There are some moments in our lives when we find ourselves in the situation of looking over our desk to find a place to plug-in the USB devices. We talk about our smartphones, a USB flash drive or a portable hard drive, a new wireless mouse or some other peripheral. And surprise, we find out that our computer is out of free USB ports. We can unplug one or more already connected devices or better yet, we can attach a USB Hub.
USB Hubs come in various shapes, sizes, types and … prices. On a high-end USB 3.0 Hub with lights and a lot of ports, you can spend a ton. Or you can choose a portable USB 2.0 Hub that can be carried in your bag or pocket, for almost nothing. Of course, some USB Hubs are better than others, but now we will present five of the best ones, rating based on popularity, on customers’ votes.
Belkin 2-in-1 7-Port USB 2.0 Hub
Right now, on the Belkin’s website this 2-in-1 USB Hub is no longer available, but you can find it in retail stores or on the web stores. The Belkin 2-in-1 7-Port USB 2.0 Hub actually provides two distinct USB Hubs. You get a portable, unpowered, 4-Port USB Hub, perfect for light devices, like pointing devices, wireless device receivers, USB flash drives, USB Keys and many other. On the other hand, you get the full 7-Port USB Hub when the portable 4-Port Hub is docked into its powered base. This base adds three more ports and a little up front storage for paper clips, change or a place to put your devices while they charge.
Even thou this is a USB 2.0 Hub and has lower transfer speeds than a 3.0 one, it is a great and affordable investment. Docked, this USB Hub is small enough to fit in your laptop bag or suitcase and disconnected, you can put it in your pockets.
Monoprice USB Hubs
Even thou it isn’t a big brand, Monoprice placed on the market a lot of devices, great for many unexpected reasons. They make a large variety of USB hubs, from which we can mention the $4 4-Port USB 2.0 Cube and the $14 Aquagate 7-Port USB 2.0 Powered Hub. Both models are small enough to be portable, even fitted into a pocket if you remove the power cables.
If you can spend more, we would recommend the 12-Port Powered USB 2.0 Hub for $27 and the amazing 24-Port Powered USB 2.0 Hub for around $40, able to connect a ton of devices at the same computer. And even thou they provide the connection of so many devices, these USB hubs are small enough to take them with you if needed.
Macally Mini 7-Port USB 2.0 Hub
This Macally model has a prism shape, is very simple, affordable and it offers you exactly what you would expect: plenty of space to connect your USB devices. It is quite small, so you can place it in a corner of your desk or under your monitor. On the Amazon we’ve found it with $23 and the 4-Ports model with $18.
What we loved about the Macally Mini USB 2.0 Hub, the 7-Ports and the 4-Ports alike, is the generous space it provides for the USB devices. You can plug-in even big footprint equipment and they don’t get in the way of the rest of the ports. Plus, they come with an external power adapter, allowing you to use it powered or unpowered, depending on your needs.
The Macally Mini 7-Ports USB 2.0 Hub has no fancy indicators or lights, it does not support USB 3.0, but it’s simple, it saves space and most important, it gets the job done.
Plugable 10-Port Powered USB 2.0 and 7-Port USB 3.0 Hub
Plugable is a company that produces a ton of docking stations, USB hubs, external graphic adapters and many other PC peripherals. Also, most of their products are budget friendly.
Their 10-Port Powered USB 2.0 Hub has a lot of nominations of being affordable, on Amazon it is found with only $25, portable and, in small places, easy to use. On the front it has only six ports, but this gives the device a slim look, and if the hub is powered, Plugable recommends no to charge your USB devices with it. Even so, this is a great USB hub that provides a lot of powered USB ports and saves you a lot of money.
But if your budget allows and you need USB 3.0, you can choose the Plugable 7-Port USB 3.0 Hub, which comes with a 4 Amp power adapter. On Amazon you can spend around $35 for this USB Hub, a very affordable price for a USB 3.0 hub.
Anker 7-Port and 9-Port Powered USB 3.0 Hubs
Anker is a company that produces external battery packs and, also, some highly regarded USB 3.0 Hubs. The Anker 9-Port Powered USB 3.0 Hub has a new design, making it pretty small, able to fit in a laptop bag, it is compatible with USB 2.0, has a sharp look and provides an additional USB port just for charging your USB devices. This USB Hub is powered, so you will have no issues connecting a USB powered device, like an external hard drive.
But the good looks and the USB 3.0 technology comes with a price. On Amazon.com, you can find the 9-Port model for $60 and the 7-Port one for about $50. Just consider that if you don’t have USB 3.0 on your computer or on your devices and you are mostly using the 2.0 technology, you will pay for a benefit you don’t get.
If you like Anker’s USB Hubs, you can find more of their model on their website.
And because we like customised devices, we would like to mention the Dr. Who Tardis 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub. It is a great novelty USB hub or a desk toy that, in our opinion, many people would like to have on their desks, rather than a plain black box with no visual appeal. Plus, this one is bigger on the inside.