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I was expecting the Wii U to have an RJ-45 Ethernet port, but it does not. How can I connect the Wii U to my router with an Ethernet cable? (also called RJ-45)

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    RJ-45 is a connector (Registered Jack), not a cable. A cable can have RJ-45 connectors, that doesn't make it an RJ-45 cable. We usually call it Ethernet cable instead. Just a heads up. – Mast Dec 26 '19 at 9:16
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    @Mast, you mean twisted pair cable? Just because you use it in your Ethernet LAN doesn't make it Ethernet cable. You can use coaxial cables for Ethernet too. Or optical fiber. Or even radio as a medium. – user28434 Dec 26 '19 at 9:42
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    If we must be pedantic - RJ45 is the end. The actual cable is cat 5/5e/6 UTP base-T copper cable :D. , ideally following the T568A standards. There's a few 'fun' abuses, but at home 'ethernet cable' is usually good enough a description :D – Journeyman Geek Dec 26 '19 at 9:47
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    @JourneymanGeek to be just yet more pedantic, the connector commonly referred to as RJ45 when in the context of Cat 5+ cables is actually the 8P8C connector, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular_connector#8P8C. RJ45 refers to a configuration not used in LAN / telephony. – Tim Dec 26 '19 at 16:20
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    At this pace the conversation is going to be moved into the Chat – Lemon Dec 26 '19 at 16:23
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You will need to purchase the Wii LAN Adapter for that. The official adapter is compatible with Wii, Wii U, and Switch. Note that this will occupy a USB port on your console.

According to Nintendo Support, regular USB to Ethernet adapters might not work with the Wii U. This likely also applies to the Wii and possibly also the Switch. You could try using an adapter you already own, but if you're going to buy one for the Wii U, I recommend buying the right one.

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  • Thanks for the note about the 3rd party USB to Ethernet adapter. That was also one of my concerns. – Lemon Dec 26 '19 at 1:02
  • Its all about chipset in ethernet adapter, because reasons Wii/WiiU/Switch only supports chipsets found in official adapters. For WiiU, if I am not mistaken, it is AX88772A chip. – PTwr Dec 26 '19 at 23:07
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    3rd party adapters MAY not work, I've been using one without issue. – Zenzizenzizenzic Dec 27 '19 at 14:43
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    @Zenzizenzizenzic, thanks. I've added this to my answer. – Nolonar Dec 27 '19 at 14:57
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    And the main reason is because some USB to Ethernet adapters have zero processing capabilities on the device itself and everything is done by the computer via drivers. The USB standard allows them to do that. Some cheaper USB modems (phone lines) used to do this and they are complete garbage. Same with some speakers (CPU usage goes up whenever sound is played... totally worthless "hardware"). These types of USB-Ethernet devices won't work with the WiiU because the hardware can't do the processing necessary. – Nelson Dec 27 '19 at 19:46
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You will need a USB to RJ45 adapter. Nintendo explains it here: https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1668/~/how-to-connect-a-wii-lan-adapter-to-the-wii-u

There seem to be specific Wii U/Wii USB to RJ45 adapters, but I am not sure if just any USB to RJ45 would work.

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