Can You Plug an Ethernet Cable Into a WiFi Extender?

As long as your WiFi extender comes with an ethernet port, there’s no reason you can’t plug a line directly into the device.

I have spent many years working with different WiFi setups and extenders. My own experience, in addition to extra research on the devices, has allowed me to figure out the numerous (and most effective) ways to use them. 

The following sections cover the way WiFi extenders interact with ethernet cables. Each looks at how both work together, why some users decide to utilize a cable over a wireless connection, and the best way to set everything up.

Key Takeaways

  • As long as an extender has an ethernet port that’s compatible with your home setup, it can be used with an ethernet cable. 
  • A strong ethernet cable buffs your extender’s internet connection, increases speed, and prevents annoying lag or service drops.
  • Setting up your extender with an ethernet cable is simple, as long as you keep in mind the type, budget, and its general placement.

Running a Cable to Your WiFi Extender

WiFi extenders are one of the simplest and most efficient ways to increase your WiFi coverage. They expand your network, and, due to their simplicity, can be set up by almost anyone. However, there are a few ways to make them even more effective.

One such method is by plugging in an ethernet cable. A direct line to the extender will help it run at a higher efficiency, as the device will be less prone to dead zones or random drops. That is, if your model can plug in.

Not all extenders come with ethernet ports. As such, they cannot be hooked up to an ethernet cable. Most modern models do have such ports, but that’s not a guarantee. If you’re someone who wants to run a direct line to your extender, always do your research first.

Check if the model you’re getting comes with a port, and check what type of port it comes with. Once you know both of those aspects, you’ll be able to get it up and running in no time.

If you want to know more about different cables, or have some confusion, this video is a good reference guide.

The Benefits of Connecting a Cable to Your WiFi Extender

A WiFi extender is one of the best ways to get fast, effective internet throughout your house. Though plugging in an ethernet cable isn’t necessary, it does make it much more effective.

Extenders rebroadcast the same packets as your router, which means they’re always dealing with connections. That makes them prone to glitches, drops, or connection instability. Plugging in an ethernet cable limits those issues and generates a much stronger system.

One way it does that is by giving you more bandwidth. Any devices connected to the extender will see increased speed as a result, which makes their usability much more enjoyable. That’s especially important if you do a lot of energy-intensive activities.

In that same vein, a wired connection tends to be more reliable and creates better overall performance. You’ll experience fewer drops or interruptions with an ethernet cable, and there’s much less lag as well.

That’s because many obstacles, such as walls, microwaves, and other electronic devices, can weaken an extender’s symbol. Using a wire instead of a router cuts out such problems and delivers your internet directly to the extender.

Just be sure that the cable supports the same internet speed as your home network, and you won’t have any issues. While ethernet cables do come with extra latency, it’s such a negligible amount that it doesn’t matter in the long run.

How to Plug an Ethernet Cable into Your Extender

One of the biggest reasons to get and use a WiFi extender is how easy they are to set up. The devices have a simple interface and are easy to operate, even when using them with an ethernet cable.

First, get a cable that works with your extender. Once that’s done, plug one end of the cable into your router and the other end into the port on the extender. If the devices aren’t connected to the wall, hook up both to their respective power sources.

Once those steps are done, check the lights to make sure that everything is operating at full capacity. That typically means you’re good to go, but it’s not always that simple. There are a few extra aspects you should keep in mind during that process as well. 

Some homes simply don’t have a lot of ethernet ports built into their floor plans. While you can get a professional to install one, that can be both costly and time-consuming. Sometimes it isn’t practical or worth it to get a cable to your extender.

Pay attention to your home’s layout as well. There are many obstacles that can get in the way of your cable. Just because you can get ethernet to your extender, doesn’t mean you should. If it has to run through an inconvenient place, it’s likely not worth the extra effort.

Ethernet port extenders also tend to be more expensive. That won’t affect everyone, but it’s something else to keep in mind when making your choice. If you want to get a wired connection, you’re going to have to pay extra for it.

Final Words

WiFi extenders are great on their own, but an ethernet cable does make them a bit more reliable. If you live in a space where your extender isn’t working as well as you wish, or if you simply need more speed, don’t be afraid to plug it in.

Do you use a WiFi extender? Is it plugged in with a cable or run wirelessly? Let us know in the comments below!

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