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How to Use Ethernet On Laptop Without No Ethernet Port

Most devices we use today need an internet connection to work properly. Thankfully, Wi-Fi is found in most locations these days. But what if your Wi-Fi connection won’t work? It may leave you with no other option than to use a direct Ethernet connection.

Unfortunately, many laptops no longer have Ethernet ports, while those that do may have driver issues. There is also the possibility that your laptop’s Ethernet cable is broken. Luckily there are workarounds, such as special adapters that allow you to get internet when there is no Wi-Fi.

You may have a working Ethernet socket on your laptop, and the problem originates elsewhere in your setup. Let’s take an in-depth look how you can get internet to your laptop without an ethernet port.

What is the Purpose of an Ethernet Cable?

Notebook keyboard with  Ethernet cable

To properly understand the purpose of Ethernet cables, we must look at how a home network works. They are integral in connecting to the internet and professional internal networks.

For your internet connection to work, you need a connection line provided by your ISP. The line gets installed from an access point to your home. The line then connects to an Optical Network Terminal, which translates information to and from the fiber connection. 

From the Optical Network Terminal, your modem gets connected via Ethernet cables. It runs from the ONT to your primary modem. The modem transmits and receives Wi-Fi signals. The process is simple enough that one doesn’t need expertise or knowledge to set it up. 

The problem occurs when, for some reason, you cannot connect your laptop to the Wi-Fi. When this happens, your only option is to connect your laptop manually via an Ethernet cable. 

Depending on your modem, your Wi-Fi signal may be much faster than you would get from an Ethernet link. However, Wi-Fi signals are less stable than a direct line. 

To set up a direct Ethernet connection, plug an Ethernet cable into the modem and the opposite end of your laptop’s Ethernet port. Naturally, this will not be possible without a working ethernet port.

Why Choose A Direct Ethernet line?

Some users prefer connecting their devices via an Ethernet connection. One reason is that the connection is more stable. Another is that the Wi-Fi router might be installed too far to communicate with your laptop. It is important to emphasize that both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections have pros and cons. 

How to Connect an Ethernet Cable to a Laptop Without an Ethernet Port

Usb to ethernet connector adapter isolated over the white

It can be difficult to connect an Ethernet cable to your laptop when you don’t have the right port. Luckily, you can resolve the problem if your laptop has a USB Type-3 or USB-C port using a USB to Ethernet adapter(on Amazon).

There was a time when USB ports could only transfer data at low speeds. Today, these ports can handle massive data transfer speeds, likely faster than your internet plan. These transfer rates are important because it means that the using an adapter to connect to an Ethernet cable won’t throttle your internet speeds.

USB to Ethernet Adapters for Laptops

The name says it all. You can purchase a small, inexpensive adapter with an Ethernet socket on one end and a USB plug on the other. That is the solution in a nutshell. However, before you celebrate this simple solution, know that you may update your drivers for this to work. 

Driver Updates

Updating your computer’s drivers a decade ago was an awful and confusing fuss. Today Windows 11 and macOS have you covered. Once the Ethernet cable is linked via the USB adapter, your connection should work.  

If it doesn’t work immediately, to solve this issue, tether your laptop to your phone using the appropriate data transfer cable for your device. You can also share your phone’s connection via Bluetooth if your data cable does not work.

When you have successfully linked your laptop to your phone’s data service, navigate to ‘Updates‘ on your laptop and click ‘check for updates.’ 

  1. Select the additional driver’s menu and check for a USB Ethernet driver.
  2. Once the update is complete, restart your laptop.
  3. The adapter should work perfectly now.

How to Find the Right Adapter for Your Laptop

Finding the right adapter is easy enough. Windows and macOS may require different drivers, but the driver setup is easy on either platform. The important thing is that you get the adapter that matches the available USB ports on your laptop.