Maximize Wi-Fi Speeds With a USB Ethernet Adapter

If slow Wi-Fi has got you down, you might need an Ethernet adapter. An affordable USB Ethernet adapter allows you to plug any Wi-Fi compatible device directly into your router, giving you the fastest speed that it's capable of running.

Are USB Ethernet adapters interchangeable?

You will need to purchase the correct adapter for your device. Unlike a USB plug, an Ethernet adapter has to be compatible with your device. One type of adapter is generally compatible with several devices, but not with all devices. Double-check compatibility before purchasing. You can find a wide variety of new and preowned USB Ethernet adapters on eBay.

What's the difference between a 2.0 USB and a 3.0?

When you are searching for your USB Ethernet adapter, you will notice they often refer to the USB end as 2.0 or 3.0. The biggest difference is the speed of transfer. A 3.0 can transfer data up to 10 times faster than a 2.0. A 2.0 USB can fit into a 3.0 port, so if your Ethernet adapter has a 2.0 but you have a 3.0 port on your device, it will still work. However, it will be limited to transferring data at the rate of 2.0. To maximize efficiency and speed, match your adapter to the port you plan to use it in. There are several different types of USBs:

  • 2.0: This is the oldest type.
  • 3.0: This one is faster than 2.0 but backward-compatible with it.
  • A: This is used most commonly.
  • B: This is square in shape and most commonly used with printers.
  • C: This is the fastest. It's reversible so that it can be plugged in either direction.
What does backward-compatible mean?

When searching for an affordable USB Ethernet adapter, you will often see in the product description that it is backward-compatible. This simply means that the adapter is compatible with older versions. This designation is often seen on 3.0 USB cables, indicating that the cable can be plugged into a 2.0 port without further modifications. USB-C cables will also generally state that they are backward-compatible to a USB 3.0. eBay has many options inexpensive cables and adapters available, so you are sure to find one for your device.

Do you need a driver to make an adapter work?

While many computer accessories require you to download a driver, an Ethernet adapter does not. This is simply a tool to connect your Ethernet to another device that doesn't have an Ethernet port. As long as you have ensured that the adapter you bought is compatible with your device, it's a plug-and-play accessory.