USB hub to support USB-powered drives

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by agodfrin, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. agodfrin macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2014
    I could not find any answer to my question, although I am sure it has been addressed. Here it comes.

    My MacBook Pro comes with two USB 2.0 ports. But they are placed so close to each other that it is hard to plug multiple memory sticks. The only things I can fit are USB cables for external USB drives, an iPhone, an iPad.

    So I need a USB hub. I just tried one that I got free at some conference a while ago. It has no brand, probably very low quality. It has four ports.

    I can plug in memory sticks: they are recognized. I can also plug in my iPhone. But external USB drives are not recognized, neither is my iPad. I assume that this is because the hub does not give sufficient power ?

    If I go an buy a better quality hub, can I expect it to be able to power external USB drives ? I would like the hub itself to be powered by my macbook (I don't fancy lugging another power adapter along).

    Any recommendations ? One more requirement is that the USB ports need to be sufficiently far apart so I can plug in multiple memory sticks.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Either stick with what you have and deal with not being able to use an external hard drive or iPad, or buy a hub that uses an external power supply. You can't have both.
  3. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Most I ever ned is a USB HDD into one port and an unpowered hub into the other, most I have used on the hub is 2 memory sticks in ports 1 and 4 and an iPhone cable in 2 or 3 (for sync, not charge).

    If you need more powered HDDs I think you will need a powered hub, or get a drive with external power (both of which obviously entail an extra power adapter), or be prepared to do a bit of swapping....

    In my experience 4-port hubs don't usually power much as potentially 4 HDDs would overload the Mac USB port...

    Oh I think you will need a wall charger for the iPad anyway, set it up to sync over WiFi (which could be a hotspot the Mac creates), and that is one less USB cable...
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN

    In order to power external USB drives, you must have another adaptor to power the hub.
  5. agodfrin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2014
    Thanks for the feedback, guys.

    I can actually work fine with this el-cheapo USB hub. I am able to stick four memory sticks and they all connect fine. I need this to easily sync some content on the Mac with those four sticks and that works fine.

    As for external drives I really only plug one at the time, directly to the Mac.

    So I am a happy camper for now.

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