Anker is a name brand that you should be familiar with. If you aren’t, then you should get your self acquainted with them. I have been working with them for a number of years, primarily in the external battery area, but have since been able to explore some of their other offerings as of late. One product that I decided I needed in my life was a multiport USB hub that was USB 3.0 compatible. That is where Anker and their 9 + 1 USB 3.0 hub comes into play.
Whats in the Box
Inside the small box you will find exactly what you will need to get rocking with the port.
- A 9 + 1 USB 3.0 hub
- A power supply
- A USB 3.0 cable
On the top of the hub is where you will find your 9 active USB 3.0 ports. Each is spaced adequately from the other to allow space for your various cables and devices to plug-in without sacrificing a slot. This is a particular design element that is rather important when you consider many USB thumb drives or Bluetooth USB keys are often a bit thick.
To the right of each port is a number. The number is dark when it is not active and lights up with a nice blue hue when being used. I did say this was a 9 + 1 hub and you should be able to see the 10th port not labeled with a number. Instead it offers up a battery symbol with a lightning bolt. This port is designed just for charging other devices and will not actually make a data connection to your PC. This charging port is also one of Anker’s Smart Charge ports which rates up to 5v / 2.1A, but the port will only push through the best rates for the device you have plugged in. It will charge your devices more quickly than a regular USB port on your PC can and will be safer. Overall the whole unit is safer too as it has a built-in surge protector to protect your connected devices.
The backs and sides of the hub are pretty boring and are just a nice white hard plastic. The rear of the hub is where you will find the power port along with the USB 3.0 cable connection.
Setting up the hub isn’t rocket science; plug it into an outlet and hook up the USB cable to your PC. I will say this right out the gate though; This will not give you a magical pass to USB 3.0 freedoms and speeds unless the USB ports on your PC are USB 3.0 already. In even simpler terms, if your PC only offers USB 2.0 ports, that is the best speed you will get.
How does it perform
The performance will be determined by what you have plugged in really. If you have a standard USB thumb drive that only reads and writes at a USB 2.0 speed, it will still be slow. However, if you are using a USB 3.0 external hard drive or USB thumb drive, like the Toshiba TransMemory Pro EX II, then the speeds will be on par to directly plugging it into the USB 3.0 port on your PC. For instance, here is a screen shot of CrystalDiskMark that I took when I did a speed test for the Toshiba thumb drive directly plugged into my USB 3.0 port on the rear of my tower.
Here are the results while it was connected through the Anker 9 +1 hub while 5 other drives were connected as well.
A 17MBs drop isn’t a huge deal to me as it is still almost 8 times faster than standard USB 2.0 speeds which sat at about 34MBs.
Having a hub that is easily accessible and offers more ports that run at USB 3.0 speeds makes a world of difference. Especially if you are constantly transferring data from thumb drives, phones, tablets, SD cards and other devices. The Power cord and USB 3.0 cable on the Anker 9 + 1 port are long enough to give you some leeway when considering where to place the hub for easiest access. In the end, this beats the heck out of climbing behind your PC if that is where your ports happen to be located. Either way, having 9 ports from one gives you a lot more options and freedom.
The real question is how much will it set back your bank account and can you sneak it past the wife? If you want/need the 9 port +1 hub, then you will be looking at spending $59.99. If you need more, Anker also has a 13 port USB 3.0 hub (which is aluminum housed) for $79.99. If less is more your style, then grab the 7 port version for $39.99. Like I said in the beginning, if you don’t know Anker, it is about time you to get to know them. They constantly rate above 4 stars on Amazon and have some incredible customer service.