RS-232 serial port connection to a access point with RJ45


Thread Starter
Sep 24, 2021
Hello, I have an older laptop from 2000's, it's running windows 98.

I wanted to connect it to the internet so i could download some drivers for usb after that i am gonna try to get java updates on it.

I am born in 1997 myself so i don't know that much about older computers, i first though to put a rj45 in it to connect to internet but found out my rj45 is a bit to big,
also rj45 has 8 bits and the port on the laptop has 4 bits, so i guessed it's for dial up connection? but in netherlands dial up isn't available anymore.

so i was lookin for a different way to connect the laptop to the network, i found RS-232 port on it, and i was searching and i'd noticed there are converters from RS-232 to RJ-45 but is a cable converter enough so i could connect the laptop to an access point are would i need more like a server/machine in between to convert the signals?

I found these converters.
Delock Seriële RS-232/422/485 Adapter DB9 to RJ45 (cable)

RS232 Serial to Ethernet Converter - U.S. Converters LLC (Server)

i'll also go make few pictures of the ports on the laptop, maybe someone here notices a different way i could connect it up.

Thanks In Advance,


Trusted Advisor
Spam Fighter
Mar 30, 2008
That port you think is an Ethernet port is a modem/dial up port which uses an RJ11 port. Ethernet jacks use RJ45.

As to your idea of using a serial converter, that won't work either. The serial converter is only to facilitate conversion of port types and not protocol. The DB9 to RJ45 converter is only to allow a serial connection to go from a DB9 jack to an RJ45 (serial/console) port. The use of these converters is to gain access to management functions of a device for configuration. It's not for data transfers.

That laptop is way old and belongs in a museum. You're better off putting your time and resources in getting a new laptop. Because if Win98 doesn't have drivers for the USB port for the laptop, there is a high chance you're not going to easily find it online...even from the manufacturer.


Jun 27, 2014
Win 98 was not plug and play for USB. Trust me, it was a nightmare to get drivers for things you wanted to plug in. (I'm in my 70's and have been around since pre-Windows days.) I had a hard drive in a USB case. I had to scrounge around to find a driver to get the case recognized so I could use the hd inside the case.

The USB ports, if that's what they are would probably be USB 1.
USB 1.0/Low-Speed: 1.5 Megabits per second (Mbps)

If they happen to be USB 1.1 it is a bit faster
USB 1.1/Full-Speed: 12 Mbps

I concur with zx10guy, dump that laptop. You'll end up wasting too much time and possibly finding no solutions.


Thread Starter
Sep 24, 2021
thanks for the replies though, so next to dial up there is no way to connect it to internet? :(

then i guess indeed it's impossible for me.

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