Just like the Wii and Wii U, Nintendo did not include an Ethernet port with the Switch. As a result, the handheld and console hybrid system can only use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet out of the box. Fortunately, you will be able to buy an accessory that will enable wired internet connection to the hardware. So what are the best USB 3.0 Ethernet LAN Adapters that are compatible with the Nintendo Switch? You can find out with our buying guide below.
About the Nintendo Switch Online Service
You will be missing out on a lot if you don’t connect your Nintendo Switch to the internet. For one, you won’t have access to the eShop online store, which not only contain every retail software product that can be downloaded straight to your system, but also games that can only be bought digitally.
Nintendo will also be offering a pay to play online service where you have to pay a monthly fee in order to play with other players over the internet. This service also includes a free retro NES or SNES game every month. The Super NES game will add online multiplayer support if applicable.
So, if you are planning you buy a lot of digital games and/or playing online multiplayer, then you should get the best possible internet connection for your Switch.
Wired vs. Wireless Connection
In general, a wired online connection is considered to be faster and more stable when compared to a wireless one. This is especially true if you don’t have a strong Wi-Fi signal as you are far away from, and/or experiencing some interferences with, your router or modem.
USB 2.0 vs. USB 3.0
Although the Nintendo Switch also supports USB 2.0 Ethernet LAN Adapters, you are better off getting the USB 3.0 ones. This is because the 3.0 adapters support speeds of 10, 100 and 1000 Mbps as opposed to just two speeds from the 2.0 versions ( which are 10 and 100 Mbps).
Even if your internet and/or Nintendo’s online network aren’t fast enough to take advantage of the 1000 Mbps speed from USB 3.0 LAN adapters, it is a good idea to get one over the 2.0 adapters anyway. This is because the 3.0 iterations aren’t that much more expensive when compared to the older ones. Not to mention that USB 3.0 adapters are more future proof, so you most likely don’t have to upgrade for a very long time.
About the official Hori Nintendo Switch Wired Internet LAN Adapter
Nintendo already has an official accessory that lets you used a wired connection with their new system on the market. The Hori Nintendo Switch Wired Internet LAN Adapter works perfectly well. With that said, the product uses the same ASIX AX88179 chipset as other, cheaper, USB 3.0 Ethernet LAN Adapters. So, you will be paying more to get the same functionality.
If you are still interested, you can check out the official Hori Nintendo Switch Wired Internet LAN Adapter with this page on Amazon.
If you want to save some money, we recommend checking out several cheaper alternatives to the above-mentioned official Switch Wired Internet LAN Adapter. The products from the Plugable, StarTech, TRENDnet and UGREEN brands offer much lower prices while also providing the same features as the official accessory.
You can check out our list of the top Nintendo Switch USB 3.0 Ethernet LAN Adapters with the links below:
- Plugable USB 3.0 to 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN Network Adapter
- StarTech USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet NIC Network Adapter
- TRENDnet USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet LAN Wired Network Adapter
- UGREEN USB 3.0 to RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter
How to connect an USB 3.0 Ethernet LAN Adapters to the Switch
Once you bought a compatible Ethernet LAN Adapter, connecting it to the Switch should be rather easy. Take the following steps:
Connect the Ethernet LAN Adapter into the USB 3.0 port of the dock for the Nintendo Switch. It is the same location as the power and HDMI ports as you have to open the backside compartment to gain access.
Keep in mind that the dock also has two USB ports on one of the sides. However, these are for 2.0 connectivity. Although Nintendo is planning to add 3.0 support for these ports in the future via a firmware update, there is currently no timeline as to when that will occur.
Depending on which adapter you bought, the compartment of the Switch dock might not be able to close all the way. This does not affect the system or adapter in terms of functionalities in any way. If you would still want to keep the back compartment of the Switch dock closed, we suggest getting an USB 3.0 Extension Cable. You can pick one up from Amazon Basics here.
After connecting the adapter to the Switch, you can then connect the adapter to your modem or router via an Ethernet cable.
Once that is done, place the portable unit of your Nintendo Switch into the dock. Turn the system on and then head to the “System Settings” menu. From there, pick the “Internet” option and then “Internet Settings.”
The system will then automatically scan for Wi-Fi signals. After a short wait, you will be able to choose the “Wired Connection” option. You then have to select “Connect to the Internet via Wired Connection” so that the Switch can test out your wired connection setup with the USB 3.0 Ethernet LAN Adapter. Once the test is successful, select “OK” to enable wired internet support while the Nintendo Switch is placed into the dock station.
Keep in mind that the wired connection can only be used when docked. If you would like to go online while in portable mode, you will need to setup a wireless connection.
Although the official Hori Nintendo Switch Wired Internet LAN Adapter is perfectly capable of providing a fast and stable wired internet connection, it is currently overpriced when compared to the cheaper alternatives that have the same chipset providing the same functionality and performance.
If you are looking for a Nintendo Switch Ethernet LAN Adapter, then you should check out the alternative products we mentioned in our buying guide above.