Best USB hub
A USB hub is a device to expand the number of USB devices you can connect to a given port at any one time. It inserts into a USB port on one end and then offers multiple ports to you to connect multiple devices to.
Many laptop computers these days offer a smaller number of ports, in an attempt to keep laptops slim and light. This is great for making devices more portable, but it can leave you with difficulty connecting all the ports you need. If you’re trying to juggle multiple wired input devices like keyboard, mice and game controllers, transferring files to lots of different USB storage devices, connecting phones and/or tablets to your PC, or many of the other types of USB connections available today, you may want to use a USB hub rather than having to constantly plug and unplug devices from a small number of ports.
USB hubs are not only useful for computers either, the U in USB stands for “universal”, and the USB standard is used in a variety of devices. USB hubs can be used on charging ports to charge multiple devices at once. Game consoles all typically include USB ports these days, as do TVs. There are all sorts of uses for a USB hub, so it’s something useful to have put to one side should you have any need arise.
Here’s our pick of the best USB hubs available today.
Products at a Glance
Best USB hub
- Aluminum body
- Choice of Silver or Black
- Includes adhesive velcro strip
- No switch for turning off/on
- Low power rating will charge devices slowly
- Basic design
- Per port LED lit switches
- Included power supply
- 2.5 amp charging capacity
- Plastic shell
- Basic black brick design
- LEDs not going to suit everyone’s preferences
- 10 ports for comprehensive connectivity
- 3 ports for fast charging
- Detachable cable
- Unremarkable design
- Bulky size
- Lacks personality
What is the difference between USB 3.0 and 3.1?
The different versions of the USB specification indicate what speeds a certain device will be capable of.
In a move that managed to increase rather than reduce confusion, the USB standard that was initially known as “USB 3.0”, was later renamed to “USB 3.1 Gen 1”. This means that some devices are labelled as USB 3.0, and some are labelled as USB 3.1, but are in fact both on the same version of the USB standard, and offer similar data rates.
This lineup features USB hubs that are labelled as both USB 3.0 and USB 3.1, but they are in fact all on the same version of the USB standard, and all offer transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps.
The Sabrent 4-Port USB Hub is our top pick for best USB hub. It’s excellent value, as one of the better-priced hubs available today. It includes an optional power supply, for boosting charging speeds should you so need. The LED-lit power switches are extremely practical, for more easily managing your different connected devices. It’s not the prettiest hub on offer, but beyond that, there’s very little to complain about here.