Converting a USB connection to an Ethernet connection is the easiest way to make a computer or laptop Ethernet-network ready without having to install an Ethernet card. USB to Ethernet plug-and-play adapters make it possible to convert from USB to Ethernet in a few minutes. With an Ethernet-ready connection, you can connect to DSL modems, cable modems or network connections and browse the Internet at high speeds. You can also connect to a shared network (such as in an office setting) to share printers and Internet connections, and connect between multiple PCs to share files.
Purchase a plug-and-play USB to Ethernet adapter. Plug and play is recommended, as it will require the least amount of setup time, and you will not need to locate and install additional drivers. Most plug-and-play adapters will come with a CD of drivers in case the computer does not already have them. Some examples of plug-and-play USB to Ethernet adapters may be found by clicking the link in the Resources section. As of June 2009, prices range from US$14 to $34, allowing for minor price fluctuations on Amazon.com.
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Turn on the computer and connect the USB end of the adapter, the small end, to an available USB port on the computer.
Connect one end of the Ethernet cable to the adapter and the other end of the Ethernet cable to the router, modem or network hub that you want to connect to.
Install any drivers, as prompted by the computer. The computer should automatically recognize the device. If you are prompted to insert the CD that may have come with the adapter, insert the CD and follow the on-screen instructions. At this point, you have converted the USB port to an Ethernet connection using the adapter and can use this connection for Ethernet-based purposes.
Go into "Control Panel" and "Network Settings" and configure the network connection to connect to the network to which you have connected the Ethernet cable. These settings may vary, depending on the type of connection (cable, DSL, LAN) and may require additional information from your service provider or network administrator.