USB Hub Buying Guide

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USB Ports

What is a USB Hub?

A USB hub is a device that expands a single Universal Serial Bus USB port into several so that more ports are available to connect devices to the host. Many of the latest USB Hubs will expand to additional USB connections and other contact forms, including Ethernet, HDMI, SD card, etc.

USB Port Hubs are productivity and organizational tools used in several applications. USB Port Hubs are portable adapters that plug into a single USB port and add additional ports and other interface port formats. USB port hubs are no longer just limited to USB 3.0; hubs can now connect to your device via USB-C or Thunderbolt 4. A USB hub can expand your laptop's connectivity, allowing connection to Ethernet, HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, SD, Micro SD, Audio in, and more.

As laptop technology progresses, you may find that you no longer have the adequate number or arrangement of USB, audio, and video interfaces. Adding a USB hub can increase the number and possible connectivity to multiple interface styles. Particular laptops only have USB-C or Thunderbolt connectivity, making a USB port hub a necessity for anyone looking to use any device that deviates from those two formats.

USB Port Hub In Use

USB Hub Power

USB Hub power delivery can confuse those looking to purchase a USB hub. USB Hubs can deliver power in two ways; a hub can be "bus-powered," meaning that the hub gets its power from the laptop or device port it is connected to. Bus-powered hubs are constrained by the amount of energy delivered through a single port. The Second way USB hubs are powered is with a supplied dedicated power supply. Each option has its benefits; however, it is vital to consider which one will fit your needs when buying a USB hub.

Powered vs Unpowered USB Hub

Power delivery should be a heavy consideration when buying a USB port hub. If only low-power devices like a mouse, keyboard, or mobile phone charging are going to be used, a bus-powered portable hub would be the best option. If higher power-draining devices are needed, such as large external hard drives, printers, scanners, and some monitors, then a USB port hub with a dedicated power supply is the best course of action.

USB Port Hub

Functions for a USB Hub

A USB hub can streamline device management and declutter the workspace when creating a well-organized and clean workstation. The adoption of work from home and hybridization schedules made the use of laptops even more popular, and increasing the number of available ports for devices is a must. USB hubs are handy tools when transferring files between multiple devices simultaneously. USB hubs provide great value in recreational gaming if a gaming laptop is used, allowing a portable gaming setup wherever needed.

Workstation organization

Why quality matters

When dealing with power, safety is always a paramount concern. With no shortage of USB hubs on the market, there are bound to be cheaper name-brand knock-offs available for a fraction of the price. The USB hub at half the cost might be appealing; it's essential to consider what job the hub is doing. It delivers data and power between commonly expensive devices that can be utterly fried if power is supplied incorrectly. Worse than a fried device is an injury or death, which while uncommon, is possible when safety is not considered in efforts to cut costs.

Knowledge is buying power

Knowing what is needed and for what purpose makes buying a USB hub significantly easier. Spending a little extra for peace of mind is always advisable to protect yourself and your devices and equipment. Purchasing a USB hub with extra ports or interfaces is an excellent way to ensure enough ports in case a new device is needed or one is forgotten in the buying process.

Check out the range of USB Hubs, Splitters, and Extended Hubs available on KVM Switches Online.