I need to buy a USC hub which also has USB ports (?) as well for a M1 MacBook Air 2020.

I’m trying to access a thumb drive. Also I have a couple of older external hard drives I would like to get into, hopefully to get some photos out.

Any recommendations?

I use this and it works very well: Type-C Multi-Port Adapter | USB-C Dongle - Satechi

(They make one with fewer ports, but I find having 4K@60Hz HDMI and ethernet useful)

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Thank you so very much!

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I have a somewhat related question.

A new M1 iMac, which I’ve had on order for some weeks, arrived a couple days ago and I haven’t yet had time to take it out of the box. According to Apple, it has two USB 3 ports and two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports. I don’t believe any of the peripherals I presently have (external drives or card readers) will fit into those ports. So I need something along the lines that Katie needs and that A Cautionary Tale recommends. But what’s the difference between the USB 3 Ports and USB 4 ports and which do I use for what? And what do I need to connect a second monitor to the iMac? In this case a several-years-old 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt display which has a hard-wired “Thunderbolt” cable which I plugged into my 8- or 9-year-old MacBook Air. Apple has a “Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter” which sounds like it may be what I need but it is not expressly for Thunderbolt USB 4. Is it correct that the additional monitor should be plugged into one of the Thunderbolt USB 4 ports?

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Take it out of the box, Crystalliere! Delightful machine! (Is your name Italian, maybe? I like it. it rolls trippingly on the tongue.)

I see only two port holes which I am assuming are usb c. Are you referring to more ports?

Oh it may be because we have different machines. HA! I read that wrong.


The M1 IMac has TB4/USB4 and USB-C ports. The nomenclature is misleading, because in the world of USB these days, the number (eg the 4 in USB4) refers to speed while the letter (C in USB-C) refers to the physical connections. Further, Thunderbolt 4 is basically Thunderbolt 3 with the full TB specification implemented, and since Apple had actually supported the full TB specification in its TB3 ports, the only real change is that Big Sur now supports TB hubs (which, btw, a TB3 port on an older Mac will also support under Big Sur). There is a good description of the TB3/4 issue by the head honcho at OWC if anyone is interested.

In any case, you have (unless you bought the very lowest end iMac) two TB/USB4 ports and two USB-C ports. All of them are capable of supporting an external display, although you can only attach one external display in total. Which you use depends in part on your display. If you had a display with USB-C connectivity you could actually connect it to any of the ports, because all 4 will support display over USB-C protocols. If you have a Thunderbolt Display you can ONLY connect to a TB/USB port because the display protocol is handled differently and USB-C ports don’t support the protocol used by TB monitors. If you have anything else (HDMI, DisplayPort, etc) you could again connect to any port, provided you used the correct cable (eg USB-C to DP).

Since you have a display that connects via TB1, it has to be connected to a TB port. The Apple TB3<->TB2 adaptor will work. It turns out this adapter is bidirectional (as far as I am aware it is the only such connector on the market this bidirectional) and so can be used to connect a TB2 device to a TB3 port on the computer OR a TB3 device to a TB2 port on the computer. Transfer speed is of course limited to the slowest device connected.

Since the TB1 port connector is identical to the TB2 connector, and TB2 devices are backward compatible to TB1, you should be able to connect the adapter to a TB3 port on your iMac and then connect the monitor to the TB2 end of the adapter.

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