What to Look for in a Charging Hub for All Your Devices

Transform a single power socket into multiple USB ports.

Electronic devices charging in outlets.
No more spare outlets? No problem.Thomas Kolnowski, Unsplash

Your cell phone, tablet, toothbrush, razor, bike lights…the list of gadgets that use a USB cable to charge them seems to grow longer by the day. To keep them all running, look for a charging hub that you plug into a single socket and can then plug all your devices in. Here’s what you need to know.

AmazonBasics 40W 4-Port Multi USB Wall Charger, Black
This power pack plugs straight into the socket, and provides up to 12 amps of power, with a single port topping out at 2.4 amps.AmazonBasics

You probably know that your tablet seems to charge quicker with some chargers than others. That has to do with the number of amps a charger is supplying. In order to charge as quickly as possible, an iPhone needs about 1 amp, an Android 1.6 amps and an iPad, around 2.4 amps. So if you’ve got three USB sockets but the charge can only put out 5 amps in total, if you plug in three tablets at once, they’ll still charge—just slower than if you only plugged in one or two.

USB Wall Charger, Anker 60W 6 Port USB Charging Station, PowerPort 6 Multi USB Charger for iPhone Xs/Max/XR/X/8/7/Plus, iPad Pro/Air 2/Mini/iPod, Galaxy S9/S8/S7/Edge/Plus, Note, LG, HTC, and More
This device has worldwide 100-240 volt AC input voltage, plus comes with a 5ft detachable cord for even more freedom.Anker

Always opt for more USB ports than you think you’ll need. You’re bound to acquire something new that needs charging with a USB so you’ll be grateful for the extra port, and the relative cost and space required to level up is pretty minimal. Don’t panic that your device is going to have too much power running through it. Even if a USB socket is capable of pumping out 2.4 amps, if you plug in a phone that only requires 1 amp, it will adjust the power that it’s using accordingly.

Poweroni USB Charging Station Dock - 6-Port - Fast Charge Docking Station for Multiple Devices - Multi Device Charger Organizer - Compatible with Apple iPad iPhone and Android Cell Phone and Tablet
With five ports as well as a number of shorter cords included, and the option to tidily store your wireless headphones too.Poweroni

If you find that you like the convenience of having a charging hub but you don’t love the spaghetti mess of trailing, tangling wires that can come with it, look for a charging station that’s designed to stack your devices while they’re charging. These often come with a selection of short cables as well, and some will even have specific adaptors to allow you to neatly charge AirPods and Apple Watches on the same stand.

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