I am using OSX 10.7

When I move between different ethernet networks (e.g., at work using ethernet on an external display, at home using thunderbolt ethernet), the ethernet does not always connect. However, I don't get immediate feedback. Instead, I connect to wi-fi. However, wi-fi is both slower and less reliable than ethernet. Thus, I'd like to know whether I am connected to ethernet or not. Of course I can go into preferences and network settings to see whether I'm connected to ethernet, but it would be better if there was some form of indicator in the status bar, just as there is for wi-fi. Thus, my question:

Is there a way of getting an indicator of ethernet connectivity in the OSX menu-bar?

Perhaps there is a free application that can do this.

  • There probably are free apps that show you this in the menu bar. The problem is it seems you have both wifi and ethernet enabled. So any app you use may not be able to distinguish which one is actually being used if both are connected. And will/should show both connected – markhunte Jun 1 '13 at 8:16
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    @markhunte in the system preferences - network there is the thing called "service order"; I think the service order tells OSX which network to use when connected for example to both wi-fi and ethernet. I would have thought that an app could use that information. – Jeromy Anglim Jun 1 '13 at 8:20
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    Thanks I know about the order of service but I have my doubts about the order being honoured in all cases. – markhunte Jun 1 '13 at 8:35
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    See also superuser.com/questions/411050/… – Joshua Goldberg Sep 24 '20 at 14:46

Late to answer but still for those landing here looking for a Ethernet connectivity status icon in menu bar, check this macOS app Ethernet Status - The Missing LAN Status Bar Icon. It shows ethernet interface, IP Address and if interface is active via changing menu bar icon. More here

It does differentiate between WIFI and Wired Ethernet and shows the status for wired ethernet correctly. It also lists the available interfaces and some useful device information.

Ethernet Status App Image

PS: I am the developer of the app

  • nice app. I would by the full version if it's possible to show the icon only if a connection is active! – Paschalis Mar 26 '20 at 3:17
  • Awesome, does exactly what I'm looking for, thanks! – jpenna May 20 '20 at 14:10

I just installed menumeters. If you go into the preferences for MenuMeters it is possible to add a network icon to the OSX menu bar. Clicking on the icon, indicates the current network (i.e., wifi or Ethernet).

This is a reasonable solution, but it still requires you to click on the icon to see whether ethernet is connected.

  • Please mark this answer. It fixes the problem for me and I hope it does for you too. :P – Sufian Oct 30 '14 at 12:42
  • Unfortunately menumeters no more works on OSX El Capitan as per the notice on their website. – Vikram Rao Dec 14 '16 at 2:09
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    For 10.11 and 10.12 you might want to use an updated fork of MenuMeters: member.ipmu.jp/yuji.tachikawa/MenuMetersElCapitan – LаngLаngС Sep 9 '17 at 12:00

There is an app on Mac App Store that does exactly that: Ethernet Status

MAS Screenshot

It also shows status of Thunderbolt network adaptors. Sadly it is not free.

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    But does it differentiate between Ethernet and Wi-Fi, as was requested? I feel like it doesn't. – Leonid Shevtsov Mar 25 '16 at 12:52
  • There are lite and In-App Purchase versions of two of these guys on the App store as of this comment (including the one in this answer). Both allow you to select which interface (Wi-Fi, Ethernet, etc.) you would like indicated in the menubar. However, I found both of them wanting, as I wanted my users to be able to quickly and immediately see if ethernet is running. These apps just have a solid black (working) or a ghosted/gray indicator. I was delighted to see @LangLangC's comment about an updated fork of MenuMeters (been a long-term fan). It's always allowed custom colors for visibility. – NOTjust -- user4304 Sep 1 '18 at 5:53
  • Avoid Ethernet Status as it's a privacy trap. It continuously tries to connect to several external sites, including google-analytics.com, appyogi.com, mzstatic.com, ipyify.org etc. – yejaxey Mar 13 at 17:38

You can use BitBar with the Emoji Active Network Interface Indicator to show an emoji in your menubar that indicates if you are on Wi-Fi or another interface.

BitBar: http://getbitbar.com

Emoji Active Network Interface Indicator: https://github.com/toupsz/emoji-active-network-interface-indicator

enter image description here

  • this is a very useful app! Much appreciated! – WalterBeiter Jul 30 '18 at 13:42
  • Wow! This looks exciting. Many plug-ins available. – NOTjust -- user4304 Sep 1 '18 at 5:56

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