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An Ethernet switch adapter is a piece of hardware that allows a device or workstation to access an Ethernet connection. Ethernet adapters can be add-ons that go into an expansion board, or they can be directly installed in the motherboard of a computer or device. The most common kind of Ethernet adapter is a PC card, which has an Ethernet connection and a circuit board. Some versions of these adapters can be simply fitted into a corresponding hole in the plastic tower of a desktop computer. Ethernet adapters can use various kinds of Cat5 or Cat6 cables to hook up to an Ethernet connection.

An Ethernet adapter connects a computer to the Internet or to a local network via a wired connection. Most computers include an Ethernet port on the motherboard and do not require a separate adapter, but some laptops only support Wi-Fi connections out of the box. For these situations, or to replace the integrated network adapter on a desktop computer’s motherboard, you can buy and install a separate Ethernet adapter.

As more local networks started to use wireless systems, the Ethernet adapter started to lose ground to network adapter cards that fit into various devices to allow wireless connections. An Ethernet adapter is still instrumental in affecting physical cabled hookups, but many users choose to use a wireless router and wireless adapters for individual devices.

Ethernet adapters require a driver to operate. Often, the operating system will automatically install a compatible driver after you add an adapter. If the system can’t find a driver on its own, you’ll need to download the driver from the adapter manufacturer’s website. After installation, connect the adapter to an open port on your router — or directly to your modem — with an Ethernet cable to connect to a network or the Internet.

Below is a list of some of the very best Ethernet adapters that you can find on Amazon.

Best Ethernet switch adapter

1.    UGREEN Ethernet Adapter:

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This Portable USB to Ethernet adapter connects a USB 2.0 equipped computer or tablet to a router, modem, or network switch to bring fast Ethernet to your network connection. This USB 2.0 to Ethernet adapter offers a Full 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet performance over USB 2.0’s up to 480 Mbps and provides a fast and stable Ethernet for gaming. It is compatible for Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, Wii, Wii U.

This lightweight USB to network adapter is also a perfect accessory for adding a standard RJ45 port to your Ultrabook, notebook, or Macbook Air for file transferring, video conferencing, gaming, HD video streaming and an excellent Standby for Macbook without an Ethernet socket when wireless fails. It connects your computer or tablet to a router, modem or network switch for network connection.

 

Features:

  • Supports IEEE 802.3, 802.3u (10Base-T, 100Base-T) compatible.
  • Compatible with Nintendo Switch, Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X 10.4 and above, Linux kernel 3.x/2.6.x.
  • Supports both full-duplex with flow control and half-duplex with backpressure operation; support full and half duplex operating modes.
  • ASIX AX88772 chipset; LED indicators for link and activity.

 

2.    Cable Matters USB to Ethernet Adapter (USB 3.0 to Ethernet):

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The Cable Matters USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter is specifically designed to provide network capabilities to the older computers or new thin notebooks without an Ethernet port. Instantly add network connectivity to a computer with USB 3.0 for extremely fast file transfers or streaming downloads. Wired connections provide faster data transfers and better security than a Wi-Fi connection.

Simply plug the adapter into the USB port of your computer without downloading any external software drivers. Connect to an available wired Ethernet network at home, the office, or in the hotel with this lightweight adapter that travels easily in your laptop sleeve and it features a universal compatibility with Chrome OS, Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows operating systems.

The USB to Gigabit Ethernet adapter supports super speed USB 3.0 data transfer rate up to 5 Gbps for 1000 BASE-T network performance with backwards compatibility to 10/100 Mbps networks and it can also serve as a wireless alternative USB to RJ45 adapter for connecting to the Internet in Wi-Fi dead zones, streaming large video files, or downloading a software upgrade through a wired home or office LAN.

With a native driver support in Chrome, Mac, and Windows OS; the USB Ethernet adapter dongle supports important performance features including Wake-on-Lan (WoL), Full-Duplex (FDX) and Half-Duplex (HDX) Ethernet, Crossover Detection, Backpressure Routing, Auto-Correction (Auto MDIX).

 

3.    TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter:

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TP-Link USB Ethernet Network Adapter is Compatible with Nintendo Switch, MacBook, Surface Pro and your Notebook PC.  The TP-Links UE305 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.

It also helps connect your Nintendo Switch to a wired network system, promising a much faster and more stable network environment than a Wi-Fi connection, you get to enjoy super-fast and high-quality downloading on your Nintendo Switch.

The Foldable and Portable design of this adapter will ideally suit your Ultrabook as the UE305 USB RJ45 adapter is mini and portable, perfect to take on the go. Just plug in and be ready to use in seconds—no manual driver installation required. The intuitive LED indicator lets you know the network status at a glance. Plug & Play is enabled for Nintendo Switch, Windows 10/8.1, and Linux OS.
Give wired internet connections to USB devices; give your laptop, computer, and other USB web devices access to wired network connections by connecting into the modem, router, or network switch. It’s built for most of today’s devices to enjoy powerful, instant wired network connections and ideal for those without a built-in RJ45 Ethernet port.

 

4.    Smays  Ethernet Adapter:

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This lightweight USB to network adapter is a perfect accessory for adding a standard RJ45 port (Wired internet) compatible with Apple Mac book laptop, Microsoft Surface, Windows 10 laptop, Ubuntu Linux laptop, ultra laptop, HP Omen/Sleekbook laptop, Dell laptop, Asus, LG, Lenovo, Acer notebooks, IBM 900x laptop, Compaq Presario laptop 64-bit win 10 version, PC for file transferring, video conferencing, gaming and HD video streaming.

It is a USB type A LAN adapter that can connect the Switch body to the Internet via a wired LAN. You can enjoy network-ready games comfortably without worrying about communication disconnection or delay that is likely to occur when connecting to Wi-Fi.

With its metal aluminium silver casing, it is compatible with Apple Mac book laptop, Microsoft Surface, Windows 10 laptop, Ubuntu Linux laptop, ultra laptop, HP Omen/Sleekbook laptop, Dell laptop, Asus, LG, Lenovo, Acer notebooks, IBM 900x laptop, Compaq Presario laptop 64-bit win 10 version PCs and works excellent for laptops that do not have a built-in Ethernet port.

It also corresponds to a personal computer not equipped with a wired LAN port (corresponding OS: Windows 7/8/10). It can be used simply by connecting to the USB port of the personal computer; the installation of driver software is also unnecessary.

 

5.    Plugable USB to Ethernet Adapter:

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Upgraded to wired Gigabit speeds via USB, this fast USB 3.0 Gigabit solution powered by the ASIX AX88179 chipset provides more performance and stability than most Wi-Fi networks. The Plugable USB 3.0 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (USB3-E1000) is an easy way to gain wired gigabit network speeds over USB 3.0 for faster HD video streaming, gaming, web browsing, network access, and more. It’s also the perfect travel companion for any laptop or tablet due to its small size and USB bus powered design.

Plug into any laptop or desktop currently limited to 10/100 Ethernet or no Ethernet at all, and benefit from faster transfers on your gigabit Ethernet network. (Also works on 10/100 Ethernet networks at their native speeds.)

The USB 3.0 systems support theoretical maximum transfer speeds up to 5Gbps and USB 2.0 supports up to 480Mbps. In practice, most machines will see up to a doubling of network speeds by moving from a 100Mbps Fast Ethernet to a 1000Mbps gigabit Ethernet via USB 2.0, and could see even more substantial gains on USB 3.0.

The Plugable USB to Ethernet adapter also features an automatic driver installation via Windows Update on Windows 10, 8.x, 7, and XP (with existing internet connection). Functionality built into the Linux kernel from 3.9 onward.

 

6.    Amazon Basics USB Ethernet Internet Adapter:

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Want to connect to a network, but your computer or tablet lacks an Ethernet port? No problem. With this Amazon Basics USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter, you can easily connect your USB 3.0 device to a router, modem, or network switch to deliver Gigabit Ethernet to your network connection. The adapter instantly bridges the gap. Simply insert the adapter’s USB connector into your device’s USB port and connect your Ethernet cable to the Ethernet port on the other end of the adapter.

For faster data-transfer speeds, the Amazon Basics USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter can also be used to add wired network support to Chromebooks and Android tablets or to USB 2.0 laptops or desktops that are currently limited to 10/100 Ethernet. The adapter also works well for replacing a broken internal network card, adding a separately routable network interface, and/or sending files peer-to-peer over Ethernet.

Worthy of note is that this Ethernet adapter is compatible with Windows 10/8/7 and Mac OS but does not support Chrome OS, Windows RT or Android.

 

Features:

  • Connects a USB 3.0 device (computer/laptop) to a router, modem, or network switch
  • 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 Central Processing Unit (CPU) loading
  • Compatible with Windows 10/8/7, does not support MacOS, Chrome OS, Windows RT, Linux or Android.

 

Conclusion

Some manufacturers claim their adapters work better and improve system performance, but in most cases, one Ethernet adapter is as good as another and listed above are the top ones you can go for on Amazon based on customers preference and reviews.