Do I Need a LAN Adapter for a Smart TV?


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Most smart TVs come with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, but some models also include Ethernet ports. What’s the difference between them? Which one should you get?

Smart TVs are becoming increasingly common these days. They offer a wide range of features, from streaming video services to voice recognition. But they also come with their own unique challenges.

For example, some smart TVs don’t support wired connections, which means you’ll need to rely on wireless networks and a LAN adapter.

Wireless networking has become ubiquitous over the last decade. In fact, nearly 90% of homes now have at least one Wi-Fi router. But despite its popularity, wireless connectivity isn’t always reliable or secure. That’s why many experts recommend using wired Ethernet cables instead.

In this guide, we’ll go through some reasons why you might want a LAN adapter for your Smart TV, and then show you various options. 

What is an Internal LAN Adapter?

An internal LAN Adapater is a hardware device that can be plugged in or attached to a PCI slot on a motherboard to give it internet connectivity capabilities.

That is why, if you have a smart TV without wireless internet capabilities, attaching a LAN adapter will be what you need. 

A wired network connection provides much better performance and security than a wireless one. If you want to connect your smart TV to a wired network, you’ll need an a LAN adapter. 

Do Smart TVs Need a LAN Adapter

Smart TVs don’t usually need a LAN adapter because they are already connected to the Internet through their built-in Wi-Fi network. 

Unless your Smart TV’s internal Wi-Fi adapter is broken or you have a wireless network issue, you won’t need a LAN adapter. 

You may also want a LAN adapter and Ethernet cable if your Wi-Fi router is far from your TV, resulting in a weak internet connection. A physical cable will give you faster internet speeds. 

Finding a Compatible LAN Adapter for a Smart TV

You may be able to connect your smart TV to your router via an Ethernet cable and port on your TV if it is close enough to your router.

Smart TVs use the internet for many of its features, so they will usually come with a number of ports, whether they are output or input. 

Most TVs come equipped with an ethernet jack so they can be connected directly to your router via cable (or wirelessly). If you use an ethernet cable to connect to a wireless router, you’ll be able to get a better signal than if you used Wi‑Fi alone.

However, wires aren’t always the best option for aesthetics with the cables lying around. Make sure that you pick a LAN adapter that works for your television set.

There are three main types of LAN adapters: 

  • PCI Adapter – These are the most popular type of LAN adapter. You plug them into any available PCI slots in your TV. The advantage of this type of LAN adapter is that it doesn’t require special drivers to work. However, they are not as flexible.
  • PCMCIA Adapter – This type of LAN adapter plugs into a PCMCIA card slot on your TV. It is compatible with almost all laptops and desktops. The disadvantage of this type of LAN is that it requires specific drivers to work.
  • Wireless USB Adapter – These are smaller and more compact than other LAN adapters, making them ideal for travel as they just plug into a USB port. They are small and lightweight, making them easy to carry around.

These three options are usually used with desktop and laptop computers, but they all perform the same function of providing internet capabilities. 

One thing to check for is if your wireless adapter is compatible with your smart TV brand and model number. For example, this Wireless LAN Adapter is made for a Samsung Smart TV.

Samsung LinkStick Wireless LAN USB Adaptor (WIS12ABGNX)
Samsung LinkStick Wireless LAN USB Adaptor (WIS12ABGNX)
Supports Samsung Smart TV functions and AllShare; Easy set-up; Samsung Apps

Last update on 2022-06-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Use a Streaming Device

A streaming device stick or set-top box will provide internet connectivity to non-smart and smart TVs. You have options like an Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Roku, or Apple TV. There are plenty of other lesser known brands with similar options. 

These are great alternatives to using a traditional computer or smartphone. While these devices do cost money, they’re worth considering when looking at different options.

The good news is that there are some excellent free apps out there. Most streaming devices offer access to Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and others Free/Paid apps.  

Use a Wireless Media Bridge

A wireless media bridge is another alternative to connecting your smart TV to the internet. A wireless media bridge connects multiple devices together over Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable. You can usually connect up to 4 devices to one bridge. 

This is a great way to stream content from multiple devices to your smart TV. Some models even allow you to watch live sports, play games, and control your home theater system through the bridge. 

These wireless media bridges are easy to set up and operate. They also don’t require any additional hardware. That’s why they’re becoming increasingly popular.

TRENDnet N900 Dual Band Wireless Media Bridge, TEW-680MB
TRENDnet N900 Dual Band Wireless Media Bridge, TEW-680MB
Stream HD video to your media center; 450 Mbps networking on each wireless band; Connect to either the 2.4GHz or the less congested 5GHz band with Dual Band technology
ASUS Dual-Band AC1900 Repeater Range Extender Media Bridge Access Point...
ASUS Dual-Band AC1900 Repeater Range Extender Media Bridge Access Point...
Extend your existing 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi network with speeds up to 1900 Mbps; 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports to convert any wired network devices to wireless operation

Last update on 2022-06-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Smart TV LAN Adapter Final Thoughts

All in all, there are many ways to get connected to your smart TV. Whether you use a wired connection, a wireless connection, or a streaming device, there are several options available. 

Smart TVs usually have internal Wi-Fi capabilities, so LAN adapters may not be needed. But if anything ever happens to your Wi-Fi adapter on the TV, you know what to do. 

Other posts on Samsung TVs:

Smart TV LAN Adapter FAQs

What is an internal LAN Adaptor?

Internal LAN Adapters are used to connect computers to each other over a network. They allow you to share files, printers, and internet connections between different computers. These adapters are usually plugged into a wall socket and connected to a router.

What is a Wi-Fi LAN adapter?

A Wi-Fi LAN adapter allows you to connect your computer, TV or other devices to a wireless network. The core functionality is to give your computer or device internet connectivity. This is useful when you want to share files between computers without having to run wires from one computer to another. 

How do I setup a LAN adapter?

A Local Area Network (LAN) adapter allows computers to communicate with each other over a network. To set up a LAN adapter, you must first connect the computer to a router or switch. Then, you must configure the router or switch to allow the computer to access the Internet. Finally, you must install software on the computer to enable it to send and receive data from other devices connected to the same network.

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Written by:

Greg Randall
I have a passion for Smart Home Technology and love to write about it! I’ve been swimming in the world of home automation for years now. I’ve purchased many smart displays, smart thermostats, and now I’m onto playing with smart TVs. I’ve been having so much fun here talking to other people who are as passionate as me about smart homes. In my free time, I like to snowboard and explore new restaurants with friends while having some wine too!