Can I replace an ethernet port without replacing the motherboard?

My ethernet port got fried a while back because I didn’t protect my cable modem from electrical surges (I protected everything else, though). I was using the USB port without any problems, but I got my father everything he needs for a wireless internet hookup for his laptop and now I need an ethernet connection. Is there a way to just pop it out and replace it or do I need to replace the whole motherboard?

Get an ethernet port on a card to insert in an empty slot.

Sounds good. Any idea how much they cost?

I’ve seen them as low as $15 on sale. I’d say about $20 on average. Disable the onboard ones just to avoid any possible conflicts.

Thanks guys!

I’ve gotten such cards for $5 (sometimes free after rebate)

You can also get a USB to eithernet adapter, this way you don’t have to open your case up. (perhaps $20-35)

You could also get a USB to WiFI adapter ($25-40).

Either of these should work w/o disabeling your internal ethernet, actually all 3 options should.

Also you may be able to use your cable modem’s USB port and the eithernet port at the same time, but you do that at your own risk.

You can’t use both the USB and the ethernet ports on most cable modems simultaneously, although there may be some models out there with which you can. Check your manual, but I can almost guarantee you that it’s one or the other, and not both.

If you haven’t already done so, it’s worth disabling the onboard ethernet adaptor - ideally by first uninstalling it in Device Manager (assuming you’re a Windows user), then shutting down, restarting and entering the CMOS setup utility, which will probably have an onboard peripherals menu, wherein the onboard ethernet can be disabled.

It probably isn’t a big deal, but it is worth doing this with any ethernet ports that you’re not intending to use, as Windows will try to initialise them on startup (including searching for a connection on them) and this lengthens the bootup process.