You Should Consider Buying an Add-On Ethernet Adapter for Your Laptop or Tablet – La Cañada Wireless Association
You Should Get an Ethernet Adapter
Most laptops and tablets these days do not have an Ethernet adapter built in. Rather, they assume you will use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet. But there are times when you will need to connect via Ethernet, if only temporarily, to diagnose issues. And if you stream movies a lot, you also might want one to use every day.
So, I recommend all members have the ability to connect via Ethernet, and a laptop or tablet adapter is one way to do that.
Three Reasons you Should Have Ethernet
- One reason is to enable you to confirm that your internet is working in your house when it appears that it has died. Sometimes a router’s Wi-Fi signal will be unusable, and it will appear your internet is cut off. But if you plug your laptop directly into the router via Ethernet, you might find a good connection. These days LCWA volunteers rarely make house calls, so you testing that narrows the problem down when on the phone with us and could avoid a costly home visit by a paid computer technician.
- The other reason to get an Ethernet adapter for
your computer is for giving you a way to run a more accurate internet speed
test. We often get calls from people saying they think their internet is
slow. We then ask them to plug their laptop directly into their router (with
Ethernet) and when they do, they often find that the speed is fine. In this
case it’s their Wi-Fi that is slow, not the internet. Wi-Fi performance can
suffer greatly due to distance from the router, interference, overloading by
other devices, and so on (here’s
a tech article on that). Having an Ethernet adapter can allow you to diagnose
that, and again, it can avoid a costly home visit by a paid computer technician.
- Related to the previous point, if you watch
Netflix or Prime or other video channels on your laptop over Wi-Fi, you might
see issues. Connecting directly to your router via Ethernet could eliminate
buffering and other video problems. Again, slow, weak, or congested Wi-Fi is
pretty common. A wired Ethernet cable eliminates all those issues.
Which Adapter to Buy?
Expect to pay anywhere from $12 to $39 for one of these adapters. Which adapter depends upon the model of your laptop (or tablet), and its age. The main distinction is whether your laptop has the older type A connectors, or the newer type C connectors.
Older laptops have only USB A connections, which are
the wide fat ones, so you’ll need an adapter with that on its end. Here’s one
that supports USB 3.0 (faster): https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-1000-Gigabit-Ethernet-Adapter/dp/B00M77HMU0/
The newest PCs, Macs, Androids, and iOS devices have USB C
connectors. They are skinny, are reversible, and tend to be faster. If you
have a computer with that, you’ll need an adapter with that on one end. Here’s
one I use: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077KXY71Q/
Older iPads and iPhones can accept an adapter that has a lightning jack at one end. Here’s one example. https://www.amazon.com/Amatage-Lighting-Ethernet-Network-Required/dp/B07NW9HSL7/
Got an Ethernet Patch Cable?
Oh, and of course you’ll need an Ethernet patch cable to plug between this adapter and your router (that would be port 2 or 3 on an airCube btw). If you don’t have one, here is an inexpensive one: https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-RJ45-Cat-6-Ethernet-Patch-Cable-3-Feet-0-9-Meters/dp/B00N2VISLW/
Need a USB Hub?
What if all the USB ports are already being used on your laptop? For example, newer Mac laptops are notorious for having very few USB ports. In that case you’ll need to also get a USB hub so you have someplace to plug that adapter into. When you choose a hub, be sure to match it with your USB type. Most hubs assume you are using the older type A connector. If you see a hub saying it supports USB 3.0, then that’s a type A hub—for the older style. These tend to be less expensive.
If you have the newer type C connectors, be sure to find a hub that supports those; but it’s surprisingly hard to find a type-C-only hub, and they are expensive. You normally have to buy a hub that supports both types A and C, and more.
As that last choice shows, some hubs can be useful for multiple purposes, like adding USB ports, Ethernet ports, memory card slots, and even monitor ports. Getting a hub that also has an Ethernet port makes sense if that’s your main reason for getting a hub—one fewer thing to buy. Read this article about selecting USB hubs across the various types.
Again, you should Have an Ethernet option, Our Support Dept will Expect it
So again, you should get one of these adapters and patch cables even if you don’t normally use Ethernet. Reason? If you communicate with one of our support people about bad internet, one of the first things they will ask you is “does it work if you plug directly into the router with Ethernet?” And if you say “I can’t do that” you’ve just greatly limited how much we can help you. So get one of these and have it on hand for those moments you need one.
Best USB to Ethernet Adapter in 2023
As the size of laptops gets smaller and smaller, so does the number of available ports. A common port that is lacking on many laptops is an Ethernet port. While this isn’t a huge problem for most users, some need a wired connection for either work or gaming purposes. This is where a USB to Ethernet adapter comes in handy.
A USB to Ethernet adapter is a very simple device that allows you to connect your laptop to an Ethernet network. This is a great way to get a fast and reliable connection, especially in an area with spotty WiFi. While most adapters will work with any laptop, a few are specifically designed for certain types of laptops.
We’ve rounded up the 5 best USB-to-Ethernet adapters for you, so all you have to do is choose the one that best fits your needs.
5 Best USB to Ethernet Adapter
1. TECKNET USB to Ethernet Adapter with USB C Adapter
TECKNET USB to Ethernet Adapter, USB C to Ethernet, Aluminum 3 Port USB 3. 0 Hub with RJ45 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter Converter LAN Wired, USB Network Adapter with USB C Adapter for Laptop
- 【Extra USB C Adapter】The new version of the Ethernet adapter comes with a USB C adapter which to connect to Ethernet whether the computer only USB C interface or USB A interface, also easily transform the type-C port on the device to 3 Type A ports, allows you use network and other USB devices at the same time.
- 【Three Extra USB 3.0 Ports】This Ethernet adapter offers extra 3pcs USB 3.0 ports to your ultrabooks, notebooks and tablets featuring USB interfaces and enjoy data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps which 10 times faster than the original USB 2.0 port, also backwards compatible with USB 2.0/1.1 devices.
- 【USB 3.0 to Ethernet Adapter】The USB Ethernet adapter with USB 3.0 to RJ45 gigabit Ethernet port can up to 1000Mbps stable connection speeds. Gigabit Ethernet port provides fast network speed for you to online gaming, surf the Internet, online HD video streaming, upload, and download, backward compatible with 100Mbps/10Mbps networks.
TECKNET 4 in 1 USB Ethernet hub is made for connecting laptops with a single USB or USB C port. To expand a single USB or USB C connector to three USB ports while retaining the Gigabit Ethernet connection, connect your keyboard, mouse, printer, and webcam to this simple and useful addition.
It’s easy to install- just connect the adapter to your laptop’s USB port, then connect the Ethernet cable from the router to the adapter.
The small, lightweight USB 3.0 hub keeps all connections organized and neat, ensuring that plugs and cables do not interfere with one another. Ideal for use as an extension solution outside of your computer system.
The biggest hurdle people face when installing a new gadget is the driver. TECKNET has resolved this by providing a Driver-Free solution, which means it’s plug-&-Play. No installation is required.
The USB hub is compatible with various operating systems, including but not limited to Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista, Mac OS, Chrome OS, Ipad OS, Android, and Linux.
- 4-in-1 design
- The driver-Free solution, which means it’s plug-&-Play
- Compatible with a variety of operating systems
- The cable may not be as long as some people need
2. Amazon Basics USB 3.0 to 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Internet Adapter
Amazon Basics USB 3.0 to 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Internet Adapter, Black
- Connects a USB 3.0 device (computer/laptop) to a router, modem, or network switch to deliver Gigabit Ethernet to your network connection. Does not support Smart TV or gaming consoles (e.g.Nintendo Switch).
- Supported features include Wake-on-LAN function, Green Ethernet & IEEE 802.3az-2010 (Energy Efficient Ethernet)
- Supports IPv4/IPv6 pack Checksum Offload Engine (COE) to reduce Cental Processing Unit (CPU) loading
Add high-speed Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to a desktop or laptop with a USB 3. 0 port with this Amazon Basics USB 3.0 to 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN Network Adapter. Simply connect the adapter to an available USB port and plug in the desired network cable to deliver fast, reliable wired internet connectivity.
The adapter adds high-speed Ethernet compatibility to your device to connect it to a router, modem, or network switch.
A reliable connection is critical when working from home or running a business. This Amazon Basics adapter ensures a fast and reliable wired internet connection.
This Ethernet Internet Adapter supports Windows 10/8.1/8/7, Chrome OS, Linux, or Android. But it’s not compatible with Mac OS or iOS.
- Super-fast transfer speeds
- Supports IPv4/IPv6
- No MacOS or iOS support
3. ABLEWE USB 3.0 to Ethernet Adapter
USB 3. 0 to Ethernet Adapter,ABLEWE 3-Port USB 3.0 Hub with RJ45 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter Support Windows 10,8.1,Mac OS, Surface Pro,Linux,Chromebook and More
- 【USB 3.0 Ethernet Adapter 】:Expand a single USB 3.0 port to connect more, Ablewe 4 in 1 USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter features a 1000Mbps RJ45 gigabit port, 3 USB 3.0 ports. And all hub ports can work simultaneously.
- 【5Gbps Data Transfer】: This USB network hub offers extra 3 USB 3.0 ports for connecting multiple USB peripheral devices such as flash drive, hard drive, keyboard, mouse, printer and more, keep you away from the trouble of plugging & unplugging your devices repeatedly. You can also transfer an HD movie in seconds.
- 【Plug and Play】:No need to install any drivers, provides access to superfast network speeds 10/100/1000Mbps,just plug and play, and makes it possible for computers without an Ethernet port to connect to an wired Ethernet connection.
With 3 extra USB 3.0 ports, this ABLEWE USB 3. 0 to Ethernet adapter lets you connect your laptop to a wired network and add three more USB devices.
The adapter is easy to set up and use- simply connect it to your laptop’s USB port and then connect the Ethernet cable from the router to the adapter.
The ABLEWE USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter is compatible with MacBooks, iMacs, MacBook Pros, Dell laptops, Lenovo laptops, and HP laptops.
Always hate having to keep plugging and unplugging things? Now you don’t have to with this handy device! Plus, it’s super fast- You can transfer an HD movie in just seconds.
- 5Gbps transfer speed.
- Easy to set up and use.
- Compatible with a variety of devices.
- Failed to work with old computers.
4. TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter
TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter (UE306), Foldable USB 3. 0 to Gigabit Ethernet LAN Laptop Network Adapter, Supports Nintendo Switch, Windows, Linux, Apple MacBook OS 10.11- OS 12, Surface
- USB Ethernet Adapter: UE306 is a USB 3.0 male A to RJ45 female ethernet adapter which connects your computer or tablet to a router or network switch for wired network connection. It adds a standard RJ45 port to your Ultrabook, notebook for file transferring, video conferencing, gaming, and HD video streaming
- Gigabit Networking for Fast, Stable Data Transfers: Full 10/100/1000Mbps gigabit ethernet – faster and more reliable than most wireless connections. USB powered, no external power required. Backward compatible with USB 2.0/1.1
- Plug and Play in Nintendo Switch: UE306 helps connect your Nintendo Switch to a wired network system, a much faster and more stable network environment than a WiFi connection. Enjoy super-fast and high-quality downloading on your Nintendo Switch
As the company name might suggest, the TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter is a more affordable option. Also, it’s super easy to use- just connect the adapter to your computer’s USB port and then connect the Ethernet cable from the router to the adapter. That’s it!
This handy little gadget is also quite fast, with network speeds up to 1000Mbps for a smooth and responsive experience.
Moreover, it’s compatible with a wide range of operating systems, including but not limited to Windows 11/10/8.1 and Linux OS.
This adapter is perfect for gamers, online streamers, and anyone who needs a fast and reliable connection.
- Easy to use.
- Fast transfer speeds.
- Compatible with a wide range of operating systems.
- It may not work with all devices like MacOS.
5. uni USB to Ethernet Adapter
USB to Ethernet Adapter, uni Driver Free USB 3. 0 to 100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN Network Adapter, RJ45 Internet Adapter Compatible with MacBook, Surface,Notebook PC with Windows, XP, Vista, Mac/Linux
- 【USB 3.0 Fast Transmission】uni Ethernet Adapter supports 10/100/1000 Mbps at fast USB 3.0 speeds and is also backward compatible with both USB 2.0 and USB 1.1. Note: To reach 1Gbps, make sure to use CAT6 & up Ethernet cables.
- 【Plug & Play】USB to Ethernet adapter serves as the bridge between RJ45 Ethernet cable and your USB 3.0 devices and does not require any driver or software installed. Choose uni and enjoy your hassle-free network speed boosting experience. (Note: driver is required on Win 11. You can find the User Guide in the “Product guides and documents” section of the listing.)
- 【Secure & Stable】Wired network is known as being securer and more stable than wireless connections, and uni’s USB to RJ45 adapter is the perfect solution to maintain a safe and smooth network during online classes, video conferences, downloading large files, video streaming and gaming on your USB 3. 0 devices. But Not Recommended for TV.
The uni Ethernet Adapter is backward compatible with both USB 2.0 and 1.1, offering 10/100/1000 Mbps at lightning-fast USB 3.0 speeds. Please Note: If you want to achieve the advertised 1Gbps transfer rates, use CAT6 or higher Ethernet wiring.
Super easy to use and set up, this Plug-&-Play adapter requires no drivers or software installation. You will always know the working status with the LED indicator, and the aluminum case keeps your product cool and safe.
- Can achieve 1Gbps transfer rates
- LED working status indicator
- Not compatible with macOS.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best USB to Ethernet Adapter?
As usual, there are a few things you should take into account when choosing the best USB to Ethernet adapter for your needs. Here, we have done in-depth research and put together a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision. Not only this guide is for you, but we’ve also selected the best USB to Ethernet Adapter based on this criteria.
Wired and Wireless
There are two types of connection: wired and wireless. So, which one should you choose? It all depends on your needs. We recommend going with a wired connection if you need a fast and stable connection. On the other hand, wireless is the way to go if you need a more flexible and convenient connection. This one is equipped with an antenna that sends and receives WiFi signals.
These USB network adapters are pretty handy as they can be used with various devices such as laptops, computers, gaming consoles, and more.
You can often find USB network adapters bundled with an accessory called a “hub.” Hubs usually offer different types of ports, bringing back functionality lost as computers get thinner and lighter. They also allow you to connect more external accessories — like flash drives and SD cards — to your computer simultaneously.
The speed of your adapter is important, but it’s not the only thing you should consider. If you need a fast connection for online gaming or 4K video streaming, you’ll want an adapter that can provide speeds up to 1 Gbps. But if you only need a fast connection for web browsing and email, you can get away with a much slower adapter.
We realize that you may need to take your USB network adapter with you at all times, which is why most of these devices are tiny. On the other hand, if you only intend on utilizing it in one location, a larger hub would be more suited since it has greater port availability.
You’ll want to ensure that your USB network adapter is compatible with your devices. Most adapters will work with Windows and Mac computers, but you may need to check if it’s compatible with your specific model. The same goes for any other type of device you want to use it with, like a gaming console or a TV.
Since you might need this adaptor to plug in and out quite often, you’ll want to ensure that it’s durable. A promising sign of durability is a braided cord since it can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Another good sign is a metal connector since it won’t crack or break as easily as plastic.
USB C Adapter
C adapter is the newest and most advanced type of USB connection. It’s much faster than previous versions and can provide speeds up to 10 Gbit/s. It’s also reversible, so you don’t have to worry about plugging it upside down. The only downside is that it’s not as widely compatible as older versions of USB.
You should always check to see if the USB network adapter you’re interested in comes with a warranty. This shows that the manufacturer is confident in its product and is willing to stand behind it. A warranty will also protect you in case your adapter stops working or arrives defective.
Of course, you’ll want to consider the cost of the USB network adapter before making your purchase. But remember, the most expensive option isn’t always the best. Consider your needs and find an adapter that fits your budget and requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can USB be converted to Ethernet?
Yes, you can convert a USB connection to an Ethernet connection using a USB to Ethernet adapter.
Is USB to Ethernet faster than WIFI?
Yes, a USB to Ethernet connection is typically faster than a WiFi connection.
Can I use a USB to Ethernet adapter with any computer?
Most USB to Ethernet adapters are compatible with both Windows and Mac computers. However, it’s always a good idea to check the adapter’s compatibility with your specific computer model before purchasing.
Let your needs guide you when choosing the best USB to Ethernet adapter. Whether you need a fast connection for gaming or streaming or a more durable adapter for frequent use, there’s an option that’s perfect for you. Consider each adapter’s speed, size, compatibility, durability, and cost before making your final decision. And don’t forget to check for a warranty—it could come in handy down the road.
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HOW TO ENABLE WI-FI ON A LAPTOP AND SET UP IT – 4 steps
The key advantage of laptops over desktop PCs is mobility. It is convenient to take a laptop with you on business trips, move around the apartment, etc. When accessing the Internet, the main emphasis is on a wireless connection, in compact models there may not be a LAN connector for a cable at all. That’s why it’s so important that Wi-Fi works.
How to connect Wi-Fi in a laptop
In general, for a wireless connection you need to go through 4 points:
- Find the tray icon with a monitor, a ladder, radio waves radiating from a point, or a globe. If nothing like this is there, set up the notification area. In Windows 10, to show hidden icons, you need to click the upside down checkmark.
- Select a router. Click Connect.
- Enter the password carefully.
- If the home computer will communicate with other devices, answer “Yes” to the question about choosing a network.
If the Internet does not appear, start small. Reboot the equipment: turn off the router and laptop, wait a minute and turn it on in the same order. Check the manufacturer’s utility, which is related to the operation of the wireless adapter, if any: is it running, is Wi-Fi enabled in it.
An interesting model: Acer Predator Triton 300: a review of a gaming laptop in 12 sections The F-buttons are hung with the functionality of controlling the screen brightness, backlight, sound, Wi-Fi, and more. Adjustment is usually done by pressing the F-key in tandem with Fn. Magic button to enable / disable Wi-Fi depending on the manufacturer:
Occasionally come across models with a hardware switch on the case.
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Checking and installing Wi-Fi drivers
There are situations in which everything seems to be on, but Wi-Fi refuses to function. Most often this happens after reinstalling Windows. The system cannot find firewood or installs Microsoft ones that are not quite suitable for your laptop.
You can check the firewood in the “Device Manager”:
- Open the “Network adapters” folder.
- We are looking for a line with the word Wireless, WLAN or with 802, open it with a double click, go to the “Driver” tab.
- Look who is the supplier. If Microsoft – there is a good reason to reinstall firewood.
To update the software, go to the website of the laptop manufacturer. Wi-Fi does not work, so we use a workaround: a wired connection, another PC, smartphone, etc.
On the manufacturer’s website, enter the model of your laptop and download firewood suitable for the installed Windows, taking into account the bit depth. Sometimes it is difficult to navigate among the numerous drivers. This happens when the manufacturer has several complete sets of the same model, and they differ in components. In this case, we download options that may be suitable, focusing on the presence of the words Wireless or WLAN.
After downloading, install firewood on the laptop. We check what has changed there in the “Device Manager”. If a native supplier appeared instead of Microsoft, then the chances of success with Wi-Fi increased significantly.
Finding a forgotten password: How to find out the password from Wi-Fi: 4 saving options You can do this through “Network Connections” or “Device Manager”. These 2 main options are described below. In addition, you can also view the status of the WLAN AutoConfig Service. It is not difficult to guess that it is located in the services of the system. If it is disabled, enable it and select the automatic startup type.
The Network Connections folder often helps bring Wi-Fi to life. In any Windows, it is easy to get to it by running ncpa.cpl. You can enter the magic combination of letters through Win + R or Start.
In “Network Connections” all interfaces for accessing the outside digital world, both wired and wireless, will be visible. We need a Wi-Fi adapter with the word Wireless. Pay attention to how it looks:
- A colorless icon without a red cross and an alarming exclamation mark indicates that the adapter is alive and well, but turned off. You can bring it to life by right-clicking and selecting “Enable”.
- A colored icon marked with an exclamation mark or a red cross does not look so encouraging. You can try to revive it by selecting “Connection” from the menu.
If the outcome of resuscitation is positive, the icon will become colored. After that, select the router in the tray and connect.
Look in the “Device Manager” and see what is there with the Wi-Fi adapter. If the line with it looks normal, then it is already enabled. In any case, there may be a problem with firewood. How to deal with it is described above. More often, with inappropriate drivers, Windows shows an adapter with an alarming yellow exclamation mark. In such a situation, you need to install suitable firewood.
Another thing is when there is no exclamation point, but there is a down arrow. This prompt indicates that the adapter is disabled. To enable it, right-click on it and select Enable.
The saddest option is the absence of a wireless module in the “Network Adapters”. Possible reasons: suitable drivers are not installed, the module is disabled in the BIOS or is faulty.
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Setting up Wi-Fi on a laptop with Windows 10
If the Wi-Fi module is alive and well and the drivers are in order, an icon flaunts in the system tray that symbolizes wireless communication. If there are possible connections, an asterisk is displayed in the corner of the icon. Action algorithm:
- Click on the icon and see a list of devices with which you can try to connect.
- Choose your router. There will be a checkmark responsible for auto-connection. If you remove it, you will need to enter a password each time.
- Click “Connect”.
- Enter the password in a language and case sensitive manner.
- Windows will ask if you need to allow other PCs on your home network to discover your laptop. If you plan to use your home LAN, answer “Yes”.
After connecting, when you select your router, a button will appear to disconnect the connection.
Connection settings can be viewed through the “Network and Internet” folder, which is located in the “Parameters”. Of the useful features, it is worth highlighting the ability to forget the current access point. To do this, follow the link Manage settings, scroll down to your connection, and then click “Forget”. The next time you connect to your router, Windows will ask for a password.
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Setting up Wi-Fi on Windows 8-8.1
If the laptop is ready to connect with the router, there will be an asterisk on the network icon. After clicking on the icon, a connection panel with two sliders will appear. Set them so that airplane mode is off and wireless is on. Select the appropriate router from the list of available devices and click Connect. Before that, you can check the box responsible for auto-connection. Enter the password for authorization. If there are no problems, the wireless network will work.
A connection hitch in Windows 8 can happen already at the first stage – after clicking on the network icon. Let’s consider a situation in which the panel that appears instead of two sliders displays a message about the absence of available connections. In this case, you need to enable the wireless adapter, as described in the article about enabling Wi-Fi software.
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Setting up WI-FI on a laptop with Windows 7
Here, too, in general, nothing complicated. The classic way is a direct analogy with the “ten”. The “central” method is associated with the Network and Sharing Center.
Dealing with the microphone: Why the microphone does not work on a laptop: a guide in 6 sections This algorithm works when the adapter is on. If for some reason it is disabled, you must first bring it to life, and then click on the tray icon.
In rare cases, to configure the interaction between the laptop and the router, you need to manually change the network protocol parameters. To do this:
- Through ncpa.cpl open “Network Connections”.
- Right-click on the wireless connection, select “Properties”.
- Open the properties of the TCP version 4 protocol. Enter the IP address, usually it starts with 192. 168. In the next line, we drive in the subnet mask, the first numbers are usually 255.255. We enter the numbers into the gateway, as well as into one or two DNS servers. We look at what exactly to enter in the documentation for the router or in the instructions of the Internet provider.
- Check the box Confirm settings, click OK.
If there are two laptops in the apartment, their IP addresses must differ by the last number. If the settings match completely, the router will not interact with the second laptop when the first one is connected.
In conclusion, a few words about the reasons for the absence of the Internet, to eliminate which the above methods will not help. If before the connection with the outside world was interrupted, you did not change any settings, did not reinstall Windu, did not turn off the lights in the apartment, etc., then Wi-Fi could disappear due to problems with the provider or lack of payment for the service. Before reinstalling the driver, call your service provider to make sure that the problem is not related to it.
Interesting article: What to do if the laptop does not turn on: 6 main situations and ways out of them fi. But often it comes in the form of a PCI-Express card that can be easily removed. When buying a used laptop, it may turn out that it is the Wi-Fi adapter that was removed in it.
But how do you know if there is a Wi-Fi module on a laptop? Why is it there, but there are problems with the wireless connection?
- Checking if the adapter is present
- Checking via the command line
- Device Manager
- Using third party applications
- Ask the author of the article
9 0006 Checking for an adapter
In most laptops on the bottom (the so-called “trough ”) has a special service compartment. Under it, the mPCI-Express connector is hidden, into which the Wi-Fi module is inserted.
Accordingly, first of all, examine the laptop for the presence of such a compartment. If it is, then it is enough to unscrew it (or just snap it off). A small scarf with antennas connected (two thin connectors) should be placed under it. Often it also has a sticker with the designation Wireless or 802.11.
If there is no such compartment in the laptop (it is usually absent in ultrabooks), then this option will not work!
Borodach wrote about how to find Wi-Fi on a computer here.
Checking via command line
Another option to find out if there is a Wi-Fi adapter on a laptop is to check the OS for support for wireless networks. To do this, you will need:
- open “Start”, in the “Run” menu, enter cmd and press Enter;
- enter the command netsh wlan show drivers and press Enter.
This will display technical information about the wireless diagnostics. If there is a line like “Hosted networks supported – yes”, then this indicates the presence of a wireless adapter.
But there is a nuance – the adapter itself is there, but it does not have a compatible driver package installed for it. At the same time, it will not fully work, and the operating system will not “see” the module.
Windows of any version has a “Device Manager” – a small utility where you can view a list of all installed devices and drivers for them. Through it, you can also find out if there are installed wireless modules in the system.
- right-click on “My Computer”;
- in the left column, select “Device Manager”.
Similarly, the utility can be launched from the Control Panel.
In the list that appears, namely in “Network Adapters”, you need to find a device whose name contains the words “Wireless”, “WLAN”. This is how Wi-Fi modules are designated.
If there are none, then you should also pay attention to the presence of “Unknown devices” (which are also marked with a yellow exclamation mark). The presence of those also indicates that there are adapters that the system does not recognize due to the lack of a driver.
Using third-party applications
You can download the AIDA64 program to find out if your laptop has Wi-Fi. Its free version will suffice. The main advantage of this program is that it shows the presence of the module even if there are no drivers for it.
The only way that information about Wi-Fi will be missing (even if the adapter is installed) is a technical malfunction of the wireless module (or the mPCI-Express connector itself).
After installing and running the program, open the “Network” item in the left column and select “PCI/PnP Network”.
The main application window will display a list of all installed physical network adapters. The name of the required will contain the abbreviation Wireless or WAN. If there is no such module, then there is no Wi-Fi either (or it is physically disabled).