Scosche USB-C adapter with MacBook Pro

If you've invested in the 2016 or newer MacBook Pro and you've come to the conclusion that, although USB-C is awesome, having a laptop with nothing but USB-C isn't particularly convenient, you're probably looking for some port options. If you just want to connect a USB-A device like your iPhone or iPad, you're probably in the market for a USB-C adapter.

If you're looking for the perfect USB-C adapter for your MacBook Pro, you've come to the right place.

Apple's USB-C to USB Adapter

Nothing is simpler than a single-use USB-A to USB-C adapter and nothing is more reliable than having one directly from Apple. With this $19 "dongle," you won't ever have to worry about whether this little ditty will be supported with future updates. It does support syncing and charging, so you're covered for all of your basic iPhone to MacBook Pro needs.

AmazonBasics USB-C to USB 3.1 adapter

For a no-frills connection, you aren't going to get any cheaper than $5.99. Amazon's simple connector charges your USB-A device and supports 5Gbps data transfer. It's similar to Apple's adapter but costs just one-third the price.

nonda USB-C adapter

The company calls it the "world's smallest USB-C to USB-A adapter." I haven't measured every single one of them, but I can say that this $10 adapter is definitely tiny. Instead of a cable like Apple's adapter has, this is a direct port-to-port adapter. It's so small you can leave it in and it won't get in the way. It charges your devices and supports data transfer up to 5 Gbps. It also comes in gold, silver, and space gray.

Scosche USB-C Hub

Maybe you need just a little more than a single-use adapter. Maybe you'd like to be able to charge your iPhone and connect your MacBook Pro to your TV set. That's where Scosche comes in. This awesome dongle has a USB-A port, an HDMI port, and a second USB-C port and it costs just $50. You can mirror to HDMI displays and sync your iPhone or iPad at the same time. I use mine as a portable HDMI adapter for my Nintendo Switch. If you need a little more, but not a LOT more variety, you've got options.

Oscoo 2-in-1 USB-C USB-A Flash Drive

OK, so this isn't an adapter at all, but I love it, so I want to tell you about it. It's not a USB-C flash drive. It's not a USB-A flash drive. It's both! That's right. It has a USB-C adapter on one side and a USB-A adapter on the other. Slide the switch one direction or the other to change your options. I use mine all the time to transfer stuff from my MacBook Pro to a computer that only has USB-A ports. It's not even more expensive, even though it has more options. Prices range from $8.99 for 4GB to $39.99 for 128GB. It comes in white and silver or gold and black.

What's the difference between an adapter, hub, and docking station?

Before you decided on something to extend your MacBook Pro's usability, you should consider what you need it for. There are three types of port extenders that are perfect for different types of users.

  • Adapters - Adapters are also sometimes called dongles. They usually have just a few different types of ports. The simplest will have just a single USB-A to USB-C adapter. Some with have a couple of different ports, like VGA, HDMI, MicroSD, and the like. A lot of adapter makers will also call these "hubs," mostly because they provide so many port options.

Adapters are for people that only need limited options. You don't necessarily need super-fast passthrough or you only need a USB-C to USB-A adapter. They are the least expensive of the three and the most portable, as well.

Best USB-C adapters for MacBook Pro

  • Hubs - Hubs offer a little more power than just extra ports. Usually, they have their own separate power source and include display ports that support 4K and 5K displays. Oftentimes, hubs also charge your MacBook Pro while connected. They offer faster data transfers so you can hook up your external hard drive and get at your files faster.

Hubs are for people that connect their MacBook Pro to a 5K display or two 4K displays. They're more expensive than adapters, but they are a workhorse all their own.

Best USB-C hubs for MacBook Pro

  • Docking stations - Docking stations are designed for multi-display use with charging support. Some of them are very similar to hubs — a stand-alone box with a number of ports. Others mount to your MacBook Pro. There are even some docking stations that let you set up your MacBook Pro in clamshell mode. Docking stations are meant for a more stationary desktop setup. They have their own power supply so they won't drain your MacBook Pro's power. They'll usually even charge your laptop while connected.

Docking stations are for people that use a MacBook Pro with multiple displays and have a fairly stationary set up. If you never move your MacBook Pro set up, you might find docking stations to be more to your liking. They range in price from under $100 to a few hundred, depending on the support you need.

Best USB-C docking stations for MacBook Pro

How have you adapted?

What are your USB-A to USB-C solutions? Put your personal favorites in the comments section and we'll check them out.

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