-in-1 can only handle 4K video at a 30Hz refresh rate over the HDMI port. It’s not a great experience. I only recommend using this hub with 1080p or 1440p displays.
The Vava 7-in-1 adapter provides as many ports as you’ll find at this price, and its superior power delivery makes it a good choice for charging a laptop.
Best 12-port USB-C hub
Aukey’s 12-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter can connect many devices, and it’s not overly expensive.
- Ports: Two USB-A 2.0, two USB-A 3.0, two HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, TF and SD card readers, USB-C port with power delivery
- Power: 89 watts
Do you need a hub that can connect as many devices as possible? Aukey’s 12-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter is the go-to solution. It has a huge range of connectivity but remains affordable.
The USB-C power can handle up to 100 watts of power. The hub itself is rated to consume 11 watts of power, so the hub will pass through a maximum of 89 watts of power to a connected device. It’s a good choice for powering a laptop.
Like many other hubs, the Aukey 12-in-1 can only handle 4K at a 30Hz refresh rate, which will feel slow and unresponsive. It can handle multiple 1080p monitors, however, and Aukey’s published connectivity guide provides a comprehensive list of possible monitor configurations. Its VGA port is useful if you have an older monitor.
The Aukey 12-in-1 is among the more expensive hubs on this list, but it’s a good value and undercuts many competitors that offer similar port configurations.
Best USB-C hub with DisplayPort
Those with high-end or gaming monitors may want the key feature of the Cable Matters USB-C Multiport Adapter, the DisplayPort 1.4.
- Ports: Two USB-A 2.0, Ethernet, DisplayPort 1.4
- Power: 60 watts
The Cable Matters USB-C Multiport Adapter is ideal if you need a hub that works with a high-end 4K display or if you want to use it with a gaming monitor.
It has a key feature that is very rare, the full-sized DisplayPort 1.4. It even supports a standard called Display Stream Compression (DSC) that lets this port handle 8K resolution, though it must be paired with devices that also support the DSC standard. Without DSC, this hub can still handle 4K resolution at a refresh rate of up to 120Hz.
DisplayPort is the focus here, so the hub’s other features aren’t as impressive. It has two USB-A ports, but both are USB 2.0. Ethernet is included but supports a maximum data speed of just 100 megabits per second. The hub’s USB-C 3.0 supports power delivery but is limited to 60 watts, so powerful laptops will need additional external power.
This hub is expensive given the number of ports it provides, but it’s affordable for a hub with DisplayPort.
Best USB-C hub for tablets
Compact but with enough juice to power some devices, the Anker PowerExpand Direct 6-in-1 USB-C Media Hub works great with iPads and other tables.
- Ports: One USB-A 3.0, HDMI, 3.5mm aux jack, SD card reader, microSD card reader
- Power: 60 watts
Anker’s PowerExpand Direct 6-in-1 is a USB hub specifically designed to work with tablets, the iPad Pro in particular. It’s compact and attaches directly to the iPad Pro for a snug fit and slim profile. On the downside, that means this hub isn’t compatible with most tablet cases or covers.
Its USB-C port supports power delivery up to 60 watts, which is certainly enough to power an iPad Pro or any other tablet you might use it with.
The HDMI port even supports 4K resolution at a standard 60Hz refresh rate. iPad owners shouldn’t get too excited, though, as iPadOS doesn’t support secondary displays yet. You can only use this hub to mirror your iPad’s display.
Pricing for Anker’s PowerExpand 6-in-1 is high relative to the ports it offers, but it remains competitive with other small hubs designed specifically for tablets. The compact design justifies its price.
Best portable USB-C hub
The Dell DA300 6-in-1 USB-C Hub is not only small, it has a retractable USB-C cord that won’t get tangled in your bag.
- Ports: One USB-A 3.1, one USB-C 3.1, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet.
- Power: N/A
Most USB-C hubs are small enough to fit in a laptop bag, but Dell’s DA300 6-in-1 is even more compact than usual. This tiny puck is less than three inches in diameter. It also has a retractable USB-C cord for easy storage.
Its HDMI and DisplayPort connections can handle 4K resolution at 60Hz, though the hub can’t handle multiple monitors.
Unlike most USB-C hubs, the Dell DA300 doesn’t have power delivery. You can’t connect a charger to this hub and then power a connected device, such as a laptop.
Still, you won’t find an alternative quite like the DA300. Its small size and retractable cord make it convenient for business travelers who find themselves working from a different office every week.
Best USB-C hub for USB-A
The Anker 4-port USB-C Hub offers lots of USB-A ports for a low price.
- Ports: Four USB-A 3.0
- Power: N/A
This simple, four-port hub focuses on expanding a USB-C device’s USB-A connectivity. The Anker 4-port USB-C Hub can convert a single USB-C into four USB-A 3.0 ports. That’s more USB-A ports than you’ll find on most hubs sold today.
Because it focuses on USB-C to USB-A, this hub does not include power delivery and won’t charge external devices. There’s no video connectivity and no Ethernet port.
The lack of extra ports lets the Anker 4-port USB-C Hub stay compact. It’s just a tad bigger than a pack of chewing gum.
The price is low, too. While this hub’s capabilities are limited, it’s perfect if you want to connect older USB-A peripherals, like a wired keyboard or external hard drive, to a modern device.
Best USB-C docking station
If you have lots of devices and don’t want to take your hub on the go, the Vava 12-in-1 USB-C Docking Station may suit your needs.
- Ports: Two USB-A 3.0, two USB-A 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm aux jack, TF and SD card readers, USB-C with power delivery
- Power: 65 watts
The Vava 12-in-1 is technically sold as a docking station, but its pricing and size put it in contention with USB-C hubs. This docking station, unlike a hub, requires an additional external power brick that is included alongside the dock.
While that makes a dock far less portable than a hub, it comes with the benefit of extensive and powerful connectivity. In addition to its many ports, it also has two HDMI ports, both of which support 4K resolution at a 60Hz refresh rate, which can be used simultaneously.
Although it supports power delivery, this dock can only deliver 65 watts to a USB-C device in a “no-load” condition. Its power delivery may drop as low as 45 watts if all ports are being used. That will be a problem for owners of large and powerful laptops, like Apple’s MacBook Pro 16.
This dock’s most important feature is the price. Docks are typically two to three times more expensive than hubs, but the Vava 12-in-1 USB-C Docking Station is affordable enough to be considered a hub alternative. It’s a good choice if you want a hub to expand connectivity at a home or office and don’t plan to travel with it.
What is a USB-C hub?
The term “USB-C hub” is a bit vague, as it’s not mandated by any standard. In general, a USB-C hub is a device that can expand a single USB-C port to support multiple connections, including USB-A, video, and Ethernet. If you find yourself constantly unplugging your mouse to plug in an external hard drive, you might want a hub.
Most USB-C hubs support power delivery and are designed to expand connectivity while also charging a laptop. Hubs that work like this have a USB-C port that you connect to a USB-C charger. The hub then passes that through to your laptop. This is possible thanks to USB-C’s power delivery standard, which supports up to 100 watts of power.
However, some inexpensive or niche hubs, including some on this list, don’t support power delivery. Any hub that supports it will advertise the feature, so you can assume it’s not supported if it’s not listed.
USB-C docks differ from hubs because they connect to an external power brick that typically comes with the dock. Most will pass power through to devices, and high-end docks can power multiple devices simultaneously. Docks usually support more ports than hubs, but most are much more expensive.
What should you look for in a USB-C hub?
Looking at a list of USB-C hubs at Amazon or Best Buy will make your head spin. There are hundreds of options, many with subtle differences. Don’t worry about minor details like size or cable length. Instead, focus on what matters to your specific needs.
Shop for a USB-C hub that has the ports you specifically need. You might want many USB-A ports for connecting wired a mouse, keyboard, and hard drive you already own. Or perhaps you are a photographer and would prefer a hub that offers a built-in SDcard slot.
Here’s a list of common ports and the situations where they’re most commonly used.
- USB-A: Connecting older wired USB devices (You’ll see some are listed as USB 2.0 or 3.0, and the difference is mainly about data transfer speed.)
- USB-C: Connecting modern USB devices
- HDMI: Connecting a typical 1080p monitor
- DisplayPort: Connecting a 4K or high-refresh monitor
- Ethernet: Connected to the Internet without Wi-Fi
- SDcard: Transferring files from a camera
- TFcard: Transferring files from a smartphone
More details about power delivery
As mentioned, power delivery is an important feature found on many USB-C hubs. It can also be difficult to understand.
USB Power Delivery is a separate standard from USB-C, so it can only be found in devices that support USB-C with power delivery. Every device along the chain of USB-C devices must support power delivery for it to function. For example, a USB-C charger and USB-C hub with power delivery can’t charge a USB-C laptop that doesn’t support power delivery.
The specification supports a variety of options. Most USB-C hubs with power delivery support the maximum potential power delivery of 100 watts. However, some hubs can handle less power, such as 65 or 45 watts.
When connecting to a laptop, you’ll want a hub that delivers as much power as the charging adapter that shipped with your laptop. The wattage of the power adapter is often printed on its label. If it’s not, you can often find it as part of the laptop’s published specifications on the manufacturer’s website.
A USB-C hub that doesn’t deliver as much power as your laptop’s power adapter can still charge the laptop. But it will charge it slowly, and the laptop may lose charge in demanding applications like video editing software or 3D games.
Watch out for no-name, unbranded hubs
Many USB-C hubs available at major retailers are unbranded or from brands that have no obvious public presence in North America. It’s difficult to separate those that live up to expectations from those that don’t. Amazon review fraud is a major problem and, as a result, customer reviews are virtually useless as an indicator of quality. Unbranded hubs can have incorrect and inconsistent marketing. Some don’t have websites, making it difficult to contact if you have questions or problems.
USB-C hubs from brands with better support and accurate product listings are just a few dollars more expensive. In some cases, they’re equally priced. Don’t risk buying a hub from a company that doesn’t offer accurate product listings or support.
What we're looking forward to testing
USB-C hubs are inexpensive, simple, and common enough that new models aren’t eagerly anticipated by shoppers. Often, they aren’t even announced before they arrive.
There is one important innovation on the horizon, however: USB 4. The latest version of the USB standard is just starting to appear in laptops and desktops, such as MacBooks with Apple Silicon. USB makes several important tweaks to the standard.
- All USB 4 devices will use a USB-C connector
- All USB 4 devices will support Power Delivery (though maximum power will vary)
- Support the DisplayPort 2.0 at up to 8K resolution
- Current USB-C devices should work with USB 4
Companies making USB-C hubs haven’t jumped on board just yet, which isn’t a surprise. Manufacturing hubs to USB 4 specifications will be more expensive, and there are few USB 4 devices available to use them with.
Hubs that support USB 4 are likely to appear through 2021, however. The technology will arrive in expensive hubs first, then gradually trickle down to the most affordable hubs. That process could take several years, so you can buy a USB-C hub today without worrying that USB 4 will make it obsolete next week.
Check out our guide to the best USB-C cables
The best USB-C cables for your Android phone or laptop
We’ve tested and researched dozens of cables to find the best ones for your devices. Whether you need a long cable, a short one, a cheap one, one that has USB-C on both ends, or one that has USB-C to USB-A; we’ve got a cable for you in our buying guide.
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