Best #DongleLife Hubs to Make Your MacBook Life WAY Easier:

Reaching Peak USB

USB-C is, in my mind, the point where our USB as a connection standard has reached its peak. We have a small, incredibly fast and REVERSIBLE connection that can run just about anything. It can deliver enough power to charge a laptop and, with the right protocol support, even connect an external GPU. Unfortunately, we are in a transitional phase. There are plenty of devices out there you might want to hook up to your USB-C port that still use the big USB-A connector from the very first iteration of USB.

The problem is that modern Mac hardware has been so forward-thinking that the company has decided to put only USB-C connectors on its products. The Third-generation iPad Pro tablets have ended the reign of the Lightning port, sporting a single USB-C.

That’s fine for a mobile device. For the new generation of Apple laptops, however, the shift to only USB-C ports has been the target of online scorn. If you have an Apple laptop you’ll have one or (at best) two USB-C connectors. Through this single connector, you have to essentially connect all peripherals, which has lead to the rise of the USB-C “dongle” and the #DongleLife hashtag.

But #DongleLife doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you pick the right USB-C hub then you can have the best of both worlds. On the one hand you have a thin, sleek device with only two tiny ports “spoiling” it’s exterior. On the other, you’ll have a compact hub you can throw into your bag which will open up a world of options wherever you go. Or you can permanently set up a hub on your desk and just plug in a single cable to get it all running instantly.

The hubs we are looking at here are some of the most popular on the web. Clearly plenty of people love these devices, but how good are they? Let’s give them a closer look, shall we?

Anker USB C Hub Adapter

Anker has become one of the most trusted names in computer accessories, so I have high hopes that this 5-in-1 USB adapter is going to be a corker. In true Anker style, the asking price is incredibly reasonable. I’ve seen hubs with the same on-paper specs go for twice as much.

In terms of looks it’s rather a Plain Jane. If you’re matching this with a MacBook then it certainly doesn’t match the quality or aesthetics of those machines. That’s actually an important issue for Apple customers, who often care about looks just as much as they do about functionality and performance.

If you’re OK with the plain black polycarb and aluminum blend, then there’s a lot to like here. You get an HDMI port, a micro SD slot, an SD slot, and two USB-A ports with USB-3 support. The HDMI port supports 4K resolution at 30 hertz, which is OK for watching movies or doing presentations but is not suitable for content that outputs at more than 30 frames per second. I’d suggest using 1080p at 60Hz as the better choice.

This hub works just great with MacBook Pro machines, but since it draws all its power from its single USB-C cable, you can’t use it with, for example, the USB-C iPads. At least that is Anker’s official stance. Some users have reported that the USB-C generation of iPad Pros do seem to work to some degree, but don’t buy this particular dock if that’s your primary use case for it.

For MacBook users, well, it’s hard to see why you would spend any more if this hub has all the ports you need. A great product at an unbeatable price.

Mokin USB MacBook Pro Adapter with HDMI

This hub from Mokin comes in at almost exactly the same price as the Anker above and also sports the same 5-in-1 design. It does, however, look sleeker and comes in a color that’s going to look better next to a brushed silver aluminum Mac. In fact, it’s been matched to Apple’s “space gray”, so it looks like an OEM device.

So again we get one HDMI, two USB-3, and two SD slots (one for micro and one for regular-sized cards). The case material is aluminum, which should also make for a premium feel.

There are some things to differentiate this from the Anker offering, the biggest being the generous official compatibility list. On the Apple side, this officially supports the USB-C iPad Pros, which isn’t the case with the Anker. That’s a pretty good reason to go for this hub if you are mainly an USB-C iPad user.

There are, however, some power limitations with this hub, with only a single USB HDD supported and no support for the Apple USB Super Drive.

Apart from this niggle (one that should be true of all hubs that don’t draw additional power), the Mokin seems like an excellent choice. An opinion echoed by people who have bought it and at such a low price is that it’s rare to get something with this impressive quality and reliability.

QGeeM USB C 7-in-1 HDMI Hub

With the QGeeM hub we start to move into serious USB-C hub territory. That’s because this hub supports 100W USB power delivery, enough to charge a laptop off a big power bank. This simple fact makes this a very viable option for MacBooks that only have a single USB-C port and need to charge through it as well.

The single HDMI connector tops out at the typical 4K 30Hz resolution, but the card readers are both USB and can sustain high read and write speeds at the same time. This makes it especially useful if you want to transfer data between cards, which many professional creatives might want to do.

This hub comes in at a price slightly lower than even some good 5-in-1 hubs seen right here. That sounds like a pretty awesome deal.


While a five- or seven-in-one hub seems more than sufficient for most people, there’s always a bigger fish. This hub from Totu provides 12 ports but, as you might expect, it comes at the cost of size.

You get an RJ45 network port, a USB Type-C Power Delivery port, and two USB-3 ports. For simple peripherals like mice, there are also two USB-2 ports, so you don’t have to worry about swapping between high data speeds and peripherals.

You also get TF and SD slots, which can be used at the same time. But from there the extra money you spend on this hub shows up as display connections.

If you want to have a triple-monitor setup with your MacBook Pro, you can’t do it with this hub. Since this is not a dual-hub system and only has access to one Thunderbolt connection, the best you can do is have one extended display. If you’re going to use this with a Windows machine as well, it might be worth it. But for pure Mac users, the extra display ports are redundant. Otherwise, this is a pretty staunch expansion for your Mac.

RayCue MacBook Pro Dual Hub Adapter

Speaking of dual-port hubs, we have this little number from RayCue. It’s designed to attach directly to the MacBook Pros that have two USB-C ports – specifically, the 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros from 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Unfortunately, you don’t get to use that dual-port power for an external display. This attached hub doesn’t include any sort of display connection as part of its 6-in-1 offer. On the upside, you get a USB-C PD port for fast charging of devices that can handle it. Additionally, you get three USB-3 ports and two card reader slots. Certainly a big improvement over what you get with the laptop as standard, but I really would have liked to see at least one mini-HDMI! Still, if you aren’t looking for external display expansion, this is pretty much the perfect solution.

Anker 5-in-1 USB C Hub

Here we have yet another lovely Anker hub, offering five ports from a single USB-C port. Unlike most of the other five-port hubs seen here, you won’t find any SD or TF slots here. Arguably, most people are never going to use those, so this might be a smart choice for the majority of users. Instead, you get three USB-3 ports, one RJ-45 network port, and an HDMI port. Now that’s useful!

There is a 7-in-1 version of this model line as well, but I actually think this 5-in-1 hits a sweet spot when it comes to size, port selection, and price. Most people are going to be pretty happy with this particular product.

VAVA USB C Hub 9-in-1 Adapter with PD Power Delivery

Vava comes in with a rather odd-numbered 9-in-1 hub, but if you look at the list of potential connections, it’s actually very smartly put together. You get ethernet, SD and TF slots, three USB-3 ports, and one HDMI. You also get the holy grail of a USB-PD port, so you can charge the MacBook while connected to what’s essentially a compact docking station. And hey, don’t forget about the headphone jack!

Just keep in mind that you need to connect a charger capable of delivering the 65W this hub supports and that this will be shared among your peripherals, so charging might be a little slower compared to a direct connection.

This hub is one I personally find pretty attractive, but I could see how some might feel it’s a little bland or doesn’t match the Mac style perfectly. However, once you factor in the price, it’s hard to justify buying a snazzier hub with fewer actual options. Vava is on to a good thing here!

Totu 8-in-1 USB C Hub

It’s time for more Totu goodness, but this time they haven’t gone quite as crazy as they did with that 12-port monster. Here we have “only” right ports, but since the additional display connections on the big Totu were all but useless to Mac users, that’s not a big loss.

We get wired network services, two USB-3, one USB-2, two card slots, one HDMI, and a USB-C Power Delivery port. I’m a little disappointed that we couldn’t swap that one USB-2 for a 3.0 port, but it’s fine since people will just hook a keyboard to it or something.

However, we get a very nice 87W power level support, given that you have a charger that delivers that much. For all the ports this hub offers, it’s actually quite compact, which is good for travel purposes. If you’re worried about it scratching up your Mac, don’t. They’ve also thoughtfully included a travel pouch, which is amazing for so little money.

HyperDrive Dual Mac Pro USB C Hub

All right, now we’re getting somewhere. This is a dual-hub adapter for the MacBook Pro which doesn’t just have a few USB ports. No sir. This is the result of a Kickstarter meant to give the fans what they want!

This is for the MacBook Pro and Air only, so keep that in mind. They’ve squeezed an HDMI onto the back of the hub, which is a great design choice since the back is where you want display connections. You’ll immediately notice that there are two USB-C ports on this hub. Why? It’s actually pretty smart, since you don’t lose access to your USB-C Thunderbolt ports! Connect Thunderbolt display – heck, slap ANOTHER dual-port hub on there – these ports still give you the full monty, with 5K video, 100W power delivery, and 40Gbps of bandwidth.

On top of this, you have your two USB-3 ports and two card reader slots. This might seem sparse, but those two USB-C ports mean you can always expand more.

Most importantly, this is the only hub here that supports triple display on a Mac. That’s two external monitors via the USB-C connection and the laptop screen itself. So you retain this Pro feature while still getting those expanded ports.

If you have one of the MacBook models that this hub works with, it’s definitely the top choice provided you’re OK with the asking price.

Aukey Ultra Slim USB C Hub

Aukey brings us this absolutely svelte hub in either black or space grey. Personally, I’d go with the space grey option so that it doesn’t look like Windows office equipment. Of course, for non-Mac users the black will look just fine!

In terms of styling, the Aukey looks very businesslike. That’ll appeal to some, but plenty of Mac users prefer elegant design over the utilitarian approach.

After reading about all the amazing hubs above, you might be surprised to see this little guy here, since it only has four USB-3 ports to offer. No HDMI, no card readers, or anything else. But, that’s exactly why I think we need an example like this. It’s dirt-cheap and offers just the basic ports we all need. If all you want from your MacBook are some freaking USB ports, this is the way to go.

Hubba Hubba!

While the bold move by Apple to include only USB-C ports in their new MacBooks has been rather controversial, hubs like these can certainly ease the transition. Apple did something similar back in 1998 when the first iMacs launched and only featured USB and FireWire ports. Then soon after, USB Type-A ports become the norm. In the near future everything will be USB-C, rendering hubs like these somewhat less useful. That day isn’t today, but we might as well all get with the program now and be ahead of the curve.