Ethernet connections provide reliable internet in buildings and areas where Wi-Fi signals can be weak. While the Surface Book 2 and Surface Book 3 don't have an Ethernet port, you can easily add one using a dock or dongle.
Products used in this guide
- Microsoft: New Surface Dock (opens in new tab) ($260)
- Microsoft: Original Surface Dock (opens in new tab) ($210)
- Startech: StarTech USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter ($37)
- Startech: Startech USB 3.0-A to Ethernet Adapter (opens in new tab) ($25)
- Amazon: Amazon Basics Cat-6 Ethernet cable (opens in new tab) ($7)
How to add Ethernet to the Surface Book 2 or Surface Book 3
- Plug in dongle or dock into the appropriate port on the Surface Book 2 or Surface Book 3.
- Connect an Ethernet cable to your router.
- Plug the Ethernet cable into your dock or dongle.
Windows 10 handles any network setup when you physically connect your router to your Surface Book 2 or Surface Book 3 using an Ethernet cable and adapter. Unless your network has extra security features, it is plug-and-play.
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Because the Surface Book 2 and Surface Book 3 don't have an Ethernet port, you have to use a dock or dongle that allows you to connect an Ethernet cable to the device using the Surface connect port, USB-A port, or USB-C port.
Fancy new dock
The Surface Dock 2 brings much-needed updates to the original, adding in four USB-C ports alongside the usual Ethernet, USB-A, and 3.5mm jacks.
This new and improved Surface Dock has new ports, faster speeds, and provides more power to your supported Surface devices. You'll have to wait a bit to order this new dock, though, since it was just announced and isn't available quite yet.
Helping it to feel like a desktop
In addition to adding an Ethernet port, the Surface Dock has four additional USB ports, two additional mini-display ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
The older Surface Dock is outdone by its successor in just about every way, but if you have an older Surface device and want to use a Surface Dock, you have to go with the original.
This tiny dongle can easily fit in a bag. It works through USB-C, which is becoming more common on devices.
You can use this dongle with your Surface Book 2 or 3's USB-C ports. It supports USB 3.1 and can transfer files with 10/100/1,000 Mbps network speeds.
More compact and budget-friendly option
This adapter is easy to fit in your bag and adds an Ethernet port to your Surface Book 2.
While this dongle doesn't have as many ports as the Surface Docks, it has a dedicated Ethernet port that handles 10/100/1000mbps networks and is smaller and less expensive than either Surface Dock.
You can't have Ethernet without a cable, and a Cat-6 cable will handle just about any internet speed you throw at it.
Amazon Basics Cat-6 Ethernet cable (opens in new tab) ($7 at Amazon)
This cable can transfer up to 1Gbps more than most internet connections.
Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.
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