Christopher Rush describes an alternative way to get a BeagleBone online:
How to Connect a BeagleBone Black to the Internet Using USB
I was able to use my wireless internet on my laptop computer and share this with the BeagleBone with only a few steps.
Connecting your BeagleBone Black to the Internet without any physical network device such as Ethernet or wireless dongle is definitely a very useful tool. It allows you to work more efficiently without the headache of being near a router or requiring any additional hardware. This solution isn’t without its issues such as slower speeds however; it works well for using basic internet tasks such as running updates.