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4 Best USB Ethernet Adapters for Linux

Trying to find a USB ethernet adapter that works well on Linux? Tired of buying networking equipment that doesn’t work out of the box? Follow along with our list as we go over 4 ethernet adapters that work well on Linux!

Choosing a USB Ethernet adapter

A USB ethernet adapter can bring new life to an old computer with a slow ethernet jack, add speedy network transfer rates to a laptop with a slow WiFi card, or get you out of a jam when you need more than one network card. So, let’s answer the question “What to look for when choosing a USB ethernet adapter.”

Network transfer rate

The first thing you should look into when choosing a USB ethernet adapter is its network transfer rate. Yes, most adapters indeed advertise themselves as “gigabit,” but often, that amounts to the maximum speed possible. For best results, look at the average speed you will get when using it.

USB type

With USB networking adapters, the USB type is critical. You need to know what kind of connector the device uses, as it will determine the speed of the network device. For example, a USB 3.0 adapter is going to perform faster than a USB 2.0 one, etc.

Best USB Ethernet Adapters for Linux

Based on our extensive research we have found these to be the best Linux Ethernet adapters.

Looking for a Gigabit Ethernet adapter for Linux that doubles as a USB 3.0 hub? The Anker 3-Port USB 3.0 HUB is your best bet. Why? Not only will it give your Linux computer a stellar ethernet connection of up to 1 Gbps, but it also has 3 USB 3.0 ports with a very fast data transfer rate.

There are a lot of excellent USB ethernet adapter/USB hub combos out there on the market. However, Anker takes the cake with theirs by promising first-class Linux support. Linux users will be able to plug the device in and get going with no need to install third-party drivers.

In our testing, we found that the Anker 3-Port USB 3.0 HUB with 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter worked very well on Linux, averaging connection speeds of 940 Mbps – 1 Gbps. We also found that data transfers were speedy, but the transfer rates depend on the size of the data.

Pros

  • Has a built-in USB hub with 3 USB 3.0 ports.
  • USB ports can transfer data at up to 5 Gbps.
  • The ethernet port is backward compatible with USB 2.0 ports.
  • Reasonable price tag.
  • The green LED on the device indicates that everything is functioning correctly.
  • The USB cord is detachable.
  • The network connector has LED lights to indicate activity.
  • Network chipset supports Linux out of the box with no drivers required.

Cons

  • Network throughput stays closer to 900 Mbps rather than the advertised 1 Gbps most of the time.

There are a lot of USB 3.0 ethernet adapters out there for Linux, and they’re all excellent products, but not everyone is in the market for these devices. As strange as it sounds, people still purchase USB 2.0 ethernet adapters, especially Raspberry Pi enthusiasts.

AmazonBasics has a reputation for creating affordable products with exceptional quality, and the AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Ethernet Port LAN Internet Network Adapter is no different. Despite the modest price tag, it offers up impressive transfer rates of up to 100 Mbps, which is pretty good for basic network connectivity on Linux.

Like many other USB networking adapters, the AmazonBasics USB 2.0 ethernet adapter is plug-n-play, so it has excellent Linux support right out of the box. For this reason, it’ll make an excellent network adapter for a Raspberry Pi, or even an old computer that needs ethernet connectivity.

In our testing of the AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Ethernet Port LAN Internet Network Adapter, we found it worked quite well on the Raspberry Pi operating system Raspbian, as well as most conventional Linux operating systems. It kept a steady network transfer rate up to 480 Mbps.

Pros

  • Network connectivity up to 480 Mbps.
  • Works well on Raspberry Pi 1, 2, and 3 thanks to the 2.0 USB support.
  • Incredibly inexpensive.
  • The network connector has LED lights to indicate activity.
  • Network chipset supports Linux out of the box with no drivers required.

Cons

  • Often stays under 480 Mbps.
  • The USB cable is not detachable.

TP-Link is well-known for its networking equipment. Consistently, they create products that are well-supported on Linux. The TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter is no different. Out of the box, it comes with first-class Linux support; no drivers required.

The TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter is USB 3.0 and supports a transfer rate of up to 1 Gbps. It also supports a network transfer rate of 10-100 Mpbs in USB 2.0 ports and is even backward compatible with USB 1.1 ports.

In using the TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter on Linux, we found that it maintained a stable network connection on all types of USB ports, though USB 3.0 ports performed the best.

Pros

  • The USB cable is foldable.
  • The indicator light on the top of the device shows network activity.
  • Network chipset supports Linux out of the box with no drivers required.
  • Incredibly inexpensive.
  • Backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1 ports.

Cons

  • The ethernet port does not have the standard yellow/green activity LED lights.

The UGREEN Network Adapter is an affordable ethernet adapter for Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, and even the Nintendo Switch. It is a USB 3.0 device and can deliver network speeds at a maximum rate of 1 Gbps. However, it is also possible to use the device on USB 2.0 ports, though the network transfer rate will suffer significantly.

The UGREEN Network Adapter is a plug-n-play device, meaning it will work on virtually every Linux operating system out of the box, with drivers already included in the Linux kernel. So, If you’re in the market for a good, affordable USB 3.0 ethernet adapter that works well on Linux, the UGREEN Network Adapter is one of the best and deserves your attention.

In our testing, we found the UGREEN Network Adapter had a consistent network transfer rate of 900 Mpbs to 1 Gpbs on USB 3.0. On USB 2.0 ports, the transfer rate was much lower, but still very much usable.

Pros

  • Supports both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connectivity.
  • Works with a myriad of devices aside from Linux, including the Nintendo Switch gaming console.
  • The network connector has LED lights to indicate activity.
  • Network chipset supports Linux out of the box with no drivers required.
  • Relatively inexpensive.

Cons

  • The USB cable is not detachable.

Conclusion

In this list, we talked about 4 excellent USB ethernet adapters that work very well with Linux. Though this list is not definitive. What USB ethernet adapter do you use on your Linux system? Sound off in the comment section below!

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