Connect Ethernet Cable to Laptop without Ethernet Port

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ethernet cable laptop

Modern laptop manufacturers are starting to ditch the Ethernet port for a light and sleek design. This makes sense as majority of people have started to rely on Wi-Fi for connecting to the internet.

If you want to connect an Ethernet cable to your laptop without an Ethernet port you will need a USB adapter. In this guide, we’ll discuss how to configure a USB adapter to connect an Ethernet cable to your laptop.

Why Don’t Modern Laptops Come With an Ethernet Port?

Computer manufacturers are constantly innovating and improving. This includes making the new laptop models thinner, lighter, and faster. Since many users today run web-based applications and store files on their cloud laptop manufacturers can afford to sacrifice some features from the computer.

This means removing some features that aren’t necessary for the user. Computer manufacturers have started to get rid of the Ethernet port as the port is usually very thick. This means for the laptop to be slimmer, thinner, and lighter – manufacturers would have to get rid of the Ethernet port.

Since many people nowadays use Wi-Fi they did not notice much change in their day-to-day lives.

However, that doesn’t mean an Ethernet cable is of no use.

Benefits of an Ethernet Cable

An Ethernet cable is not a thing of the past and can still prove to be beneficial in modern times. Below are just some of the benefits an Ethernet cable can provide you:

  • Weak Wi-Fi signal – An Ethernet cable can come in handy when your Wi-Fi has a weak signal. It can also be used when your Wi-Fi is unreliable such as, during meetings and conferences. Imagine you’re in the middle of a sales pitch and suddenly your presentation goes in an endless loop, leaving everyone disappointed.
  • More secure – When using a Wi-Fi connection you are much more vulnerable to hacking and unaware of who might be using your network. With an Ethernet connection, you know exactly who is using the network and prevent security threats.
  • Much more faster – Using an Ethernet cable is much faster compared to a Wi-Fi connection. This is because with an Ethernet cable you have a direct one-on-one connection with the internet other than a widespread network. The power will be directed directly towards your laptop making download/upload speeds faster.

As you can see, having an Ethernet cable is much more efficient than Wi-Fi in some cases. But, what if you don’t have an Ethernet port?

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

To connect the Ethernet cable to your laptop you would need the help of a USB adapter.

1.    Get a USB adapter

usb ethernet adapter

There are many USB to Ethernet adapters you can find online or at retail stores. These are usually inexpensive costing around $10-$20. If you want to see faster speeds you should get a USB 3.0 adapter if you’re laptop has a USB 3.0 port.

Note: Be sure to check the compatibility of the USB to Ethernet adapter. Be sure to buy the one that is compatible with your current operating system.

2.    Connect the adapter to your laptop

With the USB adapter at hand, find a USB port on the side of your laptop. This would be either a USB-A port or USB-C port.

usb a usb c port

Plug your adapter into the correct port.

3.    Download the drivers (if needed)

Many adapters nowadays are plug-and-play meaning they’re ready to use once you plug them in. However, if you are using an old adapter or your adapter doesn’t automatically install the drivers you might need to install them manually.

To download the required drivers for the USB adapter:

  • Go to the manufacturer’s website.
  • Click on Downloads or Products.
  • Find you device model – this is noted on the adapter.
  • Download the drivers for that model.
  • Open the download and install it.

4.    Connect the Ethernet cable to the adapter

Now that after everything is setup, take your Ethernet cable and insert the RJ45 side into the adapter and it should connect to the internet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding connecting your Ethernet cable without an Ethernet port.

Can a Desktop use this type of connection?

Yes. Desktops usually have an Ethernet port embedded into the motherboard. If you do not see it you might need to purchase a Network Interface Card (NIC) and install it in the computer.

How do I use a LAN cable when my laptop has no LAN port?

A LAN cable is the same as an Ethernet cable. You can use an Ethernet cable by buying a USB to Ethernet adapter and plugging it into your computer and connecting the LAN cable through it.


Many newer laptop models have started to get rid of the Ethernet port for a sleeker, lighter, and more portable design. However, an Ethernet cable is still a great way to secure your connection and have a stronger connection. For these laptops, it is possible to connect an Ethernet cable without an Ethernet port. To do this you would need to purchase a USB to Ethernet adapter and plug your Ethernet cable through there.

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