Offices & Labs--Usb-to-ethernet adapters

Modern, lightweight laptops increasingly come equipped with wireless network cards only. While these devices offer great advantages in terms of mobility, a corporate network environment such as in Trinity College requires wired network connectivity for access to certain services. If you own a wireless-only laptop and you need to connect it to the wired network in College, please read the information below carefully.

When do I need a USB to Ethernet adapter?

  • As part of the College data network policy, anyone using a PC running Microsoft Windows in College offices and labs must configure their computer to join the College domain. This requires a wired network connection. If you wish to connect a wireless-only laptop to the wired network then you must purchase a USB-to-Ethernet adapter, as outlined below. Note that all other standard network connection requirements also apply in this case.

  • Computers running Apple Mac OS X or Linux do not have to join the College domain, and therefore a wired connection is not required by policy. However, certain services can only be access from a wired network connection and so if you wish to connect a wireless-only laptop to the wired network to access these services, outlined below, then you must obtain a USB-to-Ethernet adapter.

  • The following services and features require a wired network connection, irrespective of the operating system in use:
    • Editing College websites
    • Accessing certain shared network folders
    • Updating a network login password cached on the computer
    • Initial setup of email accounts in Microsoft Outlook
    • Printing to network printers not configured for wireless printing
    • Licensing certain software such as ArcGIS

Purchasing a USB-to-Ethernet adapter

We strongly advise those who require a USB-to-Ethernet adapters to purchase it from one of the preferred suppliers. The USB-to-Ethernet adapters provided by the preferred suppliers have been successfully tested in the College environment, and have proved to be reliable and not cause network issues.

Usage and security information

  • USB-to-Ethernet adapters are intended to be used with one device only
  • USB-to-Ethernet adapters should be connected directly to the USB port on the device. Connecting network devices through USB hubs is prohibited as it is known to cause network issues.
  • In comparison with on-board network cards, USB-to-Ethernet adapters will provide lower network speeds
  • If your USB-to-Ethernet adapter is lost or stolen, please report it to the IT Service Desk immediately as it may be used by a third-party to gain unauthorised access to the network