How to Get Internet on Laptop Without WIFI? – 3 Methods

Last Updated on November 6, 2020

Not having WIFI on a computer can be a big inconvenience especially for people who work on the move. This is the right place to find out how to get internet on laptop without WIFI.

Luckily, not having the WIFI module does not mean your work will stop. With a USB WIFI dongle, you can connect to wireless internet normally. You can also opt for a wired internet connection using Ethernet cable or USB tethering if your phone allows it.

There are many options you can use to get internet on your laptop even if you can’t get a WIFI signal directly from it.

Some options are much cheaper than others and some may even be free depending on the tools you already have at your disposal. The main idea is that you get access to the internet eventually.


How to Get Internet on Laptop Without WIFI

We discuss three simple method below

  1. Using a USB Dongle
  2. Using an Ethernet Cable
  3. USB Tethering

You can still get wireless internet access on your laptop even if its WIFI module is not working.

Let us look at the methods mentioned above in detail:

1. Using a USB Dongle

how to get internet on laptop without wifi

These are common on desktop PCs because many motherboards don’t come with WIFI hardware pre-installed.

Nevertheless, the ones on desktops may be much larger and an eyesore on a laptop. Instead, there are small-sized USB dongles that provide the same service.

These are cheap and using them is as simple as plugging them into a computer and installing some drivers. After this, any subsequent uses can be done easily by just plugging them in.


These units are usually very small, so you can just plug one into the USB port and leave it inside instead of removing it whenever you’re done which can increase the risk of losing it.

They provide good speeds and can work almost as well as the laptop’s internal WIFI card. They also have a good range and do not need any maintenance whatsoever.


Being very small, these devices are really easy to misplace or lose if you’re not careful. The best way to use them is to plug them in and leave them undisturbed in the port. With a really small one, you will hardly notice it’s there.

2. Using an Ethernet Cable

ethernet cable

If you’re only accessing the internet in one or two usual places, you can get and use an ethernet cable if the port is provided.

Furthermore, you can plug the cable directly into one of the same ports on a router and access the internet that way.

Unlike WIFI, ethernet connections are much more stable and significantly faster, although this will depend on your cable.


Ethernet cables are very affordable. If you have ethernet ports you can access where you work or at home, it can be a great way to get internet if you have no WIFI on your laptop.


This limits users in terms of the places they can work from. With WIFI, you get a connection wirelessly when in range, however, you need access to an ethernet port to use your ethernet connection.

3. USB Tethering

USB tethering

If you do not have a USB WIFI dongle and there’s a WIFI signal where you are, you can get internet on your computer by using the phone and a USB cable.

This process is known as USB tethering and many new-generation handsets support it.

All you’ll need to do is ensure you have access to the WIFI network on your phone and you have your USB cable.

If everything is ready, head on to your phone’s settings. Under network settings, choose the tethering and hotspot options on android and connect the two devices with a USB cable.

Switch on tethering and voila, you’ll have internet once the two set up. You can do the same on an iPhone by going to Settings, and choosing the “Internet Tethering” option under the Network category.


If you already have a phone that can do this and a USB cable, you can connect to the internet without having to spend extra money, as long as you have a free USB port on your computer.


For this option to always be available, you’ll need to be carrying your USB cable wherever you go. Furthermore, connecting this way can lead to extra charges on your phone bill if you use your mobile internet instead of a WIFI connection.

Also Read: How to Copy a Program from One Computer to Another?

The Problem

Your laptop’s Wireless connection to the internet can be interrupted by one of a few reasons. The WIFI module consists of an antenna that attaches to the inside of the laptop’s lid. The chip itself is attached to the motherboard.

Any of these can break causing the problem. And seeing that laptops are portable, being unable to access WIFI can cause a challenge. But you have some options to get around this.

Possible Drawbacks

The methods shown are great ways to get the internet on a laptop with a busted module. Some methods may result in the need for adapters.

For example, very slim laptops can’t fit a fully-sized RJ-45 jack for ethernet networking. A fix for this will be getting an ethernet to USB adapter. These vary in quality depending on the kind of USB port and the quality.

The same goes for USB WIFI dongles. If all your laptop has are USB ports, you may need an adapter for the WIFI dongle if you get one that doesn’t match.


There are many options for people trying to figure out how to get internet on laptop without WIFI.

The best part is that there are ways to receive wireless internet too and it all depends on what options match your uses.

For most laptop owners, working on the go is a necessity and hence, options like a USB dongle of USB tethering are best as they will let you use WIFI.

However, people whose laptops are more of stationary workstations and have ethernet ports will benefit more from an ethernet cable internet connection as its more stable and reliable.

Also Read: How to Clean the USB Ports in Laptop Computers?


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I am an engineer with a keen interest and a passion for PC builds and hardware. is essentially the culmination of our enthusiasm towards this subject. We review PC peripherals and hardware, talk about custom builds and informative topics regarding troubleshooting issues, understanding a component better and general tips for DIY PC builders.