CONNECT ANYWHERE—Upgrade your tablet, laptop, or PC to wired Gigabit Ethernet speeds via USB-C or USB 3.0. USB Type-C and USB-A 3.0 cables included. Expand your USB 3.0 connectivity with this travel-friendly 3 port hub
PORTABLE DESIGN—Featuring a compact aluminum frame, this sturdy hub is travel-friendly and easy to tuck away. All USB ports are located on one side to reduce clutter and maximize accessibility
FITS YOUR SETUP—Includes two detachable, 19in/50cm cables for compatibility across both USB C and USB 3.0 connection types with the ability to connect to your MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro series, Dell XPS, Chromebooks and more
PLUG AND PLAY—Drivers are built-in to Windows 11, 10, 8.x, macOS, Chrome OS, and most Linux distributions Windows 7 drivers available via download. Stand-alone charging not supported. Not compatible with Android or Game Consoles
2 YEAR WARRANTY—We love our Plugable products, and hope you will too. All of our products are backed with a 2-year limited parts and labor warranty as well as Seattle-based email support
Add Gigabit Ethernet and three USB 3.0 ports to almost any laptop with the Plugable Bus-Powered 3-Port USB 3.0 Hub With Gigabit Ethernet (USB3-HUB3ME). Whether your computer has USB-A ports, or newer USB-C ports, this plug and play adapter makes it easy to use a wired network and connect more devices. This hub is the perfect travel companion for any laptop due to its small size and USB bus powered design removing the need for a bulky power adapter to operate.
The Plugable USB3-HUB3ME is a simple solution for adding an Ethernet connection to your laptop, ultrabook, and notebook or upgrading your network adapter in your desktop PC. You can also add additional network interfaces and transfer files peer-to-peer over the hub’s wired Gigabit Ethernet network.
With three additional USB 3.0 ports, get the connectivity you need. Increase your productivity by adding a flash drive, keyboard, and mouse. Please note that this product is not a solution for connecting a USB device like a printer to a network.
Compatible with Apple computers (MacBook Retina, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air), Microsoft Surface series (Surface Pro, Surface Book, Surface Laptop, Surface Go), Dell XPS/Inspiron/Vostro, Chromebooks, and more.
Perfect for travelers that need to access a wired network for security, businesses that have a mix of USB 3.0 and USB-C systems, and for anyone that needs the perfect companion to increase their connectivity.
Design and Performance
This hub features a sleek, sturdy, and compact black aluminum design perfect for travel and small work spaces. The hub’s LEDs indicate Ethernet diagnostics and USB connectivity. It also features intelligently placed USB ports that ensure all of your devices plug in without interfering with each other.
Nobody likes a flaky WiFi connection with videos constantly buffering, or laggy connections to multiplayer game servers. A wired network connection can help the flow of data to remain constant, and improve transfer rates. The USB3-HUB3ME can improve speeds compared to most wireless networks. Plug into any laptop or desktop limited to 10/100 Ethernet or no Ethernet at all to benefit from faster transfers on your Gigabit Ethernet network. The hub also works on 10/100 Ethernet networks at their native speeds.
USB 3.0 systems support theoretical maximum transfer speeds up to 5Gbps and USB 2.0 supports up to 480Mbps. In practice, most machines will double in network speeds by moving from a 100Mbps Fast Ethernet to a 1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet via USB 2.0, and could see more than twice that gain on USB 3.0.
Inside the USB3-HUB3ME is a Realtek RTL8153 and a VIA VL817 chipset for fast 10/100/1000 network speeds and maximum compatibility with almost all USB 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1 hosts and devices.
Apple SuperDrive: Some devices such as the Apple SuperDrive look for Apple-specific signaling and will not work when connected through any USB hub.
Supports Microsoft Windows 11, 10, (RT not supported) through 7, macOS 10.6 and later, Chrome OS, and Linux kernels 3.9+. Great compatibility with USB 3.x, 2.0, and 1.1 hosts and virtually all USB devices.
Game Consoles (Switch, PlayStation, Xbox)
Other non-PC or Mac platforms
Not recommended for use with FreeBSD or PFSense.
In The Box
1x Gigabit Ethernet Adapter with 3 Port USB 3.0 Bus-powered Hub
1x 19in (50cm) USB-B to USB-C cable
1x 19in (50cm) USB-B to USB 3.0 cable
1x Quick Start Guide
In The Box
Item and Quantity
1x Plugable USB 3.0 3-Port Bus Powered Hub with Gigabit Ethernet (USB3-HUB3ME)
1x USB-B to USB-C Cable (19in / 50cm)
1x USB-B to USB-A Cable (19in / 50cm)
1x Quick Start Guide
USB To Devices
Version and Link Rate
USB 3.0 (5Gbps)
Connection To Host
Version and Link Rate
1x USB-A or
USB 3.0 (5Gbps)
Version and Link Rate
Wake-on-LAN (WoL) or
Energy-Efficient Ethernet (EEE) or
9K Jumbo Frames
This is the standard USB connection that most computers offered prior to the introduction of USB Type-C (USB-C). Even after the introduction of USB Type-C, this is still quite common.
It can provide data transfer rates up to the USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 gbps) specification depending on the host and device, but does not directly support video in the way that USB-C Alternate Mode does. This limitation makes DisplayLink USB graphics adapters and docking stations ideal on systems that do not have USB-C, or in instances where more displays are needed beyond available video outputs of a PC.
This type of connection comes in a couple different styles depending on whether USB 3.0 and higher transfer rates are supported (bottom graphic). Usually this type of connection is used to plug into USB devices that do not have a fixed cable connected, such as USB docking stations, USB hubs, printers, and others.
One of the first connectors for charging a smartphone, wireless game controller (such as the Sixaxis and DualShock 3), and other small devices such as external hard drives. Not commonly used today, but is still used in some cases. Most devices using USB Mini B are using USB 2.0, though a USB 3.0 variant does exist. This specification also added USB On-The-Go (OTG) functionality, though it is more commonly implemented with Micro USB.
A smaller connector that serves many of the same uses as the Mini B connector, with added optional features such as Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) to allow devices like smartphones to output video to larger displays without requiring a dedicated port for video output.
The larger variant of USB-B is most commonly used for external hard drives for higher 5Gbps transfer rates.
The most recent USB connection, USB Type-C (USB-C), represents a major change in what USB can do. The connector is smaller, can be connected in two orientations, is able to carry substantially more power and data, and can directly carry video signals of multiple types (HDMI, DisplayPort, etc.) Intel has also adapted the USB-C connector for use with Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4.
It is important to note that while all Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 connections are USB-C, not all USB-C connections can be used with Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 devices.
Computer networking is a complex topic. In this article, we'll be taking a deep dive on the nuances of network performance for those who need some additional explanation while striving to be concise, and to educate users of various experience levels relating computer hardware and computer networking.
If you just need to know how to perform a network performance test/benchmark, jump down to configuring iPerf.
Core Network Concepts
LAN vs WAN
With regards to network performance, it is crucial to first separate whether an issue is with Wide Area Network (WAN) performance, or if the issue is with Local Area Network (LAN) performance.
Your LAN is essentially the network inside your home or business. Many homes use a combination modem/router device provided by their Internet Service Provider (ISP). In some cases, especially in businesses, you may have a separate modem and router, along with other equipment connecting to the router such as a network switch.
Your modem, and the connection it establishes to your ISP—whether through coaxial cable, fiber, phone lines, or long-range wireless—essentially marks the point between the WAN and the LAN. The connection your modem makes to your ISP is the WAN, and any devices you connect through your router behind that modem belong to the LAN.
Almost every type of connection your computer makes to any piece of hardware will have a link rate of some kind. The link rate establishes how fast data can possibly be transferred across any given connection, but it does not guarantee how fast the hardware on either end of the connection will actually transfer data.
The concept of link rates, and their related bottlenecks, is likely best conveyed by giving an example of what connections might be involved in transferring a file from one computer on your LAN to another.
800Mbps—The file source is a USB 3.0 thumb drive capable of 100MB/s (800Mbps) read/write.
480Mbps—The USB 3.0 thumb drive is plugged into a USB 2.0 port on the PC, which has a maximum throughput of 480Mbps
1000Mbps—PC1's Ethernet connection establishes 1Gbps (1000Mbps) link to the router via Ethernet
300Mbps—The router connects to a second PC (we'll refer to this as PC2) via Wi-Fi, and it has established a 300Mbps link to the Wi-Fi adapter on PC2
480Mbps—The Wi-Fi adapter on PC2 is connected via a USB 2.0 port. The link rate of the USB connection to PC2 is at 480Mbps
6000Mbps—PC2 is going to store the file on an internal hard drive with a link rate of 6Gbps
1600Mbps—File Destination: SATA hard drive capable of 200MB/s (1600Mbps) read/write.
Following this chain, we see that 300Mbps is the slowest link rate established. This means that, regardless of the link rates established elsewhere, the absolute maximum the data can possibly be transferred is 300Mbps.
if we were to change the Wi-Fi connection to a wired Ethernet connection capable of 1Gbps, our performance bottleneck would then become the USB 2.0 connection to the USB drive where the file is stored.
Ports and Interfaces
A network interface represents connections, whether wired or wireless, that are made to form a network between devices.
Some may refer to physical hardware connections as "ports". For the purposes of networking, ports are logical constructs that can also be referred to as "network ports". Each network interface has 65,535 of these logical ports. Each port on a network interface is a separate data connection.
Benchmarking Network Adapter Performance
To properly benchmark network adapter performance, we need to:
Use a simple LAN configuration
Eliminate bottlenecks, especially link rate bottlenecks
Websites like speedtest.net, fast.com, and other performance tools in your web browser are going to use your WAN connection, and are not appropriate for determining if a network adapter is working well.
Transferring files from one computer to another on your LAN is typically not the best way to benchmark a network adapter. File transfers are bottlenecked by a number of things, including performance limitations of the disk the data is on, and often times a lack of establishing parallel network connections to perform the task.
One of the most accurate ways to benchmark network performance on a LAN is by using iPerf . To more effectively benchmark network adapter performance, it is best to establish a point-to-point connection between two PCs, rather than connecting through a router or switch.
Next, you'll need to run iPerf in client mode, targeting the IP address of the server/interface where iPerf is running in server mode. Additionally, we'll run the test for 30 seconds using -t 30 and with four parallel connections using -P 4. Running 4 parallel connections is optimal for saturating a network link.
Open Command Prompt
Press Windows Key + R or + R, then enter cmd in the window that appears
Search the Start Menu for Command Prompt, and open it
Navigate Command Prompt to the directory the directory where iPerf is located
The cdcommand is for 'change directory'
If you have a folder named 'iperf' on your Windows desktop, you can reach it in command prompt with the command cd %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\iperf
Run iperf in client mode via Command Prompt (replace 192.168.0.200 with the IP address of the server/interface where iPerf is running in server mode)
iperf3.exe -c 192.168.0.200 -t 30 -P 4
macOS / Linux
Run iPerf in client mode (replace 192.168.0.200 with the IP address of the server/interface where iPerf is running in server mode)
iperf3 -c 192.168.0.200 -t 30 -P 4
iPerf should start performing a network performance test. If the test fails to start, make sure that iPerf is not being blocked by your PC's/Mac's firewall.
Why iPerf is Ideal for Benchmarking
Unlike a file transfer, iPerf runs in memory on the PC and generates data to send using the CPU directly. This alleviates potential bottlenecks generated by storage devices, and allows you to explicitly control how many parallel connections are being used to transfer data rather than being unsure if parallel network connections are being used by other means.
There's a lot more to networking that isn't covered in this article, but we hope this helps explain enough to get an accurate measure of your network performance.
While all USB ports provide some amount of power for attached devices, the available power may not be enough for certain high-current devices such as USB hubs or external hard drives. High-current devices usually come with their own power adapter, making them self-powered, in contrast to a bus-powered device that draws all of its power from the host computer's USB interface. Bus-powered devices can cause issues if they need more power than is available from the host machine.
Many of our devices that include power adapters, especially USB hubs, will function in either self-powered or bus-powered mode. However, even though the device may function, each additional device attached to the host computer reduces the total available bus power. If the power runs out, any USB device attached to the computer may suddenly disconnect. If this were to happen to a USB storage device, such an event could result in permanent data loss.
If a device comes with a power adapter, we recommend that the adapter stay connected at all times, otherwise the device may not function as designed.
Self-powered USB device - A device that takes all of its power from an external power supply
Bus-powered USB device - A device that takes all of its power from the host computer's USB interface.
Because the Raspberry Pi is a USB 2.0 device and can’t take advantage of USB 3.0 functionality as well as mixed results from users, we do not recommend this hub for use with the Raspberry Pi. The hub we do recommend is our 7 port USB 2.0 hub.
Most USB receivers for wireless mice and keyboards operate in the 2.4Ghz band. When connecting the receiver to any USB 3.0 port there is potential for interference that can affect the devices performance. The most effective method is to add a short USB 2.0 extension cable between the hub and the receiver to mitigate the effect, and many wireless keyboards and mice come with such a cable for this reason.
If you are not able to connect to the Internet without installing the driver, you can download it onto a flash drive on another computer and use that to install it.
In testing Plugable’s USB-Ethernet adapters with Windows 10, we were happy to discover they all work successfully when their drivers are properly installed. However, an installation problem could cause issues with the USB2-E1000.
Drivers are already built into Windows 10 for: the ASIX AX88772 chip in our:
*Note In 2017, our USB3-HUB3ME was redesigned to include a Realtek RTL8153 chipset and drivers. Windows 10 should automatically configure these drivers when you plug the adapter in.) When you insert these adapters into a USB port, the drivers should automatically install with no need for an internet connection.
However, the driver for the ASIX AX88178 chip in our USB2-E1000 is not pre-installed in Windows 10, and we have discovered a problem with the downloadable driver that keeps it from installing. If this happens, the adapter will show up in Device Manager as “AX88178” with a Code 28 error: “”Drivers for this device are not installed.”
There are several ways to work around this issue, depending on the scenario:
1. Upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1: If you have already installed the driver for the USB2-E1000 in Windows 7 or 8.1 and upgrade directly from that version to Windows 10, the currently installed driver will be available to Windows 10, and your adapter should work without any further effort. If you haven’t yet installed this driver, please install it before upgrading.
The easiest way is to establish an internet connection, either wirelessly or through another Ethernet port, then plug in the USB2-E1000. Windows Update should see it and automatically download the correct driver. You can also download and install the driver from our website or from the disk that came with your adapter.
2. Doing a clean install of Windows 10 or using the USB2-E1000 on a new Windows 10 computer: Since the previous Windows 7 or 8.1 driver will not be carried over to a clean install of Windows 10, it must be freshly installed. The only way to accomplish this is to have an internet connection available when you first plug in the USB2-E1000.
That will allow Windows Update to download and install the driver. If you are in a situation where this is not possible, we recommend delaying the update until an internet connection is available, or until this issue has been fixed. Currently, the driver on the Plugable and ASIX websites is not working with Windows 10.
If you’re a user of a Plugable USB-Ethernet adapter and are experiencing issues, we’re here to help! If support is needed, please run our PlugDebug tool found HERE to collect system logs, and send the resulting file to email@example.com along with a description of the behavior you’re experiencing and any additional details you feel are relevant.