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The best MacBook accessories you can buy: Expert tested

I spend hours every day in front of my MacBook, and have tested the best MacBook accessories to improve my laptop experience.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Reviewed by Kayla Solino
iStorage datAshur Pro+C encrypted USB Type-C flash drive | Best MacBook accessory overall
iStorage datAshur Pro+C
iStorage datAshur Pro+C encrypted USB Type-C flash drive
Best MacBook accessory overall
View now View at Amazon
Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Hub Slim Pro | Best MacBook accessory for adding more ports
Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Hub Slim Pro
Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Hub Slim Pro
Best MacBook accessory for adding more ports
View now View at Amazon
StarTech.com MacBook Pro Privacy Screen | Best MacBook accessory for privacy
StarTech.com MacBook Pro Privacy Screen
StarTech.com MacBook Pro Privacy Screen
Best MacBook accessory for privacy
View now View at Amazon
Ugreen Nexode Pro 160W 4-port fast charger | Best MacBook accessory for charging
Ugreen Nexode Pro 160W 4-port fast charger
Ugreen Nexode Pro 160W 4-port fast charger
Best MacBook accessory for charging
View now View at Amazon
Magnetic breakaway USB-C connector | Best MacBook accessory for convienience
Magnetic breakaway USB-C connector
Magnetic breakaway USB-C connector
Best MacBook accessory for convienience
View now View at Amazon

The MacBook and MacBook Pro are among the best laptops I've ever used, and they have become my daily drivers of choice. However, I've taken the already excellent experience and transformed it into a fantastic one by equipping my MacBook with a few key accessories. 

These thoughtful additions not only enhance my MacBook's capabilities, but also allow it to perform a wide array of functions beyond its standard offerings.

Also: MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Air: How to decide what's best for you

What is the best MacBook accessory right now? 

I've been using a MacBook and reviewing tech accessories for years. My pick for the best MacBook accessory overall is the iStorage datAshur PRO+C hardware encrypted flash drive. This incredible device not only provides additional storage for my MacBook but also ensures the security of my data without compromise. If data encryption isn't a priority for you, there are plenty of other useful accessories on this list to enhance your MacBook experience.

The best MacBook accessories of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Secure encryption
  • Broad range of capacities
  • High speed storage
  • Expensive (premium product)
  • Setup can be a bit complex
More Details

The datAshur Pro+C is a flash drive that features a built-in numerical keypad, enabling the data stored on the drive to be secured with hardware-based AES–XTS 256-bit full disk encryption. While the technical specifics of this feature might sound complex, the practical use is straightforward: As long as you keep your eight to 15-digit PIN code secure, the data on your drive remains protected. 

If someone attempts to access the drive using the admin PIN and enters the incorrect code 10 consecutive times, the consequences are severe: The PIN, encryption key, and all data on the drive will be wiped permanently. 

Game over!

After this, the drive reverts to its factory default settings and must be formatted before it can be used again. This feature provides a robust layer of security, ensuring that your data remains protected even in the event of attempted unauthorized access.

Review: iStorage datAshur Pro+C review

The drive is designed to survive a drop of up to four meters onto a concrete surface, can withstand the weight of a 2.7-ton vehicle, can survive being submerged under 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes, and will resist dust, dirt, and sand ingress.

All this makes this drive an excellent choice for those needing to safeguard their information effectively.

iStorage datAshur Pro+C features: Capacity: 32 - 512GB | Encryption: AES–XTS 256-bit full disk encryption | Water/Dustpoof: IP68 | Interface: USB Type C with Type-A adapter included 

Pros & Cons
  • Broad array of ports
  • Slim-and-light package
  • Requires an external AC adapter
More Details

The Thunderbolt 4 Hub Slim Pro, a hub housed in a compact aluminum case no larger than a deck of cards, delivers impressive capabilities. 

This fully functional Thunderbolt 4 hub includes a 96W Power Delivery upstream host port for charging, a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port that supports data transfer speeds up to 10Gbps, and three downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports. These ports offer up to 15W of charging power, data transfer rates of 40Gbps, and can output video up to 8K to external monitors.

Review: Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Hub Slim Pro

When out and about, I find it small enough to put in my bag along with my laptop, and it replaces my need to carry a separate charger -- the 96W of power it delivers to my MacBook Pro is good enough that I can leave my 140W MacBook Pro charger at home -- and I can connect any number of accessories to my laptop. 

Over the past few weeks, this hub has secured a spot in my laptop bag because it provides professional-grade features in a form that was not previously portable. Whether at home or in the office, it effortlessly powers dual displays and connects a variety of USB-C devices, all while maintaining a sleek, stylish look. 

Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Hub Slim Pro features : Ports: Thunderbolt 4 upstream host port, 3x Thunderbolt 4 downstream ports | Compatibility: Windows 11/10 and MacBooks running macOS 11 or later with  Thunderbolt 4 port (backward-compatible with USB4)  

Pros & Cons
  • High quality
  • Easy to fit
  • Anti-glare matte side has a scratch- and fingerprint-resistant
  • Does limit light transmission so you need to push the brightness up a bit
More Details

I spend quite a bit of time with my laptop out and about, at places where there are other people. And no matter where I go, I can't help but notice other people trying to sneak a peek at my screen. I can hardly blame them; after all, we've become so conditioned to look at screens. 

Short of typing "stop looking at my screen" in a huge font size, a less passive-aggressive alternative is to add a privacy screen, and I've finally found a privacy screen that I'm happy with.

This kit is easy to install and comes with everything you need. There's a microfiber cloth for cleaning the screen, and transparent, residue-free adhesive strips for affixing the filter to the screen. Oh, and there's the filter itself. 

Review: StarTech.com MacBook Pro Privacy Screen review

The installation took only a few minutes, and I'm pleased with how easy it was and how well it fits. Even the cutout for the camera and sensors at the top of the display are perfect.

While sitting in front of the screen, I don't notice it. (I have had to set the display a little brighter than normal.) But when I shift to the side, the screen goes from bright to dark. Even sitting in a seat right next to the laptop, it's hard to see what's being displayed.

StarTech.com MacBook Pro Privacy Screen features: Fitment: 14- and 16-inch 2021 and 2023 MacBook Pros | Technology: Microlouver technology obscures the view outside a 60-degree viewing angle | Finish: Anti-glare matte side has a scratch- and fingerprint-resistant coating 

Pros & Cons
  • Compact
  • USB-C and USB-A
  • Fixed power prongs (so you'll need a travel adapter for foreign countries)
More Details

The 140W single USB-C port charger that Apple ships with the MacBook Pro s somewhat old-fashioned. You can now get multi-port power adapters that are smaller, run cooler, and can still output the full 140W that a MacBook Pro needs to charge at the fastest rate. 

The Nexode Pro 160W offers the best of both worlds -- three USB-C ports capable of a max output of 140W, and a single USB-A port for legacy devices capable of 22.5W. 

This 4-port fast charger passed all my usual tests for power output for extended periods of time under a heavy load. I also carried out thermal checks under the heaviest loads possible, and while I did record spot temperatures of 50.4°C/122.7°F, which is perfectly acceptable.

Review: Ugreen Nexode Pro 160W 4-port fast charger review

This charger is also small – 21 percent smaller than Apple's 140W charger to be exact – so it's convenient for throwing into a bag for travel, and the three USB-C ports and one USB-A gives a great deal of charging flexibility. Its compact size enhances portability, making it an ideal travel companion.

Ugreen Nexode Pro 160W features: Ports: 3 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A | Max output: 160W | Technology: GaN (gallium nitride) 

Pros & Cons
  • $22 for a 2-pack
  • Stops damage to your USB-C port
  • Strong magnet keeps the two bits together until you need them to detach
  • The parts are easy to misplace unless you take care
More Details

This might be one of the best USB-C accessories I've ever purchased. Although simple and straightforward, it has protected my USB-C ports from damage numerous times and prevented laptops from being pulled to the floor by people (usually me) tripping over the charging cable.

It's a magnetic breakaway USB-C connector similar to Apple's MagSafe connector, compatible with all your devices, from smartphones and tablets to power banks, docks and laptops, including MacBooks that lack MagSafe. I've got a good handful of these connectors and I use them daily.

Review: Magnetic breakaway USB-C connector review

A magnetic breakaway USB-C connector consists of two parts: the first part is the USB-C port that plugs into the device you want to protect -- be that a laptop, smartphone, charger, power bank, or otherwise -- and the other part that goes on the end of the cable you're going to use. These parts are held together by a super-strong neodymium magnet.

And the best thing of all is that it doesn't slow down data transfer or charging. The connector has 24 pins, so every channel on the USB-C cable is carried through the connector, resulting in no comprises to speed.

Magnetic breakaway USB-C connector features : Power transfer: Up to 240W | Data transfer: Up to 40Gb/s | Video support: Up to 8K@60Hz | Connection type: 24-pin  

What is the best MacBook accessory?

When it comes to daily use of your MacBook, there are several top accessories that we recommend for compatibility with your MacBook. From hubs, to privacy screens, to chargers, we've got all the best accessories compared for your ease. 

Check out this bird's eye view of the best MacBook accessories of 2024. 

Best MacBook accessory

Type of product


iStorage datAshur Pro+C

Encrypted flash drive


Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Hub Slim Pro

Thunderbolt hub


StarTech.com MacBook Pro Privacy Screen



Ugreen Nexode Pro 160W 4-port

USB charger


Magnetic breakaway USB-C connector

USB accessory

$22 for a 2-pack

Because these are a diverse set of accessories, I can't throw specs at you to tell you what is the best MacBook accessory, as this really depends on what you need. 

For me, the encrypted datAshur Pro+C is a must-have as this augments the storage I have on my MacBook Pro, and allows me to have backups of important documents without compromising security. This is closely followed by the Ugreen Nexode Pro 160W 4-port fast charger, because this charger really is for me the one charger to rule them all -- big enough to power multiple devices, but not so big or heavy that I leave it at home!

Maybe for you what's at the top of your priority list is privacy, or more ports, or not breaking your USB-C port! 

I'll leave this for you to decide!

Which is the right MacBook accessory for you?

Choose this MacBook accessory

If you want or are…

datAshur Pro+C flash drive

You need super secure encrypted storage that James Bond would be proud of. This flash drive is as secure as they get!

Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Hub Slim Pro

You need more USB-C ports! Even on my MacBook Pro, which has three USB-C ports, I sometimes find having more very useful!

StarTech.com MacBook Pro Privacy Screen

Put a stop to shoulder surfing! This privacy screen darkens your screen to those sitting close to you, massively boosting your privacy.

Ugreen Nexode Pro 160W 4-port fast charger

You want a much better charger than Apple supplies with the MacBook. And here you not only get three USB-C ports, but you also get a single USB-A port for any legacy stuff.

Magnetic breakaway USB-C connector

You are clumsy -- or are around clumsy people -- and there's a danger of someone tripping over a USB-C cable and dragging your MacBook to the ground! This simple breakaway connector has saved my skin more than once.

Factors to consider when choosing MacBook accessories

If you want to invest in a MacBook accessory, you should consider the following: 

  • Do you really need it? Gadgets are cool, but it's always worth asking yourself if you really need something -- after all, there's always something else you could be spending you money on.
  • Portability: Things like hubs are great, but they can become a nuisance if you're moving your MacBook from place to place.  
  • Price: MacBooks aren't cheap, and by extension, MacBook accessories can command a premium price. But here I've worked to find things that represent value for money.

How did I choose these MacBook accessories?

Put simply, everything listed here has been extensively tested, reviewed by me, and continues to be used almost daily. All the products have been in use for many weeks or months and continue to function perfectly. 

All the items listed here have made the grade and found their way onto this list based on merit, and each has truly earned its place.

Can you use a 140W charger designed for a MacBook Pro on smaller MacBooks?

Yes, the MacBook -- or whatever device the charger is hooked up to -- controls how much power it draws, so there's no danger that comes from using a higher-power charger with a device that doesn't draw that much power.

Do privacy screens affect the color and brightness of a display?

Yes. It cuts down the brightness of the display, and also removes a significant amount of blue light. 

For general use, this is not an issue, and hardly noticeable, but if you use your laptop for photo and video editing, then be aware than the privacy screen will affect how the photograph or video looks on a computer without a privacy filter. 

What is the difference between Thunderbolt and USB-C?

A lot of the confusion stems from the fact that USB-C, or more accurately, USB Type-C, refers to a 24-pin connector. This connector is utilized by various interface protocols, including USB, Thunderbolt, PCIe, HDMI, DisplayPort, among others.

Thunderbolt is a protocol designed for connecting devices to computers, initially released in 2011. Nowadays, we see Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 capable ports on hardware. Both of these advanced protocols utilize the USB-C connector.

So, USB-C is the port, Thunderbolt is a protocol that can use USB-C.

Are there alternative MacBook accessories worth considering?

Given the popularity of the MacBook and the MacBook Pro, the is a very healthy and buoyant third-party accessory ecosystem for them. 

If you can think of it, it probably exists!

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