USB gadgets help us expand the functionality and convenience of your computers and laptops. USB stands for Universal Serial Bus, and it certainly lives up to its name—virtually every popular platform attaches via a USB port, be it a PC, Mac or Linux peripheral. But the downside of the USB port is that most laptop computers only come with two or three USB hubs. So, once you’ve filled them up, you’re out of luck. Luckily, USB hubs can come to the rescue. USB hubs turn one USB port into many without compromising speed or performance. Here are a few of the best:
CyberPower High Speed 7-Port USB Hub - $29.95
Weighing in at just 2.5 ounces, the CyberPower High Speed 7-Port USB Hub is portable and functional. It supports both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 and has transfer speeds up to 480 Mbps. It can be powered via the included power source or directly from the USB port.
Atomik Tech 10 Port Hub - $24.95
Slim, yet accommodating with 10 USB ports in all, the Atomik Tech 10 Port Hub gives you plenty of spare USB ports for keyboards, mouses, speakers, printers, thumbdrives and anything else you can plug in. Supports USB 2.0 and performs incredibly fast—almost comparable to plugging in directly.
Belkin USB 2.0 4-Port Ultra Mini Hub - $7.74
At less than $10, this pocket-sized mini hub is perfect for netbook and laptop owners. Powered directly by the USB port (no AC power required), this little USB hub is great on the go. Completely plug ‘n’ play—requires no software or drivers.
Port Authority USB 2.0 7-Port Hub by Cables To Go - $34.70
This USB hub with the civically pun-filled name plugs into an AC outlet power, making it more suitable for desktop systems. However, the advantage is that it delivers equal power to all ports. So, for peripherals that need peak performance, this is the way to go.
R2-D2 USB Hub from ThinkGeek - $39.99
This USB is shaped like the R2-D2 droid. Enough said. It also bleeps and bloops in classic Star Wars fashion when you plug or unplug USB peripherals.
GTMax High Speed 4-Port Octopus USB 2.0 Hub - $5
This USB hub takes a different approach, with the ports extending off the main unit on cables (like tentacles). This makes it easier to work plugs in without the clutter.
As you can see, it’s a bit difficult to judge the quality of a USB hub based on specs. The best USB hub for you will depend largely on your needs and preferences.