Do I need a USB to Ethernet adapter?

I figure I do, but before I spend cash I just wanted to be sure. 

I have an old Windows 7 laptop which has what I assume would be described as an Ethernet port - and indeed, my Ethernet cables slotted in. 

Now I've bought a Windows 10 machine and, just as there is no in-built optical drive, there's also no Ethernet port - only what I assume are USB-C ports, but then I'm quite new to computing. 

In order to use the Ethernet cable to create a wired connection between my router and my laptop, can I simply purchase a 'USB to Ethernet Adapter', or might there even be a cheaper option? It's annoying to buy a new laptop then immediately have to spend more money on an optical drive and other peripherals. 


Hi Marvinator. I am using Wi-Fi currently, but I want a wired connection for faster speeds. 

Any reason why I'd lack Ethernet capability?

5 Answers

  • opurt
    Lv 7
    5 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Agreed with Anonymous, just get a USB-C to Ethernet adapter. They work great and usually don't even need drivers that aren't already included with the OS.

    You can even get USB-C hubs that include Ethernet and other connectors too (even video), if you need the extra ports or if you want to only plug one cable into your laptop.

  • Steven
    Lv 4
    5 months ago

    You have to use USB and maybe you can upgrade it from window 7. 

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  • 5 months ago

    If the laptop does not have an Ethernet port, then you would need USB to Ethernet adaptor.  Or, you could just run it off the wifi card that is built into the laptop.  Wifi has reached the speed of cabled Ethernet, which is why they do not include Ethernet ports any more.  You do not need one.  Just use the build in wifi.

  • Lv 7
    5 months ago

    if you needed an ethernet port, you should have bought a laptop that has one. a USB to ethernet adapter won't work without a device that supports that kind of adapter.

    just return the laptop and buy a new one...

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  • 5 months ago

    A USB to ethernet adapter may not be the way to go here.   It sounds as if you have no ethernet capability, but you may be able to use WIFI on your new laptop. Is your router wifi capable?  

    EDIT TO ADD: Newer laptops and tablets have moved to Wifi as it is becoming more universal.  People take their Laptops/Tablets everywhere with them and it's just easier to use Wifi.  Ethernet is an entire add on board with a plug and by leaving it off they can make the laptop/tablet cheaper. This is the same with the Optical drive which you also don't have.  They find it easier to make a cheaper unit without it.  

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