How to Connect a Phone or Tablet to the Internet Using an Ethernet Cable

  If your Wi-Fi is too slow?and cellular data is erratic, there is an alternative. With an Ethernet cable, and the right adapter, you can connect your mobile device to an Ethernet port on your router or modem for a fast and dependable connection.?

  It may seem odd to connect a mobile device via Ethernet, since Wi-Fi is built-in and easily available, but there are times when it makes sense. Your home Wi-Fi could be weak but your Ethernet connection is strong. You could be staying at a hotel with Ethernet port access, but unreliable or expensive Wi-Fi. Or you might need a better connection for online mobile gaming.

  The main limitation is that you’re tethered to the Ethernet port on your router or modem, so you can’t go too far with your device. You can increase the range with a longer Ethernet cable, which can stretch up to 300 feet, though you may want to limit yourself to 50 feet to avoid tripping.

  Buy the Right Adapterusb-c-to-ethernet adapterAnker USB-C-to-Ethernet Adapter

  First, you’ll need to pick up the right adapter for your particular phone or tablet. Most of these adapters shouldn’t cost more than $20 and can be found on retail sites like Amazon, Best Buy, and Newegg.?

  Most Android devices and the iPad Pro will need a USB-C-to-Ethernet adapter, while older Android phones and tablets require a micro USB-to-Ethernet adapter. If you have an iPhone or standard iPad, you will need a Lightning-to-Ethernet adapter.

  micro usb to ethernet adapterPlugable micro USB-to-Ethernet adapter

  While some recognizable brands make these adapters, many of them are made by companies you might not recognize. It shouldn’t matter who you buy from, but your best bet is to read the reviews to see what other customers have to say. Not all adapters are compatible with every device, so do some research before you make a purchase.

  Get an Ethernet Cableethernet cableCat 7 Ethernet Cable

  If you don’t already have an Ethernet cable, you can easily find one online. Prices vary depending on the length and quality of the cable, so you don’t have to spend a lot here, but don’t skimp either. Amazon sells a basic cable for cheap, but if you want something longer or tougher, there are nylon cables at differing price points.?

  Set Up Your Android Device

  Your Android device must be running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher, and be disconnected from Wi-Fi and cell service to connect via Ethernet. Both can be turned on and off by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping their respective icons.?

  android settings

  Alternatively, go to Settings > Network & internet (or Connections) and turn off the switch for Wi-Fi. Go to Settings > Network & internet (or Connections) > Mobile Network and turn off the switches for mobile data and roaming. You can also simply turn on the switch for Airplane mode, which automatically disables Wi-Fi and cellular connections for your device.

  network settingsSet Up Your iPhone or iPad

  The process for using your iPhone or iPad is similar to that on Android, which means you’ll need to turn off Wi-Fi and cellular access. Swipe down from the top right of the screen to display the Control Center. Tap the Wi-Fi and Cellular icons to turn off these services.?

  iphone networking settings

  Alternatively, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and turn off the switch. Go to Settings > Cellular and turn off the switch for Cellular Data. To save time, open Control Center or Settings and turn on Airplane mode.

  Connect Your Device to Ethernet

  Now if you load a website in your browser—preferably one you don’t use often so a cached version of the site doesn’t pop up—you should get a notice that there’s no internet connection. Connect the Ethernet cable to your router or modem, then connect the Ethernet adapter to the Ethernet cable. Finally, connect the the adapter to your phone or tablet.

  no internet

  If the adapter has display lights, you should see the lights flash to indicate a connection. Refresh the current page on your browser, and it should now load. While you should be able to enjoy normal internet service through an Ethernet connection, some apps and services may not work properly because they expect a Wi-Fi or cellular connection.