Tuesday, July 31, 2012

$4 Ethernet Port (USB Ethernet Adapter) for MacBook Air with Mountain Lion or Lion

Recently I have tried to have a USB Ethernet port for my MacBook Air which is the latest 2012 model.

Apple MD223LL/A 1.7 GHz 11.6" 64GB MacBook Air (New 2012 Model)
I bought a Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter. However since there is only one Thunderbolt which is usually used for DVI/VGA video port to a monitor, the thunderbolt Ethernet adapter is not very useful. Currently there are some USB Ethernet adapters good for MacBook Air, such as Apple USB Ethernet Adapter, and ASIX AX88178 and AX88772B/772A/760/772 chip sets based ones. I bought a RD9700 which should have ASIX chip inside from eBay at US $3.84! It comes with a CD which has a driver good for the latest Mac OS Lion 10.7, even the latest Mountain Lion.

The installation is similar to the "ASIX AX88178 and AX88772B/772A/760/772 Mac OS X Drivers Installation Guide". When the driver USBCDCNET.pkg in "MAC DRIVER\x86_64" is installed, the adapter should be unplugged. After installation and system restart, the network UI of "System Preferences" shows "USB 2 Ethernet Adapter" and Ethernet is connected when the adapter is plugged. The speed is 10/100Mbps since it is USB 2.0 based.

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