USB Hubs, who makes the best one?

We spend a great deal of time researching our computer purchases, external hard drives, software, etc. However, when it comes to buying a USB hub, we tend to just buy the cheapest one or the one that the store happens to carry.

All USB hubs are not created equal. I’ve found that depending on the hub you get, you could see weird issues with your computer and not realize that it’s the hub causing the issues. For example, I’ve got an older Power Mac G5 that refuses to stay asleep. I know that it’s a USB peripheral or hub causing this issue. I haven’t really had the time or energy to go through the process of testing it, plugging in one peripheral at a time. But what if it’s one of the two hubs I’m using?

I’ve tried Targus, Staples (yes they have their own branded hubs) and Asanté. I don’t swear by any of them and I’m looking for the most reliable hub out there. Who makes the BEST USB 2.0 Hub?

So my question to you is, which USB 2.0 Hubs have you had good luck with and which ones would you recommend that we stay away from?

30 Replies to “USB Hubs, who makes the best one?”

  1. I completely agree with DigiMike. I have a couple of Belkin hubs and I have never had any issues with them. I prefer to use a powered usb hub as I find it keeps things running more smoothly, but like you said Terry I am always open to what others have to suggest. Good question.

  2. I have always used the powered Belkin hub and found it very reliable. My opinion is that it is a 5 star product.

  3. I have about a dozen or so usb hubs, most of which I don’t use because of similar issues that Terry mentioned above. Another thing that I hate about some usb hubs is a design issue. I don’t like usb hubs that have cables jutting out in all directions from the hub, causing a spider-like mess in my work area.

    The hub that I use almost exclusively now is made by “USB GEAR” and is a 7 port hub with all ports coming out of one plane of the device’s surface. One model I have was actually branded and sold with a “Targus” logo on it. My guess is USB GEAR made these for Targus. That’s my older one. I recently bought another to use on my other computer and I found that USB GEAR was the company that manufactured these, and not Targus. I love this little device. It’s my favorite, and although I have not tried everything on the market, of the dozen or so that I’ve been through this beats all the others hands down. Here’s the link to take a look at this device.

    Hope this info is helpful/usefull. -Toby Fairchild Fredericksburg, VA

  4. So how do I find out more about the blue hub (pictured)?
    There are some considerations when hub shopping. Through recent experience I found there are 2 major factors; the hub I have now is a 4 port, by design it is limited. The usb cord that goes to the tower, from the hub, is very short, can make things difficult when adding flashdrives or other remote usb devices. This is compounded by all the ports being on one side, and very close together. My wireless presenter usb is larger than some jump sticks, I can NOT use all ports, there is not enough room. This blue one is cool, and by design, it can better accomodate 4 usb devices. Hope this was helpful, please let me know about the blue one. Mary Grace

  5. I completely disagree with the commentors recommending Belkin USB hubs. The first one I bought from Target came with a faulty power supply, so I returned it to Belkin. The replacement they sent suffers from intermittent failures (all my USB devices disappear and stop functioning, then come back a second later). The hub built into my Dell monitor has worked flawlessly, however.

    Thanks to Toby above for recommending a USB GEAR hub. I would never recommend a Belkin product if there is an alternative available.

  6. “The hub built into my Dell monitor has worked flawlessly, however.”

    … I stopped reading here… any true computer user knows enough to stay as far aways from anything that starts with D or E….

  7. I also agree with Andrews’s statement about Belkin.

    I recently consolidated all my peripherals to run off a single computer and therefore needed a USB hub. I purchased a Belkin 7 port hub at Target a couple of days ago.

    Upon opening the package I noticed the thing rattles as though something is broken inside. I still tried using it and have had significant weirdness since. For example, peripherals that used to run fine when plugged directly into the computer oscillating between connected and disconnected status.

    The hub built into my Dell works great as well and plugging the peripherals into it eliminates the problem. However, I still just need more ports I’m online right now looking for a replacement. I’ll check out the USB Gear product. Thank you.

  8. I know I’m a few weeks late on this, but I have had good experiences with the same usbgear hub as recommended by Toby, barring one issue:

    It can’t power portable hard disks in my experience. As soon as you plug one in it shuts down the port and you can’t then use it for any other device unless you powercycle the hub which is a real pain in the arse!

    So the question is – how can you tell if a powered USB hub is capable of powering a portable HD without requiring the HD’s external power brick or one of those dual USB A plug leads to supply the extra power from a second USB port?


  9. I’m a frustrated hub user.
    I would not buy a Belkin. Totally unreliable in my experience with two of them.
    Now I have a Gigaware, (don’t ask me) it’s equally as unreliable. Devices appear only when they feel like it.
    So I’m going to take my friend Toby’s advice and try the USBgear.
    Wish me luck.

  10. Have an old Encore 4-Port USB Hub purchased when Windows 2000 was fresh. It has worked flawlessly through 2000, XP and now Vista. Granted it is USB 1.0 nevertheless it has proved itself.

    Encore Electronics:

  11. For What It’s Worth.
    I used to use Belkin hubs when the standard was 1.1.
    The hub I rely on now is a Gigaware 7-port hub that is currently tranmitting data from 3 external hard drive enclosures without a hitch.
    I was actually just surfing for a source for one just like this one when I found you guys.
    But, having read your collective comments, I just noticed that all of the USB cables that came with the enclosures (Mad Dog) have tthe USB Cable logo on them.

  12. My story one year ago. I searched the net for about 3weeks before I decided to purchase the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 7-Port Hub Part # F5U237v1. It had the best features and form factor for the price. However, Reviews on the product warned that the unit would get too hot and shut down when more than two devices were attached. This problem was supposedly repaired in the (Rev. 3 version that is ONLY stamped on the bottom of the unit-but you can’t see this thru the packaging). I ultimately purchased the unit with the Rev. 3 version. I installed it and worked perfectly for about 2 weeks. As I remember it one day I came home and noticed all my USB devices were off and the Belkin hub was blinking or not working. I picked the unit up and it almost burned my hand #@$%. I let I cool down and re attached everything the next day and the unit worked fine so I put some small legs on the unit and pointed my desk fan in the direction of the hub. Everything was cool for another 6 months when I noticed a ward buzzing sound coming from the power supply and my VAIO was shut down….Weird. The hub just flashed all lights and my lap top would not boot up any more. I called and got a RMA number from Belkin which they gladly provided with their lifetime warrantee protection…..Hummm. When the new replacement hub arrived the power supply was completely different than the original. The lights inside the hub were not located properly within the housing like it was cobbled together. I figured o no problem just aesthetics right? Well now I noticed that the controller card for my VAIO was some how damaged by my last hub (Vaio was a few years old but USB controller failure is rare). I think the hub had something to do with the damage. SO I got a New Dell Core 2 Duo, 10/08 and notice that the new hub had problems with printing and turned the devices on and off intermittently. The Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 7-Port Hub Part # F5U237v1 is junk and may damage your computer. For my new laptops’ sake I am now looking for a non-belkin replacement. Anyone have a suggestion?!

  13. AAAAW! I was so hoping that somebody would have the perfect hub. My PC, peripherals & hub are on 24/7 and so far I have got through 2 x 4 port Belkins, 2 x 7 port Belkins, and a 7 port Trust in the space of 2 years. I guess that I can’t rule out my PC, though I choose to. I don’t overload them – just printer / scanner / camera / phone / keyboard mouse / usb stick attached and rarely all of them simultaneously. No hard disk or anything scary. They all get intermittent (a power on/off sorts them temporarily) but that’s no use to me. Hey, I will pay almost any stupid price (i.e. the cost of a 7 port belkin) for a totally reliable one. Just plugged a brand new D-Link 7 port thing in today. I suspect that it is doomed.

  14. I agree with Ali, I need the perfect hub!

    I need to know that device like mouse which require constant feedback will not skip, that harddrives will not disconnect/reconnected simultaneously, and that all of the ports work with power to all devices hooked up.

    I just bought the Belkin 7 Port High Speed USB 2.0 Mobile Hub – F5U701-BLK

    Link ->

    What I thought it would do:

    Give power to all devices hooked up
    all usb jacks work properly
    connection would be not intermittent

    Reality of what I got:

    power only works on 3 out of the 7 ports
    4 out of the 7 connect to my computer (so when I plug something in it recognizes it)
    mice skips when using it onscreen sometimes
    keyboard sometime freezes a command as it gets disconnected and reconnected (ie. ctrl+w in browser gets stuck as the keybrd disconnects closing all my browsers windows)
    hard drive disconnects sometimes

    end of story: 4 out of the 7 ports remain unused, heavily dissappointed and I need to buy another usb hub.

  15. The TRIPP-LITE U222-007-R 7 is by far the best USB hub that I have used. It’s been in use on my home and on my work computers with a minimum of 5 devices connected continuously for the last 2+ years. It has 5 rear ports and 2 front ports and is very compact…

  16. Any 7 port USB 2.0 hub using the Philips chip ISP1521BE is a nightmare..

    There’s a design falw that Philips will not admit (atleast not in public)

    They are sensitive to staics and will drop several time per day when used in 2.0

    The Cable-To-Go 7 port is using this IC

  17. Can a usb hub able to support wireless donggle, bluetooth donggle, pendrive & external hardisk at the same time when connecting to a notebook?

  18. Anything that is made buy man can be defected Belkin has made millions of USB Hubs & they have the best warranty in the business. Look it possible for anyone to get a couple of bad hubs from them. The main thing is they stand behind their products for life. How many other companies do you know that does that? I own 3 Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 7-Ports Hub Part # F5U237v1 & I have several friends that have the same one too. We also used Belkin cables to, it just like anything else if you want to buy cheap cables they can burns out your hubs. The seconds’ best hubs I found are made by D-link & I have a few of them for my family & their friends have them to. I do not work for any one of these company, this is just my opinion. The USBGEAR listed above is a 7-Port USB 2.0 Powered Slim Hub for PC-MAC with Power Adapter it come with a 5 YEAR Warranty: which is good. It depend on which you ratter have 5 years or lifetime Warranty Myself I found a lifetime to be the best you can have. I had cables buy Belkin replace free of charge that were over 10 years old. They did not ask for a sale slip, they replaced them no question asked.

  19. I’ve yet to find a cheap or relatively expensive (seriously they re all $50 or less) that will consistently work. No matter what everyone has some kind of glitch. Makes me wonder about the USB spec and how good it really is in an Windows Environment. I found this post today because I am searching hubs right now at Newegg and not one of them has a 5 star rating. They all seem to be junk out of the far east. Considering just adding another USB card to the computer.

  20. A year on since my last post and I find myself here again looking for the Holy Grail of USB hubs. The D-Link lasted this long before it became USB 1 only. Not bad, Looks like I’ll buy another. Incorporate suggests adding another USB card. That’s another can of worms – I have a drawer full of useless USB cards and would recommend buying Adaptec only. Don’t waste your time and money on anything else. Feel free to disagree.

  21. Kensington makes a nice round dome USB hub that comes with a light. Six ports on the outside and back, and one on top. It powers externals nicely and allows you to send multiple drives to your xbox 360 using the back USB port. That’s what I use it for- works like a champ. No issues after years of use.

  22. I’ve had the same issues with the same hubs. I’ve even tried ExpressCard 54 hubs, and they are even worse. I just found this page:

    with a ton of reviews, and the first listed as a five star hub they recommend is the:

    Targus Desktop 7-Port USB 2.0 Hub

    I’m going out to look for one now, and I’ll buy it regardless of price if I can find it in a physical store. If not, I’ll order tonight from amazon or something and get raped on fast shipping. Either way I’ll report what I find. I have two external hard drives at the moment(one of which is a portable Seagate that has no AC Adapter), a SanDisk 8gb mp3 player, Logitech v220 wireless mouse, notebook chill pad, and a Bluetooth 2.1 adapter to run simultaneously. My notebook only has two USB ports. I’ll post how it works out as soon as I find out. Cross your fingers, please.

  23. The BEST USB 2.0 HUB provides optical isolation. Voltage spikes, power surges, and ground loops that affect traditional serial interfaces also affect USB devices.

    NOTE: Your issue may be related to selective suspend mode. In Windows XP/2003, the USB core stack supports selective suspend mode. A driver can use this mode to turn off the USB device that the driver controls when the device becomes idle. This mode works even when the computer remains in a fully operational power state (S0). This fix turns off selective suspend mode for all USB host controller drivers on the PC.

    Fix yourself by running the following at a command prompt:

    reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USB /v DisableSelectiveSuspend /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

  24. It seems like there are no trusted hubs that can do what they are designed for. I have been searching for a reliable hub but they all have flaws, either with their design or their power or both. Isn’t there a hub that just works according to the USB specs? I read a few good things about a relatively new Atomik USB port hub and it seems to do well due to its 3 separate usb controllers it has.

  25. Just received test data from the manufacturer of the Sealevel Optically Isolated 7-Port USB Hub (Part# HUB7i); test data shows mean time between failures (MTBF) at 323,490.8358 hrs. To all pessimists… no, I have no affiliation with them nor do I receive any financial incentive to endorse their product.

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