How to connect an iPad to the Internet without using Wi-Fi

Don’t like Wi-Fi, but still want to connect your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch to the Internet?

Here is how to do it…

The products and instructions mentioned in this article are for connecting the above Apple products to the Internet using a cable connection within the United States and its territories. We assume that this will also work in other countries, providing you purchase a powered USB hub (mentioned below) that has your country’s voltage specifications.

This method will not work with any other brand of tablet or phone.

It is important that you follow these instructions carefully and that you only use the specific products listed, which are all available from Amazon. We strongly recommend that you purchase Apple products only when it comes to the two Apple adapters listed below. Adapters made by other manufacturers may be cheaper, but they also may not work for this purpose.

Although we personally use all of the products listed below to accomplish a Wi-Fi free home, we do recommend that you continue to keep your Wi-Fi available, albeit turned off at the source and on your computers and devices, because there more than likely will be occasional times when you find you need it (see Pros and Cons below).

If you currently connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi, and have no cabling at all (the exception being where your Internet cable comes from the wall to your router) then using this method will free your home of Wi-Fi by allowing you to plug your wireless devices (as well as your computers) into the Internet from various strategic places in your home using the USB hub, cables and adapters listed below. You will not have to go to the hassle of running unsightly ethernet cables from your router all over your home. You will still require cables, however, but they will mostly be temporary, and can pretty much remain out of sight or in the background until you need to use them. If you already have a desktop computer connected to the Internet by a cable, you can still use this method to connect your Apple devices to the Internet without requiring Wi-Fi.

Switching off your Wi-Fi:

Desktop computers, iPads, iPhones and the iPod Touch

This can be easily done on a desktop computer and laptop via the Control Panel. On an iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, you just need to put them into Airplane Mode. (I believe with some desktop computers and laptops running Windows 10 there may also be an Airplane Mode option.)

Routers

With your router, you will need to contact your Internet provider to ask how to switch off your Wi-Fi from an online source. Your Internet service provider should be able to provide you with a website address that you can log onto to very simply switch off / deactivate your Wi-Fi broadcasting channel/s at the router. This will accomplish the switching off of your Wi-Fi. Your router will still continue to function via cable. When switching off the Wi-Fi at your router (by going online to your designated site) it is important to switch off both the 2.4G and the 5G channels that the latest routers have.

For some reason, we have found that switching our Wi-Fi on and off at our router is best done from a computer, rather than from one of our Apple devices.

Make sure you always have a computer (desktop or laptop) connected to the Internet via a cable to use to switch your Wi-Fi on and off at your router.

What will I need?

Below, I have listed the products required, which are all available from Amazon. You may not require all of the products listed, but you will definitely require the powered USB hub, some ethernet cables, and the two Apple adapters.

*For improved understandability (especially if you are someone to whom the nuts and bolts of technology do not come easily) we suggest you: 1) view the picture at the bottom of this page first, to see how the cables and adapters listed below all fit together; 2) read the below set up instructions after viewing the picture, referring frequently to the picture for improved comprehension; 3) review, and/or get someone knowledgeable to help you…*

PLEASE NOTE: the prices mentioned below are approximate as they seem to vary from day to day.

TP-LINK Adapter Starter Kit (2-Pack)

and/or

TP-LINK Adapter Kit (3-Pack)

These adapters will give you the flexibility to connect your desktop computer(s), laptop(s), and Apple device(s) to the Internet in various parts of your home without having to run cables everywhere from your router.

These adapters work by allowing your Internet signal to travel around your home on your already existing household wiring. You simply plug one adapter into the wall and connect it to your router with an ethernet cable. You then plug one or more adapters into various other wall sockets in your home and connect up to two of the 5′ ethernet cables to each one. You can leave these cables in place for when you wish to connect one of your computers and/or laptops directly, or your Apple devices, using the USB hub and Apple connectors mentioned below.

We have listed both the two and three-pack TP-Link adapter kits, above, depending on how many adapters you may require. We have five adapters in our home, one near our router, one in our dining area, one in our living space, and two in our office. We are able to connect one desktop computer, one laptop, and an iPad or iPod Touch in all of these areas without using Wi-Fi, using the products listed here. If we wanted to connect two Apple devices at the same time we would require a second USB hub and two more of the Apple connectors, and maybe a few more ethernet cables. Although we haven’t tried this, we also see no reason why more than one USB cables cannot be connected to the same USB hub to allow to enable more than one Apple device to be connected to the Internet. You will need to buy an Apple Lightning-to-USB adapter (see below) for each device you connect.

If you live in a small space and don’t need to use your Apple device/s in any other parts of your home that are away from your router, you may not need the TP-Link adapters at all. You can directly connect your router to your Apple device(s) via an ethernet cable; you will still need the hub and Apple adapters mentioned on this page to accomplish your Internet connection. The starter two-pack kit costs approximately $55, and the three-pack kit costs approximately $70.

5′ Ethernet Cables (5-Pack)

We use these ethernet cables to connect our various computers and Apple devices to the Internet, either directly via the above mentioned TP-Link adapters, as in the case of our desktop and laptop computers, or via the USB hub and Apple adapters when using our Apple devices. By using the optional in-line couplers (listed below but not pictured), when we need to use our laptop in other locations in our house (especially places that are not close to our router or a TP-Link adapter) we can lengthen our ethernet cables by connecting two or more together using the optional in-line couplers. Each 5-pack of ethernet cables cost approximately $15.

Apple USB to Ethernet Adapter

This adapter has a USB connector at one end for connecting to any of the USB ports on the USB hub, and an ethernet connector at the other end for connecting to an ethernet cable connected either directly to your router, or to a TP-Link adapter. The USB-to-Ethernet adapter costs approximately $28.

USB Hub with Power Adapter

This hub comes with a power adapter that needs to be plugged into a wall socket. It won’t work for this purpose if it does not have power. The hub comes with a 3′ long USB cable. The length of this cable will determine how far you can be from the hub, the wall socket, and your Internet source (ie. router or TP-Link adapter) with your Apple device. A longer 10′ USB cable is listed below for added flexibility if required. The USB hub costs approximately $19.

Apple Lightning to USB Adapter

This adapter connects to the other end of the USB cable that runs from the USB hub. On the other end of the adapter is an Apple Lightning connector that connects to your iPad, iPhone, and/or iPod Touch. The Lightning-to-USB adapter costs approximately $35.

Optional…

10′ USB Cable

This longer USB cable allows us to have more flexibility when using our Apple devices. Cost, approximately $6.

In-Line Couplers (5-Pack)

As mentioned above, these couplers allow us to connect two or more of the 5′ ethernet cables together for more length and therefore flexibility, when using our laptop in other parts of our home besides our office. Cost, approximately $12.

Setting it all up

Please also refer to the picture below.

Firstly, switch off your Wi-Fi – see above.

TP-Link Adapters

If you opt to use the TP-Link adapters, follow the instructions that come in the box.

As mentioned, we use five, so we had to purchase both the starter kit containing two adapters and the 3-pack kit.

You will need to plug one adapter into the wall near to where your router is located so that you can run one of the 5′ ethernet cables from the router to the adapter. Each adapter has a pass through electrical output socket that can be used to plug in the USB hub, or any other electrical device or appliance, and also has two ethernet ports for connecting up to two of the ethernet cables.

Next, plug in the other adapter(s) (depending on how many you have purchased) into one or more of the various strategic power sockets you have chosen around the home (ie, where you plan on being able to connect a computer or Apple device to the Internet) and connect one or two of the 5′ ethernet cables into each one and leave them in place. Important: make sure that all the adapters are plugged into wall sockets that are on the same electrical circuit (ie: are connected to the same breaker box).

Follow the instructions for the adapters to set them up (it’s a simple matter of pressing a button on each one) and you will then be ready to connect either your desktop or laptop computer directly into them using an ethernet cable (without using the USB hub and Apple adapters), or your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch using the USB hub, etc. If you require more ethernet cables you will need to order a second pack.

USB Hub and Apple Adapters

If you decide not to use the TP-Link adapters you can still use the USB hub and Apple adapters by connecting them directly to your router with an ethernet cable and plugging the USB hub into the nearest power socket. As mentioned above, you can also plug the USB hub and ethernet cable into the TP-Link adapters. Either way, you can set it up as follows:

Connect the included power cable into the small round port on the USB hub.

Connect the flat male end of the Apple USB-to-Ethernet adapter into one of the flat rectangular USB ports on the USB hub. It doesn’t matter which one.

Connect the male square end of the included 3′ USB cable into the square USB port on the USB hub. You can also use the 10′ USB cable if you wish.

Connect the Apple Lightning-to-USB adapter to the other end of the USB cable.

Connect the other end of the Apple USB-to-Ethernet adapter to an ethernet cable, which should already be connected to a TP-Link adapter, or connect it directly to your router with an ethernet cable.

Plug the power adapter of the USB hub into a wall socket or into the pass through power socket on a TP-Link adapter.

Connect the Lightning plug end of the Lightning-to-USB adapter into the Lightning port of your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

Wait a few seconds (perhaps as much as 30 seconds to a minute) and your device should be connected to the Internet.

Please note: when using this method to connect your Apple devices to the Internet you may notice a warning sign coming up on the screen telling you to turn the Wi-Fi on. Just choose “OK” if this happens.

Pros and Cons of connecting your Apple device to the Internet without using Wi-Fi

Pros

You eliminate the harmful effects of Wi-Fi in your home (your pets will thank you, as well as anyone suffering from electro-hypersensitivity, whether they know of it or not).

You will get faster Internet speeds when using a cable instead of Wi-Fi, which means quicker downloading and streaming.

Cons

Sometimes, for some reason, we have found our Apple devices do not always update to the iCloud as well as when using Wi-Fi, meaning some Apple apps, such as Notes, Calendar, and Reminders, do not always keep updated between our devices. When this occurs we connect our devices to a computer and sync with iTunes while at the same time connecting them to the Internet via our Wi-Fi.

As there is only one Lightning port on an Apple device you will not be able to do the following:

  • Connect your Apple device to your TV via an HDMI cable (using an HDMI to Lightning adapter) if you want to stream a show. You can still stream and watch on your Apple device (using the hub and adapters described on this page), and you can still stream audio to an external device, headphones, or amplifier using the audio jack. Instead of using our Apple devices we use a laptop connected to the Internet via an ethernet cable, either to a TP-Link adapter or directly to our router (this is when the 5′ ethernet cables connected together come in handy – see in-line couplers above) when streaming to our TV.
  • If you want to back up your Apple device while syncing to iTunes (using the lightning-to-USB charging cable supplied by Apple) you will have to use Wi-Fi (as you will not, at the same time, be able to connect your Apple device to the Internet with the USB hub and adapters mentioned on this page).

Connecting an iPad to the Internet without Wi-Fi

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