The Best USB to VGA Adapters and Converters

VGA was the original video standard for computers which means it’s been in use since the 1980s. Not many computers today ship with VGA outputs but plenty of external displays and video projectors still require VGA input. USB to VGA adapters can help to bridge this gap.

Example uses for USB to VGA adapters and converters:

Say you have a video projector with VGA input but a laptop with no VGA output. You can use a USB to VGA adapter to connect your laptop to the video projector (or an external monitor that accepts VGA input).

The Best USB to VGA adapters and converters:

Startech 1080p Slim USB 3.0 to VGA External Video Card Multi Monitor Adapter
USB to VGA Adapter

This USB to VGA adapter works on either USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports on your computer. It also works on both Macs and PCs, provided to install the free USB to VGA driver software. The maximum resolution that this converter will handle is 1920 x 1200 resolution, slightly higher than 1080p HD video.




StarTech USB 3.0 to VGA 1080p 1-Port Hub External Video Card Multi-Monitor Graphics Adapter
USB to VGA Adapter

This USB to VGA output cable also functions as a mini hub, providing a replacement USB port for the port that you lose when it’s plugged in. In other words, you can both output VGA video and use a USB device (such as a keyboard) at the same time with a single port (it’s hidden in the picture shown, but the USB port is on the side directly opposite the VGA port). This is especially handy if you have a laptop with a limited number of USB ports. This connector works on both Macs and PCs.

Belinda® USB 3.0 to VGA Adapter Converter with Aluminium Case for Pc Laptop Win7 Win8
USB to VGA Adapter

This USB to VGA adapter works with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. It does not work on Mac laptops or Microsoft Surfaces, but if you have a Windows-based PC laptop running Windows 7 or 8, this converter will work without needing to install a driver.

Plugable USB 3.0 to VGA / DVI / HDMI Video Graphics Adapter for Multiple Monitors
USB to VGA Adapter

This is a simple USB to VGA adapter that also comes with an additional DVI to VGA plug, meaning you can “daisy chain” the two adapters together to output either DVI or VGA from a USB port. Note that it only supports Windows PCs and comes with special software that needs to be installed in order for it to work.

The Best USB to HDMI Adapters and Converters

USB to HDMI adapters and converters can be quite useful to connect computers to external displays, TVs, or video projectors when you don’t have an external display port (or it’s broken or already occupied). To use a USB to HDMI adapter you will typically need to install special software on your computer that the adapter manufacturer creates. This software is often included with the adapter and can also be found on the manufacturer’s website.

Example uses for USB to HDMI adapters and converters:

You want to connect your laptop to an external monitor but the normal external monitor port on your laptop doesn’t work, so instead of paying for a costly repair, you can use one of these USB to HDMI adapters. Or, you have only one external display port on your computer but you want to connect two external displays to it at the same time. Another possibility: your computer only supports HDMI output at 1920×1080, but you want to hook it up to a 4K display that your computer’s graphic card supports.

The Best USB to HDMI adapters and converters:

Cable Matters USB 3.0 to HDMI DVI Adapter for Windows and Mac up to 2560×1440 / 1920×1200
USB to HDMI Adapter

This USB to HDMI adapter is pretty much what you’d expect: USB on the end that plugs into your computer, and a female HDMI port on the other end. Note that you’ll need to supply your own HDMI cable. Like other USB to HDMI converters, this product requires you to install software on your computer first (it’s on an included CD and is also available from the manufacturer’s website if your computer doesn’t have a CD drive like many modern laptops don’t).




StarTech Slim USB 3.0 to HDMI External Video Card Multi Monitor Adapter
USB to HDMI Adapter

Here’s a super slim black USB to HDMI monitor adapter. Like other USB to HDMI converters, this product requires you to install software on your computer first (it’s on an included CD and is also available from the manufacturer’s website if your computer doesn’t have a CD drive like many modern laptops don’t).

StarTech USB 3.0 to HDMI External Multi Monitor Graphics Adapter with 3-Port USB Hub and 3.0 Mini Dock
USB to HDMI Adapter

This USB to HDMI adapter allows you to hook up your laptop or other computer to a television or other monitor as a second display. Unlike many other USB to HDMI adapters, this particular model also functions as a hub, supplying you with three additional USB ports in addition to the HDMI out port. Note that it requires USB 3.0 to function properly (it will be slower on USB 2.0 and may not update the correct number of frames per second of video).

The Best Thunderbolt & Mini Displayport to DVI Adapters and Converters

Sometimes you need to connect a computer with a Mini Displayport (or Thunderbolt port) to an external device with a DVI input port. Note that for our purposes, Mini Displayport and Thunderbolt are the same types of port, so we’ll use those terms interchangeably in this article.

Example uses for Thunderbolt & Mini Displayport to DVI adapters and converters:

You might need a Mini Displayport to DVI adapter if you’re connecting your Macbook to a video projector, or an external display or external monitor.

The Best Thunderbolt & Mini Displayport to DVI adapters:

VicTec Mini DisplayPort Thunderbolt To DVI VGA HDMI TV Adapter Cable 3 in1 for MacBook iMac Surface Pro Surface Pro 3 ThinkPad X1
Mini Displayport to DVI Adapter

This Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt to VGA adapter has three outputs: HDMI, DVI and VGA (all three computer video standards), allowing you to connect to virtually any monitor. Note that since this is a converter, you’ll also need an HDMI cable, VGA cable, or DVI cable to connect to the external display device itself.




Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter (MB570LL/B)
Mini Displayport to DVI Adapter

This Apple-made Mini Displayport to DVI adapter will allow you to connect your Macbook Air, Macbook or Macbook Pro to a video projector or external monitor that accepts DVI inputs. (It will also work with non Apple-made products with Mini Displayports.) Note that this adapter does not include the DVI cable itself, so you’ll need to supply your own, or get an adapter with both ends of the cable like the next item in this list.

Cable Matters Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt™ 2 Port Compatible) to DVI Cable
Mini Displayport to DVI Adapter

This Mini Displayport to DVI cable will connect a laptop to an external monitor or video projector without any additional cables. It is available in both black and white color options and comes in models ranging from 3 feet all the way up to 25 feet in length.

Thunderbolt & Mini Displayport to VGA Adapters and Converters

Thunderbolt and Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapters convert the output on your Mac laptop (or PC laptop with Mini DisplayPort, or Microsoft Surface, etc) to a VGA cable, allowing you to connect your computer to an external display. Note that for our purposes, Mini DisplayPort and Thunderbolt are the same types of port, so we’ll use those terms interchangeably in this article.

Example uses for Thunderbolt & Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapters and converters:

Many projectors and computer monitors use VGA input ports to connect to computers, so you might want to connect your Macbook to a projector for instance.

The Best Thunderbolt & Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapters:

VicTec Mini DisplayPort Thunderbolt To DVI VGA HDMI TV Adapter Cable 3 in1 for MacBook iMac Surface Pro Surface Pro 3 ThinkPad X1
Mini Displayport to VGA

This Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt to VGA adapter has three outputs: HDMI, DVI and VGA (all three computer video standards), allowing you to connect to virtually any monitor. Note that since this is a converter, you’ll also need an HDMI cable, VGA cable, or DVI cable to connect to the external display device itself.




Cable Matters Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt™ 2 port Compatible) to VGA Cable in Black 6 Feet
Mini Displayport to VGA

Here’s a well reviewed Thunderbolt (Mini DisplayPort) to VGA cable. It’s black and measures six feet in length (other lengths, from 3 feet to 15 feet are also available). It is an all in one adapter cable, meaning you will not need an additional VGA cable to plug into it in order to use it. If you already have a VGA cable of the appropriate length, you may wish instead to get a converter dongle, like the next item in this list.

Apple Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter MB572Z/B
Mini Displayport to VGA

This Apple made Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter converts your Mac laptop’s external monitor port to VGA to connect to a projector or external display. While converter works with a Macbook, Macbook Pro, or Macbook Air, it will also work fine with non Apple products (like a Microsoft Surface for instance). Note that you will still need a VGA cable to use this, since the VGA end is a female VGA port.

Thunderbolt & Mini Displayport to HDMI Adapters and Converters

With Thunderbolt to HDMI adapters, you can connect a computer with a Mini Displayport or Thunderbolt port to an external monitor that uses the common HDMI standard. As far as external monitors are concerned, Mini Displayport and Thunderbolt are two different names for the same type of port, so you will see them used interchangably in this article.

Example uses for Thunderbolt & Mini Displayport to HDMI adapters and converters:

Apple laptops such as the Macbook have Mini Displayport ports, also known as Thunderbolt ports, to which you can attach an external display, TV or monitor with an HDMI input. You could also use this Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter to connect to certain projectors that have HDMI inputs.

The Best Thunderbolt & Mini Displayport to HDMI adapters:

VicTec Mini DisplayPort Thunderbolt To DVI VGA HDMI TV Adapter Cable 3 in1 for MacBook iMac Surface Pro Surface Pro 3 ThinkPad X1
minidisplayport-to-hdmi

This Mini Displayport/Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter has three outputs: HDMI, DVI and VGA (all three computer video standards), allowing you to connect to virtually any monitor. Note that since this is a converter, you’ll also need an HDMI cable, VGA cable, or DVI cable to connect to the external display device itself.




Cable Matters Gold Plated Mini DisplayPort Thunderbolt Compatible to HDTV Cable
minidisplayport-to-hdmi

This Mini Displayport/Thunderbolt to HDMI cable is black and measures 6 feet in length (lengths up to 25 feet are also available). One end of the cable is HDMI, the other end is Mini Displayport/Thunderbolt. This means you will not need an extra HDMI cable, but if you already have an HDMI cable of the correct length, you may wish instead to get a dedicated Mini Displayport to HDMI converter, like the next item in this list.

AmazonBasics Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt) to HDMI Adapter for Apple iMac and MacBook (L51G)
minidisplayport-to-hdmi

This is an adapter to convert the Mini Displayport/Thunderbolt output from your computer to an HDMI signal which you can plug an HDMI cable into to connect to a television, video projector or external display. It does not include the HDMI cable, which you will need to supply yourself.

IDMIX Mini Displayport to HDMI Adapter Gold Plated Thunderbolt to HDMI Converter (Male to Female) for Apple MacBook/ Air/ Pro/Mini/ iMac/ Mac Pro (White)
minidisplayport-to-hdmi

Although at a casual glance this item looks like a normal USB stick, it’s actually a Mini Displayport to HDMI adapter. It plugs into the Thunderbolt port on your computer and converts it to an HDMI port. For those looking to minimize the number of cables they travel with, this stick style adapter can be a great option (however it of course isn’t flexible if you need your converter to be used at a 90 degree angle because of space concerns for instance).