SmartQ Plug N Play USB Hubs
Last updated date: December 10, 2021
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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.
Update as December 10, 2021:
Checkout The Best USB Hubs for a detailed review of all the top usb hubs.
This USB hub features four ports that are compatible with everything from a digital camera to a desktop computer. Consumers can opt between a smaller 1-foot cord or a larger 3-foot cord. The hub is also a cinch to use, as you only need to plug it in and you're ready to go.
In our analysis of 9 expert reviews, the SmartQ Plug N Play USB Hubs placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
Expand 4 USB 3.0 ports to your device. No driver needed, Plug N Play for both Mac & Windows. Data transfer speed up to 5GB/sec. Work with up to 16 TB Hard Drive Disk (HDD).
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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.
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.
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