Can dock connect Macbook Air to Ethernet and Cinema Display at the same time? Any performance issues with that configuration?

I need to connect my MBA via Ethernet now, but with the one and only Thunderbolt port already used by the Cinema Display, I'm trying to find a solution. I don't envision the need to have anything more than just Ethernet and Cinema Display plugged into the dock. Some reviews indicated that speed (throughput) is an issue if you have lots of devices. Should I be concerned with my configuration?

Thanks for any and all advice!

  • Asked by William K from Baltimore
  • Feb 5, 2014
Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock

Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock

Product No Longer Available

2 Answers from the Community

  • Answer

    Yes I have Ethernet RJ-45 connected to the Express dock and I have connected my 30" Apple Display to the dock as well using the appropriate adapters for the monitor to work. Therefore, one thunderbolt cable from my MB air to the dock. The other dock TB port is being used by the monitor. And I am using in clamshell mode as well.

    • Answered by Scott S from Merced
    • Apr 27, 2014
  • This is a follow-on to my original question (unable to edit). Shortly after posting this question I purchased the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock and it has met or exceeded my expectations.

    The original problem I was trying to solve is that VOIP conversations over wifi would degrade over time, say, after 10-15 minutes, causing me to disconnect then reconnect to meetings. I tested the wired (Ethernet) connection and it did not have the same degradation.

    Macbook Airs do not have Ethernet port, instead you need an Apple Ethernet adapter that connects to the lone Thunderbolt port. But therein lies the rub: I also use a Thunderbolt Cinema Display. Two incoming Thunderbolt cables and only one Thunderbolt port.

    My configuration is as follows:
    1. Cat 5/6 Ethernet cable connects to Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock
    2. Thunderbolt-to-Thunderbolt (Apple) cable connects Express Dock to Macbook Air
    3. Cinema Display Thunderbolt cable connects to Express Dock
    4. Headset connects to Express Dock via USB

    No problems or complaints after 2-3 months of service.

    • Answered by William K from Baltimore
    • Apr 28, 2014