The 9 Best Multiple USB Port Chargers
This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in June of 2015. So you've got a smartphone, a tablet, a pair of Bluetooth headphones, and a friend coming over with a battery at 1%. Your computer has one USB port, maybe two. So how do you keep everything charged up and avoid a chaotic tangle of cables? These multiport chargers can handle up to 10 devices at once, and come in various sizes and configurations good for desktop and travel use. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
January 29, 2021:
Anker has a good number of options here, and for good reason - they make highly reliable charging electronics. The Anker PowerPort Atom III Slim is compact, reliable, and efficient, and the Anker PowerPort Atom III Dual and Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 both offer a pair of ports, one with dual Type-Cs, and one with a Type-A. The Aukey PA-T16 is a good compact model that's particularly worthwhile if you frequently need to top off an Android tablet and a phone that uses Qualcomm Quick Charge. If you have more than a couple things to keep charged at once, the Nekteck 4UT01 and Nekteck 5UT01 are both affordable choices, although they don't support Qulacomm's popular fast-charging standard.
January 09, 2020:
While this may look like a relatively simple and boring category, there's actually some interesting innovation going on right now when it comes to charging standards. Some of today's best multi-port USB chargers -- for example, the Anker PowerPort Atom III Slim, Anker PowerPort Atom III Dual, and Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 -- use recently developed gallium nitride technology, which trades GaN for silicon and allows for more compact and efficient devices. And while it does use the more conventional silicon converter, the Anker PowerPort Speed 5 is also a highly capable device; Anker has gained somewhat of a reputation for their consumer electronics, including their PowerCore line of external battery packs. For that matter, any of these with USB-C Power Delivery, such as the Nekteck 4UT01 and Nekteck 5UT01, are suitable for use with a number of modern laptops as well as the portable batteries that can be used to extend their working time.
If you don't need one of those 60-watt or higher, heavy-hitting chargers, you can usually get by with spending considerably less. At the low end of the price spectrum is the Amoner IW1801, and while it is limited to a maximum of 15 watts, if you're not usually in a hurry, that can actually help to extend your lithium-ion battery's lifespan by reducing how much excess energy is lost and converted to heat. The Aukey PA-T16 is great for those with two devices that support Qualcomm QC 3.0, while its larger relative the Aukey PA-T11 is suitable for those with several such devices. And if you have a grip of devices and don't want to keep swapping them out on a small charger, the Sabrent AX Series almost certainly has a reasonably priced and high-capacity option that should satisfy your needs.
Do You Need A Multiple USB Port Charger?
These are not recommended if you need to charge multiple devices.
If you are like many modern homes or offices, you have multiple devices that need charging. And you know that finding the proper cords for those devices and locating a convenient outlet to charge them can be a huge inconvenience.
USB chargers with multiple ports simplify life without putting a huge dent in your wallet. They differ from USB hubs in that they do not allow for data transfers from your devices to your computer. They are either powered or un-powered. The best ones are powered - meaning that they plug directly into an external power source, such as a wall outlet.
Un-powered USB chargers draw their power directly from your computer. These are not recommended if you need to charge multiple devices. They quickly suck the battery power from your computer and can slow down the operating speed.
When shopping for a multiple USB port charger, look for a powered one. These chargers have a number of advantages including saving space. You can simply plug your charger into a single outlet near your counter or desk to establish a specific charging station for all devices. You will have the convenience of keeping all of your devices in one place while reducing the cord clutter on your work space or counter top. Some even come with Velcro strips to help you control multi-cord mayhem.
Another advantage to the multiple port USB chargers is their portability. Most are small and lightweight enough to carry in a briefcase or purse. They are great choices for air travel. If you are a large family with numerous electronic devices, a USB charger with multiple ports will make road trips much easier.
The most obvious advantage to a multiple USB port charger is that you can charge multiple devices at one time. These chargers accommodate anywhere from two to ten devices. Even those that work with four or more devices are often lightweight and do not sacrifice portability.
Multiple USB port chargers are compatible with a wide range of devices. From smartphones to tablets and from Android to Apple, USB chargers with multiple ports will charge nearly any device with USB connection capabilities.
Finally, many multiple USB chargers operate similarly to the average surge protector. They protect your devices from unexpected power surges and prevent them from being damaged using overcharge protection. With the right multiple USB port charger, you will know that all of your important devices are well protected.
Always Pay Attention To Details
You might be ready to take the leap and purchase the first charger that you see so you can get started with enjoying the benefits. After all, how different can they be?
First, look for UL certification. While it is not essential to having a well-designed, properly functioning charger, it will go a long way toward putting your mind at ease. At best, a sub par charger with no UL certification will be an energy parasite. At worst, they can damage your device or pose a fire hazard risk.
This is especially important for large tablets or smartphones with large batteries that require long charging times.
Second, check the number of ports. Purchasing a charger with four ports when you have six devices will be counter productive because you still won't be able to charge everything at once.
Third, take a look at the port amperage. Believe it or not, not all USB ports are created equal. Depending on their amperage, different ports, even in the same device, can deliver different charging power. The higher the amperage number, the faster the port will charge your device. This is especially important for large tablets or smartphones with large batteries that require long charging times. Currently, the highest available port amperage is USB 3.0.
Next, consider the style and type of USB charger that you want. Many are small and compact in order to be easily portable. A few others are large and intended to spend most of their time on a desk or counter top in order to create a designated charging station. Still others are intended for use in your car for charging on the go.
Finally, and as always, consider your budget. Most multiple USB port chargers have become quite affordable and practical additions to any high-tech home or office. However, there are some that could stretch the limits of your wallet. Always ensure that you don’t buy something that reaches beyond your intended use.
A Brief History of the Multiple USB Port Charger
The USB or “Universal Serial Bus” port was originally designed as an easy way to transport data between devices. The first port, the USB 1.0, was introduced in 1995. It successfully sped up device to device data transfers. This revolutionized the way data was shared and stored, and by 1998, Apple had developed and released the iMac G3, the first computer to convert to USB. By the turn of the new millennium, floppy disks and legacy ports were becoming a thing of the past.
Today, USB ports are used for more than just data transfers and storage.
Soon, new devices including smartphones, tablets, scanners, printers, gaming controllers, and more were being designed with USB connections to simplify connectivity and data sharing. This applied to devices from nearly any manufacturer. USB flash drives were designed and used for data storage, although they were initially quite expensive.
Today, USB ports are used for more than just data transfers and storage. USB connections can charge devices with most mobile chargers coming equipped with a single port USB charger that plugs into an AC wall outlet. Because many households and offices now use a wide range of devices including smartphones, tablets, and MP3 music players, the need for multiple USB port chargers has increased in order to add convenience for travel and home and office charging stations.