AmazonBasics 4-Port Ultra-Mini Hub USB Adapter
Last updated date: September 28, 2020
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We looked at the top USB Hubs and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best USB Hub you should buy.
In our analysis of 10 expert reviews, the AmazonBasics AmazonBasics 4-Port Ultra-Mini Hub USB Adapter placed 6th when we looked at the top 6 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note October 20, 2020:
Checkout The Best USB Hubs for a detailed review of all the top usb hubs.
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From The Manufacturer
USB 2.0 high-speed interface, supports data rates of 1.5/12/480 Mbps, Backwards compatible with USB 1.4
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An Overview On USB Hubs
Whether you use a cable to charge your phone, plug in a hard drive or attach a wired mouse, there’s a good chance you take advantage of USB devices regularly whenever you use your computer or another device. However, your device simply might not have enough ports for all the cables you need to plug in. That’s where a USB hub can help, as it allows you to gain access to multiple external USB ports with the need to plug just one USB cable directly into your device.
When looking at USB hubs, you’ll come across two differently powered options. The bus-powered USB hubs don’t require an external power cable since the power comes from the built-in USB port to which you’ve connected the hub. Self-powered USB hubs work better for demanding devices like charging gadgets and using hard drives, and they have a power cable you’ll need to plug into the wall.
Many USB hubs today follow the USB 3.0 standard that gives you very fast speeds of 640 megabytes per second, which works great for transferring data. Some older models still use USB 2.0 with speeds limited to around 60 megabytes per second. Along with the hub you choose, your device’s built-in USB port version will determine the speeds you can get.
When it comes to USB hub styles, you can find many options with different features. Many hubs are like small rectangular bricks with several ports in a row, while others are square with ports on each side or even have a fun shape like an animal or favorite character.
Some USB hubs have power switches so you can turn off individual ports you don’t use. Others have colorful lights or even include ports or slots for additional items like video cables or memory cards.
DWYM Fun Fact
Check out these fun facts to learn more about USB technology:
- If you wonder about how popular USB devices really are, know that around 3 billion get shipped annually around the world!
- USB technology isn’t just important for computers, either, as the port can be found on mobile devices, televisions, cars and even some furniture.
- You can thank Ajay Bhatt for giving us the USB technology we enjoy today. He came up with the idea back in 1996 since he wanted a universal way to connect peripherals to computers without too much hassle or configuration.
- A technique called daisy-chaining allows for a maximum of 127 devices to connect through a series of USB hubs on a single internal USB port. However, doing this in practice can lead to issues such as not enough power for all the devices along with slowness.
The USB Hub Buying Guide
- Before you purchase any USB hub, check that it’s compatible with your computer or other device. For example, some hubs connect to a USB-C port only, and while these are common on newer Mac computers, an old Windows PC likely won’t have the port.
- Pay attention to whether you’re looking at a USB 3.0 or 2.0 hub and make sure that you choose one that aligns with your computer’s USB port speed. You can use a USB 3.0 hub on a device with USB 2.0 ports or a USB 2.0 hub on a device with USB 3.0 ports, but your speed will be limited to the slower one available.
- Consider the length of the USB hub’s cable and the location of the port where you plan to install it. While a shorter cable can be less of a problem for laptops and other easily accessible devices, you may want a longer cable for a desktop computer so you don’t have to uncomfortably reach behind to plug things in the hub.
- Since you could always need more USB ports in the future, think carefully about how many ports the USB hub should have. You can find tiny USB hubs with just a couple of ports, but larger hubs can offer more flexibility later.
- Aim for a USB hub with an external power supply if you plug in things that use a lot of juice. For example, if you have external hard drives, a bus-powered hub could cause issues with power or data transfer.