Technology has reached a point where you need to continuously transfer data, not only via the internet: USB hubs were created to meet this need, especially if your laptop does not have enough income.
If your documents are stored on more than two USB sticks and you don’t want to take advantage of online drives, which could be affected by malware attacks, the devices we are going to talk about in this article are exactly what you need. Read carefully.
USB hubs are devices that, thanks to the numerous ports, allow the simultaneous connection of various peripherals. Most only include USB ports, but other models provide other types of inputs.
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Various USB hubs are available on the market: as regards the power supply, we have the passive and the active ones; based on the number of doors, on the other hand, we find simple or multiple models.
When buying a USB hub, you don’t have to rely solely on price and number of ports: there are various criteria that, based on the use you will have to make of the device, you must take into account. These criteria are a variety of ports, data transmission, type of power supply, and portability.
The best USB hubs on the market: our selection
In the following section, we will show you the best four USB hub models on the market, accompanied by the main features and the strength that makes them truly special. Are you ready? Read on!
- Users’ favorite
- The best-seller
- The most complete
- The most suitable for transport
The mini USB hub manufactured by AmazonBasics has three high-speed USB 2.0 ports, with a data rate of 1.5 / 12/480 Mbps, backward compatible with USB 1.1 ports. There are also Plug & Play and Driver Free systems, for a really quick and easy installation, and the system for the best seller.
The Sabrent Hub allows you to add four USB 3.0 ports to any device, which are also backward compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1. The transfer speed reaches 5Gbps for USB 3.0, 480Mbps for USB 2.0, and 12Mbps for USB 1.1. Thanks to the LEDs that light up when a device is connected, it is possible to check the status of each of them. Plug & Play system included.
The most complete
The Abask 8-in-1 USB hub is one of the most complete hubs on the market: 3 USB 3.0 ports providing a transfer speed of up to 5 Gbps, an Ethernet connection for a stable and fast LAN connection, a 4K HDMI video output to 30Hz, two Micro SD and SD card slots and a Type-C output that supports charging and data transfer function.
The most suitable for transport
The Anker hub has four USB 3.0 ports for data transfer speeds of up to 5Gb / s; Also included in the package is a multifunctional adapter (which allows you to connect the hub to an electrical outlet) and a 60cm Micro-USB cable. Thanks to the thickness of 1 cm and a weight of only 35 grams, you can take it anywhere you want.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about USB hubs
It’s common not to know everything that exists in the world – if your tech knowledge isn’t that extensive, you might feel a little confused by all the models, features, and pricing available on the market. Don’t worry, as this section will clear up all your doubts about USB hubs.
What is a USB hub, and what is it for?
A USB hub is a USB-connected device that has several inputs to increase the number of available ports and to be able to connect various peripherals simultaneously. These devices may also have not only USB ports (2.0 or 3.0) but also HDMI, USB-C, or memory card slots.
What does the Plug & Play system consist of?
The Italian equivalent would be “connect and use”, and it is a type of technology that allows a computer system to configure itself correctly: that is, there is no need to install drivers, software, or worry about configuration parameters because the device will do everything by itself. Today, most of the devices have the Plug & Play system.
This technology greatly facilitates the user’s life, especially if the user is not very competent in the IT field; however, for the Plug & Play system to work, you must have a computer equipped with the same technology. Otherwise, the installation process cannot be started.
What is the difference between a USB 2.0 and a 3.0?
USB is the acronym of the English Universal Serial Bus, and the difference between the two sports lies in the data transmission speed: USB 2.0 type has a speed that can reach 60 Mbps (Megabits per second), and are gradually coming replaced by USB 3.0, with a ten times higher performance, ie 600 Mbps.
As for the 2.0 type, it works quite well with peripherals such as keyboards, mice, USB sticks, and speakers because they are devices with “lighter” use, which does not have to transmit a lot of data. On the other hand, for devices that require a much higher data reading and writing speed, you will need the USB 3.0 type port: the latter, being more recent, are also compatible with 2.0 ports (however, compatibility is not the other way around).
How do you set up a USB hub?
These are devices that usually support Plug & Play technology; however, some models allow the user to customize the operation of the various ports, for example by setting the amperage, switching off, and switching on. To do this, you need to install some drivers on your computer and customize the various operating and configuration parameters.
Taking into consideration that USB hubs are devices through which electricity passes, it is normal for them to generate heat, but be careful: prolonged overheating could damage their components. For this reason, the materials of manufacture are very important. When investing, be it small or large, you need to focus a lot on quality. We advise you to choose a USB hub that has a cooling system and is built with materials that do not retain heat: in fact, it is better to choose aluminum models rather than plastic. In addition, also pay attention to the structure, which must be solid enough to withstand impacts, especially if you intend to always carry the hub with you.
Here are some tips for extending the life of your USB hub:
- Don’t connect too many devices. This way, you will prevent overheating and damage to components.
- Choose quality materials. We all know: over time, cheaper products can turn out to be expensive.
- Avoid the accumulation of dust. If the ventilation system is blocked, it will not work well and will cause the device to overheat.
- Choose impact-resistant materials. Pay attention to this aspect especially if you are a bit of a careless person or who constantly carries your hub.
When you buy a product, you don’t have to pay attention only to the price: it is useless to opt for a very cheap product if it then fails to satisfy the needs of the buyer; in the same way, however, you do not even need to buy a very complete and expensive device with features that you do not need or that you cannot use. Below you will find the most important purchase criteria:
- Number of doors
- Variety of doors
- Design and portability
- Data transmission
Number of doors
At first, you might think that a large number of USB ports could equate to better quality or greater efficiency: sure, you can connect more devices, but you should know that this factor will greatly increase the cost of the hub. Furthermore, it will consume much more energy, which will be divided among the connected devices.
For this reason, we recommend purchasing a USB hub model according to your needs. If you only need one or two USB ports because, for example, your laptop has a very compact design that doesn’t have enough ports, we recommend that you choose a simple (four-port) hub. If, on the other hand, you need various doors and various formats, do not hesitate to opt for a multiple models.