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So far, there are two versions of Amazon’s Fire TV Cube, and considering the popularity of the two devices, there are probably more to come. They’re largely similar devices, with the 2nd generation offering some significant audio and processor upgrades.
Neither the 1st generation Fire TV Cube nor the 2nd has ethernet ports. To use an ethernet connection, you’ll have to use an ethernet adapter. Fortunately, both devices come with an ethernet adapter in the box, so you don’t have to purchase separately.
If you didn’t get one in the box—in which case you should contact Amazon because it’s supposed to come with one—or if you just happened to misplace it, you can order one separately here.
In both the first and second generations of the Fire TV Cube, the ethernet port is rated for 10/100Mbps. With an ethernet connection, you not only get priority on the network, but you also have full access to the full 100Mbps without worrying about interference or instability.
Ethernet connections may be a pain if you’re trying to avoid wires, but it’s the one way to get 100% out of your home internet package. For instance, you may have a package with your ISP that pushes internet speeds at 500Mbps.
With WiFi, you may or may not get the full 500. It largely depends on how much interference you’re getting throughout your home. Interference and heavy traffic on your network can bog down your internet speed when you’re using WiFi.
These are some of the problems that an ethernet connection will help you avoid with your Fire TV Cube:
- Heavy traffic on your network with multiple devices connected at once
- An older router that supports last-gen protocols
- No router at all
- Poor overall performance
The process is the same for either generation. Though some of the software experienced an upgrade from the 1st to the 2nd generation, the exterior hardware went largely untouched. Of course, the first was popular enough that there was no reason to change the design.
- Plug the micro-USB side of the ethernet adapter into the Fire TV Cube.
- Connect an ethernet cable into the jack on the ethernet adapter.
- Connect the other end of the ethernet cable into an open jack on the back of your router or modem.
- Switch the Fire TV Cube Settings to a “Wired” connection.
As far as the physical side of hooking up your Fire Cube TV, that’s as far as it goes; however, as aforementioned above, you’ll need to change your settings to “wired,” especially if it’s previously been operating from a WiFi connection.
- On the Fire TV menu, select Settings
- Under the settings menu, select network
- In the Network menu, select Wired.
Once you switch the wired, the Fire TV Cube will do a brief self-check before giving you a confirmation message to let you know that the connection was successful. There’s nothing more you have to do at this point. You’re ready to stream!
Regardless of which version you own, the ethernet connection is only rated up to 100Mbps. Of course, there are much faster wireless internet connection speeds available, so the ethernet will not win any speed awards. Most smartphone internet speeds are faster than 100Mbps nowadays, so, hopefully, Amazon will up the speed on future Fire TV Cube ethernet ports.
One thing that does work in your favor is that 100Mbps can handle almost anything that you might be running in your home. Online gaming, even the graphics intensive, first-person shooters only require 5Mbps. Gaming is mostly about latency anyways, which has little to do with just your standard, run-of-the-mill internet speeds.
4K streaming requires a minimum of 25Mbps to effectively stream without any frustrating buffering. It’s recommended to stream 4K at 50Mbps, however, as that will cover everything.
Lastly, 8K streaming would be the only thing to effectively push your Fire TV Cube, and you would probably spend some time buffering. The requirement for 8K is a minimum of 100Mbps, and getting 8K TVs in today’s environment with ISP data caps is not recommended.
So unless you have an 8K TV and are ready to invest in heavy fees for exceeding your data cap each month, your Fire TV Cube can effectively handle just about anything you can throw at it, even with an ethernet connection.
While you won’t be able to obtain those incredible, high-end speeds that ISPs love to brag about, an ethernet-connected Fire TV Cube is more than enough to handle 4K streaming and online gaming.
Also, you won’t have to worry about interference, up and down speeds, and heavy traffic on the network, as you’ll have a consistent, solid, prioritized connection that will only go down if the internet goes down.