Thunderbolt Bridge

What Is Thunderbolt Bridge How It works – Detailed Guide In 2023

It is a hardware interface that allows a high-speed data transfer connection between a computer (usually a MacBook) and another external device.

✔ Research:
If you don't have Apple MacBook and you still need the quality and high speed transfer of Thunderbolt. Then, here we have gathered Best laptops For Thunderbolt 3.

Read the full article for details about Thunderbolt Bridge and its Connection methods:

What is Apple Thunderbolt Bridge?

It is a feature of the MacBook that allows a high-speed back-and-forth data transfer between a computer (usually a MacBook) and another external device or without the requirement of Ethernet, AirDrop, or Wi-Fi devices.

✔ Research:
Well, talking about Wifi devices then we have a lot of options available in the market. But for our readers, we have done a lot of research and enlisted the Best Wifi Reception Laptops. So, if you are concerned with the data transfer speed, then must check this linked article.

1. Advantages Of Thunderbolt Bridge:

  • It is usually used by users when they want to transfer their files or data from an older version of MacBook to the latest one or upgraded version e.g. version 10.9
  • The thunderbolt cable speed is extremely fast compared to an ordinary cable, Ethernet, or even over Wi-Fi. Therefore, data can be transferred within minutes or seconds in some cases, because it is seen that it sometimes transfers the data in 8GBps.
  • The biggest advantage of using Thunderbolt Bridge is performance and its speed. These are the two reasons why more people prefer it over Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or AirDrop to transfer data between MacBooks.
  • A single Thunderbolt port/cable can be used to connect as many peripheral devices as the user wants, to transfer audio, video, or any other data.

2. Disadvantages Of Thunderbolt Bridge:

  • It only works between two or more MacBook devices, which means it cannot be connected between windows devices (or any other operating system other than IOS). So, if the user is transferring from windows to IOS or vice versa, Thunderbolt Bridge will not work.
  • If the hard disk of the device from which the user wants to transfer data to a new one is encrypted, the transfer of the data will not be possible. It happens because encryption creates an additional level of security or protection.
  • If the user is connecting the devices through a chain connection (connecting more than one device) it can affect the performance if non-Thunderbolt devices are connected with the Thunderbolt device, and in turn, the whole process will be slowed down. Because other devices are slow as compared to Thunderbolt (for example USB port Or FireWire).

How Thunderbolt Bridge Works?

To use the thunderbolt bridge first the user has to connect it with a minimum of two MacBook devices. Generally, MacBook has a built-in Migration Assistant that guides users step-by-step on how to connect it but if it does not appear, it can be downloaded. The Migration Assistant transfers everything from the old to the new device/computer.


  1. Thunderbolt Bridge is extremely helpful when the amount of data that has to be transferred between two computers is enormous and transferring it via Ethernet or Wi-Fi would take a lot of time. Here thunderbolt cable comes as a life savior.
  2. It is not only helpful with Migration Assistant but can also be used for generic data transfer and Target Disk Mode as well.
  3. Thunderbolt can also work bi-directional which means that users can send as well as receive data at the same time.


A typical Thunderbolt channel works very efficiently. It can provide up to 10Gb/s (Gigabits per second). This shows that the Thunderbolt is many times faster than a FireWire (which has a speed of 800) and a common USB (which has a speed of 3.0). Each of the ports of Thunderbolt contains two channels.

The number of devices That Can Be connected to a single Thunderbolt port:

At a time, the user can connect 6 devices to each Thunderbolt port by chaining them. In order to do that:

  1. Connect the first device to the Thunderbolt port
  2. Connect the second device at the other end of the first port and so on.

This means in order to connect more than one device, the devices in each chain should have two Thunderbolts ports. First, one will be used to connect to the device in front of it and the second one to make the connection to the device at the end of it.

How to Manually add Or Remove the Thunderbolt Bridge Network Interface?

Here we have discussed, how you can add or remove the network bridge in the Thunderbolt bridge. The detailed explanation is following:

1. How to add Thunderbolt Bridge Network Interface manually?

As mentioned above that the software used for working with thunderbolt is built-in. When two devices are connected via thunderbolt, the dialog box automatically popup, but if the user wants to access it manually or wants to add Thunderbolt Bridge Network Interface the following steps can be performed:

  1. Open the network preference panel.  A dialog box of “New Interface Detected” will pop up. Click on OK.
  2. Now select “Thunderbolt Bridge” from the preference panel. After that click on the “Apply” button to set the new feature of the networking interface to OS.

After performing these two steps, the feature of Thunderbolt Bridge Network Interface will be added as a new networking option. It can be used right now or in the future whenever the user wants to transfer data between any two MacBooks.

2. How to remove Thunderbolt Bridge Network Interface:

If for some reason’s user wants to remove the option of Thunderbolt Bridge from an available network interface, it can also be done by following the steps below:

  1. Go to the Network Preference panel, the dialog box will appear showing the New Interface Detected. Click on OK.
  2. From the sidebar select the “Thunderbolt Bridge” and click on the [-] minus sign. It will remove the option of the Thunderbolt Bridge networking interface.
  3. Click on “Apply” to save the changes.

If it is removed by mistake, or the user wants to add that feature again, simply click on the [+] plus sign. It will add the option of Thunderbolt Bridge networking interface again.

How to physically connect MacBook with Thunderbolt Bridge?

How to connect two MacBooks with Thunderbolt Bridge. Thanks to this guy, for showing such a detailed and to-the-point guide on this topic.

The MacBook is one of those laptops that contain ports to connect different peripherals. On the previous versions of the MacBook, the “Mini DisplayPort” is available which can be used to connect to a Thunderbolt Bridge.

📝 Notes:
If you're concerned with displaying your screen in presentations etc. Then you might not need that faster speedy transfer rate. Even a VGA cable would be enough for this, check this list of Best Laptops With VGA Port.

In the latest versions, there is no separate “Mini DisplayPort” only the Thunderbolt port. Just plug the cable into the port, at the other end of the cable that connects the other device and the device/devices will be ready to use or transfer the data.

How To Connect Multiple Monitors Through Thunderbolt Connection?

So this is a full method for connecting multiple displays with MacBook. BTW, this practice has been done with the new 2020 MacBook Pro M1.

This one is pretty interesting and straightforward, however, you might have to spend a little bit of cash, but trust me it’s definitely worth it, as multiple monitors can enhance your productivity significantly.

📝 Notes:
If you want to connect your TV to your Laptop and want to enjoy your favorite movie or game of the big screen. Then check out this method for How To Connect Your TV To Your Laptop.
Well talking about connecting multiple peripherals or devices to laptop, then you should also know that how to use two keyboards on one laptop or pc.

The complete Step-by-Step method for connecting multiple monitors through Thunderbolt is following:

  1. The first and foremost thing you need to do is check that your laptop actually has a Thunderbolt port, it would look exactly like a USB type C port.
  2. Now, Buy a thunderbolt Docking station or HUB which also includes HDMI interfaces in it.
  3. Plug in the Docking station and connect your monitor with the help of your HDMI cable to the Thunderbolt Docking station hub.
  4. This method of duplicating or having multiple monitors is way more ideal as compared to any other method since Thunderbolt cables have higher transmitting speeds and also support a larger resolution and more refresh rate.
  5. As a final step, you’ll need to head over to the settings and click on the display option so you can tweak its position and other options.

How To Use External Graphics Card Through Thunderbolt 

Did you know that you can also use an E-GPU to connect to your laptop or MacBook that doesn’t have a dedicated or discrete graphics card? Below is how you can do it, but first, check the important notes:

📝 Notes:
If you're searching and reading about using Thunderbolt for connecting external graphics card to your laptop. Then it means that you're a gamer or you want to upgrade the performance of your laptop for heavy softwares like modeling or video editing sofwares. Well, here we have enlisted the Best Laptops With Upgradable Graphics Card.

Now is the time to show you the step-by-step method for using external graphics cards through thunderbolt:

  1. First of all, make sure both the E-GPU you are buying and your laptop/Macbook model are compatible.
  2. After you have ensured there isn’t any sort of compatibility issue between them on your Laptop/Macbook manufacturer’s website, plug in your E-GPU with the thunderbolt Cable.
  3. Now Plug the other end with your laptop’s Thunderbolt interface.
  4. Now Install and update thunderbolt drivers as well as your E-GPU drivers, whether it belongs to Nvidia or AMD.
  5. Moreover, you also need to update your BIOS, in order to eliminate any sort of bugs or abnormalities.
  6. Try playing your games and test them for benchmarking and see how it performs.
📝 Note:  Using E-GPU instead of connecting it through a PCIe lane also means you will have considerable performance loss as PCIe lanes are much more efficient in transmitting data.
💡 Do You Know?
Now that we have opened the topic about using Graphics Card throug Thunderbolt. We should also know that We Can Use The HDMI Port As Input To The PC Too. Which will give us more freedom in connecting different peripherals to your laptop. Check this linked article for complete method.


Thunderbolt Bridge is the latest peripheral-connection technology developed specifically for MacBooks to transfer data (audio, video, pictures, programs, apps, etc.) from one device to another within minutes and seconds.

Because of its features and speed, it is replaced by the conventional method of Mini DisplayPort file transfer. From its installation to the transfer of data, everything is effortless therefore in the latest MacBook there is a separate port for Thunderbolt Bridge.

Although it has many advantages these advantages are available only for IOS not for windows or other operating systems.

What is Thunderbolt networking? 

Instead of using an Ethernet cable, you can use thunderbolt cables to form a bridge that could connect two or more computers or MacBooks and establish network connectivity between them which is called Thunderbolt Networking.

How do I activate a Thunderbolt bridge on a Mac?

First, plug in both ends of your Thunderbolt cable to your Macbook devices, then head over to the network and options in the system preferences and click DNS in the advanced options and your Domain Address. You can activate your Thunderbolt bridge and form a connection between them.

What Is The Fastest Way To Transfer Data From One Mac To Another?

Using a thunderbolt cable is the most fastest and efficient way to transfer files since it has high-speed file transfer rates that could up to a whopping 40Gbps.

Can I plug Thunderbolt into USB-C?

Both Type C and thunderbolt have the same interface and are completely compatible with each other, however, thunderbolt seems to be a superior choice as you can benefit from great speeds which are not possible on a USB type C interface.

Can you share the internet through Thunderbolt?

Among its many features, Thunderbolt can replace Ethernet cables, enabling users to share the internet through wired connections. Using the IPV4 option in the Network preferences, be sure to set the Thunderbolt bridge as DHCP and plug in your Thunderbolt cable.

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