How to Hardwire a Laptop

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How to Hardwire a Laptop
Ethernet cables connect your laptop to the network router. (3 laptops with network cables image by Andrew Brown from

Wireless connectivity is an important feature in modern laptops for most mobile users, but a wired connection has its advantages as well. Usually, an Ethernet cable connects the PC directly to a port on the router or access point. Though this connection method makes the laptop less mobile, the network and Internet connection are faster and more reliable. If you're computer runs Windows, you can effortlessly set up a hard-wired connection to a network.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Ethernet (RJ-45) cable

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  1. 1

    Connect one end of the Ethernet cable to the RJ45 port on your laptop.

    How to Hardwire a Laptop
    The Ethernet port is usually on the side or back of the laptop, with blinking LED indicators. (ethernet image by MATTHIEU FABISIAK from
  2. 2

    Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to an available port on the router.

    How to Hardwire a Laptop
    Many routers have four Ethernet ports. (wlan router 02 image by pmphoto from
  3. 3

    Wait while the operating system and the router establish a network connection. Look at the taskbar at the bottom of your Windows desktop on the right-hand side to see a network icon signifying the connection.

  4. 4

    Click "Start." Select "Control Panel" and type "Network" in the search box in the top right corner. Click "View Network Computers and Devices."

  5. 5

    Click on "View Status." Look at "IPv4 Connectivity" in the Connection section and view the connection status on the right side.

Tips and warnings

  • The icon for a wired network connection is an "Ethernet cable" in front of a "monitor." The icon for a wireless network connection is "signal strength bars" ascending to the right.
  • If the connection does not succeed automatically, then check to see if Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is enabled on your laptop (see Resources).
  • Consider "hardwiring" a laptop to a single "wireless" network, i.e., prevent automatic switching when multiple wireless connections are available (see Resources).
  • Make sure you purchase and Ethernet (RJ-45) cable instead of a standard telephone cable (RJ-11).

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