You’re a consultant, and you stride into a new client’s office with your laptop, only to discover they’ve disabled WiFi for security reasons.
You pull out your Windows tablet in a hotel room, but the only internet available is coming through a wire on the desk.
You’re a gamer and you’re tired of watching helplessly as your frozen character dies of WiFi-induced lag.
You plug your computer into your brand new Gigabit fiber optic connection, and it’s no faster than before.
A USB to Ethernet adapter can be the answer in each of these scenarios. All of them can add an Ethernet port to a supported computer that lacks one. Some offer speeds far faster than a typical wireless connection or an older network card. A wired connection is also more stable, more reliable, and more secure than a wireless connection.
Which one is right for you? Which will work with your device? How can you get the highest speeds without wasting money on unneeded capacity or buying something that doesn’t work with your computer? To make a good decision, you can think about the 3 C’s: Compatibility, Capacity, and Cost.
the different USB-Ethernet adapters and their compatibility with different operating systems. Please note that even if a device is compatible with a given computer, it may need to be configured to work on a particular network, especially in corporate or institutional settings like hospitals or universities. When plugging directly into a cable or DSL modem on a home network, it may be necessary to disconnect power from the modem for 30 seconds, then plug it back in again to make it accept the new device.
Capacity and Cost
Everyone wants the fastest possible network access, whether for connecting to the internet or downloading files from an office server. But there’s no point spending money on capacity you can’t use. For example, if you are accessing the internet through a cable connection that promises a maximum 25 Megabits per second (Mbps), there is no reason to invest the extra money to buy a adapter that can reach speeds 40 or 50 times faster. Our USB2 adapter, with its 95Mbps maximum speed, would be a better choice. Getting a faster adapter won’t make your network faster if its speed is limited by your internet connection or other hardware on the network.
The speed at which data can be transferred over a network depends on a lot of variables, and the final speed will only be as fast as the slowest thing affecting it. To get the most speed possible, be sure your router, cables, and any switches or hubs are also designed for the speed you are hoping for. If there are many computers connected to your network or if any connected computer has a virus or trojan, this will also degrade speed.
For the purposes of selecting the right adapter for your situation, you’ll want to select an adapter that exceeds the maximum speed of your network, while taking into consideration any likely future improvements. Network speeds are usually measured in Megabits (one million bits) per second (Mbps). Be careful not to confuse Megabits with the Megabytes commonly used to measure file sizes and hard drive speeds. A byte is made up of 8 bits, so it would take more than 8 seconds to download an 100 Megabyte file at 100 Megabits per second.
Generally for a home network, the most important consideration is the speed you have contracted for with your Internet service provider (ISP). Contact them if you aren’t sure. Speeds of 10-50 Mbps are common, but recently download speeds in excess of 1 Gigabit per second (1000 Mbps) have become available in some areas. In an office setting where you might be spending a lot of time communicating with another server on the same local network, the maximum speed of the local network hardware and the server you are accessing might be the most important consideration. Some offices also have fiber optic access to the internet at 1000Mbps or higher.