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The $16 accessory Apple should supply with every new MacBook

This tiny accessory has thwarted me dozens of times from accidentally damaging my MacBook.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

My all-time favorite accessory for the MacBook Pro -- and pretty much anything that features a USB-C port -- is now cheaper than ever.

They're the USB-C magnetic breakaway connectors that act much like the old MagSafe connectors used to work.

Don't remember MagSafe?

That was the name for the magnetic breakaway charger connector that Apple used to have on MacBooks before moving over to USB-C. MagSafe was awesome. 

And then Apple abandoned it.

But worry not! With these tiny connectors, you can now have the old MagSafe experience on any USB-C port you use, whether it's on a MacBook, smartphone, tablet, laptop, or even power banks and chargers.

Not only do these connectors break away cleanly if you accidentally yank the power cable, they also make plugging in the charger cable much quicker and easier -- you can even do it in the dark or without looking!

20-pin USB-C magnetic breakaway connector

I've tested these with all sorts of USB-C devices -- even the latest 16-inch MacBook Pro that comes with the 96W charger -- and not had a problem with them.

You can currently pick a nine-pin USB-C magnetic breakaway connector for $15.99 (click the checkbox to apply a $2 coupon), which are perfect if you do not want the 10Gbps data transfer rate that supports 4K video at 60Hz. (The nine-pin version only supports data speeds up to 480Mbs.) If you want to support 4K video at 60Hz over the USB-C connector, you need the 20-pin version, which sells for $21.79.  

Both the nine-pin and 20-pin versions feature a green LED that tells you if the connection is sound, which is handy because sometimes the connector might look like it's connected when it isn't (which also happened with MagSafe).

Get one. Get a few. They are super useful. They're so good, I think Apple should bundle them with new MacBooks.

A question a lot of people have asked -- can this damage MacBooks/chargers/power banks/etc? I've been using these for thousands of hours, and not had a single problem.

A word of warning: Don't go for the six-pin versions out there; all the ones I've tested have been poor quality, so I don't recommend them.

How I upgraded my USB-C power banks and chargers to make them easier and more convenient to use (in pictures)

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