Updated July 2021: Updated to include information about the Nintendo Switch OLED’s dock which has an Ethernet LAN port built-in to it.
The other week a friend of mine told me he was getting very slow download speeds when connected his new Nintendo Switch to his Wifi.
I ran through a load of options with him, but nothing seemed to speed up his downloads.
I quickly came to the conclusion that he needed a wired connection between his Switch and the router. But that got me thinking:
Does the Nintendo Switch have an ethernet port to connect to a router with a ethernet cable?
Determined to find an answer, I grabbed my own Switch and this is what I found:
Does Nintendo Switch have an Ethernet Port? The normal Nintendo Switch does not have an Ethernet Port. However, you can buy a compatible USB Type-A to Ethernet port adapter to use with your Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch OLED Edition’s dock does come with a built-in Ethernet LAN port.
Now you know it is possible to use an ethernet port adapter with your Nintendo Switch. And if you have a Nintendo Switch OLED you already have an ethernet LAN port built into your dock. But which adapter is compatible? And what advantages, if any, does a wired ethernet connection offer over a wifi connection? I’ll be touching on these questions and more in the following sections.
What ethernet adapter can I use with my Nintendo Switch?
Though the Nintendo Switch doesn’t come with a built in ethernet port it can use an ethernet LAN to USB adapter.
However, care must be taken when buying an adapter as the Nintendo Switch only supports a small number of Ethernet adapter chipsets.
The following ethernet adapters with these chipsets are supported:
As long as the adapter uses one of these chips sets you can use it with the Nintendo Switch.
But if you want to save some time finding the right ethernet adapter, you’re in luck:
I’ve already found a couple of good ones.
Let’s take a look.
My recommended ethernet adapter for the Nintendo Switch.
If you’re read the above section, you’ve probably realized that picking out an ethernet adapter that works with your Switch is not straightforward.
Well, after doing a load of research for my friend, I discovered what the best adapter for the Switch is:
First, and probably most importantly, it’s officially licensed by Nintendo. This means that Nintendo is so happy with HORI’s Adapter that they are happy to slap a fancy golden “Officially Licensed” sticker of approval on the box.
Second, the HORI Adapter is one of the few products on Amazon that actually has a full 5-star rating. Most have 4.5 stars even if they have thousands of 5-star reviews. So the HORI users have near-universal praise for the adaptor.
Thirdly, my friend, who owns one, swears by it. It completely changed his experience with the Switch.
Yes, it’s quite expensive and sells for about $25. But it is the best you can buy and you’ll never need another one.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that there are cheaper alternatives that might be worth exploring.
The Ugreen Ethernet adaptor for Nintendo Switch is a good lower-cost alternative to the HORI. However, this product is not officially licensed by Nintendo and I have no experience using it.
But either of these adapters should work fine with your Switch.
How to use the Ethernet port adaptor with your Nintendo Switch
What you’ll need
- Nintendo Switch Wired Internet LAN Adapter by HORI Officially Licensed by Nintendo or Ugreen Ethernet adaptor for Nintendo Switch
- Nintendo Switch
- Cat6 Ethernet LAN cable (I recommend a flat braided cable that’s tough and can be run under carpets and up walls.)
- Make sure you measure out how long a cable you need before buying.
- Access to your router
- The Nintendo Switch Dock
1: Make sure your Switch is out of its dock as you’ll need to manipulate the dock a little bit. You don’t want to jiggle your Switch and wreck the charging port or scratch the screen.
2: Grab the Switch dock, it can be plugged into power and your TV, locate the back panel and open it. There should be a free USB Type-A socket next to the USB C power port and the HDMI Port.
3: Grab the HORI Ethernet LAN adapter and insert the USB end into the USB sock on the Switch Dock. Close the back of the Switch’s dock leaving the ethernet port end of the adapter hanging out.
4: Grab your Ethernet cable and go and plug one end of it into your router.
5: Run the Ethernet cable to where your Switch is located.
6: Plug the end of the ethernet cable into the ethernet adapter’s ethernet port.
7: Insert your Switch into the dock and power it on.
8: On the HOME Menu of the Nintendo Switch console, select “System Settings” (the cog icon) down the bottom.
9: Next, on the left menu select “Internet”. Then on the subsequent right menu, select “Internet Settings”.
- Keep in mind the Nintendo Switch will now automatically start searching for nearby Wifi routers. It will also search for the wired connection.
10: Once the Switch has stopped searching for connections the “Wired Connection” should become available.
11: Select “Connect to the Internet via Wired Connection”
12: Once you’ve selected “Wired Connection”, the Switch will test the internet connection. Once the test is completed, select ok, and you’ve completed setting up your Switch’s wired connection.
Ok, now you know how to set up a wired connection. Let’s take a look at the benefits that a wired connection will bring you.
Are download speeds faster when using USB ethernet port adapters with your Nintendo Switch?
Yes, the download speed should be substantially faster when using a wired internet connection compared to a wireless connection.
You should experience download speeds 2-10 times faster.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the nature of the USB connection will limit the top speed of your downloads.
The rear USB port in the Switch dock is limited to USB 2.0 speeds.
This means the Ethernet LAN adapter’s speed maxes out at about 480Mbs which is 60MBs.
This is far faster than most broadband internet connections in the western world. For example, in the Uk, I have a 500Mbs connection using Virgin broadband and it’s one of the fastest connections currently available in the UK. And the Switch rarely gets anywhere near this.
But what speed did I actually get when testing the Etherent port adapter?
Well, I experienced a speed of 51.4MBs download speeds on my 500Mbs Broadband connection when using the adaptor. This nearly maxes out the USB connection’s bandwidth.
For comparison, I managed 48.0MBs over my wireless connection. But this is probably because my Switch is only 8 inches from my wifi router.
However, many people have reported massive download speed gains by switching to a wired internet connection. For example, some have reported a doubling in download speed.
But a few reviewers and users have reported speed boosts of up to 10 times faster than their wireless connection.
For example, My friend’s download speeds increased from just over 1Mbs to 15Mbs.
Games that used to take 5 hours to download now take 20 minutes.
So a wired connection has a chance of boosting your connection speed by 10 times. Not bad if you’re waiting for a large download.
Can I use a USB hub with the Nintendo Switch USB to Ethernet port adapter?
It is possible to use a USB hub with the Nintendo Switch and still use the ethernet adapter.
However, any USB hub you use must be mains powered. This is because the chip inside the ethernet adapter that processes data needs power.
A good example of a mains powered hub that works great with the Nintendo Switch is the Attola powered USB hub.
Before buying an USB hub keep in mind that there are two extra USB type-A socket’s on the outside of the Nintendo Switch dock for you to make use off
So we’re finally at the end… Don’t worry I’ve still got a little more to give you! One of my articles wouldn’t be complete with an easy-to-read bulleted list of all the main points. Let’s take a look:
- The Nintendo Switch does not have an ethernet LAN port built into it or the dock
- You have to buy a USB Type-A to Ethernet LAN port adapter.
- Only Certain adapters work with the Switch
- A high-quality licenced adapter is the Nintendo Switch Wired Internet LAN Adapter by HORI Officially Licensed by Nintendo
- A lower-cost but still great adapter is the Ugreen Ethernet adaptor for Nintendo Switch
- I recommend buying a flat Cat6 Ethernet LAN cable to use with the Switch adapter
- You can expect a 2-10 times increase in download speeds when using an ethernet adapter with your Switch
- You can plug the USB Type-A to Ethernet port adapter into a mains-powered USB hub.
- The Nintendo Switch OLED’s dock does have an Ethernet LAN port.
How do I clean the Nintendo Switch’s vents? The vents can be cleaned easily with compressed air, a vacuum cleaner, and some antistatic brushes. However, it is possible to damage the Switch if you are not careful. Check out my article here to see how to clean your Switch’s vents.
How do you clean the Nintendo Switch charging port? Cleaning the Nintendo Switch charging port can be done with a few simple tools. Check out my article here to see how it’s done.
How do I clean a Nintendo Switch game Cartridge? Cleaning a Nintendo Switch game cartridge is not hard but it can be quite an involved process to do it cleanly and correctly without damaging the metal contact points. For a full method on how to clean a Nintendo Switch game cart, check out our article here.
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