Buying advice on a USB hub

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bretmeister, Sep 16, 2017.

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  1. bretmeister macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    #1
    I am looking at finally upgrading my 2008 iMac and am looking for some buying advice. I have noticed that I will be connecting a few external USB devices to the iMac and thought it would be a good idea to get a self-powered USB hub. I want to make sure I get one that doesn't slow the USB down. In other words, I don't want to drop down to USB 2.0 speeds. I plan on connecting iPhones, iPads, printer, scanner, DVD/CD players, USB drives, and external hard drives to the USB ports. One of the HD's will be my iTunes and Photos libraries and another will be a backup.

    I have also seen some threads here mention that some hubs cause interference with bluetooth. Is that still true? The posts I read were a few years old.

    I have seen a Sabrent hub on OWC that seems like it might work. But before I make the jump, I wanted to seek the knowledge of gurus here on Mount MacRumors. :)

    Thanks.
     
  2. artfossil macrumors 65816

    artfossil

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Location:
    Florida
    #2
    I've used the Sabrent 7 port (wall powered) USB hub from OWC for going on four years with my MacBook Pro. Works flawlessly and no, no Bluetooth interference. I have a printer and two backup drives permanently connected and have used the other ports for various drives, DVD player, etc. If you have a lot of peripherals you might consider that model.

    For my new iMac I'm looking at a four port model, https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sabrent/HBUMC4/

    That one has the advantage of being able to power each port off and on. I have a wireless printer at home and more ports on the machine so don't need as many ports. But having a hub means I can park my external drives wherever I want and not directly next to the display.

    All of the Sabrent hubs I see at OWC advertise the same maximum transfer rate, 5 Gbps, so I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. You can always call OWC to discuss your choice. They have great tech support.
     
  3. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    Jan 23, 2017
    #3
    Are you going to be using external SSDs or more than say 3 external HDDs simultaneously? (If so, how common will external-to-external transfers be, and how important is speed?)

    How many devices do you think you will want to connect simultaneously?

    And USB can indeed interfere with Bluetooth and WiFi. This applies to USB 3.1 gen 1 (formally USB 3.0) and USB 3.1 gen 2, interfering with 2.4 GHz signals (but not 5 GHz signals)
     
  4. bretmeister thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 25, 2012
    #4
    I will probably be using 2 HDDs, no external SSDs. One will be used for accessing the iTunes and other data. I plan on only putting the System folders and the apps on the internal SSD. The other HD will be for TimeMachine backup.
    Is the interference most when it is close to the computer? Can it be moved about 3 feet away to minimize that or does it need to be more.
    Thanks!
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    OP wrote:
    "I will probably be using 2 HDDs, no external SSDs. One will be used for accessing the iTunes and other data. I plan on only putting the System folders and the apps on the internal SSD. The other HD will be for TimeMachine backup."

    If you're getting a new iMac, you won't even need a hub to "get going".
    The 27" models come with 4 USB3-a ports, and 2 USB-c ports.

    Connect the iTunes drive to one USB port, the backup drive to another, and you still have FOUR MORE ports from which to choose.

    Then, investigate your options for a hub at your leisure... ;)
     
  6. artfossil macrumors 65816

    artfossil

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    #6
    Good point about lots of ports so lots of time to investigate.

    But I'll get a hub because the ports are not where I want them. :)
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #7
  8. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #8
    I've been using a powered Anker hub hub (7 USB plus 3 charge-only) for nearly 2 years. It's worked flawlessly with my 5K iMac. I'm sure it's not the only good one out there -- but it's definitely a good one.
     
  9. organicCPU macrumors 6502a

    organicCPU

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    #9
    I'm using this hub from tp-link for a while without any issues.
    http://www.tp-link.com/us/products/details/cat-5522_UH720.html

    From my practical experience, there is a small speed degradation compared to direct attachment, but I guess that's normal for any USB-hub and it's fairly fast enough for HDDs. I didn't notice any interference with my wireless bluetooth keyboard and mouse. I don't use WiFi and therefore can't tell you about interfering those frequencies.
     
  10. artfossil macrumors 65816

    artfossil

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    #10
  11. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    artfossil wrote:
    "Unaesthetic! [cringes]"

    I couldn't care less.
    You ought to see my desktop.
     
  12. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #12
    Trouble is with all these USB-C hubs is that they're really designed for laptops - not desktops.

    First issue is whether the captive cable is long enough to use with an iMac - looks to me like it would barely reach the desk (using a USB-C extension cable would fix that, but seems messy).

    Also, while that hub would be useful on a MacBook Pro that didn't have any USB A ports, on an iMac you might as well hang a regular USB 3 hub with a removable cable off one of your 4 USB 3 ports, and keep your USB-C/TB3 ports free for higher things, like USB 3.1g2 or Thunderbolt.

    The only benefit I could see to a USB-C to USB-A hub on an iMac would be if it took advantage of the extra power supply available from USB-C - but the Sabrent hub says: "the devices connected to the 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub must not exceed a combined current of 5 volts 900 mAh" - which is the same as you'd get from USB 3.
     
  13. artfossil macrumors 65816

    artfossil

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    Florida
    #13
    Good points about that hub. If I got one, I'd look at the external powered ones like the one I'm using now.
     

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12 September 16, 2017