How Do I Connect My Modem to My Computer Without Ethernet Cable?

Before wireless connections were introduced, computers had to be connected directly to the modem via Ethernet cables. While it’s possible to do so still (though not recommended) – especially if you have older desktop or laptop computer that doesn’t have Wi-Fi capabilities – you’ll need a router, which is a device that creates a secure home network. Some Internet service providers provide modems that include a built-in wireless router, while others sell them separately.

Most modems have one or more ethernet ports, while routers typically have multiple LAN and WAN (Wi-Fi) ports. You can tell which port is the WAN port because it will be marked as such in a different color and positioned away from the other ethernet ports. Plug a cable into the WAN port and the other end into one of your computer’s ethernet ports. Make sure your computer is set up to share the connection from your LAN to its own WiFi network, as this will prevent you from having to pay data charges when using other devices on your home network.

Once you’re done setting up your router, it’s time to connect your modem. This is usually a very simple process that involves following the instructions provided by your Internet service provider. If you have a DSL modem, plug one end of the wire into a phone jack, while cable modems need to be plugged into a cable jack. Once you’ve made the connection, turn on your computer and launch a web browser to confirm that you have Internet access.

If you’re not sure how to set up a router, CNET offers an excellent guide that will walk you through the process. Also, keep in mind that many modems come with a router already installed; you may only need to plug the modem into an electrical outlet and then attach your wireless or wired computer to it.

If you’re tempted to skip the router altogether, please know that doing so will open your computer up to many security risks. A simple router provides a very effective, non-intrusive firewall that will protect your computer from attacks by hackers looking to steal your personal information or hijack your Internet connection.