Last updated: September 10, 2021

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Information is undoubtedly one of the most important commodities in the world which we live in today. It is money, power and security. Therefore, having reliable information support technology is vital, regardless of the profession. If your information is secure, so is your money, power and security.

With this in mind, USB adapters are very important tech devices today, as they are the hardware responsible for transferring information between our various devices. Today, a USB-C adapter is especially relevant as we are living in a period of change between types of connectors and USB standards. The USB-C is now the new standard and adapters will help you with this transition.




Key Facts

  • Depending on the needs of the individual, there are USB-C adapters with a number of different input ports. From the smallest adapters, which only have one port, to those with ten ports, with multiple compatibilities.
  • In the case of 1-to-1 adapters, cable length is an important feature when deciding between one product or another. The longer the cable, the better the usability.
  • The physical size of the USB adapter is also a key aspect. The mobility and portability of the adapter in question depends largely on its size.

Our selection: The best USB-C adapters

Here's our specific selection of the best USB-C adapters on the market. We have taken into account several factors: number of ports of entry, cable length, design, material and value for money. Based on this criteria, we have made a list with a diverse range of options to help in your buying process.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about a USB-C Adapter

If you're still not sure what a USB-C adapter is or what the reasons are for buying one, we'll answer some of the most frequently asked questions below. From explaining exactly what a USB-C adapter is, to the types of inputs it's compatible with, to the differences between the models. After reading this section, you'll be a fair dinkum expert.

USB-C adapters were released as a way of making the traditional USB compatible with the newest device inputs.
(Source: Drobot: 61693760/ 123rf.com)

What exactly is a USB-C Adapter?

USB-C adapters were created as a way of making any type of input (SD or microSD cards, Ethernet, HDMI, previous USB of any type) compatible with the new USB-C input standard. USB-C is now used in products such as Mac computers or certain Samsung, LG and Google mobiles.

Some USB-C adapters will only have one input for another previous USB type, while other adapters will have multiple inputs for the above connections.

How is the USB-C different?

The history of the USB began way back in 1996, as a joint project between Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Compaq, DEC, NEC and Nortel to standardise hardware connections to computers. The following is a list of the main differences between the latest USB-C and previous USB models.

  • USB-C has a smaller input, just 8.2 millimetres wide by 2.6 millimetres thick, just a little larger than a micro USB.
  • Unlike the classic USB, the USB-C is completely reversible and can be connected the right way up or upside down, which avoids damage caused by confusion.
  • If accompanied with the new USB 3.1 protocol, the USB-C input offers higher speed than older inputs, as well as more power.
  • USB-C is also compatible with the USB 2.0 standard, so it is backwards compatible, which is a crucial advantage for hardware manufacturers.
Stefan ZweigPhilosopher
"Information is everything, in war as in peace, in politics as in economics."

What care does a USB-C Adapter require?

The adapter and USB-C connection require less care than in the traditional USB. The fact that USB-C connection port is reversible makes things so much easier as you don't have to pay attention to which way up the connection port needs to be. How many times have you tried connecting a standard USB only to figure out you had it upside down? With the USB-C you'll save both time and trouble.

As it is completely reversible, the USB-C allows the connector to be inserted either side up.
(Source: Pripir: 105390018/ 123rf.com)

However, it should be noted that you must be careful not to accidentally connect a USB-C to the input of another type of USB, as this could damage the device.

Here is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of USB type C adapters:

Advantages
  • Small
  • Reversible
  • Avoid confusion
  • Backward compatible with USB 2.0
Disadvantages
  • Less advantages if not compatible with USB 3.1

How many input types is a USB-C Adapter compatible with?

As mentioned earlier, the USB-C adapter is the device that makes USB-C compatible with any other input method. Therefore, the adapters with the multiple inputs make USB-C compatible with:

  • HDMI video input in 4K quality
  • Standard USB (Type A) and micro USB
  • SD and microSD graphics cards
  • Ethernet cables

Shopping Criteria

When purchasing a USB-C adapter, there are a number of different shopping criterion that should be taken into account before hitting the buy button. A key factor, among many others, is the intended use of the USB-C adaptor. For example, a photographer would be looking for an adapter with SD or microSD inputs, meanwhile someone who only needs to access files from a standard USB would be satisfied with a simple USB to USB-C adapter.

In addition to the intended use, here is the criteria that you should take into account when making your decision:

Size

The physical size of the USB-C adapter is a key concept when thinking about the portability of the product. There are adapters that only consist of a cable with a single adapter head, generally to connect a standard USB or a HDMI cable. Meanwhile, there are other types, especially those with more than five different inputs, which are rather bulky. From a size perspective, it really depends on how many input types you need.

The size of a USB-C adapter is a key, if you plan to carry it with you often, it is best to choose a small one.
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Number of ports

As mentioned in the size section, the number of inputs required for your USB-C adapter can vary significantly. If you only need it to adapt a classic USB device to a laptop with a USB-C input (such as a MacBook), a single input cable would suffice. On the other hand, if you need to work with multiple input types, you'll have to look for something more complex, such a multi-input USB-C adapter.

USB-C adapters are extremely practical and versatile.
(Source: Atkishkin: 72225449/ 123rf.com)

Type of ports

USB-C adapters have a wide range of inputs to allow different types of connections: Classic USB, SD or microSD cards, Ethernet cables, HDMI, etc. Although it may seem pretty obvious, before buying your adapter, you should think about what connections you require and then look for one that matches your needs.

Type of input required Function
USB Classic For those who want to adapt a classic USB input to USB-C
SD or micro SD cards For those who want to transfer directly from these cards to devices with USB-C input
Ethernet cables In case you want to connect an ethernet cable to a device with a single USB-C input
HDMI For viewing 4K quality images on devices with USB-C input

Design

Design is probably one of the most subjective concepts when it comes to choosing between one product or another. However that doesn't mean that design is any less important. It should always be kept in mind that the device is going to be used for a long period of time, so it must suit your requirements for size, materials or colour, among others.

Steve JobsCo-founder of Apple, Inc
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."

Materials

The material of which the adapter is built is very important, as this affects its weight, the possibility of overheating or malfunctioning and how durable it is in the face of possible impacts. To note, aluminium is the material that offers one of the best combinations to meet these three factors.

The material from which the adapter is made can be a defining factor when it comes to avoiding overheating and having a light-weight device - for example, aluminum is robust, lightweight and does not overheat.

Summary

USB-C adapters are a technology that are gaining more and more importance, especially as companies adopt the USB-C in the manufacturing of new devices. Within the different types of adapters we can establish two distinct types: those that only have one input and those that allow for multiple different inputs.

When choosing between one or the other, we have showed you the key aspects to consider before making a decision: functionality, size, material and even design. Now, it is up you, assess which of these features is most important to you and make a decision.

We hope that this guide on USB-C adapters has helped you understand more about this technology and to have a better view of the market. Please share the article on your social networks and don't hesitate to leave a comment with any questions you may have. Also, if you think any friends could use this information, don't hesitate to share it with them.

(Source of featured image: Subsri: 108831465/ 123rf.com) 

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