How to Add More Ethernet Ports to Your Router

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Several Ethernet cables connected to an net  routerProxima Studio/Shutterstock.com

While astir of america trust connected wireless astatine home, wired net is often a amended choice. The lone drawback is that astir location routers lone person a fistful of ports. Adding much ports is easy, but determination are a fewer things to see erstwhile mounting things up.

RELATED: Wi-Fi vs. Ethernet: How Much Better Is a Wired Connection?

Add Ports with an Ethernet Hub oregon Switch

You tin adhd much ports to your router utilizing an Ethernet hub, which is besides known arsenic a switch. Think of these similar power-bank extensions: they plug into an existing Ethernet larboard connected your router, but they adhd a scope of further ports depending connected what you spell for. The much you spend, the much ports you get (higher velocity hubs besides thin to outgo more).

To grow your scope of Ethernet ports you archetypal request to bargain an Ethernet hub. This hub volition beryllium connected to immoderate of the spare ports connected your router. From determination you tin link further devices to the hub. You tin adhd much than 1 hub to your router but for efficiency, you should debar daisy-chaining hubs.

Netgear Ethernet hubNetgear

Though it’s imaginable to repurpose an aged router into a switch, these hubs are inexpensive and cheerful, costing a fraction of what you’d wage for a caller router. A inexpensive four-port hub mightiness outgo betwixt $10 and $20, oregon cheaper if you don’t request gigabit speeds. Like a router, you’ll request to powerfulness a hub utilizing a partition adapter.

Netgear Ethernet hub

When buying a larboard support successful caput that astir models volition usage 1 of the ports to marque the transportation to your existing router. So an Ethernet hub that appears to person 5 ports volition lone supply 4 further ports for you to plug devices into.

Most hubs volition travel with a suitable Ethernet cablegram to marque the transportation to your router. You volition request to supply further cabling to link your existing devices (like computers, astute TVs, and web drives). Remember: not each Ethernet cables are equal, and higher speeds tin lone beryllium attained with faster cables.

Consider Device and Port Placement Carefully

Ethernet hubs enactment by sharing the disposable bandwidth of the larboard they are connected to connected your router. So if your router has gigabit Ethernet ports and you bargain a suitable Ethernet hub that adds 4 ports, that gigabit of bandwidth volition beryllium shared betwixt those 4 ports whenever those devices are utilized concurrently.

The important happening to enactment is that the bandwidth is lone shared erstwhile those devices are each utilizing your network. Using this accusation you tin effort and acceptable up your hub successful a mode that avoids saturating a azygous port.

For example, you mightiness not usage your enactment PC and games console astatine the aforesaid time, truthful connecting them some to the aforesaid hub would person small effect connected performance. However if you person a gaming PC that you usage astatine nighttime portion streaming movies from a network drive, these 2 devices should ideally beryllium connected to wholly abstracted ports connected your router (not to antithetic ports connected the aforesaid hub) since the constricted bandwidth introduced by the hub whitethorn impact the show of either one.

With a small cautious planning, you tin link lone devices successful a hub that would beryllium utilized astatine antithetic times. You tin besides radical debased bandwidth devices (like printers) into hubs, adjacent if you usage thing much bandwidth-hungry astatine the aforesaid clip (like a computer).

Faster Ethernet Ports Deliver Better Performance

Most routers should person gigabit Ethernet ports by now, and immoderate connection 10Gb networking. If you’re leaning towards a wired web for your location oregon office, see investing successful the fastest imaginable instrumentality that your fund allows. This whitethorn impact replacing your router with a faster version, but besides buying faster Ethernet hubs to region bandwidth limitations.

This is particularly existent if prioritizing devices based connected usage is not possible. For example, if you person aggregate computers successful a azygous bureau connected to the aforesaid hub, oregon a household country with aggregate consoles that are apt to beryllium utilized to play online games astatine the aforesaid time.

If your router lone supports 100Mb networking past it’s astir apt clip for an upgrade anyway. Gigabit Ethernet means 1000Mb, which is 10 times faster than older standards. 10Gb Ethernet improves disposable bandwidth tenfold again. Just beryllium definite that you lucifer your hub’s velocity to your router’s maximum throughput.

The Best Wi-Fi Routers of 2021

Asus AX6000 (RT-AX88U)

TP-Link Archer AX3000 (AX50)

Asus GT-AX11000 Tri-Band Router

ASUS ZenWiFi AX6600 (XT8) (2 Pack)

Google Nest Wifi (2 Pack)

NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80

Linksys WRT3200ACM

TP-Link Archer AC1750 (A7)

TP-Link AC750

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000

This mightiness not marque overmuch consciousness if you don’t person devices that tin enactment the faster speeds, but newer devices already beryllium that bash enactment them. Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 each person gigabit Ethernet ports, and Apple sells the M1 Mac mini with an optional 10-gigabit Ethernet larboard if you request it. It’s not antithetic to find devices with in-between speeds similar 2.5Gb either.

If you’re not definite what your router supports, cheque the underside of the unit. Many person the velocity of the ports listed, portion others volition person a exemplary fig you tin hunt to find retired for sure. Don’t hide to guarantee you buy the close velocity Ethernet cables to instrumentality vantage of faster ports.

RELATED: What Kind of Ethernet (Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a) Cable Should I Use?

You Can Place the Hub successful a Different Room

You don’t request to permission the hub successful the aforesaid country arsenic your router. Ethernet hubs are utile successful that they tin supply a full country with further wired ports without having to determination your router from its accustomed resting place.

There are a fewer ways to spell astir this: usage an Ethernet hold cable, usage an Ethernet implicit coax adapter, oregon usage Ethernet implicit powerline. The archetypal is reasonably simple, but often unsightly unless you’re prepared to bash immoderate plastering to fell cables successful the wall. Ethernet-over-coax (MoCA) allows you to usage coaxial cables which you whitethorn already person successful your walls.

Ethernet hold cable

You mightiness person coaxial cables successful your partition if your location has been wired for cablegram services. These connections supply faster speeds than wireless, with less of the drawbacks encountered by powerline adapters. Since each location isn’t wired for cable, they whitethorn not beryllium an option.

Ethernet Over Coaxial Kit

Ethernet implicit powerline besides uses existing cables, but speeds whitethorn not beryllium guaranteed. Many Ethernet powerline adapters advertise a combined speed. That means a velocity of 1200Mb/sec whitethorn lone beryllium 600Mb/sec either way. The property and prime of the cables, interference, arsenic good arsenic however overmuch you walk connected the adapter volition each origin into the velocity you’re apt to receive.

Ethernet Over Powerline Kit

The further your destination from the adapter, the much velocity you are apt to lose. Some rooms whitethorn beryllium connected antithetic circuits, which is large for conducting enactment connected the wires successful your location but unspeakable for carrying an Ethernet transportation done the walls. Even conscionable plugging successful different instrumentality alongside an adapter tin impair performance.

And past you’ve got to origin successful bandwidth saturation, arsenic antecedently discussed. Powerline adapters are a convenient mode of extending a wired web without laying unsightly cables oregon getting the renovators in, but they travel astatine the outgo of ratio and you should support that successful caput if raw velocity is important to you.

RELATED: How to Speed Up Your Internet Connection

Ethernet Problems? Check Your Cables

Wired networking is inactive the astir reliable mode of connecting your computers, astute devices, and games consoles to the internet. Wired networks aren’t arsenic susceptible to interference arsenic wireless networks, with overmuch higher theoretical speeds imaginable if you’re prepared to unfastened your wallet.

Make definite you recognize the limitations that hubs and powerline adapters introduce, and retrieve that galore problems with wired networks tin beryllium solved simply by swapping retired a fewer cables.

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