The laptops are becoming thinner and thinner nowadays, and some of them do not even include the ethernet port anymore. If you use Wi-Fi in your daily life to connect to the internet, then this may not be as important to you. But what to do if the Wi-Fi is broken or the signal is just too low to get anything done? In situations like these, you can count on USB C, USB 3.0, or 3.1 and on the Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.
Why do the new laptops get rid of the ethernet port?
As the years go by, the laptop users run more and more browser-based apps. They store their files in the cloud and thus require less storage space. The processors are also becoming smaller and more efficient. All of this means that our laptops are becoming thinner, but still maintain (and improve) a great level of performance.
In addition, the modern-day user tends to carry their device with them wherever they go. This means that when the manufacturers have to decide which features they are going to cut in order to make the laptop more portable, the ethernet port is close to the top of the list. In some cases, the ethernet port is as thick (or even thicker) than the device itself, so it is not surprising that it must go.
Some reasons that may prevent you from using Wi-Fi
Not all Wi-Fi connections are reliable. And if you are in an unfamiliar conference room and you cannot vouch for the strength of the Wi-Fi, then it is better to be safe and connect the laptop to the ethernet. You do not want your presentation to start buffering midway through.
Sometimes using the Wi-Fi may not be a good idea for security reasons. If you work in an office where everyone has access to the same Wi-Fi, it is better to use the ethernet to protect sensitive data.
And more often than not, the strength of the signal is the culprit. Your Wi-Fi may be far away from the workspace.
So how exactly do you connect the laptop to the ethernet?
Even if your laptop does not have the appropriate port, you can still access the ethernet network if you have a Gigabit Ethernet Adapter and one of the following: USB C, USB 3.0, or 3.1. The adapter needs to be plugged into your laptop, and then you can connect to the network via a cable through the RJ45 end.
Is the adapter “plug and play”?
The plug and play adapters do not require reconfiguration; usually, they work just fine from the very first time you connect them.
Some adapters on the market, for example, Amazon Basics adapter, fall into this category. This adapter doesn’t require you to install anything. However, there are some USB adapters that are not plug and play. This may also depend on the operating system of your laptop. The aforementioned USB 3.0 to gigabit ethernet adapter is not entirely plug and play. If you are using MAC or Windows 7, for example, you will need to install some additional drivers from their websites. But the good news is that if your laptop runs on Windows 10, race drivers will be installed automatically. If you purchase a non plug and play adapter, you will need access to the Internet to install the additional drivers. This is a big issue because the inability to access Wi-Fi is the reason you have decided to use the ethernet adapter in the first place. This sort of defeats the purpose of having the ethernet adapter. So, when purchasing the adapters, pay attention to whether they are plug and play, and if they are not, you will need to plan their installation ahead of time.
Make sure that your laptop has appropriate USB ports
The vast majority of new laptops have the USB C port. However, many older models only offer a USB A port. So before you purchase the adapter, make sure that your laptop has the necessary USB port; otherwise, you will not be able to connect the ethernet cable.
What other options do you have?
If none of the aforementioned options are suitable for you, then there is one more option. You could purchase an external Wi-Fi adapter or a Wi-Fi signal booster to ensure that your connection to the Internet via Wi-Fi is stable. Unlike the Wi-Fi connection, the ethernet connection is more reliable. It does not get affected by the environmental factors and allows you to do your job without interruption. That is the reason why many industry professionals (especially those employed in building the IT infrastructure) have been relying heavily on the ethernet connection in their professional life.