How to Connect an iPad to Ethernet

A wireless connection is fine for most tasks you do on your iPad, but there are some things that would just be way better with a solid hard-wired ethernet connection. Here’s how to connect your iPad to ethernet in order to get a solid internet connection.

Unfortunately, iPads don’t have an ethernet port, so you may think that you’re out of luck with supplying your tablet with a hard-wired internet connection, but you’d be sorely mistaken. By gathering up a few iPad and Mac accessories, you can connect your iPad to your internet router via ethernet in order to get a solid internet connection.

Granted, you probably won’t want to do this all the time, but if you’re at home and want to stream something on your iPad, connecting it to an ethernet connection can be a great way to make sure that the content you’re viewing streams efficiently and quickly.

However, it’s important to note that this setup isn’t exactly clean and simple. You’ll actually need three accessories in order to get it to work, but if you’re willing to deal with a slightly messy setup, you’re iPad will be able to obtain an internet connection that’s better than any wireless connection that it could muster up.

iPad with ethernet


Things You’ll Need

As aforementioned, this “hack” doesn’t just require one simple tool, but rather three accessories that you’ll need to purchase if you don’t already have them. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lightning to USB Camera Adapter – Buy
  • USB Ethernet Adapter – Buy
  • Powered USB 2.0 Hub – Buy (It can be any cheap hub, though. Just make sure it’s powered.)
  • Ethernet Cable – Buy
  • An iPad – Buy

The reason you need a powered USB hub is because the USB Ethernet adapter requires more power than the Lightning to USB adapter cable can provide, so if you don’t have the powered USB hub, you end up getting a popup saying the device cannot power the adaptor.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 10.44.25 AM

Setting It Up

While this is quite a list of things you’ll need, setting it all up takes less than 30 seconds. I’ve embedded a video below that details the steps needed and demonstrates the hack, but here’s a step-by-step guide on connecting your iPad to ethernet:

  1. First off, disable WiFi on your iPad, as well as cellular data if it’s an LTE model.
  2. Plug one end of the ethernet cable into a free port on your router, and the other end into the ethernet port on the USB Ethernet Adapter.
  3. Connect the USB end of the adapter to any of the USB ports on the USB hub.
  4. Connect the USB cable that came with your USB hub to the hub. The cable should have a smaller connector on one end and the port for it should be on the back of the hub.
  5. Connect the power cable for the USB hub to the hub and plug the other end into a wall outlet.
  6. Connect the USB end of the Lighting to USB Adapter to the other end of the USB cable that came with your USB hub.
  7. Lastly, plug the Lightning end of the adapter into your iPad.


You might have to give your iPad a few seconds to recognize everything, but after that, you can launch Safari and begin surfing the web.

From there, you can launch the streaming app of your choice, be it YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc. You should get a much better internet connection than you would if you were just using a WiFi connection.

Furthermore, you can download an app called Speedtest that can see how fast your internet connection is on your iPad.


  1. Or you could just use any Windows tablet (Surface pro 3 my choice) and connect the USB Ethernet adapter directly to the built-in USB port…

  2. Thank you, Craig Lloyd, I have been looking for a way to do this. However, my iPad 2 does not have a port for a lightning connector. It has a port for 30 pin. Is there still a way for me to connect my iPad 2 to ethernet?

  3. I use the Apple 30-pin camera adapter on my iPad 2 just fine. It also works on my old iPhone 4. And, with the lightening to 30-pin adapter it even works on my iPhone 6 so you should be good to go. Just make sure you turn off the cell connection just in case it doesn’t connect properly (a reboot will usually fix it), otherwise you may end up burning up your monthly MB’s thinking that you’re on the wire.

    • It worked on my mother’s iPad Air when she was over for a visit. She was running iOS 8, although I don’t know if that makes a difference since it works fine on my iPhone 4 running iOS 7.1. (Side note to Homeactivist: I’m pretty sure you have to have at least iOS 7.)

      It can take 30 seconds or so to connect, so it won’t necessarily work right away.

      I would suggest trying to reboot the iPad and then try again. Every once in awhile I have problems and this clears it right up.

  4. Hello Craig Lloyd,

    I tried your description with the IPHONE 4 (version 8.1.3) and the IPAD MINI (version 8.1.2) from my girlfriend.
    Both doesn’t work.
    The USB to Ethernet adapter I used is from “networx”.
    Is the original adapter from apple needed or not?
    If yes, what’s the differences?

  5. Thanks for the guide! Works really well. Just got a very quick question – is there any way to charge the iPad with this set up? I need to be able to set an iPad up so that it always is connected to a power supply and wired network.


  6. A quick question: why use a lightning to camera adapter instead of using the cable that come with charger wich is already lightning to USB and plug it in the hub?

  7. Can it work the other way round? I had a machine that need wireless network connection but does not have wireless adapters. The only way to connect to the network is by using ethernet cable. Can this method work? My ipad will be use as a wireless adapter and connect to my machine using ethernet cable to provide network connectivity.

  8. Hi – I was wondering if I could follow these steps to connect my iPhone 6 to the ethernet in my office. We don’t have wifi and it’s draining my data usage.

  9. I am getting a message on ipad dm9621a usb to fast ether:the connected device is not supported. I am using the following: ipad4, inland usb to lan adapter (says mac compatible), inland 13port usb powered hub, lightning to usb camera (apple) adapter, ethernet cable

Leave a Reply