Needing USB ports for my iMac. Do I need a Dock?


I’m running a 2017 iMac and have a ton of USB devices. I have a variety of hubs but some of the USB devices I think need more power than what a hub can provide. Does anyone have experience getting an external dock and finding success? I’m looking at OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock for Mac and Windows - 14 Ports
Thoughts and suggestions appreciated!

If all you need are more USB ports, then I tend to think you are spending money for something you don’t need by buying a a TB dock.

Why not just get a powered USB hub? Generally they are able to provide the necessary power to connected USB devices.

Possibly some of the devices you are hooking up to the hub have their own power supplies as well, which will reduce demand on the hub.

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My experience is that if you are strategic about what you connect to hubs and what you connect directly to the computer, you can reduce the strain on the hubs. So, for example, attaching mouse keyboard and some other self powered devices works nicely with a cheap eight port USB dongle.
But connect hard drives and other bus powered devices separately or to a proper hub.
And, as mentioned, check which devices use USB, and which use thunderbolt.

Edit: I forgot to add that the data throughput is important as well. So disk drives put a lot of data onto the cable, but many USB devices use nowhere near the maximum throughput so you can put lots of things on one hub. Again, this is just my personal experience

I have a powered 10 port Anker hub.

Only 7 of those actually get passed through to my Mac, the other 3 are power only, but it does the trick for me, even with things like portable hard drives!


I have the same hub as Rosemary and it works well on my MBA. Two drives plus other low power devices plugged in. Also use it for charging a couple of devices.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts! :grinning: