What usb 3 would you recommend or use

Discussion in 'iMac' started by TFL167, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. TFL167 macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2014
    Im tired of trying to find the USB ports behind the monitor.

    I was looking at the Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express HD Dock but it's way to expensive for me no matter how much I try to convince myself that it will be worth it in the long run.

    What usb3 powered hub do you use or which one would you recommend. Is there anything that I should keep in mind when buying one
  2. iczster macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2014
  3. MacSE87, Nov 24, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014

    MacSE87 macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2010
    Hi TFL:

    Not sure exactly what you're looking for. That belkin TB2 dock you mentioned is in the $300 range… that would be too expensive for most people looking to avoid searching for the USB port behind the monitor… So I'm not sure what the reference point is.

    The two replies above both link to *Bus-Powered* 4 Port Hubs in the $15 range, there are 7 Port versions of those hubs that are AC powered as you asked for; so you'll probably need to search a bit there. The main deferentiator of the two above are that they are made to try to match the white and aluminium look of the Mac, iOS devices, and other Apple accessories.

    If you're just looking to use the hub for a USB Flash stick, printer, or other low power or self powered device, you may not need a power hub. And those bus powered hubs above may be best for your uses.

    My 8 yr-old Mac only has USB2 ports, but I am looking at USB 3 Hubs so they'll work well with current and future Mac & Peripherals. I have a couple of External Hard Drives that are Bus Powered; and I want to move them off the back of my Mac so I'm looking at powered USB hubs as well. I am also hoping to add some USB audio peripherals (speaker/DAC) in the future; and perhaps power/charge a number of mobile devices. Many rechargable bluetooth/audio devices now come with a USB charge cable (but no charger); so a charging function on the hub might be helpful. A 4 port hub for me would mean all ports used, and I would wonder if there's enough juice being supplied to all the devices, especially the drives. I would also like a power switch on the hub, as I don't always need my hard drives or other devices powered up. But it seems most of the redesigned hubs this past year are losing their power switchs. So I will probably just use the hub connected to a separate power strip with an ON/OFF switch.

    So for me, I'm looking at more than 4 ports, ac powered hub, plus 1 or 2 charging ports would be nice, on/off switch would be a bonus. I'm not trying to match the Apple aesthetics, I'm am looking for good utility and good design; both subjective. So what's important for my needs may not be what's good for you.

    Here is a recent review on USB3 Hubs at "The Wire Cutter" that might be helpful:

    You don't need to follow their recommendations, but the review does give you some design and features to think about when choosing a hub.

    They recommend the HooToo HT-UH010 seven-port hub, which is currently on amazon for $50. This is basically a 7 port data hub with 2 additional charge-only ports. One of the charge-only ports can put out 2.1A — good for charging iPads faster than typical 1A chargers.

    Of note, this MacRumors article "iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Capable of Faster Charging Using iPad 2.1A Adapter":

    Charging ports that put out more than the standard 1A may be a feature you're looking for. USB 2 data ports only put out 0.5A.

    After more browsing, I am also keeping my eye on the Anker AH221 7 port Hub with BC 1.2 port (battery charging spec 1.2). This one is also a 7 data port hub, but the 7th port can charge at up to 1.5A. And when the computer is off or sleeping, and the hub is also sleeping, that 7th port will draw power from the AC and charge a connected device. So it's not as good as the dedicated charge port like those on the HT-UH010, but seems to be a decent compromise for hub size and charge capability. If you still have an old iPod the cable left in the 7th port is good for both syncing (when the computer is on) and for charging (when everything else is off). The AH221 is currently on amazon for $30.
    The design of these two are quite similar. The block shape is meant so that multiple wide USB connectors can be connected on the hub at the same time without worrying about "elbow room".

    So $20 difference right now means color choice, HooToo (Black) vs Anker (White). Dedicated 1A and 2.1A ports on the HooToo, versus a double-duty 1.5A port on the Anker, which also means the Anker is smaller by 2 ports. Both seem to have the latest firmware for the USB controllers; and I assume now work with the current Macs & OSX without the issues of past years. And just as importantly, the reviews and customer reports on these hubs seem pretty positive.

    I don't have either of these, but this is what I've dug up so far. :) From what I can tell, the best price for the HooToo was $40 back in mid Oct 2014. The best price for the Anker AH221 was $26.75 back in early Oct 2014. I don't know if the prices will go up or come down… But we're close to Black Friday, so i'm going to watch the prices a bit before I decide to buy or look around some more. I'm hoping to spend no more than $25-40 for a good useful hub. I am leaning toward the anker hub as a good compromise… and because I am thrifty. ;)

    The amazon links for the HooToo and the Anker units I mentioned are here:


    If you want to look over the supplied "User Manual" for these hubs you can find them at the company product pages (in pdf or jpeg format):

    Hope that was helpful, Good Luck in your search! If you decide to buy a hub, please do a quick review for those of us still shopping for one.

    Just saw this on another USB3 Hub thread at MacRumors

    Forum member matreya notes back in April 2014:

    This white/gray 4 data port powered hub seems to have a double-duty port 1. The item descripton on amazon states:
    "Port 1 provides 10W of power to recharge tablets or other devices when host computer is powered down or disconnected from hub."

    It's going for $29.95, which is the lowest price it's ever been at on amazon. So price wise, the Anker seems a better current deal for essentially the same price you get 3 more data ports and similar charging functionality. The ports on the Kanex are also placed close together, large/wide USB connectors may block each other. Around May 2013 when matreya made his purchase, the Kanex was selling for $50–60 at amazon! :p
    * Just another shopper trying to make informed purchases; no association with any of the brands named above other than as a consumer.
  4. TFL167 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2014
    MacSE87 Thankyou for your detailed reply.:)

    The reason I wanted a powered hub is that every time I needed to plug something in e.g. my h/drives I had to fish around the back of the monitor or turn the monitor around so that I could gain access to the ports which neither appealed to me and quiet frankly started to irritate me.

    Hence my hours of searching for a usb3 started and soon found out through that people were experiencing issues. One issue was that some of their devices were disconnecting due to lack of power or insufficient power to the usb ports.

    I came across the Belkin thunderbolt and was tempted but then realised that it would only give me a variety of ways to attach various devices to the iMac. Anyway I would never use it to its full potential and the cost was out of the range I wanted to spend and could not justify it. But I wanted a few usb ports as I have 2 usb3 HHDs, a scanner, usb3 pen drives, printer,and a labeler. and some others. Granted 1 or 2 of those devices I can just plug and leave it in the usb ports on the monitor.

    Last night I came across both the devices that you write about below. I particularly liked the HooToo HT-UH010 seven-port hub as it has 7 ports and 2 charging ports. The reviews also were very good on the whole. The price was good as it had come down from £70 to £32. I eventually went with this usb hub and should be getting it tomorrow.

    I did also find the Kanex but decided against it as it only had 4 ports and I really wanted more than that. I did not want to many ports either so I settled for the seven port hub.

    I will post back and let all know how I get on with it.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
  6. TFL167 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2014
    I thought that I would give an update on the HooToo HT-UH010 seven-port hub that i purchased back in November.

    This is my experience with it so far as Ive been using it for awhile now.

    The setup was simply plug and play. Also there is more than enough cord for the power supply and usb to connect to the iMac as well. Currently I'm running 3 hhds, usb pen every so often. I also have a Brother printer connected to it. The transfers are really good and quick. There is no problems with it as far as using it and setting up and such.

    The only hiccup I came across is that when I first plugged the printer in it would not show on the iMac so I unplugged it and all my hhds. I then plugged the printer into the first usb port and my hhds in after that and it was all good.
    I also purchased a superdrive and this had to plug directly into the iMac itself. As it has to be driven from the iMac usb port.

    The only thing that bothers me is that there is no off/on switch so the hhds are constantly on as the hub is constantly on. ( But Im not sure if the hhds are actually running because the power light on my W/digitals hhds keep flashing when iMac is powered down.) This is probably so that the charging ports can be used when the computer is off.

    I just found that in the utilities that came with the HHds there is a function to set the sleep timer for them. So that hopefully will ease my mind as to them being constantly on and extend the life of the drives.

    Just thought i would post my experience with it so far.

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