If you want a solid and stable internet connection, your best bet is often to go with an Ethernet connection. While some PCs, gaming laptops, and business laptops have built-in Ethernet ports, Surface Pro devices require additional hardware. Luckily, there are quite a few options, ranging from expensive and sturdy docks that create a desktop setup to an inexpensive dongle.
Products used in this guide
- Official dock: Surface Dock ($135 at Microsoft)
- Small dongle: Startech USB 3.0-A to ethernet adapter ($25 at Amazon)
- Fast Ethernet: Amazon Basics Cat-6 Ethernet cable ($7 at Amazon)
- Desk dock: Kensington Surface Pro Dock ($389 at Amazon)
How to add ethernet to your Surface
- Dock your Surface Pro into whichever dock or device you have, or connect your dongle to the USB port.
- Connect an Ethernet cable to your router.
- Plug an ethernet cable into your dock or dongle.
You don't have to do any software configuration for an Ethernet connection. Generally speaking, Windows 10 handles this and it's plug-and-play. You can always choose which network to connect to through the Settings app.
Our top equipment picks
There is a wide range of devices that add Ethernet connectivity to the Surface Pro. You can get one directly from Microsoft or jump up or down in price depending on your needs and budget.
Straight from Microsoft
Directly from the source
The Surface Dock has four USB ports, two mini-display ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack to go along with the dedicated Ethernet port.
You can leave the Surface Dock on your desk with all your peripherals set up or carry the dock in your bag to increase your ports on the go. It utilizes the Surface connect port, so you only have to plug one wire into your Surface Pro. The Amazon listing for this dock does not mention the upcoming Surface Pro 7 or Surface Pro X, but it should work with both of those devices as they each have a Surface Connect port.
A mini studio
A unique desktop setup
This docking station doesn't just make your Surface Pro look like a Surface Studio, it packs ports, including Gigabit Ethernet.
The Kensington Surface Dock is a heavy-duty setup with a plethora of ports, a rock-solid design, and a hinged dock that allows you to use the Surface Pro at an infinite number of angles. In his review of the device, Executive Editor Daniel Rubino said that the dock was "so good Microsoft should have made it." This dock works with the Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro 6, Surface Pro 5, and Surface Pro 4. It does not work with the Surface Pro X as the dimensions for that device are different.
Budget-friendly and lightweight
You can easily toss this adapter into a bag or use it as part of a permanent setup.
This dongle handles 10/100/1,000mbps networks and is a reliable way to add an Ethernet connection to your Surface Pro. You don't gain the ports of the Surface Dock, but you gain portability.
It doesn't matter which dongle or dock you use if you don't have a good Ethernet cable. This Amazon Basic cable is Cat-6 and can handle ridiculously fast internet speeds.
Amazon Basics Cat-6 ethernet cable ($7 at Amazon)
This cable will work with internet speeds all the way up to 1Gbps.
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