How to Connect an Ethernet Cable to a Wireless Router

By Jason Artman

Because of the proliferation of laptop computers in recent years, wireless routers have become increasingly common as a way to share an Internet connection between multiple computers. However, you can use a wireless router to connect a computer without a wireless adapter to the Internet, as well. Most wireless routers have four Ethernet ports on the back that you can use to access the Internet over a wired connection. Additionally, a fifth Ethernet port serves to connect the router to a cable or DSL modem.

Things You'll Need

  • Wireless router
  • 2 Ethernet cables

Step 1

Remove the power cable from the back of the cable or DSL modem. If the wireless router is connected to a power outlet, disconnect its power cable as well.

Step 2

Connect one end of the first Ethernet cable to the Ethernet port on the back of the cable or DSL modem. Ethernet cables connect similarly to phone cables; position the cable so that the tab extending from the side of the connector faces the same direction as the cutout on the side of the Ethernet port, and then push in until you feel a click.

Step 3

Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to the port labeled "Internet," "Cable/DSL" or "WAN" on the back of the wireless router.

Step 4

Connect one end of the second Ethernet cable to any of the remaining ports on the back of the wireless router. Usually, the ports are numbered 1-4. The numbers are simply to help you remember which port goes to which destination; you may use any port you like.

Step 5

Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to the back of the computer.

Step 6

Reconnect the power cables for the cable or DSL modem and wireless router. Within 30 seconds, you should be able to use the Internet on the wired computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • It can be useful to keep an extra Ethernet cable around the house to use as a troubleshooting tool. If you forget the administrator password for your wireless router, you will be unable to log in to the router and change settings with your laptop. However, you do not need to use a password when connecting to the router via an Ethernet cable.