Does my MacBook - which is connected via Thunderbolt bridge to an iMac with Internet Sharing - see devices on the network the iMac is connected to?

I can see a new subnet is created on the Thunderbolt bridge adapter: 192.168.2.x

My main network is 192.168.1.x - the iMac is connected to this on Ethernet adapter.

Can I let the MacBook connect to other devices on the 192.168.1.x subnet? I want to connect to a network share on another device in this upstream network.


  • I would be able to assign the MacBook with an (additional?) IP address in the 192.168.1.x range.
  • Bonjour would be able to find devices on the upstream network that had file sharing enabled, and show them in the Finder sidebar.

1 Answer 1


Enabling Inter Sharing on your iMac makes it a NAT router. Its main purpose is to connect the downstream networks ( to other networks (like your main router connects your internal network(s) to the internet).

Your MacBook will connect to either other devices in the upstream network ( or the Internet.

If you want to share a service on your MacBook (e.g. an Apache server) to the upstream network (, you would have to forward the respective port on the iMac and add routes to the networks on all other devices in the network

Assigning an IP address of the to the MacBook isn't possible.

  • Thank you @klanomath ; so you're saying I could connect from the MacBook to an upstream device on without further setup? Using the setup in its default configuration, I was unable to "see" other devices on the upstream network for the purpose of mounting network shares; Bonjour service did not seem to pick up any of the machines and show them in the Finder sidebar. I wonder if this would be a matter of waiting? I have edited my question to add this in.
    – trebor
    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:27
  • @robrecord Bonjour only works within a broadcast domain. Without additional tools/further config this is for the MBP.
    – klanomath
    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:44

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