Going back to wires (MacBook Pro)

I reverted much of my office back to hardwire a couple of years ago but I would like to do the same for my laptop while at my desk.

I have an early 2015 MPBr. I have (2) USB 2 ports and (2) Thunderbolt ports. One TB port is used for the monitor. My Apple keyboard died over the summer and I’ve been using an old Macally I’ll be replacing at some point. I have a Magic Mouse that’s been acting up lately too.

I have a Dell monitor with “five downstream and one upstream ports” (USB). When I first bought it 2 years ago, I’d planning on leaving my charging cables plugged in but it charged so slowly (and may have disconnected when it went to sleep) so I gave up on that. The ports are not easy to get to so whatever I can manage to use them for should be permanent. I wonder if a small hub can work in one of those, and I could use the USB sticks from that. <side note: I bought a small one like that for my iMac for easy accessibility, but I’m thinking the iMac USB ports are more like a computer USB port than a monitor USB in strength, please correct me if I’m wrong!>

I am planning on trying to use one of the monitor ports for the keyboard if I find where I stashed my USB extension cable :upside_down_face:. If that works, I’m guessing a mouse will too, and can make sure I get a new keyboard with a USB port for the mouse. Those used to be nice with short cables!

I will be needing:
Ethernet adapter - Apple has a TB one, Anker has USB 3, would either be better?
I have eternal drives and USB sticks that need to be used.

I’m thinking I need some sort of hub that can take advantage of TB and/or USB without breaking the bank. Would love some comments on these especially. Anker has a 3 port USB hub with gigabit ethernet, I just don’t know if something that small will power an external hard drive well.

Also, I have an Okidata laser that is hardwired, but is AirPrint compatible. I thought I had all my computers set to print through the network, but a couple of weeks ago I kicked the power strip and knocked the whole network down. I had to reinstall the printer on my laptop and now preferences say I’m printing via AirPrint which I don’t remember before. It was also the first time a power outage caused me to reinstall a driver. My hardwired iMac still prints fine so I know the ethernet port is still working on the printer.


I don’t trust monitor USB hubs with anything except for maybe KBs and mice. If I were you I’d spend a little bit of money to get something really nice that you’ll be able to continue using even when you update your MBP.

Note TB3 will work just fine with your old TB2 Mac (with adapter). You won’t be able to charge though. You’ll still need MagSafe for that.

$220 shipped

Of course if all you really need is USB and Gigabit, there’s plenty of cheap solutions like this:

Or if you want the hub to be powered something like this ($24, 5V DC adapter sold separately)

Sorry to be stupid, but either I don’t understand what Amazon is saying or I don’t understand how this item works.

About this item
• The Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter lets you connect Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 devices — external hard drives and Thunderbolt displays, for example — to any of the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports on your MacBook Pro.
• As a bidirectional adapter, it can also connect new Thunderbolt 3 devices to a Mac with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port.

It looks like there is a male Thunderbolt 3 end and a female Thunderbolt 2 end. A Mac with a Thunderbolt 2 connector (iMac late 2014, in particular) has a female TB2 (actually, two of them). Unless there is a male-male TB2 device, I don’t understand how this would connect to a Mac’s TB2 port. What am I missing? Thanks for enlightenment.

You connect a TB2 cable to your old Mac and the dongle’s TB2 female port. Then the adapter’s TB3 male port goes to TB3 hub. That’s why I linked to the TB2 cable.

Ah, that’s what I was missing. Thanks, @Simon.

Just wondering where you got your “eternal drive” from? Is it guaranteed to last to the end of the Universe?
Back on topic… A powered USB hub with an ethernet port should suit your needs. I use one with my iMac.

Why yes, it’s the latest and greatest in ever-computing! :rofl: (no matter how many times I proof a post…. lol)

Which hub do you use?


Simon - thanks! I spent some time last night looking at options and the good ones all appear to be in that same ballpark.

Apparently my “monitor hub” does need to be powered by the computer. The cable they sent is probably in a box somewhere. But the ports are recessed under a lip on the back (worse than an iMac) so they are unusable for USB sticks.

My monitor has HDMI/Mini DisplayPort/DisplayPort and I am using a DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cable to attach it.

I think I need to sit down and figure out what I really need to attach. Using a wired kb has brought this to a head. Do any Macs come with SD card slots these days? While that’s overkill on a dock for me today, it may not be in the future. Some days I think I should get a Mini and put this laptop aside for when I need to be portable.

I’ll put more thought into this but thanks for the suggestion as I’d never have considered this brand otherwise!


My usb hub is quote old. I found another one with the right specs on Amazon. Try searching for Unitek USB Ethernet Adapter 7-Port Hub