Apple Thunderbolt Adapters: Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Learn more about the Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter and the Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Which computers support these Thunderbolt adapters?

All Thunderbolt-equipped Mac computers support these adapters. The adapters require OS X Lion v10.7.4 or later. To use the Apple Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter on Thunderbolt-equipped Macs released prior to June, 2012, you need to install Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2.1.

Where can I connect the adapters?

Connect them directly to the Thunderbolt port on your Mac. You can also connect them to external devices like Apple Thunderbolt Displays or other devices that have multiple Thunderbolt ports.

Are there other requirements for using these adapters?

If you are connecting multiple devices ("daisy chaining"), at least one computer on the Thunderbolt chain needs to act as a host.

Can other devices on the Thunderbolt chain affect the performance of these adapters?

Yes. Mass storage and other high-bandwidth devices can affect the performance of these adapters. If you have issues mixing the Thunderbolt adapters with such devices, connect devices directly to another Thunderbolt port on your computer, or connect them to low-bandwidth devices on the Thunderbolt chain.

How much bus power does the Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter supply?

The Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter provides up to 7W of bus power. This will power the majority of FireWire devices, but there may be some devices or chains of devices that require more power.

Can these adapters be connected to devices that do not support Thunderbolt?

No. Although these adapters use the same connector as a Mini DisplayPort adapter, they do not function on computers that do not support Thunderbolt.

My Mac mini (Mid 2011) does not sleep when an Apple Thunderbolt to Ethernet Adapter is connected. Is their a way to work around this?

Yes. Mac mini computers come with built-in Ethernet connectors. Use the built-in connector instead of the Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter. See this article for more information.


Learn more

For more information on Thunderbolt technology and devices, see the following articles:




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