Any USB 3.0 Gigabit ethernet adapters that don't require drivers?

mcgroarty

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
70
19
Anyone know of a USB 3 gigabit ethernet adapter that doesn't require a separate driver install with Yosemite? Avoiding separate driver installs mean fewer problems with future OS X upgrades. Some of the existing NICs are *still* waiting on Yosemite support.

I'd get the Apple thunderbolt gigabit NIC, but the MacBook Air's sole thunderbolt port is already tied up with a monitor cable. Apple's USB NIC is 10/100, not gigabit.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
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Anyone know of a USB 3 gigabit ethernet adapter that doesn't require a separate driver install with Yosemite? Avoiding separate driver installs mean fewer problems with future OS X upgrades. Some of the existing NICs are *still* waiting on Yosemite support.

I'd get the Apple thunderbolt gigabit NIC, but the MacBook Air's sole thunderbolt port is already tied up with a monitor cable. Apple's USB NIC is 10/100, not gigabit.
Does OS X even come with any drivers for gigabit USB interfaces? If it does not, then there's no hope for what you want. I don't think there's a "standard" USB gigabit ethernet chipset that Apple supports.

Thunderbolt is overkill for GigE, in my opinion. Apple really should have released a USB 3.0 gigabit ethernet adapter when they started shipping Macs with USB 3.0.
 
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mcgroarty

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
70
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Does OS X even come with any drivers for gigabit USB interfaces? If it does not, then there's no hope for what you want. I don't think there's a "standard" USB gigabit ethernet chipset that Apple supports.
The driver for one of the supported chipsets might support a gigabit variant in the same device family. All-in-one family drivers are a common pattern with drivers for other OSes, including the BSDs that Darwin borrows from. It wouldn't be unlike Apple to strip device IDs they hadn't tested though, so chances are admittedly slim.

I suspect the reason they haven't shipped a USB 3 NIC of their own is that they expect the thunderbolt port to be open or taken by an Apple display with its own built in NIC. The USB NIC was for pre-thunderbolt Macs.
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
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Manchester, UK
A no driver solution is unlikely be available as Apple don't supply a USB interfaced gigabit ethernet solution.

The Thunderbolt Ethernet adaptor uses the Broadcom BCM57762 which is native PCIe controller. There's no USB equivalent that I'm aware of.
 

zorinlynx

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May 31, 2007
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Looks like star tech has one and you can get it on amazon here:
http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-Gigabit-Ethernet-Network-Adapter/dp/B0095EFXMC

The latest drivers for mavericks can be downloaded here:
http://www.asix.com.tw/products.php?op=pItemdetail&PItemID=131;71;112
From the Amazon reviews section for this:

"When the latest version of Mac OS X (Mavericks) shipped, this stopped working. The advice from tech support was to re-install the old OS. They also said it would be several months before a new driver would be available, even though the beta had been out for developers since June."

This is the problem with ANYTHING that requires third party drivers. You basically are a slave to running a version of OS X that supports that driver, and lose use of your device when you upgrade until the driver is updated. Sometimes the driver is never updated and your device becomes a paperweight.

I fully understand the OP's quest to find one that doesn't require a third party driver. Sadly I think OP is SOL on this one. :(
 

JTravers

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2010
680
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Any USB 3.0 Gigabit ethernet adapters that don't require drivers?

Here you go. Not quite as unlikely as other posters assumed ;)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IZA09SU/

I bought this and can verify that it works without installing a driver on OS X 10.8 and above (It even includes a 3 port USB 3 hub). It uses the Realtek RTL8153 chipset. I'm currently using it on 10.9.5. Working great so far. Have only had it a couple months, though.
 
Last edited:

mcgroarty

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
70
19
Nice find, thanks!

Searching on the RTL8153 chipset, there are a few other USB NICs with and without USB hubs. Reviews mention driverless support on several of these, although some also complain about the NIC becoming unresponsive after sleep and resume.

The cheapest of the no-hub variants is just $12 with Amazon Prime 2 day shipping. For that, I'll give it a shot myself instead of trying to troubleshoot others' sleep/wake experiences (did you use it on a USB 2 port or USB 3? Did you load other bus powered devices on the hub? etc). I'll report back after I've exercised it a bit.
 

JTravers

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2010
680
193
Nice find, thanks!



Searching on the RTL8153 chipset, there are a few other USB NICs with and without USB hubs. Reviews mention driverless support on several of these, although some also complain about the NIC becoming unresponsive after sleep and resume.



The cheapest of the no-hub variants is just $12 with Amazon Prime 2 day shipping. For that, I'll give it a shot myself instead of trying to troubleshoot others' sleep/wake experiences (did you use it on a USB 2 port or USB 3? Did you load other bus powered devices on the hub? etc). I'll report back after I've exercised it a bit.

I used it on a USB 3 port and got full gigabit Ethernet speeds. I think you'd max out around 200Mbps on USB 2. I've connected a USB 3 bus powered HD and an externally powered USB 3 HD. Both worked fine.

I hadn't notice the sleep/wake issues because I don't usually keep it plugged in all the time. I read that there is an updated driver that solves the problem, and I'm assuming Apple will eventually roll that into an OS update in the future. Probably won't affect my use case either way, though.

Glad you found one with Ethernet only. I was looking for more USB 3 ports, as well, so this one was perfect for me. I also didn't want to use up a thunderbolt port, as I need that for my non-Apple external LCD display.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
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I will now eat my hat. *nom munch slobber nom nom bite nom nom* *gulp* That went down easy. I'm glad I was wearing an ice cream cone hat just in case. :)
 

Pyrofallout

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2011
6
0
Sorry to resurrect an old thread but curious if any of the previous posters actually got this adapter working without drivers and if so, how? I ordered the same USB3.0 gigabit adapter pictured above and it definitely is not working out of the box with my 2013 rMBP running 10.10.5.

After some more digging it appears this one actually reports the model number AX88179 rather than LE88179. I did find drivers online for OS X but was really hoping for a driverless solution. I use both my TB ports for displays and the last USB3 adapter I had caused issues in OS X constantly.
 

cerberusss

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2013
915
355
The Netherlands
Sorry to resurrect an old thread but curious if any of the previous posters actually got this adapter working without drivers and if so, how?
Mine is also no longer working without drivers.

My tip would be to look around for the official Apple one. It's 100Mbit only, but IMHO, that's often faster and more reliable than the WiFi in some places. I found the official Apple one is being dumped everywhere on places like eBay.
 

finepotato

macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2016
1
0
Hi, Just to add to this I have the Anker one listed above "Anker Unibody 3-Port USB 3.0 and Ethernet Hub"

I am on os x 10.11.2 and i have downloaded the 10.10 patch shown on the Anker website. I have issues with this adaptor, if i unplug it without a restart it does not work.

I am using it directly on a macbook pro ( not through another hub ).

A
 

DocAudios

macrumors newbie
Jun 9, 2016
1
0
Hope this helps someone: I bought an Anker "Aluminum 3-Port USB 3.0 and Ethernet Hub" on Amazon.ca for a mid-2012 MBA. The hub/interface died within an hour or two. It was slow as heck (e.g. 11 Mb/s) and running hot, then nothing. I returned it and bought another thinking it did what I wanted and the Anker seemed to have as good a reputation as all the other alternatives, none of which had the same hub options that I wanted.

I received the second one and it worked much better in terms of speed but it was still running pretty warm. The pic below is from my FLIR One camera attachment. The hub temp is 35+ C, which is about the same as the back of the keyboard area on the MBA. In comparison, the USB-coax SPDIF adapter in front of it runs much cooler, not even warm to the touch. (Slick pic, eh?)
FLIR One of Anker Hub.JPG

However, the hub did have problems with reconnecting after power shutdowns. It would appear to be connected under the listing of USB devices in System Information/System Report, showing up as "USB 10/100/1000 LAN", but under System Preferences/Network, it would show up in the list of devices on the LHS but it would have the annoying status of not being connected or not responding (sorry, I forget the exact wording).

The solution: I went to the Anker.com/Support and found the "Download List" for the hub. I downloaded the "Upgrade Patch (Mac OS 10.10)" and installed it (checking all the default boxes), and now everything seems to be fine. I can sleep and reboot the MBA and the ethernet connection is alive and well upon awakening.

Note: For some strange reason, I used my PC to look for a driver for my MBA and finding it was simple. I just copied and pasted the name "Aluminum 3-Port USB 3.0 and Ethernet Hub" from another Anker web page into the search field on the Support page and the Download List appeared under the "Downloads & Drivers" label. However, this didn't work on my MBA, which was very annoying. Instead, the page would only show a list of unrelated audio devices (e.g. Premium Stereo Bluetooth Speaker) but by hitting the "LOAD MORE" (device pic) button maybe 9 times (!), the hub eventually showed up in the list. Clicking on the hub pic brought up the same "Download List" that I had so easily found on my PC. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to download the patch that I did use or the last one in the list (i.e. "MAC OS 10.6 to 10.11") but since my MBA has Yosemite 10.10.5, I figured I'd give the patch for 10.10 a shot.

So far, so good.
Audios
 

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