The Belkin Connect 4-Port USB-C Hub seems like a simple product, but it’s something we’ve had to wait years to finally get. It’s a simple, inexpensive hub that turns one USB-C port into four that can provide high-speed data transfers while also powering a MacBook or iPad.
I put the device to the test in my home office. I lives up to just about all my expectations. Here’s why.
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Belkin Connect 4-Port USB-C Hub review
For too many years, the lack of full-featured, affordable USB-C hubs has held back this format. Everyone — including me — remembers how easy multiport USB-A hubs made hooking all our accessories to our computers. But we’ve had to wait about a decade to get a USB-C equivalent.
The wait is over. The Belkin Connect 4-Port USB-C Hub doesn’t cost much, and it gives your Mac or iPad plenty of additional options to plug in accessories. Data transfers are quick, and your computer can get power at the same time.
- A simple, functional design
- High-speed data transfers
- And charging, too
- Belkin Connect 4-Port USB-C Hub final thoughts
A simple, functional design
Belkin’s hub is essentially a small box with four USB-C ports and an 8-inch cable to connect to your computer.
At 1.9 inches by 0.7 inches by 0.6 inches, the product is small enough to go easily into a backpack. Or use it on your desk.
The exterior is made of black plastic with rounded edges, so the look matches Apple computers enough that the accessory won’t stand out in your setup. I prefer black to all those white Apple accessories that always look slightly dirty.
The hardware is well made, as one would expect from Belkin.
High-speed data transfers
To be clear, the Belkin Connect 4-Port USB-C Hub isn’t the first of its kind on the market. But it is the first to offer all the features most users want in this type of product.
Most notably, it is the only one on the market with USB3.2 Gen 2, which gives a maximum data transfer rate of 10Gbps. Rival USB-C hubs top out at 5Gbps.
Of course, I put this claim to the test. I moved a 1GB test file from my computer to a drive plugged into Belkin’s hub in under 2.5 seconds. The reverse trip took the same amount of time.
That was so blazing fast I moved up to a 10GB file. The transfer to my SSD across the hub took under 15 seconds, while moving the file from drive to my computer took close to a minute.
Of course, getting these results requires a drive that also supports USB3.2 Gen 2. If you use one that’s not as fast, you’ll get transfers that take much longer.
And there’s a limit that’s critical to be aware of: this hub can’t handle a USB-C display. It’s not Belkin’s fault — USB3.2 Gen 2 simply isn’t up to an external monitor along with three other accessories. For a hub that is fast enough, look at the HyperDrive Thunderbolt 4 Power Hub. Just be aware, the alternative is much bulkier and a lot more expensive because it uses Thunderbolt.
And power, too
Another highlight of the Belkin Connect 4-Port USB-C Hub is support for charging your device. One of the ports can handle up to 100W.
This means you can leave it on your desk with a variety of accessories — like a keyboard and mouse — plus a power cable plugged into it. Getting connected to all of these is as simple as plugging in the hub.
During my test, the host cable was able to transfer 40W of power to one of my devices. That’s the maximum any computer I have can take.
The four USB-C ports can output at most 14W to connected accessories. The four have the share that, so you might need to unplug some other accessories if you want to quickly charge your iPhone through this hub.
Belkin Connect 4-Port USB-C Hub final thoughts
MacBooks only have two or three USB-C ports, so it’s not hard for professionals to fill all of those and want more. Just try plugging in a monitor, external drive, camera, webcam, audio device and maybe a keyboard and trackpad all at the same time. And even consumers can feel the need for extra ports, especially on a iPad with only one.
Belkin’s hub adds four USB-C ports, and offers speeds fast enough for consumers and even some professionals.
It’s portable but I wish it included a detachable cable to be a bit better designed for travel. Maybe that’s me quibbling.
Belkin Connect 4-Port USB-C Hub costs $44.99, a quite reasonable price for a well made and designed accessory from a company that has a long reputation for quality.
Buy it from: Belkin
Buy it from: Amazon
A close competitor is the Satechi 4-Port USB-C Hub ($39.99). It looks better and costs a bit less, but as my review shows it offers half the data transfer speed and can’t charge your notebook or tablet.
Or there’s the HyperDrive Thunderbolt 4 Power Hub ($299.99) I mentioned earlier. Its three ports are four times faster than Belkin’s hub, but Thunderbolt makes it bulkier and lot pricier. Read my review.