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 do everything that USB-C ports can do, but they can do more. This article focuses on USB-C hubs and adapters. If you want to read about Thunderbolt 3 hubs check out this review.
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 $8, currently, for a 3-pack of adapters. You could buy enough adapters to dedicate one adapter for each of your devices. Anker, a better known brand, makes the same tiny adapter but they charge a bit more. A pair of Anker adapters costs $12, currently.
- 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 $10.
If you need to connect several USB devices concurrently then you might want to consider one of these two items:
If you want to carry one adapter which’ll let you connect many different types of devices, then consider one of these:
Anker’s 7-in-1adapter for about $28. This adapter does not include ethernet or VGA connectors, which are included in some of the 10-in-1 adapters. or
Anker’s 5-in-1 adapter for about $35 which includes 3 USB-A ports, ethernet and HDMI.
If none of these adapters meets your needs, please consider The Wirecutter’s thorough review of USB-C adapters and hubs. For example, you may only need a USB-C to ethernet adapter.
For faster, more robut check out this Wirecutter review of powered Thunderbolt 3 docks
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. If you only need a USB-C to HDMI adapter then consider Anker’s USB-C to HDMI adapter.