I currently own an old-school, early 2011 MacBook pro with two USB ports. As you know, that’s not nearly enough for today’s accessories, all of which seem to hang off of the USB ports.
Also, while I’m lucky enough to have an ethernet port on my MacBook Pro, users of later models may find themselves in a pinch when it comes to getting connectivity if there isn’t a Wi-Fi signal handy. (Don’t roll your eyes, some hotels only have ethernet cables available for their Internet service.)
Enter the Inateck HBU3VL3-4 USB 3.0 Hub + Gigabit Ethernet Converter, which offers an extra three USB 3.0 ports, as well as gigabit ethernet connectivity, all in one small hub.
The Inateck HBU3VL3-4 comes in an unassuming brown box, and includes the USB 3.0 Ethernet Adapter with USB 3.0 and Gigabit interfaces, a driver CD, and an operation manual. Inateck understands many users no longer have CD/DVD drives in their MacBooks, so they also make the drivers available for download from the Inateck website. The hub is also Windows compatible, so there are also Windows drivers available on the CD and at the website.
As you might imagine, the USB portion of the hub needs no drivers, and it was instantly recognized by my Mac. Of course my Mac is an older model, so it only boasts USB 2.0 ports, however my laptop had no issue with the hub, as it is downward compatible. I connected the USB hard drive I originally had plugged into my Mac’s USB port, and the drive was instantly recognized.
You do need to install the drivers to use the Gigabit Ethernet connector on the hub, however a quick download from the Inateck website, unzip of the file, and mounting of the DMG file, a quick run of the installer, a reboot, and I was ready to go. (That sounds like a lot to do, but really it’s not…)
Inateck also includes an uninstaller to get rid of the driver files if you ever need it, so you might want to keep that on a handy drive. You could use a USB drive, connected to the Inateck USB hub you just installed. See how this works?
The ethernet portion of the Inateck HBU3VL3-4 worked as expected. I was able to make a connection via ethernet cable to my Apple AirPort Extreme, and the connection was steady, and reasonably fast. (It’s going through USB 2.0 on my machine, so…)
The Inateck HBU3VL3-4 USB 3.0 Hub + Gigabit Ethernet Converter is an excellent choice for anyone who needs more USB 2.0/3.0 ports, as well as a handy ethernet connection, doubly so for owners of late-model MacBooks with no Ethernet port built in.
Installation is quick and easy, and operation is transparent after installing the hub. This is another fine accessory from Inateck, who seems to be making a habit of offering excellent accessories for PCs and Macs available at reasonable prices.
Price: $23.99 – Available only at Amazon.com. For more information about the HBU3VL3-4 hub, visit the Inateck website.
What I Really Liked:
- Compact size
- Easy installation
- Very handy for those without an Ethernet connector
Disclaimer: I received the above product at no cost for review. I did not receive compensation for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The photos were taken by me. (DUH!)