I recently bought a thunderbolt-ethernet cable because my university only provides internet access via ethernet, and I have a MacBook Air. The cable works pretty well, except that it really heats up my laptop (particularly the region around the top of the keyboard). Any idea how I can avoid this, if at all? Also, does a USB-ethernet cable also do this?

  • What about buying a cheap wifi router, hiding the network and adding a password.
    – bret7600
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


The USB-C gigabit adapters and thunderbolt adapters do run hot. I haven’t found any that do not. Older USB A ones run slower and cooler. Best is to use WiFi as that is the most power efficient adapter for the Air and MacBook line.

  • Hmm, so switching to a USB cable won't be beneficial, I suppose?
    – James Bond
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 10:50
  • The older ones, yes. The new ones, probably not. I use th Belkin USB-C model on my MacBook and it gets pretty toasty. I get much better battery run time on wifi and just as good performance with 802.11ac when the link is above 350 Mbps
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 10:54

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