If you’re new to the world of Chromebooks, you’ve probably noticed something missing. There’s no Ethernet port. I know, you’re probably thinking, “What do I need an Ethernet port for on a Chromebook?” Hang with me on this.
Now-a-days, it seems that everyone uses Wi-Fi. Your phone has Wi-Fi, your tablet, has Wi-Fi, your watch has Wi-Fi, well, you get my point. In my house there are a total of ten (plus or minus) Internet connected devices. Of these ten devices, only two of them are hardwired to the router. So, there are ten devices all using one Internet connection, there’s going to be some degrading of the connection. A hardwired connection is going to be a more stable option.
With a hardwired connection, depending on your setup and your ISP, you’re probably going to have a faster connection. You’ll also have a more secure connection. With Wi-Fi, you’re sending packets out into the air. With Ethernet, you’re not. With Ethernet, you’re not susceptible to interference from other devices, such as the microwave, cordless phone (or cell phone), and radio. Yes, I still listen to a radio and use a cordless landline phone. Don’t hate.
There’s also the matter of using a VPN. VPNs are very touchy. If you sneeze, you’ll be disconnected. I’ve worked with many people that insist on connecting to a VPN via a wireless connection and then wonder why they have severe latency and frequent network disconnects.
To use an Ethernet connection on a Chromebook, all you need is a USB Ethernet adapter. Plug the adapter into a free USB port on your Chromebook and plug an Ethernet cable into the adapter and you’re in business. Your Chromebook should indicate that it’s now connected via Ethernet. You can turn off wireless and then save some juice on your battery.
I realize that you may not always have a choice of connection method when you’re at Starbucks or Hyatt, but this is something that should be in your bag.