The number of ports on new computers is shrinking fast. You would be lucky to even get a single USB-C port on a laptop three years from now!
While that may be an exaggeration, many modern laptops, especially ultraportable ones, come with only a couple of USB-C ports. This means that if you want to connect anything to your computer, you will need to use some form of adapter or hub with it.
If you’re looking for the best hubs for MacBook Pro or Air, here are two options that might be suited to your use-case, depending on your budget and what ports you are looking for in a hub. The hubs here are designed and manufactured by j5Create, a company that specializes in making professional-grade USB hubs, cables, and adapters.
j5Create JCH343 USB-C 4 port hub
The JCH343 is a very straightforward USB hub that connects to your laptop via USB-C and offers four USB-A ports to the user. The hub comes in a high-build quality aluminum chassis and its ports are compatible with USB 3.1 Gen 1 devices, meaning it has the capacity to transfer data at a rate of up to 5 Gb/s. The ports are also completely backward compatible, supporting USB 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1 devices. There is no need to install any drivers and you can plug and play the device with ease.
When it comes to simple USB additions to your system, the JCH343 is one of the best USB-C hubs for MacBook Pro and Air devices. The JCH343 is on the more economic side of the USB hub spectrum as it offers the most basic of functionality when it comes to USB hubs while doing an excellent job of performing those basics.
j5Create JCH377 USB-C 7 port hub
This hub is quite similar to the JCH343, but it is different in two key aspects: (1) the number of ports, and (2) its support for separate power input.
Because this USB hub for Macbook offers more USB 3.0 ports, if you decide to connect a couple of external hard drives to it on top of a couple of flash drives or a mouse and keyboard, the power being delivered to all these peripherals might not be enough if they are just coming from your laptop through the USB connection cable. For that reason, this hub supports being plugged into the wall for some extra power when put under a heavy load with a lot of power-hungry peripherals (i.e., hard disk drives). There is no power cable out of the box but you can connect any 5V/2.4A power brick to the hub.
The JCH377 adds as much ports as you can possibly need in a full-fledged desktop computer and then some (seven, to be exact), so you never run out of ports if you are trying to turn your ultraportable laptop into a powerful workstation. It offers the same great build quality from the JCH343 and is only marginally more expensive. But just like its smaller brother, the JCH377 is one of the best USB hubs for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air if all you want is to add more USB ports to your computer.
Something to add about both hubs––while they are being advertised as hubs for MacBook, they are compatible with all Windows devices with USB C as well. If the USB-C port on the Windows device is USB 3.0 or 3.1 Gen 1, you can benefit from the full potential of these j5Create’s hubs for MacBooks while using Windows devices as well.
These j5Create USB hubs for MacBook were some of the more essential options that j5Create offers users who only want to expand the number of USB ports they have. If all you want to connect to your computer is flash drives, external hard drives, a mouse, and a keyboard, these options are all you need.
If you are looking to expand your ports beyond USB ports, need to add display ports or an SD card slot, or perhaps an extra audio input/output or two, you might be interested in checking out our guide on docking stations and find more suitable options there. You may find that a docking station is probably a better fit for your specific needs.