Tips and Tricks

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.


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
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 😁).


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.

79 replies on “Use Wired Ethernet On Your iPad or iPhone”

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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.

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 ?

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.

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.

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.


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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

I know it’s been a while, but can you help me figure out if this lightening to usb cable is ok. I’m not tech savvy…it contains an extra letter…

Lightning to USB 2.0
Manufacturer No: MD818ZMA
SKU: 399702

Hi Jacob, the product I asked about above is an Apple product but has an extra letter in the product number. I’m not in the US and wanted to see if I could avoid shipping by buying from an authorised dealer in my country.

Would these Apple cables work…???

Apple Lightning to USB 2.0, 1.00 m ( 3.28 ft )
Manufacturer No: MD818ZMA

Apple MD836 USB Home Charger, Single USB, 12W
Manufacturer No: MD836BB

Apple Adapter, USB 2.0 to Ethernet
Manufacturer No: MC704ZMA

Oh OK. My guess is it would work then as long as the adapter was manufactured on of after the publication of this post (it was close to when the new adapter came out).

I have the ethernet working on my iPhone SE with this setup, but I am having trouble sharing the internet connection via the phone’s Personal Hotspot. My Macbook Air and old iPad connect to the iPhone, but they don’t find any internet on this connection. Any ideas?

AFAIK, the hotspot uses your cellular connection so using it over Ethernet won’t do anything.

This worked great for everything except iMessage. For some reason iMessage does not work for my iPhone 5S over Ethernet but does with Wifi.
Is anyone else having this issue?

Is there are difference between the lightening to USB wire and the one my iPhone 6 plus came with? It looks the same


Thanks Jacob for this great post. I just wanted to confirm – will the iPhone battery stay ‘topped up’ to 100% as long as the charger is plugged in, even with Ethernet in use? Or does it still drain the battery, just much more slowly?

I have tried something similar with a Motorola phone on Android, and the battery still drains, just much more slowly.

It should stay charged just fine. It may take a while longer if the battery was already very low though.


I am using an iphone 7 with unlimited data. I bought all of the stuff that you reco.

You state camera adaptor OR powered USB hub (I am using a USB cube not powered.

1) Is a powered USB hub a must have?

2) What phone settings need to be activated?

I have everything connected but router is not doing anything except showing power

Yes, it needs to be powered; the connection needs the extra power to stay active. It’s been a bit hacky on older models, but the newer iOS versions there is a menu item for Ethernet when it’s detected.

The Apple USB Ethernet adapter must be used on the $329 iPad. My 3rd party Gigabit USB adapter works fine on the iPad Pro and iPhone 6, but Apple didn’t include the Gigabit wired speed on the least expensive iPad.

I am using wired ethernet on most of my iOS devices to decrease EMF. See for more information.

I got this 7 port AmazonBasics hub, a cheap Usb to RJ45 connector and tried to connect my iphone to my linksey 5 port switch. Connected the hub to the iphone via USB, gave it power, and connected the rj45-usb connector to one of the ports of the hub, expecting it to work. After a few seconds, I was hearing maybe sparking sounds. My linksey port was burning. Quickly disconnected everything. iPhone did not connect to ethernet.

Why did the Linksey port burn??

I mention in the article that genuine Apple hardware works best, and this was direct from Apple engineers. The inexpensive stuff from Amazon is usually cheaply-made and I would not recommend using it.

So, 18 months later –

I’m scouring Apple support site because I want to configure network devices from my phone… only to find that it can’t be done:

“In a word, no.”

So i start to compose a post that argues that it IS TECHNICALLY FEASIBLE and that someone has surely put together a workaround, when the site pops up with a link to

“Tips for composing a good question”

which just completely sets me off – Apple products are great (generally); Apple superior and condescending attitude – not so much.

Off I DuckDuckGo to find what I know must exist – and find you. I had imagined a couple of adapters with a powered USB hub in the middle – I had no idea it would need to be so gnarly.

Congratulations on your solution, Mr Salmela! You have proved Apple support is not entirely honest nor transparent. I’m thinking that Apple could put together a little code in the next iOS with a $100 lightning to Ethernet dongle and turn a profit on it – but they really don’t need the money.

This trick has existed with iOS for some time. Their engineers use it, but it’s not really something they have advertised or made public.

Hi Jacob- this setup works fine on my iPhone6, but I can’t get it to work with my iPad2 mini… It has the old 30pin connector so I had to use a lightning 8pin to 30pin adaptor… The iPad charges fine with the 8 to 30 adaptor but once the camera kit is connected, nothing happens. Any thoughts? Any 8 to30 adaptors you recommend?

What version of iOS are you running on the Mini2? AFAI understood, only the new adapter worked, hence the links I added in the article. YMMV with anything else.

Since a recent update of macOS, MacBooks now can give reverse USB tethering to your USB-connected iPhone using the macOS ‘Sharing’ feature! So no more need for this cable fuckery and much more elegant!

Thanks for the guide though. It was needed at the time.

Has anyone gotten this to work with a Pro? I’m looking to create a hard-wired connection between my 2017 12.9 Pro and my Air. (The Pro is running 11.3, the Air is running 10.3.3). Thanks!

Hi! I tried your hack, works nice! I got a connection from my router and my Mac (share to iPhone). Now I try (reverse way) to share my wifi o cell data from my iPhone to another device PC, IP camera, Macbook or other using the same configuration (USB camera adapter and USB-Ethernet adapter) but I did not get a router address or I must write it in the Ethernet config in my iPhone? some ideas? Thanks

Not sure… but I share my iPhones cellular data “personal hotspot” with a WiFi-less winblows desktop just using the lightning usb cable that came with the phone. You have to “trust this computer” on the phone and configure the Ethernet, but it’s fairly painless.

Thanks for the tutorial! The ethernet connection is ok for most apps, however, not all features work. iMessage and FaceTime do not. Are there any solutions to this? If someone reads this who has no problems like this, could you please share your version of iOS? Thanks!

Hi Daniel, did you ever get this issue resolved? I‘m having problem wirth FaceTime and the Ethernet adapter. Any help appreciated.

Hi jacob,

Great guide! Can this method be used to serve 4g cellular data to a device? I have a point of sale cash register that I want to have connected to an iphone as an internet solution.

I would think the same but what is gnawing at me is the fact that the phone can send out its connection via the lightning port to usb. why wouldn’t it be able to do the same via ethernet? I dont know really have a strong grasp of this stuff so maybe thats flawed thinking?

Hmm good point. And you can tether your phone with a USB cable…it might be some Apple thing that’s just locked down in the OS. I only knew about the feature at the time from some Apple engineers…

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