Trying to use your WiFi iPad but only have access to a wired Internet connection? Unfortunately, this functionality is not available out-of-the-box as the iPad definitely does not support Ethernet directly, and Apple has yet to release any kind of a dongle solution. The MacBook Air has a USB ethernet dongle that some have tried to plug into the iPad with the camera connection kit, but none have had any luck.

The lack of any way to hard wire Internet into the iPad might simply be Apple’s way of declaring it dead, saying that wireless is more important and there’s no need to support old technology. Much like the lack of a floppy drive in the original iMac, who needs Ethernet when wireless routers are everywhere? However, there are times when you need Internet and only a wired connection is available, what should you do then?

As of now there is no way to directly hook up Ethernet to your iPad, but there is a workaround that should get you the WiFi you need if you don’t have a router handy, Ad-Hoc Networking.

The easiest way to get a wired only connection to your iPad is through ad-hoc networking. If you have a PC (Windows or Mac) that’s hooked up to the wired connection already, as long as the computer has a wi-fi card in it you can set up wireless connection sharing with your iPad. Follow along to find out how.

Mac OS 10.5 & 10.6

  1. Ensure that your Mac is hooked up and connected to the Internet via the Ethernet port
  2. Go to System Preferences and select the Sharing preference pane
  3. Click on “Internet Sharing” to bring up the Internet sharing options
  4. Change the options to share the Internet From: Ethernet and Using: Airport
  5. Then, it will ask you to name your new wireless network and give it a password
  6. Finally, confirm that you’d like to turn on Internet sharing to finish the process
  7. Once this is set up, you should be able to join the network you just created on the iPad and you’ll be able to access the internet normally.

Windows 7

  1. Make sure your computer is hooked up to the Internet via an Ethernet cable and has a WiFi card available
  2. Click on the Windows icon, type “View Network Connections,” and press Enter
  3. Find your wired connection in this list (Should be called “Local Area Connection 2” or similar)
  4. Right click on the wired connection and select Properties
  5. Click on the “Sharing” tab and check the box that says “Allow other users to connect through this computer’s internet connection”
  6. Then, select your Wireless connection (should be called “Wireless Network Connection 2” or similar) in the “Home Networking Connection” drop-down.
  7. Once connection sharing has been enabled, create an ad-hoc network using the instructions in this post. You’re all set!
  8. Join the network you created on the iPad.