If you need to attach more than one external device to your Mac using USB, it is recommended that you use a powered USB hub, as this will grant you more flexibility and ease of use.
A powered USB hub will give you the option to connect a lot more USB peripherals to the machine, and this will allow you to access and use multiple gadgets at the same time, without compromising on the battery life or the power source of the machine. A Personal Computer has become the center of a multitude of activities that we undertake in our homes and offices, and it is becoming increasingly important to use the USB ports on the machine.
Most laptop computers and desktop computers come with a limited number of USB ports, but today we need more and more of these ports. This is where a USB hub comes into the picture, and this allows us to attach up to 7 devices to one single port. It connects to the computer via one single USB port, and it has 7 or less ports at the other end, which can be used for any purpose.
The various devices that can be attached using a USB port are external hard drives, flash drives, MP3 players, digital cameras, mobile phones, printer, scanner, computer mouse, computer keyboard, and handheld gaming consoles. Attaching all these gadgets at the same time is not possible on any machine, let alone a Mac, unless you make use of a hub.
Powered Vs. Unpowered
A powered USB hub has its own power source cord, which can be connected to an electrical outlet. An unpowered one derives its power from the power source of the computer, in order to juice up the devices that are attached to it.
If a number of heavy devices are attached to the hub, and it is running on the computer battery, the battery will die very soon, since it cannot support all these devices together. Thus if you are using an unpowered USB hub, then you must ensure that your computer is plugged in to an electrical outlet and is deriving power constantly. A powered one, on the other hand, can work perfectly on a laptop running on battery, and the transfer speeds are also higher. If you know that you are going to be connecting more than one heavy device to your Mac, it is advisable to use a powered one.
Top Powered USB Hub for Macs
There are plenty of choices of such hubs available in the market today, and you should read reviews from a variety of sources, before you go ahead and buy one for yourself. Most are compatible with Apple Computers as well as Windows based computers. Here are some choices that you can explore.
- Belkin 7-Port
- Belkin 4-Port
- CyberPower CP-H720P 7-Port
- D-Link (DUB-H7) 7-Port
- Sabrent Arkview Premium 7-Port
- Targus Desktop 7-Port
- IOgear 4-Port Wireless
- Sabrent Ultra Slim
- Kensington DomeHub 7-Port Weighted Hub 33118
- Macally 4-Port Hi-Speed
- Entrega MAC-HUB-7U 7-Port
- Startech 4-Port Self Powered
- Linksys Compact USB 4-Port
- Dynamode 4-Port Passive Micro Hub
- Strand USB 4-Port
- Trust HU-440P 4-Port Mini
The best powered hub should first and foremost be compatible with the operating system, and it should be lightweight enough to carry around wherever you go. You are sure to find plenty of uses for these, and purchasing them is a decision that you will not regret.
You can also get a USB hub for iMac if you use an Apple desktop, and most of these choices are suitable for MacBook Air notebooks as well. A powered one will solve many of your portability problems, and it will grant you easy access to a number of peripherals and devices on your Mac.