Thank you kindly for the reply. I've read your posts as well and had already made my mind to use the available 5GHz that my router offers versus using the 2.4GHz. Luckily for me, during perfomrances, I usually do not connect to any wifi unless I'm at home. But I will be using up to 6 USB 3.0 devices that will be communicating with the rMBP. I was worried about the 3 'heavier' components. Those being a USB powered soundcard, a MIDI equipped DJ mixer, and ext HD that will be supplying videos and audio. Thank you again for your swift response. I'm planning on ordering the Plugable hub this evening.
Thank you again! Obviously I cannot afford for this to go wrong. I will try to post back up once I can give some input on whether this worked for me.
My whole house consists of Apple products. For student work as well as professional work. They have been great and have usually been the coveted industry standard for what I use them for. Therefore I always have high expectations of the products I purchase from Apple. I'm very fortunate to be able to purchase new and use them at full capacity.
I see no reason to be concerned, other than the things mentioned by Doug. I think they can be resolved in other ways, however. It depends on your setup.
I've been using the Plugable 7-Port Aluminum USB 3.0 hub with the 90.81 firmware upgrade since Sept. and can say I've had zero problems. Micro-B connectors have been occasional problems, but not the hub. This is the first and only hub that has worked for me. The others, including several Anker's, had older chipsets or firmware that could not be updated. I'd be game to try any that had the 90.81 firmware, including Anker; and I will not buy another that uses any older firmware version, or does not state their chipset and firmware versions.
After going through 20 hubs to find one that worked Plugable finally provided an answer to Apple's poor implementation of USB 3.0. Several of these hubs were given to PC users and they love them, but then Windows did USB 3.0 right the first time. [Note, In the interest of full disclosure, that I was provided 2 hubs by Plugable to test. One had the old firmware and is in my closet. The other with the new firmware is on my desk. Since June 2012 I tested 5 hubs for Anker, but they all had the old firmware and presented multiple problems. Supposedly the new ones have overcome this, but I've had no experience with the newer ones. The other hubs, with one exception, were returned for credit.]
I'm using 2.4GHz with my 802.11n Time Capsule and haven't had the problems that Doug had. My hub and Time Capsule are physically separated by several feet. When dealing with radio frequency waves distance is a key factor. If you're having a problem at 2.4 then increase the distance. Since you're using 5MHz you shouldn't have a problem, according to Doug's experience.
With rare exceptions, I plug only USB 3.0 into this hub. I do plug a USB 2.0 hub into the Plugable hub, and all USB 2.0 goes into that hub. Some devices may not work well with USB 3.0 (e.g. Logitech input devices) so the separate hub is wise. Again, I'd keep a several foot separation between the two hubs. This has worked well in my experience. Others have had problems. Plugging the USB 2.0 hub into the USB 3.0 has not posed problems. Best of all, it leaves the Mac's other USB 3.0 port available for charging iOS devices as it can provide the current required, but not provided by USB 3.0 hubs which are only rated for 900ma (0.9 amps). That's short of the 1 or more amps required by iPads, for example.
BTW, lately I've had 7 USB 3.0 portable (x3) and desktop (x4) drives connected to the Plugable (no USB 2.0 at this time.) I've been moving files around and getting organized so it's nice to have all available. No, I don't do huge multiple transfers at the same time so the bandwidth is maintained — for the most part.
That's about all I can think of that may be relevant at this time. Let me know if anything else comes up and what your experience is. Good luck
Thanks for this thread, I was finally able to find a hub which works 100% reliably with rMBP.
I tested the following hubs extensively with WD Passport USB 3.0 hard drives each for a month:
Anker AH430 4-port hub (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00INMS8VK)
disconnects very frequently, both for physically moving the unit and randomly as well.
Anker AK-68ANHUB-02B4A 4-port hub (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00B7FOQCK)
Disconnects less frequently, not sensitive to physical touch but still disconnects randomly. Mine had firmware 90.80
HooToo HT-UH013 with VIA VL812-B2 Chipset and Updated Firmware 9081 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00ISLYEIW)
This one is rock stable! The new chipset/firmware 100% fixed the problem. I've been using it with hard drives and other accessories and didn't have a single diconnect at all for more than a month now!
So if you want a reliable hub, just put in Amazon: VL812-B2 9081 and you'll probably get one which is reliable. The 4 port HooToo unit was cheap and perfect!
I have finally weakened and bought a hub from the Apple Store ... a 4-port,USB 3, Belkin - nice and silver to go with my MacBook Pro.. I also have an old Transcend 4-port USB 3 hub ... I have plugged one each into the two ports giving me 8 ports available. I have been using this for a couple of weeks - and have not had any roblems (yet!) of drivces uncoupling or curswor jiggling across the screen. My WiFi remains on 2.4 FGHZ and the router is about 80 cms from my MBP.
Perhaps anyone who has found success with USB 3.0 hubs on Macs could also note any problems with wireless interference (2.4 Ghz) from the hub (network, mouse transmitters, phones, etc.). (I have a late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina, running Mavericks.)
I ordered two different VIA VL812 hubs with external AC transformers for full power on the USB ports. The first was a very nicely made Anker AK-68ANHUB-B14A, with 13+1 ports, in black-anodized aluminum. Appeared to let two external USB 3.0 drives work, plus other USB 2.0 peripherals, but my Logitech Unifying receiver (2.4 ghz) could not connect to the mouse. The second, a beautiful silver-anodized aluminum UtechSmart 10-port hub, kept dropping my OWC external USB 3.0 drive, but let my Logitech Unifying receiver work just fine. I ordered these because both have metal shells and I thought they'd be more likely to have better shielding.
I have the same model MacBook Pro you do.
To make a loooong story short, what I have discovered is this:
1. At home, where my wifi router is pretty close to my hub and MBP, I get interference on 2.4 GHz and cannot use the Internet when the hub with external USB 3.0 drives are connected. However things work great at 5.0 GHz.
2. On travel here in St. Louis however, the house I'm staying in is running their wifi at 2.4 GHz and I'm not having any problems. However the router is on the 2nd floor and I'm down in the basement. And I had a similar experience in Boston.
So from my experience, if you are close to the router it should be set to 5.0 GHz if possible (the speed is also faster). But if you are distant from the router it doesn't seem to make a difference.
Has anyone tried the belkin thunderbolt extender that has it's own multiple USB ports on it? I'm desparate to get more USB ports working on my macbook retina. My podcaster microphone, my Jabra Pro, my ethernet adapter all required plugging directly into my computer. I've got both thunderbolts and the the HDMI driving 3 monitors so no more room there.
I now have the belkin thunderbolt expansion that gives me 3 extra "real" usb 3 ports plus ethernet, hdmi, etc. Working great so far. Here is a write up on it. http://macwinguy.com/2014/11/adding-reliable-usb-ports-macbook-retina/
I also have a 2012 15" Retina MBP (512GB SSD and NV650M). I regularly use my SIIG powered 4-port USB hub with no problems, see here:
It regularly powers a Logitech keyboard / USB2 hub (to which in turn I connect a Logitech wireless MX mouse), a WD 1.5TB USB3 passport drive, a USB charging / sync cable which I use to recharge the Logitech mouse and to sync my Kobo reader, and a charging cable for my Pebble Watch. So essentially power for several peripherals as well as data / sync for several others.
However, I also have a Belkin Thunderbolt Dock (the original), which stopped working after Yosemite, or more likely, a thunderbolt firmware update to the Mac. The LAN connection, the USB connections (direct HD to dock), and even the thunderbolt to video connections, work inconsistantly now. I'm wondering if the dock just needs to be replaced.