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Making the Connection: USB Hubs for Home and Office

From monitors to chargers to card readers to USB flash drives and beyond, it is not uncommon these days to have four or five peripheral devices, or even more, attached to the same computer. Many computers, particularly Chromebooks and other laptops, are not equipped with enough ports to accommodate all of these devices.

That is why USB hubs, sometimes known as multiport adapters or USB dongles, are a must have for many people. These devices connect to a port on your computer, usually USB A or USB Type C. Once connected, their multi port designs allow you to add more devices that will all connect through the single computer port.

Most USB hubs are plug and play, meaning they require no special software, and will work with almost any modern PC or Mac. You will also find devices like HDMI splitters and AV switches in this category, which are important for applications such as dual monitor setups.

Choosing a Powered USB Hub

As you might expect, the type and number of ports in your USB hub are important. First, note whether the hub is a USB A or USB C hub, meaning whether it connects to your computer via a USB A or USB C port. Some models are instead designed as docking stations or charging ports for battery powered USB devices and feature an AC power adapter rather than connecting to a computer.

Which kinds of ports you need on your USB hub will depend on which types of device connectors you want to use. You might be looking for USB A, USB C, HDMI, Ethernet, VGA, Thunderbolt 3, Thunderbolt 4, or other types of ports. As for size, 3 port and 4 port USB hubs are common, but some larger models offer many more.

Speed is also a relevant factor. If you need a high speed data transfer for large files, look for a USB hub with USB 3.0 compatibility - assuming your computer has a USB 3.0 port. For the average user, however, USB 2.0 ports and strong wifi are still sufficiently fast for everyday tasks.

Finally, if you need equipment for splitting and switching AV signals, be aware of factors such as: the hubs maximum supported resolution, support for video technologies like 3D, HDCP compliance, and built in switches for toggling video sources

Whatever USB cables or hubs you need, browse Micro Center’s entire lineup of USB hubs, splitters, and switches. Our competitive pricing and selection of top brands make it easy to find what you need!

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