What ex­tras will you need?

Docks and adap­tors to ex­pand your options


Ap­ple cap­tured head­lines when it in­tro­duced its USB-C MacBook back in 2015. With just one port, it meant you could use one pe­riph­eral at a time, or none with the charger plugged in.

If you’ve got a sin­gle-port MacBook, an ex­pan­sion hub can make a mas­sive dif­fer­ence. Ap­ple sells a Belkin USB-C hub with four USB-A ports for $69.95, and there are many sim­i­lar options.

Ap­ple has mi­grated many Macs to USB-C. So, if you use USB-A ac­ces­sories, your new Mac might not have ports to con­nect them. The iMac still has four USB-A ports, but we can’t say what’ll hap­pen with the fu­ture Mac Pro and Mac mini. The MacBook and MacBook Pro have no USB-A ports.

While in­di­vid­ual adap­tors (such as USB-A to USB-C, al­low­ing you to hook up your older pe­riph­er­als) are great for porta­bil­ity, a larger dock is of­ten more prac­ti­cal, es­pe­cially if you don’t move around much.

If you’re still run­ning older tech such as FireWire hard drives, it’s worth in­vest­ing in newer kit with mod­ern con­nec­tions, rather than buy­ing lots of adap­tors for it — es­pe­cially stor­age that might be near the end of its life.

Adap­tors are good if you need porta­bil­ity, oth­er­wise con­sider a hub or dock.

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