The main reason that someone uses a laptop is for its portability. Going “wireless” makes it easy to pick up your computer and work from your favorite coffee shop, park bench, or even the beach. But when you’re at your desk and plugged into power and possibly a second monitor, why not get the best performance from your Internet connection?

At the time of this writing, we are on a “Stay at Home” order because of COVID-19. All non-essential employees are either working from home or in extreme cases, laid off until further notice. Either way, it’s prompted much higher laptop, webcam, and Internet usage.

Many older Windows laptops, especially business-class ones, have a dedicated 10/100Mbs NIC – or ethernet port, as it’s commonly called – as well as onboard wireless adapters. Most newer ultra-portables laptops, and especially the Macbook Pro and Air, do not have a dedicated ethernet port but do have the capability to support up to Gigabit (10/100/1000Mbs) – plenty for today’s home Internet connections. So what to do?

Enter the USB to Ethernet adapter. You can get them in USB-A to NIC, USB-C to NIC, and my favorite USB-A to NIC & 3 USB ports!

I have the older MBP 13″ with two USB ports and two Thunderbolt 2 or Mini Display ports (which has been replaced by USB-C in the newer models.) If I were to add just the USB to Ethernet adapter I would lose one of my USB ports – prime real estate that I just didn’t want to give up. In fact, this option is both Plug-n-Play (requires no added software) and actually added two additional USB ports at the same time! Super Win/Win!

It also allowed me to plug in the USB sound card, lavalier microphone and HDMI capture card!

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