Plugable USB 3.0 Hub Support for OS X

USB 3.0 support for hubs on OS X requires both a fully updated OS X 10.8.x system, as well as the latest available firmware for the USB 3.0 hub. All of Plugable’s USB 3.0 hubs feature upgradable firmware so units can be updated as USB 3.0 support continues to mature and evolve.

If you experience problems with our 7 port hub only on ports 1-4 (while the same device works without problems on ports 5, 6, or 7), then updated firmware will help. Read on for details.


main_128Our black USB 3.0 7 port hub currently stocked in Amazon, the USB3-HUB7-81x, provides 7 ports through two VL812 4-port chip sets connected in series, and may have firmware version 0701 or 8571, depending on which Amazon store (geography/country) you order from and when your order was placed.

Most USB3-HUB7-81x units in Amazon stock at this point have firmware 0701, which has minor issues where some USB 3.0 storage devices do not resume properly from sleep or may not be recognized, only on ports 1-4. And a few units with firmware 8571 remain, which are not recommended for OS X users because of additional issues on ports 1-4. To check what firmware version is on your hub, check our post at the link below:
Plugable USB 3.0 Hub Firmware Upgrades- How to check your firmware version on OS X

Updating the firmware on these hubs is only possible from a USB 3.0 capable Windows PC (here’s how), so for OS X users an update only makes sense if you have easy access to a Windows USB 3.0 PC to do the upgrade, or you’re experiencing problems on ports 1-4 that require the update. For Mac users without access to a Windows USB 3.0 PC, we can offer two options:

  1. We can exchange your USB3-HUB7-81x for an updated version of the same unit after it is delivered. We will cover shipping costs both ways, however this obviously takes some time – up to 2-3 weeks for customers outside the US.
  2. US customers can cancel their orders (or mark delivered package as “return to sender” for automatic refund), and instead order the USB3-HUB7A recommended below.

Alternatives

usb3-hub81x4_128 All our USB 3.0 4 port hubs currently stocked in Amazon, the USB3-HUB81x4, use the VL811 chip and have firmware V9.83. These units currently shipping from Amazon have no unique known issues OS X, as long as hubs are not connected in multiple hops.

Our new USB 3.0 7 port Aluminum USB3-HUB7A is currently recommended for OS X users. This new model has the same VL812 chip set as the black model, and has been pre-updated to the latest available 8581 firmware already. This update resolves nearly all unique known issues on OS X.

Remaining issues with latest firmware

One outstanding Mac OS X issue unrelated to hubs is that Mac OS X versions prior to 10.8.5 do not support USB 3.0 audio devices. There are rumors Apple will resolve this issue in 10.8.5. Currently, working around this issue by connecting USB Audio devices to a USB 2.0 hub is our only available workaround.