Two of the most popular streaming stick options are the Google Chromecast and the Amazon Fire TV Stick, both of which are priced around $40 or so. Streaming isn’t always perfect though, and if you’re suffering from a poor connection or just having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi at all, an Ethernet adapter could save you a lot of trouble by hard-wiring you directly into your connection.
Faster wired connection
Cable Matters Micro USB to Ethernet Adapter
Most of the Ethernet adapters on our list transmit data at 100Mbps, but this one from Cable Matters can transmit data at speeds up to 480Mbps. It also features 3-foot cables for the Micro-USB and USB that should make setup easy no matter how your entertainment center is configured.
$15 at Amazon
Straight from Amazon
Amazon Ethernet Adapter
Amazon’s adapter is designed to hang off the Fire TV Stick itself. It comes with a Micro-USB port for connecting to a power supply and an Ethernet port. Just plug an Ethernet cable into the provided port and you’re ready to connect — no drivers or additional setup required.
$15 at Amazon
Straight from Google
Google Ethernet Adapter for Chromecast
Google made its ethernet solution supremely simple. After you plug your Chromecast into your TV, take your Ethernet cable and plug it into Google’s Adapter at one end and your router on the other. Then, plug your Adapter into a nearby AC outlet.
$15 at Google Store
Extra USB ports for Fire TV
Smays Ethernet Adapter with USB Hub
This Ethernet adapter includes its own power supply that delivers power to the Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV stick while also powering the USB hub. With that hub, you can connect an external USB flash drive full of files that can be accessed on a Fire TV device. You can even plug in a wireless mouse or keyboard for easier navigation. The third USB port is exclusively for charging.
$12 at Amazon
Simple and efficient
UGREEN Ethernet Adapter
The UGREEN adapter plugs directly into the Micro-USB port on your Chromecast or Fire TV Stick — where it typically draws power from — and adds an Ethernet port, along with a built-in USB cable to plug into the USB port on your TV or a wall adapter. Just run an Ethernet cable from your router to the adapter and you should be good to go on your streaming stick.
$14 at Amazon
TV xStream Ethernet Adapter
TV xStream offers the cheapest solution for a wired connection for your Chromecast or Fire TV Stick. However, it’s not quite as elegant since its actually two adapters — the Ethernet-to-USB and a USB-to-Micro-USB splitter. It still works quite well for what it’s designed to do by improving your streaming connection quality, which is the main point, right?
$14 at Amazon
Quick and easy setup
Snowpink Ethernet Adapter
Snowpink offers a reliable and simple ethernet adapter that includes a 3-foot cable and delivers a stable 100Mbps wired internet connection like most other adapters on our list. It will work perfectly with your Chromecast, Fire TV Stick, or any other smart device that draws power from Micro-USB.
$14 at Amazon
Stop struggling with inconsistent stream quality
There are several reasons why your home Wi-Fi might not be delivering the best signal to your Chromecast or Amazon Fire streaming device. It could be that your wireless network is over-encumbered by the number of devices connected, or it could be related to the distance between the wireless router and the streaming dongle. The walls of your home can also interfere with the signal. No matter what’s causing the problem, a wired connection is the easiest solution, because it eliminates interference and puts your streaming device at the head of the queue for net access.
You’ll find plenty of adapters for sale that can achieve this connection: all you need is a Micro-USB-to-Ethernet adapting cable. Yet most of the adapters on this list only support 10/100 Ethernet, meaning that they deliver 10Mbps upload speeds and 100Mbps download speeds — although you’ll only need to care about download speeds for streaming. This may be fine, but if your Wi-Fi can achieve higher speeds than 100Mbs, this may end up throttling your internet connection even further.
Thus, out of a mass of adequate adapters with the same transfer speeds, the Cable Matters ethernet adapter stands above the crowd. This model gives you up to 480Mbps download speed. Assuming your internet can reach that number, that’ll be plenty fast for streaming 4K video on your Chromecast or Fire TV Stick.