Using a Wired Connection

Why Use a Wired Connection?

If you are using a desktop or laptop computer for online lessons, you may have the option of using a wired Ethernet* connection instead of using WiFi or mobile data. Although you will sacrifice the convenience and freedom of a wireless connection, you will experience 3 major benefits:

  • Increased speeds within your home network (up to 1 Gbps vs. 22-500 Mbps on WiFi)

  • Decreased latency/ping** (connection delay)

  • Increased connection stability

Prerequisites

In order to benefit from a wired connection, we need to satisfy 3 conditions:

  • We own a modem or router with RJ45 Ethernet jacks/ports (which nearly every modem/router does)

  • We own a computer with an RJ45 Ethernet jack/port

  • We own a CAT5e or CAT6 Ethernet cable

If you are looking to try a wired connection for a mobile device instead of a computer, you will either of the following (depending on your device):

  • A Belkin Ethernet + Power Adapter (Apple certified) for iPhones and iPads (with Lightning connection)

  • An OTG-to-Ethernet adapter for Android devices, and Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS

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An RJ45 connection looks very similar to the connection used for telephones and fax machines, although it is slightly wider with more electrical contacts (8 metal contacts vs 4). Older computer systems (pre-2010) can actually have both connection types, so you must make sure you are connecting your Ethernet cable in the appropriate port. If it doesn't fit, it is the wrong connection type.

Some modern laptops that fall in the sleek and thin Ultrabook category may not have an RJ45 Ethernet port. Since an Ethernet port is large and bulky and WiFi is now common, some manufacturers chose to remove it in order to slim down modern laptops in the same way that Apple removed the headphone jack in recent iPhone models. Most Chromebooks also fall in this Ethernet-less category. If you do not have an Ethernet port, you can still connect to your network with a wired connection by purchasing a USB-to-Ethernet adapter.

Setting Up a Wired Connection

Setting up your computer for a wired Ethernet connection is relatively simple. First, you must ensure that your internet modem (sometimes called a gateway) or router is accessible by cable.

Examples of common modem/gateway models used by Winnipeg ISPs.

In many cases, you will not be able to relocate the modem/router without the help of your ISP or prior networking knowledge. Therefore, if your computer/practice room is located in a different room than the modem/router, you will have to supply yourself with an Ethernet cable that is long enough (anywhere from 15' to 100').

Once you have determined the length of cable needed, simply plug one end of the cable to one of the empty Ethernet ports on the back of your modem/router. These ports may also be called LAN ports. Most modems/routers will have 4 labelled Ethernet ports, They are usually grouped and color coded to differentiate them from a single, isolated WAN port, which connects your network to the internet. When plugged in correctly, the connector should click and lock in place.

Run the cable to the location of your computer (ideally the room you will use for practice and lessons), and plug the other end of the cable into your computer's Ethernet port. The connector should click and lock in place, although on some laptops, the Ethernet port does not have the internal lock.

An Ethernet cable connected to the Ethernet port on a laptop.

Wired Connection on iPhones/iPads

In order to use a wired Ethernet connection on an iPhone or iPad, you would first need to purchase Belkin's Ethernet + Power Adapter. This device, which looks similar to Apple's Lightning-to-USB 3 adapter, provides an RJ45 port to connect to modem or router. It also has an additional female Lightning port for powering the adapter and charging your iPhone or iPad.

A Belkin Ethernet + Power Adapter for Lightning-capable iPhones and iPads.

To use this adapter, simply plug the male Lightning connector to your iPhone or iPad, and connect your Ethernet cable to the RJ45 port. Then plug your Lightning charging cable to the female Lightning port on the adapter. You can put your iPhone or iPad in Airplane Mode to test that the wired connection works, and also prevent an issue known as a Network Loop.

If you have PoE (Power-over-Ethernet), you can power your adapter and mobile device with solely an Ethernet cable. PoE is usually available on high-end routers and network switches (Ethernet splitters)

Wired Connection for Android Devices

In order to use a wired Ethernet connection on an Android smartphone or tablet, you would first need to determine that your device is running on Android 6.0.1 or later. You can normally check your Android version in your device's settings. Once you have confirmed that your device is running on Android 6.0.1 or later, you would then need to purchase an OTG-to-Ethernet adapter.

A Plugable OTG-to-Ethernet adapter, available off Amazon.

These adapters are similar to USB-to-Ethernet adapters used for computers, but use a micro-USB or USB-C connection instead. Be sure to purchase an adapter with the appropriate USB connection for your device.

Many OTG-to-Ethernet adapters are only capable of a max transfer speed of 100 Mbps. This makes them only slightly faster than your average WiFi connection. However, you still benefit from the wired connection's dependability and lower latency.

To use this adapter, simply plug the USB end to your OTG-capable Android device, and plug an Ethernet cable into the RJ45 port. In many cases, this is a plug-and-play process, and you should be able to connect to the internet without WiFi or mobile data enabled. You may choose to enable Airplane Mode to test that the wired connection works, and also prevent an issue known as a Network Loop.

If you are unsure if your Android device is compatible with an OTG-to-Ethernet adapter, contact Tauber Music online support for further consultation.

*Ethernet represents the local network of devices in your home, whereas the Internet represents the massive network of devices across the world that your Ethernet connects to.**Ping is a common networking term to represent the connection delay (in milliseconds) between devices on a network. Good quality connections will normally have a ping between 1-100ms.