Use Wired Ethernet On Your iPad or iPhone

iPads and iPhones do not have an Ethernet port, but there are cases where you might want to use a hardwired connection.  You can actually run your iOS device over Ethernet with some adapters.  This is useful for quickly downloading large iOS updates or if your wireless is slow or you want to take advantage of a gigabit Ethernet port on your router.

Requirements

Setting it up is a bit weird and kind of hacky, but it works.  You’ll need a few parts and adapters, which are listed below:

How To Set Up An Ethernet Connection On Your iDevice

  1. Plug the USB-to-Ethernet adapter into the camera adapter
  2. Plug an Ethernet cable into the USB-to-Ethernet adapter
  3. Plug the Ethernet cable into your router
  4. Plug the lightning cable into the camera adapter
  5. Plug the lightning cable into the power adapter (or powered USB hub)
  6. Plug the power adapter (or powered USB hub) into the wall
  7. Connect the camera adapter (or the powered usb hub) to your iOS device
ios-ethernet.jpg
Here is what it looks like with everything connected.

If you plug in the adapter before hooking it up to power, you will get a message on your iOS device saying that this is not a supported USB device (but even Apple themselves use this trick so it’s kind of ironic 😁).

toomuchaggro.png

Please note, it is necessary to use the A/C adapter or a powered USB hub.  This is because the Ethernet connection takes more power than the iPad can handle.

 

 

 

37 Replies to “Use Wired Ethernet On Your iPad or iPhone”

  1. Thanks for verifying that this is a viable setup! I was reluctant to buy a bunch of adapters until someone proved it worked. FWIW, I’m going to use an iPod Touch as a livestreaming gadget. WiFi is too slow but this should do the trick!

    1. It works great on an iPod Touch! DL: 97.89 Mbps / UL 70.93 Mbps. I’m not seeing the reported 5 Mbps limit on iOS. Note that I’m using a Moshi USB to Ethernet adapter.

      1. Using Apple products for the USB to Lightning and USB to ethernet. Tried the iPad with the power adaptor and powered USB hub together and could not get it to work. Funny thing is it works fine with an iPhone 6 plus.

        1. Yeah, the powered hub method is a lot less reliable. I would try again with all Apple products. Please also note that there are two USB camera adapters–the older one won’t work but the one I link to in the article will.

          1. Yes using the newer USB camera adapter, yes tried using all connection methods. We’ve tested it with an iPhone 6+, iPad Pro, and iPad Air. It worked for the Air and the phone, just won’t work with the iPad Pro. I thought it might be due to the increased power draw from the Pro so I connected both the USB powered hub and the Apple power adaptor and still had no success with the Pro. For the project I’m doing I’m using an iPad Air anyways so it doesn’t matter that the Pro doesn’t work. I just thought it was strange the Pro doesn’t work with this method, seeing as ‘pros’ would be more likely to want a wired network connection.

          2. Ahh yes, it probably does come down to the power requirements, as that’s why you need the powered hub in the first place. It might not be possible with the Pro, at least for now.

  2. Hey there. Can i use the regular iphone adapter, or do i need to use the big one, like the one you’re using ? Or will a regular iphone adaptar work fine aswell ? (Image attached)

    1. If you’re using an iPhone that should work, haven’t tested it. What is strange is that I’ve tested it with a 3rd party USB power adapter and this process did not work, you must use an Apple power brick. Apparently the Apple power brick communicates with what it is connected to.

      1. Fantastic. Final question ha. Connecting the lighting to usb to power adapter, this will charge the iphone also right ? So it wont be that the port is being utilized by the camera adaptar, and the iphone cannot be charged ?

  3. Thanks for this information. Is this possible to do with the Apple MC704ZM/A Ethernet to USB adapter or must one use the MC704LL/A? Thanks.

      1. At first I could not get it to work with the older model (the Apple MC704ZM/A), but at the time I did not have the Camera Adapter and was trying through a hub, which did not work for me.
        Once I got the Camera Adapter, I found connecting the camera adapter to an external battery via the lightning port and connecting the Apple MC704ZM/A to the USB port of the Camera Adapter and then the Camera Adapter lightning cable to the device (it worked with both an iPad Mini with Retina Display-model ME277LL/A running iOS 9.3.2 and an Iphone 5 running 9.3.2) got me online via wired ethernet at speeds over 100Mbits/sec in one direction.
        Thanks for the great writeup.
        FYI, I tried to replace the MC704ZM/A with an Anker 3 Port USB and Ethernet Hub (model AH212) and that worked as well.

        1. Thanks for the specific models as that will help others–some of the hubs and stuff haven’t worked for some so it’s nice to know ones that do.

          Enjoy!

          1. I was able to get it to work with the iPad Pro 9.7 inch. Using the suggested adapters

  4. Im having trouble identifying which Ethernet adapter I even have! The listing was MC704ZM/A – but the actual adaptor doesn’t say that on it anywhere? Is mine an even older model? (Says 2010 on it)

    On the ipad (pro 7.9″) an ethernet section in Settings (with nothing in it).. and the adapter gets warm.. But nothing happens. 🙁 I’m using the camera adapter.

    Maybe its because I’m running iOS 10 Beta. I’ll try it on someone else’s devices.

  5. I have found no way to distinguish the Apple MC704ZM/A Ethernet to USB adapter from the MC704LL/A by looking at the outside writing. Even the newer model that I bought from an Apple Store 8/2016 listed 2010 as the date on the device itself. My device does not have the Asian writing on it however; I attached an image of the writing on my working device in case it helps. Fortunately they both (assuming one was the older device) seemed to work for me. In my iPhone 5 the IP address shows up as another WiFi Adapter even though it is wired ethernet.

    1. Thanks. 😀 Im about to take my dongles to a friends house and see if its only not working because of the iOS 10 installed on my devices. If that doesn’t work I’ll go to the Apple Store too and try buying a new one.

      My dongle appears as an ethernet connection in Sierra and works fine on the Mac, so at least its not 100% faulty. I wonder if the Ethernet panel that appears in iOS10 is supposed to list things like the IP address they just haven’t finished it this early in the betas.

    2. Ok.. so I went to try it on my friends ios9 iPhone 5s and it worked there flawlessly, and didn’t bring up an ethernet panel in settings. It seems like unfinished functionality in the ios10 beta then, which is a shame.. I doubt its high priority for them so I don’t know if they’ll fix it before its out properly. 🙁 Thanks for the help, ill leave apple feedback!

  6. Thanks for this. As described I have it working nicely with an iPad mini which is till on iOS 9.3.5 but I can’t get ti to work on an iPhone 6SE which is on iOS 10.0.2, nor an iPhone 5S which is till on iOS 8.4. Do you know if there’s a range of iOS versions for this to work for iPhones or any other suggestions? thanks

    1. It’s been a while since I have tried this. However, I have heard other users having issues with iOS 10, but haven’t verified the claims.

Leave a Reply