What Ports Should you Look for in a USB-C Hub?

The latest MacBooks and MacBook Pros have only USB-C ports, and while that's awesome for the future, it certainly was too soon on Apple's part, since many folks still use peripherals and data cards that require (now) legacy ports. That being said, you might not use all of those legacy parts, so you may not need the Cadillac of USB-C hubs — a comfortable economy hub might just do the trick.

Here's what to consider when looking for a USB-C hub!

What devices do you use?

Really, it all comes down to your immediate needs. Think about what you use on a daily or even a weekly basis. Do you regularly transfer photos from a digital camera to your Mac? Then you'll certainly want to consider a USB-C hub with an SD card slot. If you use an Android phone or another device that uses microSD, you may even want to consider one with a microSD port, though many microSD cards come with a full-size adapter.

Do you use a mouse with a USB-A transmitter? Then you'll certainly want a hub with a USB-A port (or two or three). Really, if you're getting a hub, you're very likely getting USB ports anyway, and, for now at least, you'll want that.

After USB-A and and SD card slot, you really need to consider your actual usage. Don't just grab an expensive hub with all the ports because you think you might use them. If you're not regularly streaming video from your Mac to a TV or another display, then you probably don't need HDMI ports (Apple TV, anyone?). If you're exclusively on Wi-Fi, you don't need a hub with an Ethernet port.

Will you be traveling constantly with your MacBook or do you pretty exclusively use it at a desk? You can get desktop hubs or smaller, more portable hubs, so consider how portable you want your hub to be.

The last thing you should consider is whether you actually need a hub or if a cable will suffice. If you only have a single use case where USB-C doesn't work for you, then you might do with a USB-C to whatever cable or adapter (USB-C to Lightning, to USB-A, etc.).

See adapters at Amazon

How do you choose a hub?

Again, go with your needs, how much you want to spend, and consider whether or not a cable will do.

And of course, check out our favorite USB-C hubs for your Mac:

Best USB-C Hubs for MacBook Pro

Mick Symons

Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.