Plugable Technologies, based in Seattle, WA, and founded by Bernie Thompson, a veteran of Microsoft and IBM, is a leader in USB technology and connectivity solutions. Plugable has set itself apart with a product lineup emphasizing security, compatibility, and customer support. The executive team, led by CEO Lynn Smurthwaite-Murphy, aims to address consumer pain points and compatibility issues in the tech sector. Plugable's commitment is underpinned by a philosophy of creating superior products, backed by better information and better support, making it a favored choice among 200,000+ global companies.

Plugable champions wired connectivity over wireless to significantly boost security, mitigating risks associated with wireless exploits by offering point-to-point data transmission options. This approach, alongside its emphasis on software-free hardware, ensures a minimized security risk, paramount in today's vulnerable digital landscape. Products like the Plugable USB Data Blocker and the Google Works With Chromebook-certified docking station exemplify the commitment to deliver secure, efficient, and reliable connectivity solutions. 

Security Focus of Plugable Products

Wired Over Wireless: Enhanced Security and Control. Choosing wired solutions like those offered by Plugable significantly enhances security over wireless alternatives. For instance, wireless networks are susceptible to various exploits such as 'Evil Twin' attacks, where malicious Wi-Fi access points mimic legitimate ones to capture sensitive data. There's also the risk of 'Man-in-the-Middle' attacks, intercepting and altering data in transit over wireless connections. By contrast, Plugable’s point-to-point wired connectivity options greatly reduce these risks, offering a more secure data transmission channel and allowing for enhanced physical control, crucial in high-security environments.

Software-Free Hardware: Minimizing Vulnerabilities. Plugable’s strategy of offering hardware that operates independently of third-party software significantly reduces security risks. For example, in Windows systems, third-party software installations have led to breaches like the SolarWinds hack, where malicious code was inserted into software updates, compromising thousands of users. On Mac systems, instances like the Zoom vulnerability exposed users to potential camera hijacking due to third-party software weaknesses. By eliminating the need for such software for the majority of Plugable’s product line, Plugable's hardware solutions inherently minimize these vulnerabilities, offering a safer and more reliable IT infrastructure for businesses and governments.

Reliance on Built-In USB Class Drivers: Ensuring Compatibility and Security. Plugable's commitment to utilizing built-in operating system USB class drivers ensures only trusted drivers are run, along with immediate system compatibility while leveraging of security updates provided by operating system vendors. Plugable avoids third-party drivers where possible. And when they are required, Plugable’s devices can use Microsoft-approved drivers delivered by Windows Update. Plugable’s focus on the security and reliability of its products is a crucial factor for government and enterprise users.

Secure and Non-Volatile Firmware: Maintaining Data Integrity. Plugable offers a spectrum of firmware options across its product range, catering to diverse security needs. This includes devices with non-volatile firmware, ensuring that the device itself cannot be hacked, and devices with secure update mechanisms for firmware, safeguarding against unauthorized modifications. For example, Plugable’s Works with Chromebook™ dock is securely updated by Google as part of the Chromebook’s own automatic updates.  Plugable is able to provide volatility statements for any of our products, detailing the firmware and other writable features which relate to security. 

USB as a Safe Data Transfer Mechanism. When transferring data between systems, Plugable's point-to-point USB-based solutions offer a distinct advantage over network transfers, or more vulnerable internet-dependent services like Microsoft OneDrive or physical hard drives. While cloud services like OneDrive transmit data across the internet, potentially exposing it to cyber threats during transit, Plugable’s USB products enable direct, local data transfer between devices, significantly reducing the risk of interception or unauthorized access. Similarly, compared to external hard drives, which can pose data leakage risks if stolen or improperly disposed of, USB connections offer a more secure and controlled environment for data transfer, ensuring that sensitive information remains confined to the user's immediate devices. This direct and localized approach to data transfer underscores Plugable’s emphasis on robust security in data handling.

Thunderbolt Certification: Ensuring Security Through Stringent Oversight. Thunderbolt certification, controlled by Intel and Apple—both US-based companies—demands that Thunderbolt devices like those from Plugable adhere to common standards for connectivity, power delivery, and security. A crucial aspect of this certification process is that any design changes to Thunderbolt functionality, including to firmware, require recertification. This ensures that any modifications maintain the stringent security standards initially met. Thunderbolt firmware, controlled by Intel and Apple, further mitigates the risk of unauthorized or malicious alterations that could compromise the device's security integrity.

American Ownership: Adherence to Stringent Security Standards. As an American-owned and operated entity, Plugable is deeply committed to adhering to the stringent security and compliance standards set by the United States. This adherence instills a robust level of trust and reliability among enterprise and government buyers, ensuring that the products they use meet the high expectations of U.S. regulatory requirements, crucial for sensitive and secure operations.

Manufacturing Diversity: Strengthening Supply Chain Security. In addition to its American roots, Plugable distinguishes itself by diversifying its manufacturing base beyond China. This strategic approach to manufacturing ensures a more secure and transparent supply chain. By distributing production across various geographic locations, including Thailand and Taiwan, Plugable provides an additional layer of security and resilience, essential in the current global market where supply chain integrity is of paramount importance, especially for sensitive government and enterprise applications.

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Introduction to Plugable Technologies

Founded in the tech-savvy region of Seattle, Washington, in 2009, Plugable Technologies stands today as one of the world's leading brands in USB technology and connectivity solutions. The company was founded by Bernie Thompson, who brought with him a wealth of experience from his time on the operating systems teams at Microsoft and IBM, including work on security. This unique heritage and focus has shaped Plugable into a brand synonymous with quality, innovation, and reliability.

Company Ethos and Mission

From its inception, Plugable has been driven by a simple yet powerful philosophy: to create better products, provide better information, and offer unmatched support. This approach has not only distinguished Plugable in the marketplace but also fostered trust among a vast network of over 200,000 companies worldwide. Businesses, large and small, have come to rely on Plugable for their USB device needs, appreciating the brand's commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

Range of Business-Grade Products

Plugable's product line is extensive and meticulously designed to meet the diverse needs of today's dynamic business environments. The range includes a variety of USB-connected devices, from simple yet essential USB hubs to sophisticated USB-C docking stations, each embodying the brand's dedication to functionality, durability, and usability. This commitment is further underscored by Plugable's 100% compatibility guarantee and a robust 2-year warranty, ensuring that every product not only meets but exceeds the rigorous demands of business usage.

Unparalleled Quality and Compatibility

Quality is the cornerstone of Plugable's product development process. Each device is a result of extensive research, expert engineering, and rigorous testing. This unwavering dedication to quality has made Plugable a trusted name in USB technology, particularly in business-grade products that require reliable performance under varied and often challenging conditions.

US-Based Technical Support

What truly sets Plugable apart is its US-based technical support team. This isn't just any customer service department; it is a team composed of the very engineers who design and develop the devices. This direct line to the experts ensures that customers receive informed, accurate, and practical support, enhancing the overall user experience and fostering long-term relationships.

Leadership at Plugable Technologies

Lynn Smurthwaite-Murphy, the CEO of Plugable Technologies, brings a dynamic blend of leadership and innovation to the forefront. Having previously led StarTech.com as President and CEO, where she achieved a 50% increase in top-line growth and bolstered profits through strategic channel strategy and B2B sales, Smurthwaite-Murphy possesses a deep understanding of the IT sector. Her experience spans 18 years at Westcon Comstor, witnessing its expansion from $200 million in two countries to $7 billion across 70 countries, a testament to her capability in steering high growth and strategic transformations.

Smurthwaite-Murphy's vision for Plugable is to leverage the company's strengths to address consumer pain points and compatibility challenges in the technology sector, aiming to enhance the experience for users in diverse environments, from home offices to corporate settings. Her holistic understanding of the IT industry, gained from working across different channels, including resellers, distributors, and vendors, positions her to significantly influence Plugable's trajectory, broadening its market reach and reinforcing its presence, particularly in the B2B space.

Foundational History and Vision

Plugable's journey began under the leadership of Bernie Thompson, whose background with tech giants like Microsoft and IBM infused the company with a deep understanding of technology and user needs. This expertise is evident in every Plugable product, each designed with the user in mind, from functionality to support. Located near some of the world's most innovative companies, Plugable continues to be inspired and driven by the ever-evolving technology landscape, ensuring that it remains at the forefront of USB technology development.

Explore Plugable's Offerings

To truly appreciate the breadth and depth of Plugable's offerings, one can visit their comprehensive product showcase at Plugable's Product Range. Here, one can explore the full line of Plugable products, each designed to enhance connectivity and streamline operations in diverse business settings.

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Product Security Highlights

Plugable’s USB Data Blocker (USB-MC1)

The Plugable USB-MC1 adapter enhances device security and charging efficiency in multiple ways. By converting any USB data port into a charge-only port, it acts as a data blocker, safeguarding the device and its data from potential hackers and viruses commonly associated with "juice jacking" – a method where malicious entities might use public charging stations to compromise devices. This feature is particularly beneficial in preventing unauthorized data transfer and access, offering users peace of mind when charging their devices in public spaces like airports, coffee shops, and libraries. The FCC and FBI have warned about the potential dangers of Juice Jacking, and the inexpensive Plugable USB-MC1 provides 100% protection from this type of attack. Furthermore, the adapter facilitates faster charging by allowing devices to draw power at 1A or more, doubling the charging speed compared to the standard 500mA provided by most computer USB ports. This can significantly reduce charging time and even enable charging on powered USB hubs without a connected computer. Its compact, travel-ready design makes it an ideal accessory for secure and efficient charging on the go.

Plugable’s Google Works With Chromebook Docking Station (UD-MSTHDC)

Plugable’s Works With Chromebook-certified dock is designed specifically for the Chrome OS “Zero Trust” ecosystem, ensuring seamless integration and compatibility. This docking station adheres to strict security guidelines set by Google, including encrypted, secure firmware to protect against unauthorized access. When paired with a Chromebook, the docking station receives seamless, cryptographically authenticated updates from Google, including the latest security patches, directly to the dock, reducing the risk of potential breaches. This, combined with Plugable's commitment to reliability and lifetime support from their Redmond, Washington-based team, makes the Plugable UD-MSTHDC an effective tool for enhancing desktop security. This product is Made in Thailand with a supply chain controlled by USA and Taiwanese-based partners.

Upgrade to Bluetooth 5 with the Plugable Bluetooth Adapter (USB-BT5)

Don’t let your systems be left behind on older versions of Bluetooth. Bluetooth 4 to Bluetooth 5 introduced significant security enhancements that directly address vulnerabilities and bolster the overall protection of wireless communication. One of the upgrades in Bluetooth 5 is the adoption of LE Secure Connections, enhancing the pairing process between devices. 

This method uses the Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) for key generation, which significantly improves the security of key exchanges, providing robust defense against eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. This advancement, coupled with stronger encryption protocols, ensures that the data transmitted between devices is more secure, addressing the concerns that plagued earlier versions of Bluetooth technology.

By supporting Bluetooth 5, the Plugable USB-BT5 adapter benefits from enhanced privacy features, such as improved frequency hopping and address resolution techniques, which mitigate the risk of device tracking and eavesdropping. Additionally, the adapter makes use of the increased data payload size and the enhanced encryption techniques of Bluetooth 5, ensuring that users enjoy not only faster data transmission rates but also a more secure wireless communication experience. These features make the Plugable USB-BT5 adapter an excellent choice for those seeking to upgrade their devices with Bluetooth 5's superior security and performance capabilities.

Upgrade to Wifi 6 for enhanced security with the Plugable Wifi Adapter (USB-WIFIAX)

Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, introduces several technical security enhancements over its predecessors, which significantly improve the security landscape of wireless networking. One of the most notable advancements is the mandatory support for WPA3, the latest Wi-Fi security protocol that offers stronger encryption through the use of Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE), a replacement for the WPA2 Pre-Shared Key (PSK) mechanism. This advancement helps to protect against offline dictionary attacks and ensures that captured data cannot be decrypted even if the password is known. Furthermore, Wi-Fi 6 incorporates enhanced encryption with 192-bit security, tailored for enterprise networks, which provides a more robust protection against attacks. It also improves network efficiency and security in dense environments through the use of Target Wake Time (TWT), which reduces the potential for eavesdropping by scheduling when devices wake and communicate.

For those looking to upgrade their devices to leverage these Wi-Fi 6 security benefits, the Plugable USB-WIFIAX adapter offers an accessible solution. Simply connect this adapter to a USB port to enable Wi-Fi 6 capabilities on their computers, including the stronger encryption and improved security protocols provided by WPA3. This means enhanced protection against common vulnerabilities and attacks, alongside the efficiency and performance improvements Wi-Fi 6 brings, such as higher data rates and lower latency. The Plugable USB-WIFIAX is particularly beneficial for devices that do not natively support Wi-Fi 6, providing an easy upgrade path for users to enjoy the latest in Wi-Fi technology and security improvements without the need for a complete hardware overhaul.

Secure Thunderbolt speed point-to-point data transfer with Plugable (TBT-TRAN)

Secure, high-speed 10 Gbps data transfer using a Thunderbolt cable, such as the one provided by the Plugable TBT-TRAN, offers significant advantages over traditional data transfer methods, especially when compared to transfers over the Internet, a network, or wireless methods. Thunderbolt technology delivers unparalleled data transfer speeds, enabling large files and datasets to be moved in a fraction of the time it would take using conventional methods. For instance, transferring a 20GB file over a standard home internet connection could take hours, depending on the speed and congestion of the network, while the same transfer could be completed in a matter of seconds using a Thunderbolt connection. Additionally, Thunderbolt cables provide a direct, point-to-point connection, greatly reducing the risk of data interception or eavesdropping that is inherent to wireless and networked communications. This direct connection also bypasses the need for data to travel over potentially insecure or unreliable networks, further enhancing both the security and reliability of data transfers. For support of older USB-A PCs and the secure transfer of Windows account data from old to new PCs without exposing the data to the cloud, see the Plugable USB3-TRAN.

The Plugable TBT-TRAN enhances these benefits by not only providing a Thunderbolt Certified cable capable of these high-speed transfers but also by bundling it with American-made Bravura transfer and sync software. This software adds an additional layer of functionality and security, allowing for seamless data transfers and syncs between devices. The combination of Thunderbolt's high-speed capabilities and Bravura's secure software solution contrasts sharply with the latency and security vulnerabilities associated with internet or network-based transfers, including those conducted over Wi-Fi. Wireless transfers, while convenient, are susceptible to interference and significantly slower speeds, not to mention the increased risk of unauthorized access or data leakage. By using the Plugable TBT-TRAN with its certified Thunderbolt cable and Bravura software, users can achieve not only lightning-fast data transfers but also a level of security and reliability that is virtually impossible to match with traditional network or wireless data transfer methods.

Plugable’s Complete Line of Thunderbolt 4 Products

Thunderbolt 4 introduces significant security enhancements over its predecessors, making it a pivotal upgrade for users concerned about the protection of their data during transmission. A key improvement in Thunderbolt 4 is the mandatory integration of Intel's Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d), aimed at bolstering defenses against Direct Memory Access (DMA) attacks. Such attacks can compromise system memory through peripheral devices, circumventing the operating system's security mechanisms. Thunderbolt 4's enforcement of VT-d means that all Thunderbolt Certified devices, including the Plugable TBT4-UDZ docking station and the Plugable TBT4-HUB3C Thunderbolt 4 hub, are required to support this technology. This ensures robust isolation and protection of memory access, markedly mitigating the risk of DMA attacks.

In addition to VT-d, Thunderbolt 4 mandates strict certification requirements for all devices, guaranteeing that products like the Plugable TBT4-UDZ, TBT4-HUB3C, and the Plugable TBT4-40G2M two-meter cable meet the highest standards of security. Every certified device like these Plugable products must be tested in a small set of approved laboratories, and this certification process is controlled by Intel and Apple, both US companies.

Made Outside China

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Plugable Made in Thailand Products

Plugable products made in Thailand include a variety of USB-C and Thunderbolt docking stations designed to enhance connectivity and productivity for users with Windows, Mac, and ChromeOS systems. These products range in functionality, offering features like dual or triple 4K monitor support, up to 100W laptop charging, and numerous ports for peripherals such as USB, Ethernet, SD card readers, and audio. Key models include:

  • UD-MSTH2 and its variants (UD-MSTH2-UK, UD-MSTH2-AU): These are driverless USB-C docking stations featuring dual 4K HDMI ports, 65W charging, and compatibility with Windows and Chromebook systems, excluding Macs.
  • UD-4VPD and its variants (UD-4VPD-UK, UD-4VPD-AU): USB4 40G docking stations offering dual 4K at 120Hz or a single 8K monitor support, 100W laptop charging, and an array of ports for comprehensive connectivity.
  • TBT4-UDZ and its variants (TBT4-UDZ-UK, TBT4-UDZ-AU): Thunderbolt 4 docks that support up to 4x 4K screens, 100W charging, and multiple ports for a wide range of peripherals.
  • UD-6950PDZ and its variants (UD-6950PDZ-UK, UD-6950PDZ-AU): Triple monitor USB-C docking stations supporting 3x 4K displays, 60W charging, and equipped with multiple USB ports and Ethernet.
  • UD-768PDZ and its standard version UD-768PDZ-AU: USB-C triple monitor docking stations with 100W laptop charging, designed for Windows, Mac, and ChromeOS systems.
  • USBC-6950PDZ: A compact and travel-ready 7-in-1 USB-C docking station providing dual 4K HDMI output, 82W pass-through charging, and a selection of ports for enhanced connectivity.
  • UD-MSTHDC: A Chromebook-certified USB-C docking station supporting dual 4K displays and offering 60W charging.
  • TBT4-HUB3C and its variant TBT4-HUB3C-EUA: Thunderbolt 4 hubs including a USB-C to 4K HDMI adapter, 60W laptop charging, and compatibility with Mac and Windows systems.
  • TBT3-UDC3-EUA, TBT3-UDC1-EUA, and their respective standard versions: Thunderbolt 3 docks providing 100W charging, support for dual 4K displays, and multiple connectivity options.
  • UD-3900 series (UD-3900Z, UD-3900PDZ, UD-3900-EU): USB 3.0 and USB-C universal docking stations offering dual HDMI outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, and multiple USB ports.

To learn more, visit https://plugable.com/products

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Plugable Made in Taiwan Products

Plugable products made in Taiwan include a range of docking stations, laptop stands, and monitor adapters designed to enhance the connectivity and productivity of users with various devices. These products cater to both Windows and Mac systems, offering features like dual or triple 4K monitor support, up to 100W laptop charging, and numerous ports for peripherals such as USB, Ethernet, SD card readers, and audio. Key products include:

  • PT-STANDX: A foldable laptop stand with adjustable angles, compatible with devices up to 16 inches, designed for portability and ergonomic viewing.
  • TBT4-UDX1 and variants: Thunderbolt 4 docks providing 100W charging, dual 4K or single 8K display support, and multiple ports for comprehensive connectivity.
  • UD-3900C4 and variants: 14-in-1 USB-C docking stations with quad HDMI support, 96W charging, and compatibility with Windows and Thunderbolt systems, not recommended for macOS.
  • UD-CA1C, UD-ULTCDL, UD-ULTC4K, and their variants: Ranges from compact docks with essential connectivity options to expansive triple monitor docking stations with 100W charging and extensive port selection.
  • USBC-6950UE and USBC-6950U: Dual monitor adapters with DisplayPort and HDMI ports, offering flexibility for connecting two 4K monitors.
  • TBT3-NVME2TB and TBT3-NVME1TB: High-speed external SSD drives with Thunderbolt 3 technology, offering up to 2TB storage and fast data transfer speeds.
  • HDMI-SC3: An HDMI switch with USB-C input, supporting up to 4K@60Hz resolution, designed for easy switching between multiple devices.

To learn more, visit https://plugable.com/products

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Plugable Made in Vietnam Products

Plugable products made in Vietnam focus on enhancing connectivity and performance for various devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. These products range from docking stations and USB-C hubs to cables and adapters, catering to the needs of both Windows and Mac users. Key highlights include:

  • TBT4-UD5: Thunderbolt 4 dock offering dual 4K or single 8K display support, 100W charging, and multiple ports for comprehensive connectivity and charging capabilities.
  • USBC-4IN1: Compact USB-C hub with HDMI 4K 60Hz support, USB ports for data and charging, emphasizing power and portability.
  • PS1-CA1: Wall outlet extender with USB-C and USB charging capabilities, designed for travelers and those needing additional power outlets and USB charging in compact spaces.
  • PS-EPR-140C1: 140W GaN USB-C charger, providing fast charging for laptops, tablets, phones, and other USB-C devices with advanced GaN technology.
  • USBC-11IN1E: 11-in-1 USB-C hub with dual 4K HDMI output, USB ports, and 100W pass-through charging, suitable for a wide range of devices and use cases.
  • USBC-MSTH2: USB-C to dual HDMI adapter for Windows and Chromebook, offering easy setup for dual 4K 60Hz displays without the need for drivers.
  • USB4-240W-1M: USB4 cable capable of delivering 240W charging, 40Gbps data transfer, and support for dual 4K or single 8K displays.
  • USB4-HUB3A: Thunderbolt 4 hub with multiple Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 ports, USB-A, and up to 60W charging for the host device.
  • USBC-7IN1E: 7-in-1 USB-C hub with Ethernet, HDMI 4K 60Hz output, USB ports, and SD/microSD card slots for expanded connectivity options.
  • USBC-MD103: 3-in-1 USB-C hub with 4K HDMI output, a USB 3.0 port, and USB-C charging port for enhanced productivity and charging flexibility.
  • USBC-E2500: USB-C to Ethernet adapter capable of 2.5Gbps network speeds, offering a faster and more reliable connection than Wi-Fi.
  • TBT3-40G80CM: Thunderbolt 3 cable supporting 40Gbps data transfer and 100W charging, suitable for a wide range of Thunderbolt and USB-C devices.
  • UD-6950PDH: 13-in-1 USB-C docking station supporting dual 4K displays, 100W charging, and multiple connectivity options for a comprehensive workstation setup.

To learn more, visit https://plugable.com/products

All products are backed by a 2-year warranty and support, emphasizing Plugable's commitment to quality, performance, and customer satisfaction. These solutions are designed to meet the diverse needs of users looking to expand their device's connectivity, charge efficiently, or enhance their multimedia and work setups.

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