If you use multiple devices in your PC, you need a USB hub to connect them. This is because the number of USB ports installed on computers and laptops is very limited. Without a USB hub, you cannot connect a flash disk , mouse , keyboard , and other devices at the same time.
Today, there are many USB hubs manufactured by electronics companies. This time, we will introduce how to choose a best USB hub for your laptop, PC and Mac. This way, you won’t be confused when choosing a USB hub that suits your needs. Happy reading.
Get to know the USB standard
Before choosing a USB hub, you must first know the standards and speeds of USB. Below are the general standards of USB and the transfer rates that each class has.
USB 2.0 speed of 480 mb / s
USB 3.1 gen 1 speed 5 Gb / s
USB 3.2 gen 2, 10Gb / s speed
The numerical values above are a general rule of the USB standard in theory, not the real speed . As the numbers on the USB class increase, it is the newest USB model so the transfer rate increases too.
If you want to choose a USB hub with a high transfer speed, USB 3.1 or above is recommended. However, the speed level also depends on the type and class of connected devices. So, so as not to confuse you, pay close attention to how to choose the following USB hub.
How to choose a USB hub There are many variants of USB hubs available in the market. In order not to make the wrong choice, please pay close attention to a few things you need to know before choosing.
Select the standard USB hub that is compatible with your device
To use a USB hub, you must select a product that is compatible with the device you are using. Here, we will introduce how to check the USB standard and what types you can consider.
The specification table, contains general detailed information of USB hubs
USB has a transfer rate that varies depending on the standards set by the manufacturer. That way, you need to adjust the standard class between the USB hub and the USB port attached to the PC. There are several ways to identify the type of USB port class , one of which is by looking at the color on the connector.
USB with the inside of the light blue port is usually the type of USB 3.1 or newer. If the port is black or white, it is usually USB 2.0 or earlier. However, the surest way to find out is by looking at the specification table of the connected PC. For a clearer explanation, pay attention to the next point after this.
The highest version, usually compatible with previous models
Usually, the highest version of USB is compatible with the USB class below it. However, there are some exceptions, although cases like this are rare. Basically, USB 3.1 is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1. If you don’t know the USB port specifications on your PC, we recommend choosing a USB hub with the highest speed standard. Please note that USB hub compatibility does not work for versions and above. For example, a USB hub 2.0 will not be compatible with a USB 3.1 port . Another thing to note, if the USB hub standard is higher, the USB transfer speed will be lower. Also, higher-end USB hubs don’t support USB 1.0 either. Now, there are fewer types of USB 1.0 so you don’t need to worry. However, you should still have it checked just in case.
We recommend a USB hub that is compatible with USB 3.1 gen 2. This is because this type of USB hub will be compatible with all types of USB 3.1 and below. However, this type of USB hub is quite difficult to find and the price is relatively higher. So, don’t forget to check it out too, huh.
Select a USB hub based on the type of power supply method
There are two types of power sources on the USB hub, bus power and self power . Bus power is a USB hub with a power source from a connected device port such as a PC. This type of USB is usually neater because it only connects using one cable. However, this type of USB has a more limited power consumption and number of ports . Thus, when connected to a large device, the USB hub becomes unstable. This type of USB hub is recommended if you want to connect devices with low power consumption. Some devices that can use this USB hub such as mice , keyboards , small speakers , and the like.
Another type, a self-power USB hub with a more secure power because it uses an AC adapter. This type of USB hub is recommended if you are connecting to larger peripherals such as a printer . However, this type of product looks untidy because of the extra cable for the AC adapter. The advantage is that this type of USB hub with a power supply is more stable.
There is also a type of USB hub that is supported by both types of power supply and PD (Power Delivery). This type of USB hub can transfer data while the USB hub is charging on a PC. Therefore, when you want to choose, first check the number and type of devices you want to connect.
Select the USB hub connector that matches your device
In general, there are two main types of connectors on a USB hub, namely type-A and type-C. The type-A connector is commonly used for computers or laptops, while the type-C is usually used on MacBooks. Choose the upstream (PC side) and downstream (USB side) connectors that match the PC and USB being used. Additionally, there are several downstream ports on the USB hub where an HDMI cable and SD card can be inserted . So, don’t forget to check it out too, huh.
Choose a product that makes it easy for you to use
The ease and use of a USB hub will change depending on the design and layout of the USB port. Thus, first check the number, port location , and cable length on the USB hub according to your needs.
Place and distance the USB port, vertical or horizontal as needed
Pay attention to the layout and distance between the ports on the USB hub whether they have enough space or not. The closer the distance between the ports , the more compact the USB hub , but it will be a hassle if you often remove the USB plug.
However, it all depends on the design and product model. There are several products with USB ports that are arranged vertically. Meanwhile, other types put a USB port on the side of the unit. So, choose the form of a USB hub with a port that suits your needs.
Large connectors for USB devices may cover a USB hub port that is too close to it. In this case, choose a product with the ports arrayed vertically.
Cable length, adjust to your usage environment
The length of the USB hub cable is one important point that should not be overlooked when you are choosing a product. Adjust the USB hub cable length according to your needs. USB hub types with short cables or without cables are convenient because the cables are hassle-free. On the other hand, a USB hub with a long cable is required if you have a large work area.
Also, note that this type of wireless USB hub also blocks the interface for other devices. However, this depends on the computer design or the model of the USB hub itself so choose carefully. There are also other types such as the roll-up type and the rotating plug. Check again and choose the product that suits your needs and work environment.
Check the additional functions attached to the USB hub
Most of the USB hub products are the simple stationary type. Some products usually have additional functions such as magnets on the surface so that they look more attractive. There are also products that have a power switch so you can turn it off when not in use.
Not only that, another additional function is power saving. This feature allows peripheral devices to be turned on and off at the same time as the power supply from the PC. There are also products that have an LED indicator light that shows the state of the product. USB hubs are a simple item, but there are some products that come with little details. So, go ahead and check it out.
Also check compatibility with peripheral devices
There are several problems that might occur with the computer peripherals because of their compatibility. For example, Wi-Fi and wireless devices do not respond when a USB hub is used. Unfortunately, these problems occur because of the way you use the device or the conditions of your work environment.
Thus, make sure to read the product details carefully and check all the devices so that you don’t regret buying them. There are also some issues that the USB hub manufacturer cannot predict. So, read reviews from other users whose usage is similar to yours.
Conclusion A USB hub is a necessity that supports various activities when you use a PC. There are various types of USB hubs available in the market with varying prices and advantages.
You need to find out in advance what your utility needs for a USB hub. If you use many devices, choose a USB hub with many ports , and vice versa. Don’t forget to adjust the budget that you have prepared. Hope this review helps you.