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How to Add an Ethernet Port to a Laptop

Learn how to add an Ethernet port to your laptop to improve speed and connection stability.

XPS Laptop XPS / Unsplash

Last Updated: November 11, 2021

Written by Brandon Jones

How Do I Add an Ethernet Port to My Laptop?

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While you can't add an Ethernet port directly onto a laptop, you can use a USB to Ethernet adapter to use an Ethernet connection with your laptop.

Below, you can find my recommended USB to Ethernet adapters to get the correct adapter for your laptop.

This article will explain what a USB to Ethernet adapter does, how to install one, and which adapters I recommend for your laptop.

What Is a USB to Ethernet Adapter?

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A USB to Ethernet adapter is a way to use a wired Ethernet connection directly to your laptop. The adapter plugs into one of the USB ports on your laptop. Then you can plug an Ethernet cable into the adapter. Having a direct connection from your laptop to your router with an Ethernet cable is an excellent alternative to using Wi-Fi.

Why Do I Need an Ethernet Port on My Laptop?

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If you're having trouble with the Wi-Fi on your laptop or want to improve speed and connection stability, you may be wanting to use Ethernet instead. If your laptop doesn't have an Ethernet port, this becomes a limitation.

You should use an Ethernet port if you want a more stable and faster connection and don't mind having to run a cable to your laptop from a router. Unlike Wi-Fi, there's no chance of the connection cutting out from objects or walls interfering or being too far away from the router. Ethernet cables are a direct connection that eliminates those obstacles.

How to Use a USB to Ethernet Adapter

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To use a USB to Ethernet adapter, plug the adapter into the appropriate USB port on your laptop, then plug an Ethernet cable into the end of the adapter.

After that, you plug the other end of the Ethernet cable into your router. Your internet should work after that. If your internet doesn't, try restarting your laptop.

If you're still having connection issues, it may be a sign of your router going bad. Check out my related article for some troubleshooting tips: Is My Router Bad/Broken? How to Tell if You Need a New Router.

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USB 3.0 to Ethernet Adapter

  • TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter
  • Compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Supports up to 1000 Mb/s Ethernet speeds.
  • Plug and play with the latest OS versions, so you can use it without installing extra drivers.
  • Backward compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1. You'll likely see lower speeds with these compared to using a USB 3.0 port.
  • Find the TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter on Amazon (affiliate link). TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter

USB C & Thunderbolt 3+ to Ethernet Adapter

  • UGREEN USB C to Ethernet Adapter
  • Compatible with Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, Linux, and most tablets/smartphones.
  • Supports up to 1000 Mb/s Ethernet speeds.
  • Plug and play with the latest OS versions, so you can use the adapter without installing extra drivers.
  • UGREEN USB C to Ethernet Adapter on Amazon (affiliate link). UGREEN USB C to Ethernet Adapter
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Finding Ethernet cables which comply with their category rating can be a little tricky. Some manufacturers use misleading or incorrect naming, and their cables do not allow you to get the maximum expected speeds.

Here are some cables which I recommend: