Best USB-C Hub Adapters
USB Type C is the next generation of USB connector which provides power and data transfer at the same time. It’s much faster than its predecessors and will soon replace traditional cables when it comes to connecting devices.
The new type of connectors are reversible so they’re easy to plug into any existing wall outlet or computer keyboard/mouse combo port. They’re also smaller than their older counterparts, making them easier to fit into laptops and other portable electronics.
But there’s one major drawback: they don’t support audio output yet. That means no headphones or speakers right now — but that could change with future revisions of the standard.
In fact, USB Type C is already being used in some smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 to provide fast charging capabilities.
USB Type C is also being adopted by car manufacturers to provide quick access to auxiliary controls such as airbags, cruise control and more.
It’s not just cars that use the new connector either; it’s being used in a wide variety of consumer electronic products including printers, scanners, game consoles and even refrigerators. And those aren’t even the only ones using it. Some smart home devices have incorporated USB Type C ports too.
The USB Type C port can provide a transfer rate of up to 10 Gigabits per second. That means it’s as fast as most standards of wired Ethernet connections.
In order for it to reach those speeds, the USB Type C port on your device needs to be connected to a compatible USB 3.1 Type C cable and a USB 3.1 Type-C port on a computer or other device.
But even if both sides support the protocol, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a 10Gbps connection. The device and cable can handle 5Gbps or less if they’re designed to, but a lower bandwidth will still provide the maximum possible power output.
Fortunately, most new devices that use USB 3.1 are compliant with older versions of the protocols so you shouldn’t run into many issues when using them together.
Not all USB Type C cables are built equally though. Be sure to use ones that have been certified by the manufacturer. You can find this information directly on the label of your cable or through a quick Google search.
There are two types of USB cables: USB 2.0 and USB 3.1. The difference between the two is their transfer rate supported (USB 2.0 maxes out at 480Mbps while USB 3.1 reaches 5Gb/s).
USB 3.1 cables can be identified by the blue plug and inside wiring. However, this doesn’t mean that every USB 3.1 cable out there is going to work with every USB 3.1 port.
Some ports, like those on the MacBook Pro and Google Chromebook Pixel, can only operate at a maximum of 2.0 speeds unless both sides support 3.1.
Also remember that the USB 3.1 cable still needs to be plugged into a USB 3.1 port in order to get the fastest speeds possible. If you have a USB 3.1 port but plug the cable into a 2.0 port, you’re only going to reach those lower maximum speeds.
You’ll notice that some cables are also labeled with “SS” inside of the fastening plastic casing at one end. This indicates that they support USB Synchronization when used with other SS-Labeled cables. You don’t need to worry about this unless you’re hooking up something like a professional camera.
Fun fact: did you know that some USB cables can even work with car batteries?
Yes, really! It may take awhile to jump start a car with one, but they can do it.
How to Buy
Now that we’ve gone over what the differences between the types of cables are, let’s talk about which ones you’ll need for your devices and why.
The cables that you’ll need most for everyday use are MicroUSB and Lightning cables. Since you’re probably going to be charging your phone every day (or at least every night), you’ll need one of each of these to charge your smartphone and tablet on the go.
Sources & references used in this article:
USB-C to USB combo adapter by D Bo – US Patent App. 29/672,933, 2020 – Google Patents
USB hub by J Zhan – US Patent App. 29/655,255, 2020 – Google Patents
USB-C adapter by Q Zhang, J Chen, B Luo – US Patent App. 29/658,416, 2020 – Google Patents