Modern laptops are getting thinner and lighter and to make this happen, some compromises have to be made.
If you take a look at most modern laptops, they now have significantly fewer ports. A good example is Apple’s MacBook which comes with just a single USB-C port.
As much as a lot of users appreciate the thinner and lighter laptops, the limitation of not having enough ports to connect other peripheral devices is a bummer.
Obviously, you’ll need a few more extra ports to plug in your mouse, flash drives, phone, printer, or even an external display.
This is where a USB splitter comes in.
What are the Best USB Splitters?
The Belkin USB-C Splitter is a small and portable splitter that actually lets you listen to your favorite playlist, take calls, and even charge your USB-C device.
With most electronic devices now coming with at least one USB-C port, purchasing a USB-C splitter is one way to enjoy all the benefits this connector comes with.
A Type C USB connector basically lets you transfer data and charge your device at the same time on single cable. How awesome is that? It eliminates the need to switch between charging your device and streaming audio from it.
This is exactly what you’ll get with the Belkin USB-C Splitter.
The splitter supports fast charging for USB-C compatible devices as its able to provide power of up to 60W. This means you’ll never have to worry about draining your battery while using your device because it gets charged while still in use.
The splitter comes with two ports which work for both the charging and audio functions.
Its small and compact design makes it easy to carry around and won’t even clutter your desk.
Belkin does offer another version of the splitter which only includes one port and a 3.5mm Audio port for compatible devices.
Overall, the Belkin USB-C Splitter is an excellent choice if you have a USB-C device and love the convenience of charging your phone while using it without having to plug in a charger.
The splitter is a little bit costly but when you consider the kind of value it offers, it’s totally worth it.
At the time of writing this, the Sabrent 60W 10-Port USB 3.0 HUB is the best-selling USB splitters on Amazon right now.
And it’s all for the right reasons.
This beast offers up to 10 USB ports, among which 7 ports allow you to enjoy data transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps.
The 3 remaining ports are Smart Charging Ports for optimum charging with a power supply of 60W.
The Sabrent USB Hub uses the Smart Charge Technology which utilizes the smart-charge detection which allows it to supply up to 2.4amps in each port for reduced charging time.
Use these ports to charge your laptop, phone, or any other devices.
There is a blue LED indicator that shows the power status of each port plus each power port features a switch that lets you shut off power supply to devices that are not in use or those that are fully charged.
Other features worth mentioning include:
- Plug and Play- its ready to use right out of the box- no installation is needed
- The hub is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1
- Its compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems
- Boasts of a compact, lightweight design- won’t take up much space on your desk and can be carried in your backpack or purse without any added weight
- If you don’t need many ports, you can choose their 4-port version which is much cheaper
The AUKEY Powered USB Hub is yet another beast offering up to 10 USB 3.0 ports so you can connect as many devices as you would like.
Perfect for blazing fast data transfer, the AUKEY USB Splitter’s 3.0 ports lets you enjoy fast large file transfers and internet connectivity with data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps. It’s backwards compatible with older USB versions like 2.0 and 1.1.
A powered USB hub, the AUKEY’s 36W AC power adapter ensures equal power distribution on all ports for optimal performance. Also included is a transformer that lets you power the device for an extra boost.
However, unlike the VAVA and Sabrient USB hubs, the AUKEY does not come with a charging port. A lot of people wouldn’t mind one or two charging ports for their devices instead of using another AC outlet.
Overall, the AUKEY USB Hub is an excellent choice if you’re looking to connect multiple devices simultaneously. With its USB 3.0 ports, you’re less likely to experience reduced data transfer speeds or file transfers.
It’s within most people’s budget-range and its slanted design makes it easy to place at your desk. As far as compactness is concerned, the hub does boast of a compact design. However, it will certainly consume more space- but not that much. There are more compact USB hubs in the market if space is an issue.
Yet another incredibly popular USB hub, the FlePow Store USB C Hub Multiport Adapter is a great option.
It boasts of a sleek and sturdy constriction as well as great versatility and flexibility.
Featuring a 7-in-1 design, this hub lets you connect numerous devices at the same time and still allow you to enjoy blazing fast file transfers and data transfer rates.
Included are 3 standard USB 3.0 ports with up 5Gbps for blazing fast file transfers and internet connectivity.
The hub also offers 1 HDMI port, USB-C charging port, and 2 SD card slots (including one Micro SD). These dedicated ports ensure seamless performance of your devices.
Its 4K HDMI Video Adapter easily extends your screen with the HDMI port, thus allowing you to stream high-quality 4K content to your monitors, projectors, or HDTV. It also lets you mirror your Type c phone screen to the TV.
The FlePow Store is sturdy, durable, portable, and is even designed to maintain proper temperature to avoid the device from overheating. All these features and an endless list of possibilities for a fair price.
Next, we review yet another very popular USB splitter, the Andul USB Splitter.
This splitter is actually versatile- you can use it to connect USB 2.0 devices to your computer. It basically lets you simultaneously extend 2 USB ports for your computer.
The connectors are 1 USB 2.0 type A male to 2 USB 2.0 type A female.
The splitter is suitable for device charging and fast data transfers and is compatible with almost all USB devices.
The USB splitter offers fast charging rates and data transfers. However, it’s definitely not as fast as USB 3.0, so you might want to take that into consideration before making the purchase.
Additionally, this splitter can also be used as a power cord extension hub adapter for a car. It’s fully compatible with Tesla Model 3.
Unfortunately, this splitter does not work with aftermarket systems such as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or built-in car stereo systems. These systems do not support USB hubs.
Overall, if you’re looking for a simple USB splitter to extend your computer’s ports at an affordable price, the Andul USB 2.0 Splitter is the way to go. It doesn’t offer much features but the thing is, it does get the job done right!
Unlike the FlePow, this hub doesn’t count as a multi-functional USB hub. It only consists of 3 USB 3.0 ports so you can only connect 3 devices simultaneously.
Its shortage of ports clearly has something to do with its really small, compact design. It’s small and compact that you can carry it anywhere with you and will remain unobtrusive on your desk.
The USB 3.0 ports provide data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps so you’ll never have to struggle with slow file transfers or internet speeds.
If you’re looking for something small and compact to connect a few devices, the Sabrent Premium 3-Port Aluminum Mini USB Hub is an ideal choice.
The hub also easily rotates in multiple directions to ensure that the rest of your computer’s built-in ports are not obstructed.
Even with its small size, this device is built-to-last, thanks to its premium aluminum constriction.
It’s budget-friendly too.
With up to 7 high speed USB 3.0 ports, the Atolla USB Hub provides you with enough ports to connect a multitude of devices.
Whether it’s a flash drive, hard drive, mouse, keyboard, printer, or other USB devices, this hub has got you covered.
Given that USB 3.0 ports are up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0 ports, with this hub, you also get to enjoy fast, latency-free data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps.
The Atolla hub also comes with a dedicated charging port that lets you charge all of your USB devices. Through the 5V/4A power adapter, this port delivers 2.1amps per port via the company’s advanced Smart Charging technology so you can get your devices up and running in no time.
The manufacturer recommends connecting devices with a combined current of no more than 4A to this hub in order to ensure a stable connection.
The hub also comes with a long cable (100cm long), a 120cm electrical cable, and also features individual USB ports that let you switch on/off individual ports without necessarily unplugging the entire device.
Overall, the Atolla 7-Port Powered USB 3.0 Hub is an excellent choice if you’re looking to increase connection speeds on multiple devices. It’s also fully compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.
What Does a USB Splitter Do?
A USB splitter is basically a device that allows you to connect at least two or more peripheral devices to your laptop or computer desktop.
A standard USB splitter is typically a cable-like device that divides one line into two. It’s suitable for connecting say, a printer to two computers or basically any other peripheral device.
However, USB hubs which bear a lot of similarities with USB splitters, offer more ports and quite a number of features and benefits.
A USB Hub is a device that features several USB ports that you can quickly plug in flash drives, scanners, printers, cameras, phones, external displays, and other devices.
A USB hub is typically a splitter, only that it offers more ports and comes with additional features and functionalities. A traditional splitter is quite simple both in design and functionalities.
Although these two are similar in many ways, a USB hub which also acts as a splitter features the following;
- Better transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps
- A USB hub also comes with charging ports which provide an additional power source. The power will be used among all the ports and thus allow the connected devices to operate more efficiently.
If you want to connect just two devices to your laptop, a traditional USB splitter like the Andul USB 2.0 Splitter is an excellent choice. However, if you have multiple devices you want connected at the same time, I recommend going for the USB HUB/Splitter.
Can You Split a USB Port?
Can you really split a USB port? How many times can you split a USB?
Well, although a computer is originally designed to accommodate up to 127 USB ports, things might turn out different and a little bit disappointing on the ground.
When you split a USB port, the newly added ports will not receive adequate power to power them. Of course, this means a reduced performance of the connected devices to these ports.
A hassle-free way to avoid the power problem is using a USB hub that has got its own power source.
But to ensure optimal performance, you might need to connect the hub to an individual AC outlet.
Powered USB hubs tend to be costlier than their non-powered counterparts. However, they give you more flexibility if you have multiple devices that need to be connected.
Does a USB Splitter Affect Performance?
Technically, connecting multiple devices to a hub on a single USB port isn’t going to affect the performance much- even if the devices are in operation simultaneously.
The performance is less likely to be affected if both your computer and the USB hub/splitter has either a USB 3.0 or 3.1 port. USB 3.0 is up to 10 times faster than the older USB 2.0 whole USB 3.1 is up to a whopping 20 times faster than USB 2.0.
Therefore, they are perfectly capable of sending and receiving data swiftly and efficiently. If the USB splitter you’re using has a power source, the better because all the ports will receive an adequate amount of power to ensure the connected devices operate smoothly and efficiently.
Another reason is that most of the connected devices won’t be actively using data transfer at the same time. This of course will significantly reduce latency and increase performance.
So, no, a USB Splitter will not affect performance.
Best USB Splitter-Bottom Line
Without a doubt, USB splitters provide an easy and convenient way to increase the number of ports on your computer to provide enough space for your many devices.
Some of these splitters/hubs come with up to 10 ports which is really convenient especially if you have the ultra thin Apple MacBook with only one port.
The splitters come in a wide range of prices which makes it easy to choose one that best suits your budget and needs.
Hopefully, my review of the Best USB Splitters will help you choose the device that best suits your needs.
Thomas is the resident tech expert and brains behind 24k World Tec. For a hobby, he loves amateur photography and flying his drone to capture some amazing sights. As an owner of both a Mac and PC, Thomas tries to keep up to date with tech news and give his readers information on the best products available.