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So I've just bought the latest MacBook Pro (late 2019, 16") and bumped into the common issue of not finding 1 piece of Ethernet adapter. I want to use only Apple made adapters, so I'm left with the option of buying Apple Thunderbolt 2 to Ethernet adapter AND the Apple Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adapter and daisy chain them. So, since I've been using MacBook Air (mid 2012, 13"), I already own an Ethernet to Thunderbolt adapter (Apple made). The only thing that I'm still not certain about is - does the adapter I already have use Thunderbolt 1 or Thunderbolt 2? According to Apple's spec, MacBook Air (mid 2012, 13") has Thunderbolt 1, but I have a feeling it's actually Thunderbolt 2, because when I look at system's preference, I see that the thunderbolt connection throughput is 10GB/s * 2 (written exactly like that - * 2!) So.. 10*2 is 20, and 20GB/s is equivalent to Thunderbolt 2, right? I also tried to read the specs of the Ethernet to TB adapter I have, but it doesn't mention which TB it is!

Bottom line: can I simply purchase the TB2 to TB3 adapter and chain it to the current Ethernet to TBx (x=1/2, I don't know!) I already have? Thanks!

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  • @SteveChambers according to the models listed, the adapter you posted was Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2. MacBookPro only has Thunderbolt-3/USB-C – Matthew Barclay Jul 4 '20 at 13:33
  • I don't believe Apple makes a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C to Ethernet adapter, mostly because they are selling Belkin's version on their website apple.com/shop/product/HJKF2ZM/A/… – Matthew Barclay Jul 4 '20 at 13:35
  • Also, it doesn't really matter which version of Thunderbolt you have, as long as it's one or two. Both have sufficient bandwidth to handle Ethernet (which at its max is 1 Gb/s for most consumer devices). Theoretically, I believe that you can do what you want: Buy the 3 to 2 adapter and daisy chain to your ethernet – Matthew Barclay Jul 4 '20 at 13:41
  • Thanks @MatthewBarclay. I wonder, however, how daisy-chaining two adapters will affect the overall reliability, performance and user-experience, in terms of internet speed, continuous connection, etc'. I wouldn't want a laggy connection or to get a burn from adapter's overheating. But Apple doesn't really give us a choice here... I wonder why they are promoting Belkin's adapter rather than making their own hardware! – Ran Jul 4 '20 at 15:18
  • See apple.stackexchange.com/questions/341336/… . Apparently, daisy-chaining works a lot better – Matthew Barclay Jul 4 '20 at 17:07
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The Belkin USB-C to gigabit adapter that Apple sells online is the best bet for you.

Much better than chaining Apple gear in performance, reliability, price and power usage. The Apple thunderbolt 2 model works fine with the Apple adapter - just you have overkill and two joints to manage.

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  • Thanks, but I don't want to use any third party vendors. I have a bad experience with other companies when it comes to adapters (and no, I didn't buy a 3$ adapter from eBay). Apple's adapters proved to be the most reliable and durable thus far. I wonder why does Apple sell and promote Belkin instead of creating their own. – Ran Jul 4 '20 at 15:08
  • @ran Watch the 1000 no video Apple doesn’t do things others can do better. There are so many adapters, see what Apple sells is an excellent proxy for a seal of USB-C engineering review and approval. The last good list I trusted is gone so most use Apple now when you can’t afford the time to research a specific vendor or adapter. – bmike Jul 4 '20 at 15:43
  • Well, I've just checked; Purchasing a Belkin adapter or Apple's TB2 to TB3 adapter will cost exactly the same (I don't live in the US and Amazon currently doesn't ship to my country). Given that fact, would you still choose Belkin over Apple daisy-chaining? You really made me wondering about the cons of such chaining (performance, reliability, etc'). I wonder if someone has ever done a test of both options. – Ran Jul 4 '20 at 16:39
  • I buy these all 10 at a time to stock at work. We use the Belkin part even when someone has both of the other. We take the other two back for stock for other use cases. @Ran My answer is understanding your very good past experience to stick with Apple. – bmike Jul 4 '20 at 17:55
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I wanted to update, in case anyone would ever bump into this thread - I bought the TB2 to TB3 adapter, and chained it with my old TB2 to Ethernet adapter and it's all working perfectly :)

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