Have you bought a new Mac laptop that comes with USB-C ports on it? If so, you will likely need to buy one or more adapters in order to connect device too it. Below, I discuss a number of different adapters that will likely meet your needs. You might also wonder why Apple switched to this new type of port. Cynics might guess that it’s so Apple can sell adapters, but I don’t believe that’s the case. Instead, I think it’s because these new ports are smaller, faster and more versatile than every type of port that has come before. These new ports are very compact so laptops can be thinner than ever. These ports are very fast so data can be transferred very quickly to peripherals. This next part can be a bit confusing, but it’s actually more accurate to call this new type of port a Thunderbolt 3 port. Thunderbolt 3 ports include USB-C capabilities, but Thunderbolt 3 ports allow you to connect a range of devices beyond USB devices. For example, you could connect a monitor, a power cord or ethernet cable.
You may need to connect any of the following types of devices to your Mac
- an iPhone
- a USB flash drive
- a USB printer
- a USB hard drive
- an SD card from a camera
- an external monitor or projector
- an ethernet cable
Once you’ve determined which devices you commonly connect to your Mac, then select one of the adapters listed below to let you connect the devices you use.
If you only need to connect one or two USB devices with standard USB ports, called USB-A ports, then you might just want to buy some USB-C to USB-A adapters.
- I like Aukey’s diminuative adapters which cost about $7, currently, for a pair of adapters. You could buy enough adapters to dedicate one adapter for each of your devices.
- If you’d prefer your USB-A adapter to be a few inches in length then I’d recommend Aukey’s 6″ adapters, for about $9 for a pair.
If you need to connect several USB devices concurrently then you might want to consider this Aukey adapter with 3 USB-A ports for about $15
If you want to carry one adapter which’ll let you connect many different types of devices, then consider this Satechi multi-port adapter for about $80. This adapter has the following connectors on it: 3 USB-A ports, SD card slot, micro-SD card slot, ethernet, USB-C pass-through and an HDMI port to connect a monitor or video projector.
If none of these adapters meets your needs, please consider The Wire Cutter’s thorough review of USB-C adapters and hubs. For example, if you only need a USB-C to ethernet adapter, they have a recommendation. Or, if you want a small dock that’ll sit on your desk and let you connect all of your devices to it, then check out the Wire Cutter’s review.
The Wire Cutter’s review of USB-C video cables and adapters, is helpful if all you need to do is connect a monitor to your Mac. It lists options for connecting monitors with VGA, DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort connectors.