Why Share Wi-Fi To My Ethernet Devices?
As internet and network connectivity is becoming more and more commonplace, so too are the number of household devices that have extra features you can only use if you are connected to the internet.
However, many products with internet connectivity, especially products made a few years ago, do not come with Wi-Fi connectivity built in. This can be a real pain and can lead to the thought of unsightly Ethernet cables trailing through all the rooms in your house.
Before you tear up all your carpets, you should know that are plenty of options that you can use to connect an Ethernet-only device to a Wi-Fi network.
While not all these options will work with all your products, it is likely that some of these Wi-Fi to Ethernet options will and this can lead to a much cleaner and simpler network connection.
How to Share Your Computer’s Wi-Fi With Other Ethernet-Enabled Devices
One simple and cheap way to connect an Ethernet-only device to your Wi-Fi network is to share your computer's network access.
You should always try to plug straight into your router, but if you can't, then you can connect to your router via a normal laptop. Then share out the connectivity via the laptop's Ethernet port.
Recent versions of Windows have a feature called Internet Connection Sharing and it really is as simple as it sounds. All you have to do is follow a simple setup process on your computer and then connect an Ethernet cable between your computer and your Ethernet-only device.
The only extra equipment you need is an Ethernet cable. The only downside is that the product you want to connect to needs to be within distance of your computer and also that your computer must be on when you want to connect your other product (and of course have wifi connectivity to the router).
Each version of Windows or IOS will require a slightly different setup, but here are the basic instructions for how to share your computer’s Wi-Fi connection:
1: Set up your computer to share its connection (Here are simple instructions for Windows 10 users)
2: Connect an Ethernet cable between your computer and your Ethernet-only device.
Using A Wireless Bridge Or Extender
A wireless bridge is an excellent, more permanent choice, for connecting Wi-Fi to Ethernet-only devices.
Quite simply the wireless bridge connects to your Wi-Fi network....erm, via Wi-Fi! There are Ethernet ports on the bridge for your wired devices to plug into. Once set up, your devices use both cable and then wifi (on the bridge) to get to the router, or access point.
The downside to a wireless bridge is that they can be complex to setup for newbies. Although their simplicity of use after the initial setup should more than makeup for that.
Here is how to setup a wireless bridge:
1: Follow the manufacturer's instructions to setup the wireless bridge.
2: Connect the bridge to your wireless network
3: Connect an Ethernet cable from your wireless bridge to the wired-only network node.
Wi-Fi Bridges & Extenders We've Looked At Before:
Share Wi-Fi With A Powerline Adapter
Powerline adapters are a cool piece of technology that use the electrical wiring already within the walls of your home, as a replacement for separate Ethernet cabling. They simply need to be plugged into your power outlets and then connected to your router and the device you need to connect to the network.
There are two downsides to these adapters. The first is that they can be quite expensive when compared to the other options on the list and the second is that their effectiveness will depend on the quality of the wiring in your house or apartment. They will normally never be as 'solid' as Ethernet.
To connect a powerline adapter, simply follow these steps:
1: Plug two powerline adapters into your electricity outlets. One near your router and one near the product you want to connect to the network.
2: Connect the first adapter via Ethernet to your router and the second to the device you want to be networked - again via Ethernet.
Have USB? Use a USB Wireless Adapter!
Perhaps the simplest way to connect an Ethernet-enabled product to a wireless network is by using a USB adapter. To do this you simply need to plug your USB adapter into the USB socket on your device, follow the setup instruction (if any), and then connect to your network.
The main downside to using a USB adapter is pretty obvious, and that is that it can only be used on products that have a USB socket.
Another problem is that while almost any USB adapter will work with almost any notebook or computer, often other products such as games consoles, Blu-ray players etc require you to buy a specific type of adapter that can often be quite expensive. Because of this, you should check out the requirements of your product before splashing out on an adapter.
The good thing, however, is that USB adapters are generally incredibly simple to setup and you can be converting your Wi-Fi to Ethernet in no time at all! And, they are pretty cheap!
Simply follow these general instructions:
1: Plug your USB adapter into the USB socket.
2: Follow any installation instructions (often it will be an automatic process)
3: Connect to your Wi-Fi network as you would with any other Wi-Fi enabled device.
That is it for our tutorial on how to connect an Ethernet-only device to a Wi-Fi network. Hopefully, you enjoyed it!
Out of the options shown, sharing your computer’s connection is by far the cheapest, however, the fact that your computer has to be on whenever you want to use its connection rules it out for most uses.
As such it is probably worth going for one of the other methods of connecting to your Wi-Fi network, even if they involve a slightly higher startup cost.
If you have any questions about the article please comment below!