The Nintendo Switch is one of the newest and most popular gaming systems on the market right now. It offers a wide variety of games and can be used in both handheld and docked modes.
For the docked mode, the handheld components become your console controller. With all of the games available to you, many of them can be played offline.
However, there are a variety of online games available. You would need an internet connection to play these, shop online for games and other features, and install system and game updates.
Your home wifi connection is generally sufficient for these activities but, as many gamers know, this is not always the best option. You might not have wifi in your home and only have a direct connection to the internet available. You might also just prefer a direct connection.
Despite being more cumbersome, direct connections can offer a lot of benefits. For example, they are more secure and generally have faster and more stable connections than wifi. Ethernet cables are used for connecting devices directly to the router.
Most devices have an ethernet port that makes connecting them to the router easy.
Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch does not have a built in ethernet port so it is a slight bit more complicated. That said, the Switch dock does have a USB port available which can connect to the USB end of an ethernet adapter when you use the Switch in the console mode. The ethernet port of this adapter, then, can be connected to your router’s ethernet cable.
There are many different ethernet adapters available. Some are designed specifically for the Switch while others are more versatile. They also differ on a variety of other features as well. Check out our top picks for the best ethernet adapter for Nintendo Switch.
Best Ethernet Adapter For Nintendo Switch Comparison Table
As you can imagine, ethernet adapters for the Nintendo Switch are very useful. There are a few key features to look out for when you shop for an ethernet adapter.
Most of the features contribute to connection speed and stability, which are absolutely necessary for playing online games. Without a fast and stable internet connection, you will end up getting a lot of lag and disconnections and no one wants that. It can be troublesome for both yourself and your teammates if you are playing multiplayer.
It is also a good idea to shop for an ethernet connector that is compatible with more than just the Switch. These are versatile and reliable for many uses, more than just games. Gamers can benefit from these, but they are also helpful for other devices that need an internet connection, such as some computers.
Below is a comparison table of the top 5 ethernet adapters so you can see a quick snapshot of their features.
1. AmazonBasics Ethernet Adapter – Best Overall
Amazon offers a lot of original products for electronics and other items. The AmazonBasics Ethernet Internet Adapter is the best overall pick and by far one of the most popular ethernet adapters out there. It is a top seller on Amazon and gets fantastic reviews. It has an average price and you can get it in a single pack or a ten pack. It is speedy, efficient, and an overall great choice for the Nintendo Switch.
The USB 3.0 is able to support 10/100/1000 gigabit ethernet. It also supports IPv4/IPv6 pack Checksum Offload Engine (COE) which help free up bandwidth and increase data transmission speed. This ensures better and more consistent connection for your games.
This is an environmentally friendly ethernet adapter that supports Green Ethernet, a general term referring to eco-friendly connections. It has IEEE 802.3az – 2010 (Energy Efficient Ethernet). This has a low idle mode to reduce energy use of the ethernet link when data is not being sent. In addition, this adapter also has a Wake-on-LAN function that lets it be remotely powered or awoken from sleep mode. This ethernet adapter is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Mac OS, and Chrome OS. It is not compatible with Windows RT or Android.
2. UGREEN USB 3.0 Hub Ethernet Adapter – Premium Pick
UGREEN is another very popular company on Amazon. They have a few ethernet adapters available that are top sellers. The UGREEN USB 3.0 Hub Ethernet Adapter is one of their most popular adapters. It is the premium pick and most expensive ethernet adapter on this list. But it is well worth the price. This is a top seller ethernet adapter that comes from an extremely popular brand. It provides fast connection and a lot of versatility.
It also has a DC power jack for additional power supply when connecting to USB HDD. It has the AX88179 chipset that comes from the Asix company. This adapter has yellow and green LED lights to let you know the current connection status.
This ethernet adapter is also very versatile. It has three USB 3.0 ports to allow you to connect multiple devices at once. Some of these include the Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite, computers, cameras, and flash drivers. It is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1.
This adapter supports a suspend mode. It also supports remote wakeup through link change, Magic Packet, Microsoft Wakeup Frame, and an external wakeup pin. It has both full and half duplex operating modes.
3. UGREEN USB 2.0 Ethernet Adapter – Budget Pick
The UGREEN USB 2.0 Ethernet Adapter is very similar to the above mentioned UGREEN USB 3.0. It is an older model so it does not have quite the same features as the 3.0 but it is still a great choice for the Nintendo Switch.
It is also the budget pick so the “lower quality” is a good tradeoff for the price. You can purchase it in either black or white. This adapter is versatile and provides fast ethernet.
This adapter has an ASIX AX88772 chipset and LED indicators to show you link and activity status. This ASIX chip is reliable for a fast and stable ethernet connection.
This is also a versatile ethernet adapter. It has full duplex support with flow control and half duplex support with backpressure operation.
For reference, flow control is used to limit the amount of data transmitting across the network. Despite the sounds of it, this helps to speed up the data connection. Backpressure operation is another way of controlling data flow that works specifically for half duplex data transmission. This also helps to make the connection faster.
This ethernet adapter is compatible with the Nintendo Switch, Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, Mac OS X 10.4 and above, and Linux kernel 3.x and 2.6.x.
4. Plugable USB To Ethernet Adapter
The Plugable USB to Ethernet Adapter comes from a slightly less well known company but this adapter is a great choice for the Nintendo Switch. This is not the budget pick but it is very cheap.
That said, it is certainly not a low quality ethernet adapter. It has a fast, stable connection and is environmentally friendly. Overall, this is a great choice for gamers of all levels that are budget conscious.
It has an IPv4/IPv6 checksum offload engine and TCP large send offload. Its ASIX AX88179 chipset also provides a stable and fast connection. This supports 10/100/1000 network speeds.
This is a somewhat versatile ethernet adapter though it admittedly has less versatility than others on this list. It is compatible with the Nintendo Switch, Windows 10, 8.x, 7, Linux kernels (3.9 and onward), and Chrome OS (with the latest Chrome updates installed). It is user friendly, though. This ethernet adapter has automatic driver installation through Windows updates for 10, 8.x, 7, and XP (with an existing internet connection).
5. CableCreation USB 3.0 Network Adapter
Once again, this next ethernet adapter comes from a less well known company but it is a very good product. The CableCreation USB 3.0 Network Adapter is another very cheap ethernet adapter for the Nintendo Switch.
Despite the price, this is a high quality ethernet adapter that provides a fast and stable connection. It is compatible with a variety of devices and is quite user friendly. You can buy this as a single ethernet adapter or a two pack.
It supports backpressure routing, IEEE 802.3x flow control, and IEEE 802.3az. The REALTEK IC Chipset (RTL8153) is safe, reliable, and provides a fast connection. The gold plating also helps to increase durability and conductivity.
The chipset is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1 standards. This adapter works with 32/64 bit Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP, Mac OS 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, and 10.12. It is a plug and play one time driver installation. It is driver-free for Windows 8, 8.1, and 10. Driver installation is needed for Windows 7, XP, and Vista, Mac OS, and Linux. Additional features include crossover detection, auto correction, wake on LAN (WOL), and both full and half duplex systems.
How To Select The Best Ethernet Adapter For Nintendo Switch
Ethernet adapters are pretty similar from one company to the next. But they do differ in overall quality and the key features you need to play your games. A lot of the features you will need to look for center around connection speed. There are a couple other features to check for, though.
Ethernet Port Type
They may all look very similar but there are actually many different types of ethernet ports. Each of the adapters mentioned above has an RJ45 port, also sometimes just simply called a 45. This is one of the most common types of ethernet adapters so these should work with the cables you already have. But you will still want to double check and make sure you have an ethernet cable that is compatible with these adapters, regardless of the actual device you are using it on.
Number Of Ports
Most ethernet adapters have two ports; one USB and one ethernet. However, some models, such as the UGREEN 3.0 mentioned above, have multiple ports available. These may be USB or some other type of common connection. These are helpful when it comes to connecting devices together for gaming, file sharing, and more. Having multiple ports is not necessary for gaming with the Nintendo Switch but it is a nice feature to have.
The USB 3.0 is a newer design than the 2.0 and offers significantly greater speeds. In fact, the USB 3.0 is 10 times faster than the 2.0. The USB 2.0 can provide a speed of 480 mbps (megabytes per second) whereas the 3.0 can provide 4.8 gbps (gigabytes per second). Some of these can get up to 5 gbps. The 3.0 is also backwards compatible with 2.0 devices but it is limited to 2.0 speeds of the specific device. Both are sufficient for gaming but faster is always better.
The chipset is responsible for data flow between the central processing unit (CPU) or microprocessor and connected external devices. In this case, the switch console houses the processing unit and the external device is your router. Having a good chipset allows for efficient and speedy data flow between the two. This means better gaming speeds and less or no lag.
Even though you are looking to buy the USB ethernet adapter for the Nintendo Switch, it is still nice to have one that is compatible with multiple devices. This will ensure that you get your money’s worth.
For instance, these ethernet adapters can also be compatible with laptop and desktop computers as well. These ethernet adapters, then, may only be compatible with certain operating systems. Nintendo does have officially licensed, device specific ethernet adapters. That said, because they are device specific, they do not offer you much versatility. So you would need to get multiple different types of adapters if you want to use it for different devices (ex. Switch, Switch Lite, Wii, computer, etc.).
This may not be the top priority on your list but it is a useful feature. Some ethernet adapters are more energy efficient than others meaning that they can save power. This is good for both the environment and your wallet. These features work by limiting the amount of data flow necessary such as when the adapter is not currently in use.
These are inexpensive as most ethernet adapters you will find are under $30. In general, you should expect to pay between $15 and $30. Newer versions, such as the 3.0, and certain brand names may increase the price. In general, look for speed and compatibility to make sure you are paying a fair price.
Some ethernet adapters have the ability to offload data. For example, they may have a Checksum Offload Engine (COE) support. Features like this are helpful because it allows for more efficient data transport. This helps to free up bandwidth, which is beneficial if multiple people are attempting to use the connection at once. It also increases the speed of data flow making for a much better gaming experience.
To use this with the Nintendo Switch, you first need to connect a LAN adapter (ethernet adapter) to the Switch dock. After this, you can connect this to the ethernet cable coming from the router or gateway. Then, put the Nintendo Switch into the dock. Go to the home menu and select “System Settings”, “Internet”, “Internet Settings”, “Wired Connection”, and finally “Connect to the Internet via Wired Connection”. The Switch then tests the connection and, once successful, you just need to select “Ok” and you are good to go. Though it may seem cumbersome, you could also use this to connect the Switch in handheld mode. You would just need to use a USB 2.0/3.0 to USB-C (port on the Switch) adapter. Then plug the ethernet cable into the adapter’s ethernet port.
Installation for other devices, such as computers, may vary. So you should look into compatibility and installation instructions before you buy. These installations are pretty simple but you should still know what you are getting into.
There are a couple other miscellaneous features mentioned in the product descriptions above. So you can better understand the product features, here is what they mean:
- Wake-on-LAN: This is a feature that allows the device to be turned on remotely, meaning that it can be turned on by another device. This may also be referred to as remote wakeup. In this case, you can configure the Nintendo Switch so that you can turn it on remotely.
- Suspend mode: This allows for the device to be put into sleep mode. This is useful for saving energy since it lowers the flow of data and power between devices.
- Full and half duplex: Half duplex refers to a port only being able to either receive or send data at a single time. Full duplex allows it to do both.
- Crossover detection: Ethernet crossover is the ability to connect two devices together at once. In some instances, your ethernet adapter will have the crossover detection ability that lets you do this.
- Auto-correction: This is a feature that is related to the above mentioned crossover detection. Ethernet adapters that have one should also have the other. This is able to correct the connection when hubs and switches are not wired correctly. This prevents the need to worry about getting a “straight through” cable since the adapter, itself, is able to fix the problem. This may also be listed as auto-MDI/MDIX (Medium Dependent Interface or Medium Dependent Interface with Crossover).