Ethernet Stories February 4, 2019

If you follow Apple news even casually, you’ve probably seen your fair share of dongles and adapters over the years. The latest recruit to the dongle gang is Belkin’s Ethernet + Power Adapter with Lightning Connector, an Apple-certified brick of a dongle that retails for $100.

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Ethernet Stories March 1, 2017

ethernet-ui-ios-settings-app

iOS has long been able to accommodate Ethernet connectivity, but up until recently, the OS has lacked any real UI related to such connections. In iOS 10.2, Apple has added configurable Ethernet-specific UI to the Settings app. When connecting a compatible Ethernet adapter via something like Apple’s Lightning to USB 3 Camera adapter, an Ethernet preference panel will automatically appear below the Wi-Fi section in the Settings app.

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Ethernet Stories February 28, 2016

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If Apple hasn’t yet made the Ethernet network port on your Mac obsolete by not including it, as is the case with most Macs sold today, then it may have accidentally broke the port last week in an OS X kernel extension update. Many users complained about the issue online: they had randomly found their Macs no longer connecting to the Internet and their Ethernet port simply not working. Apple has now officially acknowledged the problem on its support pages. Luckily, the software problem isn’t permanent and the bug can, usually, be easily resolved.

Apple has already fixed the Ethernet software problem for users going forward. Here’s the fix if you were affected …

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Ethernet Stories October 29, 2015

owcthunderbolt2dock-1

Other World Computing doesn’t just dabble in Mac accessories — it’s one of the most popular third-party Apple RAM and SSD vendors, and sells some of the only Blu-Ray drives marketed at Mac users. So it wasn’t a surprise to learn that OWC had developed its own Thunderbolt 2 Dock ($228), entering an accessory category that was simultaneously worthwhile and fairly stagnant. Almost all of the best Thunderbolt 2 docks have the same core features and design elements, mixing silver aluminum, black plastic, an external power supply and a bunch of ports together to make one-point connectivity hubs for Macs. OWC’s design is similar, but it’s functionally unique.

Measuring 9″ wide by 3.5″ deep by 1.1″ tall, OWC’s Thunderbolt 2 Dock is the largest such accessory I’ve seen, looking like an elongated Mac mini with a glossy black top. The right side has two always-powered USB ports, while the back includes a collection of 10 additional audio, video, and data ports, plus wall power. That means OWC’s design is both the biggest and most capable Thunderbolt 2 dock out there, but does that also make it the best? From my perspective, that depends on your Mac’s needs…

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Ethernet Stories October 27, 2015

owcthunderbolt2dockcompare

Apple and Intel’s Thunderbolt 2 standard has given Mac users — particularly professional Mac users — a premium, high-speed connector option for situations where bandwidth and speed are necessary: hooking up big, fast hard drives, high-resolution monitors, or even external graphics cards. The latest iMacs, Mac Pros, MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs all feature at least one Thunderbolt 2 port, a boon for expandability.

This year, Thunderbolt 2 docks have really taken off. Long-time Mac accessory makers have come up with a few different riffs on the same basic idea, leveraging a single cable to connect a bunch of Thunderbolt, USB, and audio/video accessories all at once to a Mac. This enables MacBook users to return home and make one connection to everything from an external monitor and speakers to external hard drives and card readers; it can also allow iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini users to connect devices built with connectors not found on their machines.

Here are the best Thunderbolt 2 dock options out there — and my suggestions as to which of them are best-suited to various usage scenarios…

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Ethernet Stories June 9, 2015

owc-macbook-desktop-dock

The 12-inch MacBook is the ultimate portable Mac, but that single USB-C port feels a lot less convenient when you want to connect to a bunch of devices at home or in the office. We covered a $79 portable hub yesterday, and now OWC has announced its $129 desktop model, available for pre-order today for delivery in October.

Available in silver, space gray and gold, to match your MacBook, the OWC USB-C Dock provides a total of 10 ports in a unit designed to remain on your desk, allowing you to instantly connect and disconnect via a single USB-C cable …  expand full story

Ethernet Stories May 23, 2015

Kanex USB-C to Ethernet

Adapters for adding thicker ports are nothing new for Apple’s modern line of notebooks. Even the high-end Retina MacBook Pro decidedly excludes a direct Ethernet connection, and Apple’s MacBook Air and new ultrathin 12-inch MacBook are especially too thin for a wired connection to the Internet without relying on an adapter in the middle.

While modern WiFi is fine for most everyday situations, even Apple acknowledges that a wired connection is necessary in some instances. To remedy this, it sells a $29 USB Ethernet Adapter and a faster $29 Thunderbolt to Ethernet Adapter. The 12-inch MacBook has neither port, however, additionally requiring Apple’s $19 USB-C to USB Adapter to work with the slower adapter.

Fortunately with USB-C being a new industry standard, accessory makers like Kanex are ready with solutions like the $29.95 USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter made for the new 12-inch MacBook and other USB-C computers… expand full story

Ethernet Stories June 5, 2014

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In iOS 7, Apple introduced nearby networking features called Multipeer Connectivity to allow iOS devices in proximity to talk to one another over WiFi or Bluetooth even without a traditional Internet connection. Developers have used the tech for everything from exchanging files and other data between devices, to remote control functionality, and multi-device experiences like the iTranslate Voice app that sends real-time speech translated from one device to the other. It’s also the tech behind the local anonymous messaging service FireChat that got some attention earlier this year. Now, Apple is opening up the Multipeer Connectivity APIs to OS X starting with Yosemite and in the process allowing cross-platform nearby networking between Macs and iOS devices.  expand full story

Ethernet Stories April 21, 2014

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There are Mac accessories that are exciting or fun, and others that are boring but useful. The Elgato Thunderbolt Dock most definitely falls into the latter category.

As regular readers will know, I’m of the view that wires are evil. Anything that can be wireless should be wireless, and any wires that are unavoidable should be hidden from sight. This is particularly easy if you have an Apple Thunderbolt Display, of course, since all you need in the way of wires from a MacBook is power and Thunderbolt: everything else can be plugged into the back of the monitor.

But if you share my aversion to visible wires and don’t have a Thunderbolt display, or you are frequently connecting and disconnecting your MacBook from a bunch of devices on your desk, the Elgato Thunderbolt Dock may be the answer …

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Ethernet Stories January 10, 2014

iPad connected to the Internet via Ethernet only

iPad connected to the Internet via Ethernet only

After seeing an eager Redditor discuss their setup for deploying iPads online with just an Ethernet connection, I was curious myself to see if I could get my iPad Air to be wireless-less as well.

It’s obviously not an ideal way to use a tablet in 2014, as it’s probably easier and cheaper to travel with an inexpensive router than the equipment required to get your iPad wired in. But if you have the equipment lying around or just want to experience the proof-of-concept for yourself, it’s certainly a strange thing to witness.

Check below for the setup I used as well as my video experience. expand full story

Ethernet Stories May 5, 2013

I’ve been using the $99 LandingZone 2.0 LITE 13″ Secure Docking Station for the past couple weeks to dock my MacBook Air when I use it at my desk. Until now, when I got to my desk, I would manually plug in MagSafe power, USB hub and sometimes audio jacks – which isn’t a huge pain, but it did add time time and clutter to my workflow.

LandingZone, which started as a Kickstarter project but is now in full production, has a complete solution in a white plastic/steel dock that allows you to secure your MacBook Air, and within seconds, have Ethernet, a 4 port USB hub, power and MiniDisplay Port outs ready for use. expand full story

Ethernet Stories January 31, 2013

We have played with and enjoyed a few products from Kanex in the past, and today the company showed off its latest USB 3.0 charging solution at Macworld with the DualRole. The product is a super lightweight and very portable bus-powered USB3 hub that packs three extra USB 3 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet adapter. That means you’ll be able to add a Gigabit Ethernet adapter to your Retina MacBook Pro or MacBook Air and have an extra three USB ports on hand.

9to5Mac went hands-on with the DualRole today during Macworld, and we definitely want one for ourselves. Anyone who travels knows how nice it is to connect via Ethernet when hotel Wi-Fi gets sketchy, and it’s certainly nice to be able to carry around an additional three USB 3.0 ports in your pocket at the same time. DualRole also provided an optional 5V power adapter to offer a little extra power to the USB ports, and the built-in cable tucks away nicely when not in use. DualRole is selling for $69 through the Kanex website, but it should also land next to the company’s lineup of other solid products on Amazon shortly.

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Ethernet Stories August 1, 2012

For Americans, coverage of the Olympics in London is mainly limited to NBC’s video stream offerings. Unfortunately, the network’s coverage, especially online, is receiving a ton of complaints as witnessed by the #nbcfail hashtag on Twitter. Fortunately, there is a way to bypass NBC altogether and take advantage of the BBC’s official live stream coverage from inside the U.S. of almost every major event. There is not much to it; all you have to do is use a DNS routing service to get around the BBC’s region blocked streams. Below is a quick guide courtesy of Lifehacker that uses the Unblock Us service. It is free for a week, and then it is $5 for the month.

First, you will have to sign up for the service on its website. Once that is finished, you can configure the service for BBC using the steps below:

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Ethernet Stories June 12, 2012

Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2 may lead to boot failure

Apple released Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2 yesterday, but recent reports indicate the update is causing a host of issues for some users.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Company said the update “adds support for the Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter,” but many have apparently discovered boot failures and other related problems like kernel panics, stalled boot screens, or “unexpected error” notices following installation.

According to threads in a few Apple discussions, the differentiating results all seem to leave Macs unusable. Fortunately, TidBits heard that reinstalling Lion fixes the complication. The website also claimed reinstalling the Mac OS X 10.7.4 Combo Update will remedy the situation.

Go to TidBits for more information on correcting this allegedly faulty software update.

Ethernet Stories June 7, 2012

Amazon drops 5% off Apple TV 1080P to $94.86

From 9to5Toys.com:

Amazon today dropped the price of the AppleTVto $94.86 – that’s the first discount we’ve seen on a new 1080P version of Apple’s TV product.

This latest-generation Apple TV displays 1080p widescreen video and features Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr integration, Airplay support, 802.11n wireless, Ethernet, HDMI video output, USB connectivity, and more. A 1-year Apple warranty applies.

Ethernet Stories June 3, 2012

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Do you remember all of those ports you used to see on Macs? DVI, Gig Ethernet (har), and separate analog stereo for in and out? Matrox, a company that used to make mad graphics cards and other video devices, is coming to DubDub with a new $249 piece of kit called the “DS-1.” This box brings you all of those old school ports and even throws in a “superspeed” USB 3.0 port, so you can match the speed of the new MacBooks.

Matrox makes a bunch of other highly rated, high-end Thunderbolt breakout boxes that retail for much more. If you are looking for a (relatively) cheap Thunderbolt dock to hide away from sight and hook up to an old DVI monitor, this may be a good pick up. We should have a review unit to play with next week.

The press release follows: expand full story

Ethernet Stories May 14, 2012

Mockup: New, thinner MacBook Pro on the left. Current model on the right. 

Apple is putting the finishing touches on an entirely new 15-inch MacBook Pro that is the outcome of years of research and development in ultra-thin mobile computing and super-high-resolution displays. According to trusted sources in Apple’s supply chain, who have handled prototype components and casings for the new Apple notebook, the computer is currently undergoing test production rounds. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is coming this summer, and it features an ultra-thin design, a “jaw-dropping” Retina Display, and super-fast USB 3.

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Ethernet Stories November 11, 2011

Amazon offers the Pioneer 840-watt 7.1-Channel 3D Home Theater Receiver, model no. VSX-1021-K, for $299.99 (add it to your cart to see the price). With free shipping, that’s $20 under our mention from last month and the lowest total price we could find by $99. Features include 120 watts per channel into seven channels, Airplay streaming, iPod, iPhone, and iPad App compatibility, Ethernet and Bluetooth connectivity, five HDMI inputs with 3D passthrough, one HDMI output, and more.

Just last week, the older model, without Airplay, was slashed to the same price.

Videos below: expand full story

Ethernet Stories September 15, 2011

Apple’s 27-inch Thunderbolt Cinema Displays have begun arriving to customer’s homes. The display looks virtually identical to the previous generation of the giant 27-inch Cinema Display from Apple, and includes USB ports, a Thunderbolt port, a FireWire 800 port, and an Ethernet port.

More photos courtesy of reader Scott are after the break.

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Ethernet Stories September 13, 2011

If, for some reason, you don’t want to run Lion on your new Mac Mini, it appears that using a clone of a recent MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard will boot and operate the Mac Mini.  MacBidoulle cautions the Ethernet hasn’t been properly tested and the new Radeon Video cards in the high end model may need some hacking to get 3D working. expand full story

Belkin took a little bit of time today at IDF to show off their new Thunderbolt Express Dock that provides a selection of ports that mirror the new 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display, sans the $999 price point.

The accessory sports three USB ports, a Thunderbolt port, Firewire 800 port, and Gigabit Ethernet. Perhaps the dock could use some more of that Apple “mimimalism” – we’re sensing some wasted space being used here.

There is no word on pricing or availability as of yet, and Daily Tech reminds us we might still have to cough up $50 for a Thunderbolt cable. We’ll keep you updated when the device is officially announced. More Thunderbolt accessories here, another image after the break. expand full story

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