Some users still favor wired connections, and knowing how to add more Ethernet ports to router is a necessity.
It’s always a good idea to increase the number of available ports in your network. This is especially true for gamers, streamers, and heavy internet users.
Discover how you expand your network.
To add more Ethernet ports to your router, the simplest method is to purchase a new router with more than four ports. Alternatively, you can opt for a network switch, which is a more cost-effective way to increase the number of available ports.
Before discussing how to add more Ethernet ports to your router, let us enumerate why you need to do so.
Why Do I Need to Add More Ethernet Ports to My Router
People add more Ethernet ports to their routers for many reasons. Usually, it’s because they want to increase their bandwidth.
If your download speed is slow, you’ll experience lag. This turns games from frustrating to unplayable.
Here are other reasons why you need to get more ports:
- Increase the number of wired connections
- Enhance network performance with wired connections
- Support smart home devices by adding more Ethernet ports
- Improve the security of your network by using more wired connections
- Better streaming and gaming performance
Whether you are creating a home network or extending the one in your office, your router will certainly run out of Ethernet ports on your router. To prepare for this, we put together a simple guide.
Full Guide on How to Add More Ethernet Ports to Router
While most people rely on wireless at home, a wired connection is still better for streaming and gaming.
Adding more ports is easy. But, before we move on to the steps on how to add more Ethernet ports to router, there are a few things you need to consider.
- Make a simple floor plan to visualize the wired connections.
- Consider device and port placement carefully.
- Determine how you are going to run the cables.
1. Get a New Router with More Ports
The quickest way to put additional ports into your network is to get a new one with extra ports. Most routers only come with only 4 Ethernet ports.
However, there are some that will have a few added on by default, so you don’t have to get additional equipment.
These routers are not as common as their 4-port counterparts. However, if you have a small enough network and don’t plan to expand it soon, getting one with a few extra ports is the best thing you can do.
Here are routers that have 8 built-in Ethernet ports:
- TP-Link AX6000 WiFi 6 Router
- TP-Link AX10000 WiFi 6 Gaming Router
- Asus AX6000 WiFi 6 Router
- Mikrotik RB4011 8-port Router
Note: Since these are specialized network devices, they can be on the expensive side.
2. Adding Ethernet Ports to House Using a Network Switch
If you have a growing number of devices that require a wired connection to your network, a more affordable way to add ports is to get a switch.
A network switch is a device that allows you to connect devices on your network. You can use it to bridge connections from your router to other computers.
An advantage of switching is that it’s more affordable than getting an 8-port router.
It also gives your network that added versatility as you can add many more computers with a wired connection to your network.
Here are some network switches you can get:
- Netgear 5-port gigabit Ethernet switch
- TP-Link 8-port gigabit switch
- Linksys SE3008 8-port Ethernet switch
- Netgear GS316P 16-port Ethernet switch
- Zyxel 24-port Managed Ethernet switch
3. Setting Up Your Switch in Your House
Now that you have a good idea of the type of network equipment to use, it’s time to start setting it up.
Since using a switch is the most economical way and gives your network a lot of flexibility, we will explore this option in detail.
Adding a switch means that you will be adding several wired connections to your network.
This means that apart from the switch, you’re going also to need a few meters of Ethernet cables.
Here’s the best way to position your switch:
- Plan out your network layout to figure out which device connects where.
- Choose a central location for your router and switch.
- Install them in a rack or cabinet for easy network management.
- Connect the cables from your devices to your switch.
- Test your connection with the switch.
Note: To test your connection, plugging the end to your computer or laptop will cause the network card to light green.
Step #4: Connecting Your Switch to Your Router
At this point, you have your switch in an optimal location inside your home. Connecting your computers and laptops to the switch will only link them with each other.
To share your internet, you will need to connect your switch to your router. Once you do it right, you’ve essentially extended your router and added a few more Ethernet ports.
Doing it right means all devices connected to your switch are linked to your router. This way, all of them will have access to the internet.
Here’s how to connect your switch to your router:
- Turn off your switch and router and unplug them from the outlet.
- If you have a modem, connect it via an Ethernet cable to your router’s WAN port.
- Get another cable and insert one end to your router’s LAN port 1.
- Insert the other end of the cable into one of your switch’s LAN ports.
- Power up your devices and wait for your router to connect.
Note: Once your router connects to the internet, check if your computers are connected to your switch and if they can access the internet.
5. Plugging Your Devices to Your Switch
It’s time to fill up all those extra LAN ports with the devices you want to connect to your network via an Ethernet cable.
After establishing your router-to-switch connections, you can be confident that any device you add to your switch will have access to your network.
Here’s how to plug your devices into your network switch:
- Grab an Ethernet cable with enough length to connect your computer to the switch.
- Insert one end of the cable into your computer or laptop’s network card port.
- Insert the other end of the cable into your network switch’s LAN port.
- Check if the lights on the switch’s port and network card light up green.
Note: You want to make sure that your cable is long enough so you can do some cable management behind your switch to make it tidy.
6. Verifying Your Connections
Now that you have physically set up your connections, you want to make sure that they work.
Adding more ports to your router means new connections. If these are not set up properly, they will not work and give you many problems in the long run.
To check if your new connections are working properly, perform a status check using your computer.
Here’s how to verify the new ports in your switch are working properly:
- Make sure your computer is connected to a port in your switch.
- Open the Start menu and type cmd in the search bar.
- Right-click on the Command Prompt option and choose Run as Administrator.
- Type ipconfig on the terminal and press Enter.
- Look under Ethernet adapter and confirm if the IP address starts with 192.168.
Note: If your IP address reads differently, you will need to troubleshoot your network.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to connect many more Ethernet ports to your router.
There’s no limit to how many ports you can add to your network, but 7 network switches are the upper end.
How to add more Ethernet ports to router? Using network switches is the most economical and quickest way to do that.
If you plan on adding more than two, feel free to contact a professional to help you set up your network.
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Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues. Check out more about him here.