Home Enterprise In the Lab: Plugable USB-C and USB-A Ethernet Adapters

In the Lab: Plugable USB-C and USB-A Ethernet Adapters

by Alex Schuchter

At StorageReview, we get our hands on a lot of notebooks. Instead of connecting each and every new system to our wireless network we opt to connect devices using Ethernet cords so we can just plug and play. Not only does connecting to our network via Ethernet save us time, but it’s also important for us to connect this way to get the best results when copying over our large datasets for benchmarks. However, not all the products we test have an Ethernet port. This is where Plugable Ethernet Adapters come into play. By having both a Plugable USB Type-C and a Plugable USB 3.0 Type-A on hand we can instantly connect to our network via a USB port. These adapters don’t require external power or additional drivers, which is especially convenient.


At StorageReview, we get our hands on a lot of notebooks. Instead of connecting each and every new system to our wireless network we opt to connect devices using Ethernet cords so we can just plug and play. Not only does connecting to our network via Ethernet save us time, but it’s also important for us to connect this way to get the best results when copying over our large datasets for benchmarks. However, not all the products we test have an Ethernet port. This is where Plugable Ethernet Adapters come into play. By having both a Plugable USB Type-C and a Plugable USB 3.0 Type-A on hand we can instantly connect to our network via a USB port. These adapters don’t require external power or additional drivers, which is especially convenient.

Plugable Ethernet Adapter

While the specific features and system requirements of the adapters vary slightly overall the benefits of these adapters include low cost, small form factor, and simple plug-and-play Gigabit Ethernet network connection capability.

USB Type-C Ethernet Adapter Specifications

ChipsetASIX AX88179
FeaturesHigh performance packet transfer rate over USB bus using proprietary burst transfer mechanism (US Patent Approval).
USB Type-C male to RJ45 female adapter supporting gigabit Ethernet at USB Type speeds.
Supports all USB power saving modes (U0, U1, U2, and U3).
Supports 10/100/1000 with auto-sensing (IEEE 802.3, 802.3u, and 802.3ab).
IPv4/IPv6 checksum offload engine, crossover detection and auto-correction, TCP large send offload and IEEE 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet.
Supports dynamic cable length detection and dynamic power adjustment Green Ethernet (Gigabit mode only).
System CompatibilityWindows 10, 8.1/8, 7
macOS 10.6 – 10.14
Linux kernels prior to 3.9 require rebuild of kernel module from source.
Chrome OS (support with latest updates)
Nintendo Switch
Cost$19

USB Type-A Ethernet Adapter Specifications

ChipsetASIX AX88179
FeaturesHigh performance packet transfer rate over USB bus using proprietary burst transfer mechanism (US Patent Approval).
USB 3.0 male A to RJ45 female adapter supporting gigabit Ethernet at USB 3.0 speeds.
Supports all USB 3.0 power saving modes (U0, U1, U2, and U3).
Supports 10/100/1000 with auto-sensing (IEEE 802.3, 802.3u, and 802.3ab).IPv4/IPv6 checksum offload engine, crossover detection and auto-correction, TCP large send offload and IEEE 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet.
Supports dynamic cable length detection and dynamic power adjustment Green Ethernet (Gigabit mode only).
System CompatibilityWindows 10, 8.1/8, 7, Vista, XP
macOS 10.6 – 10.14
Linux kernels prior to 3.9 require rebuild of kernel module from source.
Chrome OS (support with latest updates)
Nintendo Switch
Cost$14

Beyond adding an Ethernet port to a system lacking one, these adapters are handy for situations where you need more than one network connection. In many scenarios when deploying or diagnosing multi-controller platforms, having access to more than one controller at the same time is quite valuable. One example of this is we worked through multiple reconfigurations of a Dell EMC Unity platform where we had direct IP access to each CLI console as the controllers were wiped. One method to do this in the field is with a small 5 port switch (which requires power), or you could use Ethernet adapters like the Plugable models to do this with fewer items to carry around. Another situation is where you need to touch multiple VLANs or network fabrics, where just one port can’t get the job done. In either situation a simple dongle works very well.

Plugable Ethernet Adapter

Ethernet adapters are small but essential pieces of technology in the tech world. Wireless internet is convenient and gets the job done most of the time but, there are plenty of cases where wired Ethernet is still preferable/necessary. Ethernet adapters are useful for notebooks or tablets that don’t have them built in, which is becoming more common as many vendors look to streamline the look of products. If you are in the market for a USB-A or USB-C Ethernet adapter, Plugable has an excellent offering. These adapters offer convenience first and foremost, working universally with most operating systems. With an attractive price point these adapters are a must have for an IT triage bag or business traveler alike.

Plugable Ethernet Adapters at Amazon

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