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I want to be able to plug an Ethernet cable into an adapter and be able to connect it to one of the USB ports on my laptop which doesn't have an Ethernet port.

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    Your perspective is backwards. From the viewpoint of your PC, you want a USB device that has an Ethernet port. That is called a USB-to-Ethernet adapter. Such an adapter does not "convert ethernet into usb", but instead connects an (external) Ethernet adapter/port to your PC using the USB. USB is a bus (that's what the "B" in "USB" represents), and not just a communications link.
    – sawdust
    Aug 16, 2019 at 2:21

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You just need a USB-to-Ethernet adapter

You don't need to manually install any software or drivers to set these plug-and-play devices up—it all happens automatically.

All you do is plug it in!

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  • There are drivers, they just happen to be bundled with Windows most of the time. (It depends on how many features the adapter's Ethernet controller offers – although the simplest ones can certainly just use the generic RNDIS or CDC-Ethernet stuff, many others will use their own driver to support options that CDC-Ethernet cannot express.) For example, both AX88179 and RTL8153 based adapters require a custom driver (and RTL in particular is a pain on Linux).
    – user1686
    Aug 16, 2019 at 6:12

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