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Can You Get Ethernet Through USB?

Ethernet cable against laptop.

Connecting to the internet is no longer a relic of the distant past. Today, millions of individuals from around the world connect online daily for work, entertainment, or even shopping purposes. If you are interested in setting up your own internet connection, you may be curious about using Ethernet through a USB connection.

It is possible to set up a direct Ethernet connection with the use of a USB connector and solution. 

What is Ethernet?

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Ethernet is typically referred to as a complete system that helps connect a local network, which can help connect devices to the internet and external connections.

What is a USB connector?

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USB, also known as Universal Serial Bus, is a type of technology that is used for collecting, connecting, sharing, and transferring information with the use of small plugs and miniature hard drives. 

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How do you get Ethernet through USB?

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It is possible to get Ethernet and connect to the internet via a USB connector device. You may need to invest in a USB to Ethernet port, which will help with making direct connections to the internet via your preferred device.

What type of Ethernet and USB adapter do I need to get online?

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If you are interested in getting Ethernet through a USB port, you can do so by investing in a USB to Ethernet port or a USB Type-C adapter. There are numerous USB adapters on the market, which is why it is important to conduct adequate research to determine which adapter is right for you as well as the device(s) you intend to connect to the internet via your USB adapter and Ethernet cord. 

What are the best USB converters and adapters for Ethernet connections? 

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When you are in the market for a USB converter or adapter, consider choosing between an Ethernet to Thunderbolt converter or an Ethernet to USB Type-C converter for the best possible outcome. Both of these options can help with connecting to the internet and discovering Ethernet connections while helping to convert the connection into data sharing and/or streaming.

How do I know which converter or adapter to purchase for my own device?

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Before you purchase an Ethernet USB converter or adapter, it is best to research your specific computer or device that you intend to use the internet with to determine which modes and models are compatible. Not all adapters are compatible with Thunderbolt adapters as well as USB Type-C adapters, which is why it is essential to research your options ahead of time. 

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Why do you use an Ethernet cable and USB adapter?

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Using a USB adapter to connect your Ethernet cord to your preferred device can significantly boost the overall internet speed you have access to with your device. A direct connection to the internet is often much faster than a wireless connection, and it will also help to improve ping and latency for those who are in need of a top-tier internet connection at all times. 

Is it necessary to use a USB adapter for my Ethernet connection?

Woman plugging ethernet cable on laptop.

Not always. If you have a computer that is compatible with Ethernet connections, you may have the ability to plug in an Ethernet cord you intend to use directly into the computer, laptop, or online device itself.

However, over time, the use of traditional Ethernet ports has become a bit obsolete with new-age technologies and wireless solutions. If you have a newer computer or device, you will more than likely require a USB adapter or a USB connector if you intend to use a traditional Ethernet cord to access the internet.

Is an Ethernet cord required to get online and browse the internet?

Closeup of ethernet cable.

While in the past, an Ethernet cord was standard practice for setting up a computer and connecting it to the internet, the use of the Ethernet cord is no longer as commonplace or as necessary.

With the advent of wireless technologies and Bluetooth wireless solutions, it is no longer necessary to use Ethernet cords to simply get online and browse the internet.

What is the advantage of connecting to the internet via an Ethernet cord? 

Ethernet cable connected to laptop.

Using an Ethernet cord actually provides a significant benefit, as it helps to improve internet speeds while also ensuring the connection you have online is as solid and as fast as possible.

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A direct connection with an Ethernet cord can also help with improving the overall security of your current internet connection and/or wireless network you are using to access the internet. With an Ethernet cord, you can also transfer, download, and share data exponentially faster than with the use of a wireless internet connection. 

Steps to connect your USB adapter to your Ethernet connection

Ethernet cable connected to USB adaptor.

Once you have made the decision to use an Ethernet cord to get online but you require the proper USB adapter to do so, find the right model of a USB adapter that is right for your computer or digital device.

After you have the proper equipment and adapter tools, you can connect your USB adapter to your current Ethernet connection by completing the following steps:

  1. Connect your USB adapter to the digital device of your choices, such as a laptop or a desktop computer. If you are attempting to connect to a device such as a tablet, you may require a mini-USB adapter to plug in your Ethernet USB adapter without problems.
  2. Plug your internet router’s main Ethernet cord into the USB adapter. This Ethernet cord will be the cord that is used to plug directly into a computer’s standard Ethernet port. Most often, a LAN or Ethernet cord will appear blue or yellow in color, depending on the type of Ethernet cord you are using for your connection.
  3. Allow a few seconds for the Ethernet cord to register with your USB adapter and for it to pick up the signal it receives. Oftentimes, your USB port will glow or give off a lit indicator that it has been successfully connected with an Ethernet cord and is ready to connect to the internet.
  4. Launch your device’s preferred browser to test your internet connection. Because an Ethernet cord is a direct connection and gateway online, you should not experience issues with connecting online and it should be possible immediately after connecting the cord directly to your device(s).
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What if my internet is not working after connecting my Ethernet cord to my USB adapter?

No internet connection displayed on laptop.

If you connect your Ethernet cord to your USB adapter but you are still unable to access the internet, use the following troubleshooting tips to attempt to resolve the issue: 

  1. Verify that your Ethernet cord is plugged in properly and that your internet connection is active, stable, and secure.
  2. Test your Ethernet cord on another device, such as a standard desktop computer, to confirm that your internet connection has not been interrupted or corrupted.
  3. Verify that the USB adapter you are using with your Ethernet cord is compatible with the device(s) you plan to use to access the internet, as not all devices will work with standard USB/Ethernet adapter ports. 
  4. Restart and/or reset your home’s router or modem. Resetting your router and modem can help send a stronger signal to your router, allowing for a better connection once you connect your Ethernet cord to your USB adapter of choice.
  5. Unplug and plug in your Ethernet cord after resetting your modem or router. Allow for anywhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes for your router and modem to restart before attempting to plug in your Ethernet cord again. 
  6. Check your device’s settings to confirm that you are allowing internet connections and have not disabled internet or Ethernet connections from outside sources.
  7. Call your ISP, or Internet Service Provider if the issue persists and you are still unable to access the internet.