Jun 17, 2023
7 Best USB to Ethernet Adapters for Laptops and MacBooks
Ethernet is the most reliable way to connect to the internet. While you can use Wi-Fi for a wire-free experience, ethernet offers better stability, and your browsing experience will be marred by
Ethernet is the most reliable way to connect to the internet. While you can use Wi-Fi for a wire-free experience, ethernet offers better stability, and your browsing experience will be marred by lesser disconnections too. Unfortunately, laptop manufacturers have seemingly given up on the ethernet port in a bid to make sleeker notebooks. But, fret not. If you’re a power user who is vying for a reliable internet connection, follow our recommendation for the best USB to ethernet adapters.
Ethernet adapters can be used with both USB-A or USB-C ports. So, whether you have an old Windows laptop or the latest MacBook, there’s an Ethernet adapter for everyone. Apart from servicing your ethernet needs, some adapters come with additional ports or SD card slots as well. That said, here are some USB-A and USB-C to ethernet adapters for your MacBook and Windows computers.
Before that –
The Uni Ethernet Internet Adapter is a simple USB-A 3.0 dongle with no bells and whistles. It’s a plug-and-play device that facilitates gigabit ethernet speeds. Since USB 3.0 devices are backward compatible, you can even use the Uni dongle with older laptops that have USB 2.0 ports.
Of course, using the Uni adapter with a 2.0 port would affect the Internet speeds. However, most users have said the speeds are consistent which makes it a reliable adapter.
Despite being affordable, the Uni ethernet dongle for laptops has a braided cable making it durable. There’s even an LED indicator to tell you the connection status, which is great.
In terms of ethernet functionality, the Ablewe adapter draws parallels to Uni’s offering mentioned above. It uses a USB-A 3.0 connector and is compatible with both Mac and Windows. The difference though is that you get three USB-A ports on the Ablewe adapter, thereby making it more functional.
Think of the Ablewe RJ45 adapter as a multi-purpose hub. Along with giving you stable internet connectivity, it also lets you connect three additional devices. So, if your laptop has limited USB-A ports and the dongle itself occupies one port, you should consider getting the Ablewe adapter.
You can connect flash drives, external hard disks, and numerous peripherals to the USB hub. With over 12,000 reviews, users seem to be happy with the way the Ablewe adapter has held up. It performs well and delivers stable internet speeds.
Anker uses high-quality materials for its laptop and smartphone accessories and the company’s PowerExpand adapter is no different. It has a metallic exterior and uses a braided cable with a USB-C end. It’s similar to the Uni adapter but uses a USB-C connector instead of a USB-A toggle.
A handful of MacBooks and Windows laptops don’t have a USB-A port. In such a case, it’s best to get a USB-C to ethernet adapter. For those wondering, a USB-C ethernet dongle will be able to facilitate the same gigabit internet speeds as USB-A adapters.
As per the reviews, one of the best features of the Anker adapter is that the ethernet cable locks into place when it’s plugged in. As such, you won’t dislodge the cable if you accidentally tug on it.
UGREEN’s USB-C hub is an exact replica of the Ablewe dongle with the difference being that it comes with a USB-C connector. While the connector might be USB-C, the additional ports that you get are still USB-A.
We wish UGREEN also included one USB-C port along with the USB-A ports on the adapter. This would have provided users with the option to connect modern accessories like SSDs or even charging cables.
You can still use the USB-A ports to connect mouse/keyboard dongles, flash drives, etc. UGREEN is a reputed brand that makes high-quality accessories so you don’t have to worry about the longevity of the dongle either. The cable is also braided which makes it sturdy.
If you’re looking for an ethernet adapter that can also double up as an all-encompassing USB hub, then you’ll find plenty to like about the Ablewe 8-in-1 USB-C hub. To that end, it offers a host of additional I/O for your computer.
A dongle is necessary to connect external devices and it is a quintessential accessory for MacBook users. If you don’t have an existing dongle, consider getting the Ablewe 8-in-1 adapter. Not only do you get a gigabit ethernet port but you also get an array of other connectors too.
For starters, there’s an HDMI port to connect external displays. Then, you get two SD card slots of different sizes for creators. The unit even has a USB-C port, which should make up for the one that it occupies on your laptop. It’s also surprisingly inexpensive for what it offers. Some users have reported that the Ablewe dongle gets hot to the touch, but that’s the case with most adapters.
Belkin’s accessories generally play well with Apple products. This makes the Belkin dongle one of the best USB-C to ethernet adapters for MacBooks. It also gets a pass-through USB-C port, which is great.
Belkin’s LAN adapter is somewhat expensive for what it offers. Nevertheless, you’re paying for the reliability and the ability to charge your Mac using the dongle’s USB-C port. Note that the Power Delivery is limited to 60W so if you have a MacBook Pro 16, you won’t be able to charge it at the max speed.
Users cite that the Belkin dongle works well with iPads and phones too, so you use an ethernet cable with the aforementioned devices if you please.
The Plugable ethernet adapter is an ideal fit for anyone who oscillates between different devices. If some of your computers have USB-A ports and some have USB-C, it’s best to get Plugable’s dongle. We say this, as the USB-C connector is accompanied by a USB-A plug, which adds to its versatility.
Given how Plugable’s dongle is compliant with a host of devices, it only makes us wonder why other brands haven’t followed the company’s suit.
Not just that, Plugable also gives you speeds of up to 2.5Gbps which is more than twice the standard 1Gbps connection. This makes it the fastest adapter for gaming and streaming on the list. On the flip side, the dongle doesn’t feature any other ports. What’s more, the Plugable adapter is slightly expensive. That said, the dongle’s versatile nature and support for faster Internet speeds somewhat make up for it’s pricey MRP.
Choosing between a Wi-Fi or ethernet connection depends totally on your use case. While an ethernet connection is stable, Wi-Fi is synonymous with convenience as it doesn’t require you to be tethered at all times. So, pick one based on your requirements.
The answer to this completely boils down to your personal requirement. A simple ethernet adapter is cost-effective in comparison to a hub. However, hubs – despite being on the pricier side – let you leverage SD card slots or USB ports along with providing an ethernet slot.
All the adapters mentioned above are rated for gigabit internet speeds.
A Wi-Fi connection — albeit convenient — is prone to random disconnections. An ethernet connection, on the other hand, is a stable alternative. We’ve strived to enlist the best USB to ethernet adapters for your Mac or Windows laptop in the aforementioned guide. All of these adapters should help you establish a stable internet connection. You can pick any of the above-mentioned accessories depending on whether you only want an ethernet port or a multipurpose dongle.
Last updated on 01 June, 2023
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Sumukh has been simplifying tech for the masses and helping consumers pick the right gadgets with his in-depth insights and reviews. He decided to hide his engineering degree in the closet to pursue his passion for writing. Over the past 5 years, he has contributed with guides, reviews, and detailed opinions to notable publications like TechPP and XDA-Developers. When not jamming his fingers on thoccy mechanical keyboards, Sumukh is busy convincing people how VR Gaming is the next best thing after sliced bread.Connector:Ports: Connector:Ports: Connector:Ports: Connector:Ports: Connector:Ports: Connector:Ports: Connector:Ports: 1. Is Ethernet better than Wi-Fi?2. Should I get a dedicated ethernet adapter or a multipurpose hub?3. What is the maximum speed I can get via an ethernet adapter?