USB to RJ-45 Adapter: Convert a USB Port into a Network Port!

Single Port USB to RJ-45 Adapter/Converter:

The Anker Uspeed USB 3.0 to 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet LAN Network adapter/converter is a very handy device to have if you want to add a Network/RJ-45 port to laptops, notebooks, ultrabooks, desktops or PCs. Some laptops do not come with RJ-45/Network ports (why, why, why?) and in some (older ones), the RJ-45 port might not be working anymore. In cases like these, you can use this adapter to add a network port through the USB port.

I know what question you have in your mind: Will it work with my tablet? Will I get my android/surface RT tablets to connect to the wired network port? The answer is – No, It won’t. But (unofficially), some users have successfully connected this adapter to Surface Pro tablets and it seems to be working fine. However, why would you buy a tablet and want to connect it over the wired network? Buy a Wi-Fi router/AP!

Some points to note:

  • USB 3.0 easily supports gigabit speeds and hence you can connect to gigabit networks (10/100/1000 Mbps) at the full speed offered by them. These two are the latest standards that support the highest speeds (as of today) and hence it is recommended that you buy adapters compliant with these, instead of the ones that support only older standards (like USB 2.0 or 10/100 Mbps ports).
  • Practical speeds of 100 – 110 Mbps is achievable if you plug the adapter/converter into a USB 3.0 port. If you plug it into a USB 2.0 port, you’ll achieve only 25% of USB 3.0 speeds.
  • The RJ-45/Network port on the adapter needs to connect to a wired network port – network switch port or one of the switch ports of the router. Of course, the adapter connects to the USB port of the computer on the other end.
  • If you face any speed/performance issues, download the latest driver software from the manufacturer’s website and install it. This adapter comes with a CD that contains device drivers for Windows and Mac computers.
  • This is an Ethernet adapter for computers and cannot be used for connecting other types of USB-based devices like printers, etc. to the network. There are other adapters for such purposes. Try to check your device compatibility with the info provided on the manufacturer’s website, before you buy.

If you want to use this adapter with a Linux system (along with Win/Mac), you might as well look at the Cable Matters USB 3.0 to RJ-45 Ethernet adapter.

USB to RJ-45 Adapter/Converter + 3-Port USB Hub:

If you are unhappy about losing one precious USB port on your computer/laptop for connecting this adapter, don’t worry yet. There are certain USB to RJ-45 adapter/converter models that come along with a 3-port USB hub.

Have a look at Satechi or Diamond Multimedia USB to RJ-45 adapter and 3-port USB hub models. Some things to remember –

  • The device doesn’t require an external power supply to work.
  • The total power that can be supplied from the USB 3.0 port to the three USB 3.0 ports on the device, is limited to only as much power one USB 3.0 port can provide. Hence, if you want to use multiple devices that require too much power from USB (through this adapter), you might want to consider this point. Connecting passive devices like pen-drives, should be fine though.
  • The total data transfer rate available for the port is limited to what one USB 3.0 port can provide (5 Gbps, theoretical). This data will be shared among all the ports present on the device. But that’s a lot of bandwidth, anyway.

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