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. If you wish to connect a Windows 7 laptop to the Staff Wi-Fi network then you must first connect to the wired network and if that laptop does not have a built-in ethernet port/network card 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.

Certain services can only be accessed from a wired network connection and 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
  • 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