The HooToo HT-UH010 seven-port hub ($40) is our favorite USB 3.0 hub because it’s compact, reliable, and has well-placed ports aplenty. But its main strength is its usability and design–we looked at many other hubs that were larger, had fewer ports, and weren’t as easy to use. We determined the HooToo is the best hub for most people after 100 hours of research, testing, and consulting with electrical engineers to learn about how power flows through USB hubs and where things commonly go wrong.
The HooToo’s strongest asset is its compact design and convenient port layout.
A USB 3.0 hub is for people who have a computer with at least one USB 3.0 port and either want more of them or want them in a more accessible place. Most hubs have one or two charge ports, but a USB hub is not the same as a dedicated USB charging station.
To find the best for most people, we surveyed hundreds of readers, interviewed engineers, and did our own research to find out what makes a USB hub great. We found that the best USB hub must have USB 3.0 ports and dedicated power. It needs to be reliable, well-designed, light, and compact. A decent warranty and LED indicators for each port are also useful. Most people want a hub with five to seven ports, but there was enough demand for four- and 10-port hubs that we decided to find a recommendation for each.
The HooToo HT-UH010 is the best USB hub because it has a great, usable design that most of the competition lacked. It has seven USB 3.0 data ports, a 1-amp charge port for smartphones, and a 2.1-amp charge port for high-power devices like iPads. The upward-facing ports reduce desk clutter, and the HooToo is sturdy and reliable for simultaneous USB 3.0 file transfers and device charging. It also has LED indicators for each data port, lengthy cords for easy setup, and an 18-month warranty.
The vertically stacked ports mean you won’t have trouble plugging in bulkier USB devices next to one another. And, because the ports are located on top of the hub rather than arranged around the sides, devices stick up instead of fanning out and taking up valuable desk space. Much of the competition had side-facing ports that were too close together or made USB devices take up way more space on our desk. The HooToo hub is compact, and–bonus–it’s aesthetically inoffensive.
The HooToo hub has a few annoying quirks: Its glossy black surface shows every fingerprint, and its upward-facing ports tend to collect dust. Luckily, these problems are easy to fix with a cloth and some compressed air. It comes with a chunky power supply, which isn’t any bigger than the bricks of other top hubs we considered.
At $40, the HooToo is a bit on the pricey side, but it wasn’t the most expensive one we considered. While most people told us they want to spend less than $30 on a hub, we found that you can’t get a decent seven-port hub for that price.
If you need more ports than the HooToo has, the Anker AH231 has 10: nine USB 3.0 data ports and one 2.1A charging port. It’s exactly the same size and shape as our main pick, but has a different selection of ports, is white instead of black, and has different-colored LEDs. The Anker weighs the same, comes with the same power brick and cords, and worked just as well as the HooToo in all of our tests.
However, at $60, the Anker is a full $20 more than the HooToo. That’s a lot to pay for two extra data ports, so make sure you really need it before buying.
A dedicated power cord is a smart idea if you don’t want to risk accidentally corrupting everything on your hard drive.
The Anker AH112 four-port hub is the best portable option if you don’t want to risk accidentally overloading your hub. It has four USB 3.0 ports and a 2.1A charge port. Its file transfer and charging performance was reliable in all of our tests, it has LED indicators, and comes with an 18-month warranty.
The four-port Anker was the second-smallest hub we tested. Its required power brick makes this hub a little less portable, but it means you can’t overload the hub–which can abruptly disconnect your devices and corrupt your data. Our biggest complaint about the four-port Anker is that its glossy surface shows fingerprints and scratches easily.
The four-port Sabrent HB-W4U3 is the most portable and flexible hub we tested because it can be used with or without the included power cord and brick. (But we recommend you always use the power cord when possible, so you don’t risk overloading the hub.)
The Sabrent has two horizontal, well-spaced USB 3.0 ports on each side. One of the data ports also doubles as a charge port, but it requires the host computer to be off or asleep, which means you can’t use the other three data ports at the same time. It’s also the smallest hub we tested–even smaller than a deck of cards–and has LED indicators and a one-year warranty.
The HooToo UH-010 is the best USB 3.0 hub for most people–it has seven data ports and two charge ports for tablets and smartphones. Its vertically stacked, upward-facing ports and compact design keep devices from taking up too much room on your desk, and the hub isn’t ugly, either.