PROS / This USB hub has every necessary feature and is backed by extensive customer support.
CONS / Belkin's model is slightly less durable than other devices on this lineup.
VERDICT / The feature set and customer support make this is the best USB hub available.
One of the foremost players in the computer connectivity industry is Belkin, a California-based company that focuses on electronic innovation and integration. Since their founding over 25 years ago, they have consistently experienced dramatic growth in their business, leading them into the front line of quality electronics. Among their exceptional products are cable products, mobile accessories, and this 7 port USB hub. This device excelled in every aspect of our review, only underperforming slightly in the Durability category. It has every USB hub feature and customer service option that we looked for, including a live chat option and a lifetime warranty. We were very impressed with the quality of this product, especially the near-perfect array of customer support options.
Belkin’s exceptional customer support and equivalent set of USB features put its powered USB hub ahead of Tripp Lite’s device in our rankings. The same advantages as well as a bit of increased device durability gave this product a leg up on the USB hub from Cables To Go.
The Belkin USB hub, like many of these devices, splits a single port into seven separate and fully functional connectors. Each one of these ports is compatible with the current USB 2.0 technology, supporting the majority of the devices using this interface on the market. However, they are also all backwards compatible with the USB 1.1 technology, maintaining the flexibility you need to connect all of your current devices while still being able to pull data off of your older external hard drive. This hub comes with a cable that you can use to attach the device to your computer. This does not monopolize one of the seven slots available to you, however. It has its own, reserved port for a connection to the computer itself. Finally, the device comes with an AC power adapter so you can plug it into the wall. This will be necessary if you connect several small devices or a few larger devices with greater power needs to your computer at a single time.
This is the only category where we found a drawback to the Belkin USB hub; its construction is a bit less solid than other products in our comparison. The hub is thin and flat, made mostly from plastic, and very compact. Its small size makes it ideal for travel and crowded desktops, but it also makes it easy to misplace. The thin design gives the hub a sleek, modern look, but it also contributes to the ease with which this device could be broken. It’s not the most fragile device on our lineup, but it does have a few weak points that need to be considered.
Belkin’s powered USB hub performs well when connected to multiple USB devices and very few customers have had the device fail while in use. You may experience issues with power and bandwidth when connecting multiple hubs together in a process called “daisy chaining,” but the built-in power adapters should remove most of the concern with power. There is not, unfortunately, a way around the bandwidth throttling that occurs when connecting multiple hubs together in this manner. Overall, it performs very well and is not prone to electronic failure, though it may break more easily than some of the other devices in our comparison.
Help & Support
Belkin provides a warranty that covers this USB hub against manufacturing errors, material defects and mechanical failure for as long as you own it. This guarantee comes standard with the hub, making it a smart investment for anyone looking for a USB connectivity solution with some longevity.
The customer support backing this USB hub is staggering. You can search by keyword to review applicable FAQs in their knowledgebase or you can ask a question directly by submitting a help request ticket. We were disappointed, however, at the volume of FAQs relating directly to this product; there were relatively few answered questions about Belkin’s USB hub. If you need to contact their support team directly, however, they offer several avenues to do so. Both telephone support and an email address are available for live representatives, but you can also use their live chat function to ask questions of the representatives over the internet.
If you’re looking for a high-powered USB hub with all of the features and more customer service than you could ever hope to take advantage of, pick up this model by Belkin. With every hub feature we looked for, including the maximum number of ports, compatibility with all forms of USB technology, an included cable and a power adapter, this device sails to the front of the line with ease. The customer support goes way above what we’ve seen in other models and the device packs a respectable degree of durability. This powered USB hub is, without a doubt, the best device available today. If you need an effective and powerful way to split your USB ports, look no further than this product.