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Connect Ethernet to MacBook

How to Connect Ethernet to MacBook? [With an Adapter]

If you are trying to use wired internet on a MacBook, you need to determine if your laptop has an Ethernet port. Many new Macs do not offer Ethernet connectivity ports to focus on a WiFi connection, so it is better to double-check once. 

If you are new to Ethernet and wondering why you need to use Ethernet instead of WiFi, read this article. We will also discuss how you can connect Ethernet to Mac and how to tweak settings if required.

Why Ethernet Over WiFi for MacBook?

Connecting your computer to the internet via WiFi is convenient as you do not have to deal with cables. Although Ethos requires cable to connect to the network, it gives you a faster internet browsing experience beyond your expectations.

One of the major reasons for using Ethernet cables is the speed. Ethernet cable transmits data via cable while the WiFi connection transmits data wirelessly. The faster speed through a wired connection is approximately 10 Gbps, whereas you get somewhere around 7Gbps via a wireless connection.

Other than speed, security over data is probably another reason for using an Ethernet cable. To access data transmitted via Ethernet, you need to physically connect a device to the network, which makes it highly secure.

On the other hand, data travels in the air when you use a WiFi network, so it can be easy to intercept. 

Wired connections are more reliable than WiFi networks since the latter is susceptible to interference. Electronic and digital devices can block the signal. Ethernet cables are insulated; they prevent any kind of outside interruptions that cause signal blockage.

In this case, a wifi analyzer can be of great help as it boosts reliability. You can connect to the network through the strongest available signal.

Here’s How to Connect Ethernet to MacBook

Here’s How to Connect Ethernet to MacBook

If you have an Ethernet port on your Mac, you can easily connect automatically; however, if you do not, then get an Ethernet adapter.

With a MacBook integrating an Ethernet port, you need to connect the cable directly to the Mac, and you are all set to use the internet. In most cases, no further action may be required from your end.

However, if you are using an Ethernet adapter, you may need to tweak several settings.

  • Attach the adapter to the Mac via a USB or Thunderbolt port. Connect the internet cable and click on the Apple icon displayed on the top left side of the MacBook screen.
  • Click System Preferences and tap on Network. In the Network window that appears, select the Ethernet service from the list of networks on the left.
  • Alternatively, click on the Plus (+) icon to search for the required interface. Click on OK to find the right interface in the New Interface Detected option. Type in a name for your new device and click OK.

Why is Ethernet Not Working on Mac?

After resetting the Network settings on your MacBook, if you are not able to access the internet on the devices, a few reasons might be behind that.

Here’s a quick overview of the common problems to give you a brief understanding.

# Faulty Ethernet Adapter

When settings on the device are up-to-the-mark and accurate, but the internet doesn’t work, check the adapter. The device might have started malfunctioning, and you may need to replace it. 

# Inappropriate Network Settings

If the adapter seems to work properly, check if the Network settings on the Mac are configured correctly. To check this, navigate to the Apple menu, click System Preferences, tap on Network, select device name, and then click on Advanced. 

# Damaged Ethernet Cable

If everything, including settings and adapter, seems to be accurate or in the best condition, the Ethernet cable might have been damaged. Connect another Ethernet wire to test if the MacBook is connecting to the internet.

Which Ethernet Category Is Good for Home Network?

The Ethernet cables used in most home networks are twisted wires available in Cat 5, Cat 6, and Cat 7. Your home Ethernet cable integrates multiple twisted wires contained in a particular coating to maintain a balanced flow of signals throughout the cable.

While Cat 6 is the most popular and offers reliable performance for home and office setups, Cat 7 is highly recommended for gaming, though you are likely not going to do that on a MacBook given how inferior it is to other gaming platforms, such as custom-built PCs or gaming consoles.

Another point of differentiation that you must consider while picking up Ethernet for your computer is whether the cable has solid or stranded wires, as it affects the durability.


So there you have it. Hopefully, this article will give you a better idea of how to connect an Ethernet cable to a MacBook and enjoy a more solid internet connection.

Sure, an extra cable will limit the device’s portability, but that is a very small price to pay if you want to have fewer worries about poor WiFi.