I recently posted up a thread in which I explained how my previous USB 2.0 Powered hub didn’t seem to like my new 2013 iMac and it was subsequently returned, and that I was on the look out for a replacement…
Well after a little searching I felt I may have found that replacement, and at this early stage it does indeed seem that I have.
So if you are a late 2012 or late 2013 iMac owner who has had issues with USB hubs not being able to cope then one worth trying for you is the ‘Plugable’ Powered USB 3.0 HUB. I picked it up on Amazon.co.uk for about £30.
For reference I currently have a 500Gb Portable USB 3.0 drive, a 1TB Portable USB 3.0 drive, and a powered 3TB USB 3.0 plugged into the rear of my iMac along with this 7 Port Powered Hub. In the HUB I have had running without any issues whatsoever a 320Gb Powered Drive and a further 1TB Powered drive (These are both USB 2.0). I have also had at the same time my iPhone 5s and iPad (3rd Generation) syncing and iPhoto pulling photos off my Panasonic TZ30 digital camera as well as my GoPro HD Hero 3 Black Edition.
Now admittedly there is a lot going on here on here and much more than I usually would be doing at one one time, but it was a good way to test the hub. The results were ‘two thumbs up’ everything worked away doing its thing, without any drive drop outs or apparently power problems. (My previous HUB failed on simply having the 2 external drives plugged into it).
So all in all after over a weeks use the HUB is yet to experience any issues or give me any problems. A firmware update is available however it must be done from a Windows machine. I have not at this stage completed this firmware upgrade as things are working well, and as the man says, ‘If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.’
One little superstition I did carry out was before I plugged in any USB 2.0 devices into the HUB was I allowed each port to mount a USB 3.0 drive. I don’t know if this is a requirement, and to be honest I doubt very much it is, however it is something I and my colleagues always do with USB 3.0 ports – mount a USB 3.0 device first. The legend goes it lets the port know it is a 3.0 rather than getting locked in at 2.0 speeds.
So there you have it, if you are experiencing iMac related USB HUB issues this may well be the HUB worth trying, (one final thought is that the blue LEDs can be rather bright at night, so make sure you have some black electrical tape to cover them up).
Plugable USB 3.0 Powered HUB Unboxing Gallery :