It is a hardware interface that allows a high-speed data transfer connection between a computer (usually a MacBook) and another external device or devices
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 devices without the requirement of Wi-Fi, Ethernet or AirDrop.
Reasons for using Thunderbolt Bridge
- It is usually used by users when they want to transfer their files or data from an older version of MacBook to a latest one or upgraded version e.g. version 10.9
- The speed of the thunderbolt cable is extremely fast as compared to an ordinary cable, Ethernet or even over Wi-Fi. Therefore, data can be transferred within minutes or seconds in some cases.
How Thunderbolt Bridge Works
To use the thunderbolt bridge first the user has to connect it with minimum two MacBook devices. Generally, MacBook has built-in Migration Assistant that guides user step-by-step how to connect it but if it does not appear, it can be downloaded. After that the Migration Assistant transfers everything from old to new device/computer.
- Thunderbolt Bridge is extremely helpful when the amount of data that has to be transfer 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-saviour.
- It is not only helpful with Migration Assistant but can also be used for generic data transfer and Target Disk Mode as well.
- Thunderbolt can also work bi-directional which means that user 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 Fire Wire (which has a speed of 800) and a common USB (which has a speed of 3.0). Each of the port of Thunderbolt contains two channels.
Number of devices connected to a single Thunderbolt port:
At a time, user can connect 6 devices to each Thunderbolt port by chaining them. In order to do that
- Connect the first device to the Thunderbolt port
- 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 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 is 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:
- Open the network preference panel. A dialog box of “New Interface Detected” will be popup. Click on OK.
- Now select “Thunderbolt Bridge” from the preference panel. After that click on “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 future whenever user wants to transfer data between any two MacBook.
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 steps
- Go to Network Preference panel, the dialog box will appear showing the New Interface Detected. Click on OK.
- From the sidebar select the “Thunderbolt Bridge” and click on the [-] minus sign. It will remove the option of Thunderbolt Bridge networking interface.
- Click on “Apply” to save the changes.
If it is removed by mistake, or 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
Like all the laptops, MacBook contains ports to connect different peripheral devices. On the previous versions of MacBook, the “Mini DisplayPort” port is available which can be used to connect a Thunderbolt Bridge. In the latest versions there is no separate “Mini DisplayPort” only the Thunderbolt port. Just plug the cable in the port, at the other end of the cable connects the other device and the device/devices will be ready to use or transfer the data.
Thunderbolt Bridge is the latest peripheral-connection technology developed specifically for MacBook 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 transfer of data everything is very easy therefore in latest MacBook there is a separate port of Thunderbolt Bridge. Although it has many advantages but these advantages are available only for IOS not for windows or other operating systems.