Why there are no USB-C hubs with multiple USB-C ports

If you look around for USB-C hubs, you will usually only find ones with a maximum of two C ports, several A ports and interfaces for SD cards, HDMI, etc. What I would need, for example, would be a USB-C Hub with ten USB-C ports so that I can connect all sorts of things to the Apple MacBook Pro with the cable provided for this purpose. But such multi-port hubs simply do not exist. I tried to research why this is so. In this post you will find the knowledge gained. Do you still have information on the topic? Then leave a comment;)

Why aren't there USB-C multiport hubs with five, ten or more USB-C ports for the MacBook with Thunderbolt 3? Here is an explanation for the missing accessories.

Why aren't there USB-C multiport hubs with five, ten or more USB-C ports for the MacBook with Thunderbolt 3? Here is an explanation for the missing accessories.

It would need USB-C hubs with many C ports

Dongles, hubs and adapters have played a big role here in the blog since the first MacBook models with Thunderbolt 3 (TB3). Because monitors, mouse and keyboard, external hard drives, external graphics cards, Ethernet, various end devices and more can be connected to the all-rounder connection - but only if the connection is correct. 

Since, over time, however, many devices and their cables switch to USB-C and one would perhaps like to connect the many dongles that have accumulated to a hub, a "multiple socket" for USB-C or TB3 is needed. Alone, it doesn't exist. Maybe at most this Sitecom model with mixed reviews or the expensive Elgato solution.

Why are there no USB-C multiport hubs?

As already mentioned at the beginning, I did a little research on the question - and those of you who are more familiar with it are welcome to write a comment. According to this thread In the Super User Forum there are no USB-C hubs with five, ten or more C ports because the chips required for this are missing. The technology for the junction boxes is therefore not yet available.

Intel - the driving force behind USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 - simply does not yet offer a solution for a technology that could break down the use of the USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 advantages on dozens of the same connections. It seems that the technical requirements for HDMI, VGA, network cables, SD cards, printers, scanners, cameras, hard drives and the like can only be met if hubs offer the ports that are specifically designed for them.

Cheap accessories: When hubs interfere with Bluetooth and WiFi

When will there finally be a USB-C multiport hub?

The forum thread linked above states that a podcast mentioned that the chips required for this should come onto the market in 2020. It is now mid-August 2020 and I have not yet found any news that describes the Intel chip and the junction boxes possible with it for the all-rounder connection. 

Something similar is also in one other forum complained. There I also came across the mention of the Elgato hub linked above, which has two Thunderbolt 3 and two USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2) and also a display port, headphone connection, Ethernet port, SD card reader , Headset connection and two USB-A supplies. This may remain one of the few solutions to the problem presented until 2021 or longer.

Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock, with 70 cm cable, 2X Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), 4X USB, ...
  • One cable: all connections to your MacBook Pro or Ultrabook at once
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports: enormous versatility thanks to Thunderbolt, supports 5K monitor
  • Two screens: each up to 4K with a refresh rate of 60 Hz via DisplayPort and Thunderbolt

Impractical workaround: Connect USB-C devices to the USB-A hub

Do you primarily want to connect hard drives, rechargeable batteries, the iPhone or iPad and similar things to the Mac or PC at the same time via USB-C? Then there is a logical, if not very practical workaround: For example, you can use a USB-A hub like the Orico A3H13P2 (here is my test report) via adapter (USB-C to USB-A) to the computer and then connect the USB-C devices with USB-A to USB-C adapter. 

However, it must be ensured that the adapters also support data and power transmission to the desired extent. One could recommend, for example. this Nimaso adapter. All in all, however, a small-scale adapter spectacle with too many extras ... So only to be carried out if you really need ten or more connections at any time and can cope with downgrading everything from USB-C to USB-A. Do you have a better solution? Then let me know;)

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17 comments

  1. Marco says:

    Hello!

    I have also been looking for a suitable USB-C hub for a long time to use in the recording studio on iMacs and Mac Minis. And by that I mean a pure USB-C distributor, with enough resources to be able to connect midi / audio interfaces, external rack hard drives. It is sad to see that Intel and Apple have been promoting this new format for years, but on the other hand do not have the technical possibilities and resources to be able to offer it to the market in full. So I'm all the more pleased to have finally found a concrete statement on the topic through your article. The Sitecom model would be a good solution if it weren't for the difficulties here.

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Yes, that's the problem again. The Sitecom model is basically a USB hub, only with a USB C connector. But it doesn't support the speed and functions that we Mac users would like ... hopefully something will happen.

  2. Harald says:

    Nothing has changed until today (January 12.01.2021th, XNUMX ... Unfortunately.

  3. Norbert says:

    Hi Jens,

    thanks for the post. Nowhere else can you find information about why there are still no USB-C hubs.
    Found this hub today 21/05/2021 but didn't try it:

    https://www.owcshop.eu/catalog/product_info.php/thunderbolt-p-2005

    If it does not match what we are all looking for, please delete this entry ...

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Norbert! That looks pretty good. : D Now someone should take a closer look at him. At least it has 3x Thunderbolt 4 outputs, which would double the outputs on the MacBook Air and the small MacBook Pro. I haven't found the hub in stores yet ... but it will probably open at some point.

  4. Steven says:

    Nice to read that I'm not the only one with the "problem". :)

    I'm curious if there will be something else this year ...;)

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Thanks for the link. Some of them are not available, some cannot transfer video via USB-C, and only one can actually transfer video. In my opinion, the list is a collection of compromises. But maybe better than nothing. : D Thanks you in any case for the hint!

  5. Teddy says:

    Hey Jens,

    yes, I know ... but I don't need a graphics port, for example ... the hub with charging cable goes into the one socket on the MBP M1 and a Novation Launchpad and an Ext.MV disk and, if required, a second external MV.
    the other port in the MBP M1 is connected to the monitor, that would be my setup ... also mobile wise (of course without external monitor: -x) Other variant in the studio because I have a different solution in mind ... there are some of the cans on the market. I just took a look at this one that could be interesting: ICY BOX (Raidsonic) IB-HUB-1429-CPD and the company is located in Ahrensburg, not far from me, which is already thinking about calling them and asking where to buy the can Or buy directly there if possible :-P

    Lg Tj

  6. Ben says:

    Hello Sir Apfelot. I would just like to charge 16 iPads via usb c. Data doesn't have to flow at all. Is there such a USB c multiple socket?
    Thanks and regards
    Ben

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Ben! Are you in a hurry with the shop? If not, I would take one with USB A outputs and then use USB-A to USB-C cables. With pure USB-C outputs, there is practically nothing useful. LG, Jens

  7. Ralf says:

    Hallo,

    I operate my MBP 16 “via USB-C on a display, so that the display is basically my docking station.

    I also have two smaller (mobile) USB-C displays that I also connect to the MBP. It would be nicer if I could connect it to the display and really only have one cable to the MBP, but the large display has no connection options for any (!) Displays.

    I think that's really weak…. Docking station without the option of connecting displays.

    Connecting several computers as image sources would of course work, but I don't need that.

    Ralf

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hi Ralf! I understand exactly what you mean, but I guess the monitor doesn't have enough bandwidth in its USB-C dock to operate another monitor. But it could be that with Thunderbolt 4/5 this will change at some point. But then your monitor should also support this standard ...

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