USB Type-C is the port of the future, because it draws power, sends data and even extends displays. Unfortunately, some laptop makers are rushing to the future -- producing laptops with just Type-C ports, while consumers are still using older drives, monitors and accessories. Fortunately, Type-C hubs exist to give users the USB Type-A ports, HDMI outputs, Ethernet jacks and SD memory readers that have gone missing from laptops (especially Apple's MacBooks).
But since few hubs are sold by well-known brands (sure, you may know Anker or Aukey, but what about Hyper Drive, Atolla, Lention and Moshi?), we've done the hard work of testing these to find out which is best. Along the way, we've noticed little quirks, such as ports too small for USB sticks and HDMI outputs that don't work as well with PCs. Here are the best (and worst) USB Type-C hubs.
AUKEY USB-C Hub with HDMI, 4 USB 3.0 Ports, Type-C
This plain-looking hub is one of our favorites, offering a lot for a relatively affordable price. Sure, it doesn't look like an extension of a rose-gold or space-gray MacBook, but its four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out and pass-through Type-C power port go pretty far to complete any laptop that's light on ports. If only it offered an SD memory reader, it would be complete.
Pros: Tons of ports; Pass-through Charging Cons: No memory readers Ports: 6
You may not have heard of accessory-maker Landhoo before, but this snap-on hub, available in silver, space gray, black, gold and rose gold, is starting the company out on the right foot with us. Not only does it offer an HDMI output port, dual USB 3.0 ports, a SD memory reader and a microSD memory reader, but Its pass-through-charging Type-C port means it's good for those with only one Type-C port. The only thing I disliked is that its connection didn't feel as stable as others, as it jiggled uncomfortably when I connected devices to it.
Pros: Type-C charging port; Adds HDMI, SD memory ports Cons: Not the strongest connection Ports: 5
It's easy to see why this is a best-seller on Amazon. Pass-through charging, SD card readers, three USB 3.0 ports and HDMI out mean it has everything we look for in a Type-C hub. But unless you want those card readers, you're better off saving $25 and buying Aukey's squarish-puck hub, which packs one more USB 3.0 port.
Pros: Every port you need Cons: Comparatively expensive Ports: 7
If you weren't ready for the USB Type-C apocalypse, this hub is here for you. Four USB 3.0 ports. It's only $18 and provides four USB Type-A ports (at the 3.0 speed) in exchange for a single Type-C port. Best for those whose laptop has more than just one Type-C port.
Pros: Clean design Cons: Least affordable Type-A only hub Ports: 4
We'd never heard of Atolla until now, but this adapter makes a good first impression. The casing features a fine texture and shiny bevelled edges, and its four USB 3.0 ports work well. If, for some reason, your laptop's Type-C port isn't providing enough power for this hub, you can connect a power source to its microUSB port, which we didn't need to use during testing.
Pros: Most affordable; Attractive design Cons: Only packs USB Type-A ports Ports: 4
If for some reason, you find yourself without a Wi-Fi option, and need to connect to a hardwired network, you'll need a hub like this simple connector from Aukey. In exchange for a USB Type-C slot, it adds Ethernet and a trio of USB 3.0 ports. The drawback, though, is its lack of a Type-C port for pass-through power. It passed tests on both our Mac and PC with flying colors. This is a good buy if you're on a budget and need Ethernet.
Pros: Affordable Cons: Chunky design; No power pass-through Ports: 4
The only Type-C hub that you can tuck its own cable inside of, this metallic Moshi hub is expensive given its few ports. But, if all you need is an HDMI-out, a USB 3.0 Type-A port and a Type-C for pass-through power, it could be enough. However, competitors with more ports cost less than half as much. Annoyingly, the Moshi hub couldn't extend the desktop of our test PC laptop to a monitor, though it did work on our MacBook.
Pros: Cable-storing design Cons: Few ports; Pricey Ports: 3
Built just for 2016 and 2017's 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros, this hub takes up two USB-C ports on your laptop, but replicates all the ports you miss from previous machines. That means, one Thunderbolt 3 port, one USB Type-C port, a microSD reader, an SD memory reader, an HDMI out and dual USB 3.0 ports. The only problem? Its USB 3.0 ports are too small to connect certain Flash drives, even if nothing is next to them, which is a serious problem whether you're spending $10 or $100.
Pros: Multiple Type-C ports; Everything else you'd need Cons: Tight USB 3.0 ports; Expensive Ports: 7
We love these snap-alongside hubs, as they can stay attached to your notebook when you travel, and look like they were made for certain MacBooks (available in gold, silver and space gray). And as long as you have more than one Type-C port, or don't rely on one to charge your laptop, you're likely considering this hub, which adds a trio of USB 3.0 connectors, an SD memory reader and a microSD reader. Unfortunately, as is the case with some of these hubs, its USB 3.0 ports are a little too narrow for some drives, so they couldn't fit inside. This meant I could use only some of my flash drives, and not the one I personally rely on. It might be less expensive than similar-looking hubs, but it doesn't have the charging or the HDMI-out that competitors do.
Pros: Snaps against laptops; Adds SD memory ports Cons: Tight USB 3.0 ports. Ports: 5
AmazonBasics USB 3.1 Type-C to 3 Port USB Hub with Ethernet Adapter
Typically, AmazonBasics accessories are less expensive than the competition, but that's not the case here. If you trust Amazon more than anyone else, consider it, but this cheap-feeling plastic hub is $10 more expensive than Aukey's (though it's smaller) and it offers the same three USB 3.0 ports and Ethernet jack.
Pros: Smaller than similar hub Cons: Feels cheap Ports: 4
Sometimes an affordable gadget's super-budget price is a warning. Although this hub from Lention looks like one of the better peripherals for new MacBook owners on tight budgets, (it adds two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port), its promise falls apart quickly. First, we had to make sure that the hub was resting on a surface so that it wouldn't slowly pull itself out. Later, its USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports stopped working altogether, so its only use became as a pass-through charger, making it worthless.
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.