Ethernet connections allow you to connect your computer to networked routers, high speed internet modems, and various computer peripherals like network printers, and Ethernet to Ethernet computer connections. However if your computer only has USB connections or you need an extra Ethernet port you can convert USB to Ethernet and have a fully functioning Ethernet connection.

Standard USB cableStandard Ethernet Cable in Ethernet PortCredit: By Khairil Yusof from Malaysia (RJ45 Ethernet Cable) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The best method is to use a plug and play USB to Ethernet adapter to convert usb to ethernet. This method saves time and does not require much additional software or setup. 


Power up your computer. Look for an available USB port on your computer. USB ports are located on the front and back of desktop computers while on laptops they are often on the side or back. Some peripherals such as keyboards and monitors may have additional USB ports built into them.


Plug the USB end of the USB to Ethernet port adapter into the available USB port. Connect an Ethernet cable to the other end of the adapter. Connect the Ethernet cable to the device you want to connect to such as the internet router, printer, or modem. 


Wait for the computer to detect the new hardware and allow it to install the appropriate USB to Ethernet drivers. If the adapter came with drivers on a CD, install those drivers instead. Restart your computer if needed.


Use your device as needed. Note that you may need to go into Network Settings in the Control Panel and manually configure your network settings if using the USB to Ethernet adapter to connect to the internet. For example if using a cable internet connection through a router you may need to select your ISP username and account information and cable appropriate settings. 


Ideally installing an Ethernet PCI card into your desktop computer is the best option. However, if using a laptop or just looking for a quick way to make Ethernet connections out of USB ports a USB to Ethernet dongle or plug and play adapter is a quick and useful fix.