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Connected to the Internet via Ethernet, but no Internet access? This is how you can fix it.

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Despite WiFi 6’s promise of speeds exceeding 1 Gigabit, the Ethernet cable is still the best method to connect clients’ devices that require low latency and stable throughput. However, like all electronic devices, there are always problems. You may lose Internet connection even though you have an Ethernet cable. Don’t panic, unlike WiFi connections, which can be difficult to fix, wired Internet connections have simple solutions.

Is the WiFi connection able to provide Internet access?

If so, disable it. Both Windows OS and macOS default to prioritizing the wired connection over WiFi. If the connectivity icon does not change after connecting an Ethernet cable to your computer but you still have access to the Internet then you will need to disable WiFi. You can disable WiFi on Windows 10 by clicking on it from the right sidebar. This doesn’t help us, but it makes things easier – there’s a possibility that an Ethernet connection will be established, however, my experience is not favorable.

  • It is simple to verify that the Ethernet adapter has been disabled and then enable it.
    Windows 10 allows you to check the status of your Ethernet network by entering Network Connection into the search bar. If it is disabled, click on it and choose Enable. On macOS, click on the WiFi icon. This will open the Network Preferences. You can view all available networks, wireless or wired, and check if the Ethernet network has been disabled. This has been a better experience with macOS than Windows OS. In all my years of using both OS and macOS, I have never had to manually disable or enable the Ethernet adapter on my MacBook Pro.
  • You will need to disable the Ethernet network and re-enable it if it is already enabled. This is a common problem on Windows computers. The solution is easy: go to Network Connection, right-click the Ethernet network, and click on Disable. You should now be able to access the Internet via a wired connection.
  • You should check if the cable has been damaged or broken. It is easiest to replace the cable with a new one. Then, check if it works. What if there is no other cable or it’s stuck in the wall? It’s not a common solution but routers and Ethernet switches have the ability to detect faulty cables and let you know the length at which they detected them. I tested several of these devices including the Zyxel switches, including the Zyxl XS1930-12HP and EnGenius ECS1008P.
  • It could be your router. It happens. I’ve seen it with my Netgear AX40 (v1). This required a restart to allow wired clients to access the network. (The WiFi worked during this event which was quite strange). You may need a new router if you don’t get internet access after restarting it.

What if you don’t have access to the Internet via Ethernet or WiFi?

  • A bad Internet connection configuration is the most common cause. If you have access to the router interface or app and have the ISP-given username/password, this one is relatively easy to fix. You will find a Quick Internet Setup option on most routers. This allows you to run the initial configuration wizard again and enter the correct information to access the Internet.
  • Your modem may be the problem. You can’t do much except restart it. Contact your ISP for assistance.
  • It is possible that your device is on the router’s blocking list. This can happen. After the initial configuration has been completed, you wander the app or web-based interface and accidentally click something that you aren’t supposed to. Save the file. It’s simple to fix. Access the router interface from another computer. Select the device blocked from the list.
  • Check if the cable is damaged or broken. Next, verify that it is working.
  • It could be your router. It happened with my Netgear X40 (v1). To allow wired clients to access the network, it required a restart. This required a restart to allow wired clients to access the network. ).


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