I'm trying to restore from Time capsule (via fresh recovery). Attempting to use Ethernet so the restore is faster.

So I'm using an old mini displayport Ethernet adapter I have. But my MacBook needs thunderbolt. So I have a thunderbolt to mini display port adapter.

Is this form of daisy chain going to work? I ask because it's not getting an IP and the router doesn't light up either (tested both cables by directly connecting router to TC and it lights up so I know the cables and dhcp ability is working) A

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  • Which MacBook? I doubt your Time Capsule can send data faster than WiFi can receive so it’s unlikely your bottleneck will be network, but let’s indulge you that you have WiFi that’s so slow a wired connection might be better speed. I believe it’s more reliable in terms of drops so let’s see we can get you wired even if it’s slower.
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 15, 2020 at 16:05
  • @bmike The Time Capsule can send data faster than Wifi. Restores are faster using cabled ethernet Commented Mar 15, 2020 at 17:41

2 Answers 2


You seem to have your terminology mixed up, which makes it difficult to answer your question.

Mini-DisplayPort is a standard for transferring display signals only. There exists no such thing as a Mini-DisplayPort to Ethernet adapter. In fact what you have is probably a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter. Thunderbolt uses the same physical plug as Mini-DisplayPort, but it is completely different thing.

When you say your laptop requires Thunderbolt, I think you're mistaken again. The picture you have included shows what appears to be a Thunderbolt 3 plug. Therefore I think your laptop really has Thunderbolt 3 ports, and not just Thunderbolt.

Again when looking at the photo, it seems to me that you are mistaken in saying that you have a "Mini-DisplayPort to Ethernet" adapter at all - i.e. it's not even Thunderbolt. The way you have taken the picture makes it impossible for us to see which plug goes with which adapter unfortunately. I do think I recognize the product as being a USB-C to Mini-DisplayPort adapter. If that is the case, you cannot use this adapter at all for this purpose.

You can buy a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter for connecting the ethernet adapter to your laptop:


However it's probably cheaper to just buy a USB-C to Ethernet adapter in the first place. It could be something like this:


  • My MacBook Retina has USB-C, but not Thunderbolt. The power cable looks the same as in this image. I second buying a suitable adapter Commented Mar 15, 2020 at 17:42
  • Thanks guys! As per your recommendation I just bought a proper usb-c to Ethernet cable. Problem I'm seeing is that the speed doesn't feel as though it's amazing. I feel like it's 100mbps and still 34 hrs to complete? What am I missing??
    – Mark H
    Commented Mar 15, 2020 at 19:16
  • Open System Preferences > Network, choose the USB-C Ethernet adapter on the left and click Advanced... Look at the Hardware tab to see your current speed. It might feel 100 Mbps but be 1 Gbps, so it's important to know the difference in order to figure out how to gain speed.
    – jksoegaard
    Commented Mar 15, 2020 at 20:58
  • @jksoeegaard thing is, I'm in through recovery. No way to boot up into macos to look at system preferences :(((
    – Mark H
    Commented Mar 15, 2020 at 21:41

A thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adapter will present all devices to your Mac using USB-C connector and Thiunderbolt 3. That works with thunderbolt displays, thunderbolt Ethernet and USB on Thunderbolt docks / bridges.

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