The best Lightning cable is also one of the least expensive

Most Lightning cables look the same, sometimes with varying colors, but what’s inside can vary widely.

The materials used in the Lightning cables can affect everything from long-term durability to charging speed.

Wirecutter recently measured the charging speed of nearly 50 Lightning cables and then sent the fastest 11 cables to an electrical engineer for teardown analysis and found that the three-foot long Anker Lightning to USB Cable, which starts at $5.99, is the one to buy.

Anker's Apple MFi Certified Lightning to USB Cables
Anker’s Apple MFi Certified Lightning to USB Cables
Anker Lightning to USB Cables are Apple MFi Certified, so they feature complete charge and sync compatibility with iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5s, 5c, 5, iPad Air, Air 2, iPad mini, mini 2, mini 3, iPad (4th generation), iPod nano (7th generation), and iPod touch (5th generation).

The cables sport a compact (0.34in × 0.22in / 8.6mm × 5.6mm), heat-resistant Lightning connector that fits into virtually all external case cutouts. Anker cables also come with a long 18-month warranty.

Wirecutter reports, “The Anker stands out among the competition thanks to solid build quality inside and out, a Lightning-connector plug that works with almost any case, and a price tag that’s less than half of what you’ll pay for one of Apple’s cables.”

MacDailyNews Take: Interestingly, the Apple MFi Certified Anker cables are the exact same make of Lightning to USB cables we use when we’re not using Apple’s.

We also use the shorter Anker 12-inch Lightning to USB cables in conjunction with Anker PowerPort 4 USB Wall Chargers featuring 4 ports with a with foldable plug ($19.99) when on the road. These are smart chargers that provide the fastest possible charge for iPads and iPhones no matter which of the four ports you use. Each wall outlet spouts 4 Lightning cables for your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and iPod touch devices. It’s perfect. Nothing goes uncharged!

Anker PowerPort 4 ($19.99) 40W 4-Port USB Wall Charger with Foldable Plug for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and iPod touch
Anker PowerPort 4 ($19.99) 40W 4-Port USB Wall Charger with Foldable Plug for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and iPod touch


      1. NEVER. I do not want wireless charging, ever. I want to be able to plug into the ubiquitous charging accessories that everyone has.

        Wireless charging is a bag of hurt — first, it’s inefficient and relatively more expensive, second, it renders the phone immobile while charging.

        If you haven’t noticed, all the wireless chargers out there are big, clunky, and useless for travelers and people on the move.

        1. Qi charging is super convenient for people who aren’t on the move. I drop my Nexus 4 on the slab on my bedside table or next to my monitor at work and it’s always charged.

  1. The $19.99 price for the 4-port charger was a lightning deal with limited supply. I think I got the last one (and was only allowed to order one) The price is now $27.
    The black one is $47. Amazon likes to do stuff like that hoping you don’t notice the price change when you click on it.

      1. Had – That sale was over this morning before you or I ever posted here.

        And the black one has gone up from $47 to $52 in the last couple of hours . . . for the exact same product as as the white one.

  2. I have my original for years. All working great no damage at all. I think these people that break them pull or yank at the wire or just rip the iPhone out on the go. No wonder they break within weeks.

    1. Yea. I have many original items in great shape. It’s all in how you take care of them.
      Running over cables with your office chair repeatedly, then claiming the cable is crap is what I see time and time again.

    2. I can’t believe how many people do this! I even had to rescue my own cable when staying at a friends and they started yanking it out by the cord. It’s like they never pulled a power cord from the wall probably before.

    3. My Apple earbuds take all kinds of twisting and pulling just from normal use. But Apple’s charge cords repeatedly break on me. No, I never pull the cord improperly. I just use the device while I’m charging it. Shouldn’t be a problem, but it is.

    1. No, not without an adapter. There are no direct Lightning ports on any models of MBPs and there are no Lightening to Thunderbolt adapters. Therefore, you need a USB adapter, or use a Lightning to USB cable, as pictured in the MDN article above.

      Here’s a recent article of interest:

      Guide to Mac and iPhone ports: what is USB Type-C, Thunderbolt & Lightning, and how many USB ports on a MacBook
      Get to know the ports on your Apple products. Find out about USB Type-C, Thunderbolt & Lightning, FireWire, USB 3.0 and more… Plus learn how many USB ports there are on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

    2. Yes, with a female to female adapter available in AMZ or if you have the other endings, then the male to male adapter.

      Each cost less than £1 and I always carry one in my MacBook Air briefcase. Also carry the small cables so that I am not surrounded by cable !

  3. I bought a two pack of anker cables. I cut the ends off and use the resulting cables as laces for my lawn shoes-they are worthless as charging cables. I bought them based on an earlier review I read here. I’ve gone through countless cables and thought this would be the end of my search.

    I’m still looking.

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