Under review

What is the difference between using a grounded ethernet cord vs a grounded laptop usb adapter to ground a laptop?

Sandra Dane 3 years ago updated by Shaun A Kranish (Principal) 3 years ago 4

Are they both effectively the same in results? Is either preferable? I have an internet switch that is plastic and so far, ungrounded. The laptop is a few feet away from me but I have a keyboard and monitor attached to it.  I do have a phone a foot away from me that is attached to an Ooma (little linux computer) with a phone cord, that is attached to the ungrounded switch. My monitor uses a grounded power cord, so hopefully that is fine. Does the monitor serve to ground the laptop?

Under review

Your monitor does serve to ground the laptop since the monitor has a 3-prong high volt cord that goes all the way up to the monitor.  Some monitors have AC adapters - these types of monitors have a power brick or adapter and a skinny little low voltage cord going to the monitor.  That kind of monitor would be UNgrounded.  You should, however, get a shielded cord from our store for this monitor.

It sounds like your switch is all plastic?  No metal around the Ethernet ports?  Metal trim and tabs that go inside the ports?  What about the laptop?  Does its Ethernet have metal trim/tabs/balls?  Or is it ungroundable.

The switch is all plastic, a Netgear GS908. It sits quite far from me- 8 feet away? and is hooked into the wall ethernet, not the router.  A phone is near me that is hooked up to it.  

The laptop-I'm not sure what it's made of. It could be light metal or it could be metal-colored plastic. It is a Dell E-7440.  The ethernet cord is just a hole in the side- I don't see any tabs or beads. It sits 2 feet away from me, but my keyboard and monitor are hooked up to it.

It sounded like, on your video with the ethernet grounding kit, you said that it is even more important to ground shielded ethernet cords because they conduct electricity better than unshielded ones. That is interesting.

But if the monitor grounds the laptop, would the laptop ground the ethernet cord?

The laptop will ground the Ethernet cord only if the Ethernet port on the laptop has metal around it or has metal contacts that are there to purposely connect to shielded cables.

If you want to take a few photos of your laptop's Ethernet port and upload them here - try to make sure they are good clear detailed photos maybe using flash - a couple different angles.  We can then tell you if your laptop will ground the Ethernet cable or not.  If not, you would definitely want an Ethernet Grounding Adapter.