How to connect your PC with the Ethernet cable

Here are some detailed instructions on how to connect the Ethernet cable from the modem to one or two PCs and what are the benefits you can get.

The Ethernet cable connection between two PCs or to connect your device directly to the modem is a rather wise choice, which reserves a number of real advantages for those who can and want to put it into practice. The Ethernet connection is in fact very useful to quickly transfer data between two devices, as well as, if chosen for browsing purposes, to take full advantage of the speed of your home connection, thus bypassing all the limitations imposed by the classic Wi-Fi. Both procedures are quite simple, and in this guide we're going to understand step by step how to connect the PC with the Ethernet cable to another personal computer or network.

Connecting with Ethernet cable between PC and modem

To connect the PC with the Ethernet cable to the modem is necessary that our device has a specific port in which to insert the plug of the cable. Simply connect your PC to the modem to start surfing, without having to enter any password, as is the case with Wi-Fi. The steps are really basic, but it is important to make sure that the correct cable is used and that our personal computer has a port compatible with this type of cable. Fortunately, the Ethernet cable is almost always provided by telephone operators with the modem, but alternatively can be purchased separately for a few euros. Recognizing it is easy, as it has two identical plugs at both ends, these are two RJ45/8P8C plugs.

Before getting to the heart of the matter, it is important to remember that Ethernet cables, although aesthetically similar, can offer very different performances. At present, the most common and preferred configuration for the Ethernet cable connection between PC and modem is the one identified with the initials EIA/TIA-568B. To actually make the desired connection, you must insert the Ethernet cable in the compatible port of your PC and the one of your modem. Usually, the modems entrusted to us by providers have 3 or even 4 Ethernet ports, while PCs only have one. As far as desktop PCs are concerned, in most cases this is located in the upper part of the device. In portable PCs, on the other hand, you can find it on one of the sides.

If you have done everything correctly, you'll notice that the LEDs located at the ports will light up. This is a positive sign, indicating that the communication between the two devices has started. On Windows 10 PCs, you can then verify the successful connection to the Internet through the Start menu: click on the gear-shaped button to open the settings panel, and click on the "Network and Internet" icon. The "View network properties" entry found a little further down allows you to additionally view the properties of the network you are connected to, from the IP address to the network mask. Even for Macs you can do the same, using the System Preferences of macOS, clicking on the gear icon and clicking on the "Network" icon, located in the screen that opens. On the left side of the window you'll notice the Ethernet entry, which should have a green colored dot.

In case your PC doesn't have an Ethernet connection port, you can rely on two alternatives. The first is the aforementioned Wi-Fi network connection, for which you'll need to enter a password in case the wireless network is protected. The second is instead to choose to buy an adapter that allows you to connect the Ethernet cable to another input port of the computer, available at any retailer specializing in consumer electronics.

How to connect two PCs with an Ethernet cable

Thanks to the Ethernet cable you can also connect two computers together to transfer files. The procedure is indifferent, whether we want to connect the laptop to the fixed PC or create the connection between two laptops: however, it is important that both PCs have a LAN port, in which to insert a cross-type Ethernet cable. Anche in questo caso, i passaggi sono assai semplici, ovvero:

  • Andate nel "Pannello di controllo, poi su "Rete e Internet", su "Centro connessioni di rete e condivisione", e infine su "Modifica" impostazioni scheda
  • Nella finestra "Connessione di rete" troverete la voce "Ethernet", su cui cliccare con il tasto destro per accedere al menu "Proprietà"
  • Nella scheda di Rete dovrete in seguito selezionare "Protocollo Internet versione 4 (TCP / IPv4)" e poi cliccare ancora su "Proprietà"
  • Qui dovrete abilitare la voce "Utilizza il seguente indirizzo IP" e inserire il codice nella voce IP e in quella "Subnet Mask"

Naturalmente, affinché la connessione tra i due PC vada a buon fine, dovrete eseguire tutti gli stessi passaggi anche sul secondo computer, impostando però l’IP con il codice, mantenendo invariato quello per la Subnet Mask.

The advantages of connecting with an Ethernet cable

Many people prefer to use an Ethernet cable to get the most out of their Internet network. If the advantages of the connection between two PCs are obvious and related only to the immediate transfer of data, for the navigation these are strictly attributable to the connection speed. The cable connection is in fact usually faster and less subject to interference than the wireless one, with the Ethernet port able to guarantee a data transmission up to 1 Gbps, which is the maximum for most fiber optic connections.