Apple ThunderBolt To FireWire AdaptersOne of the first Thunderbolt converters Apple introduced was a FireWire 800 to ThunderBolt adapter. After a bit of shipping delays, the Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter has helped many preserve their legacy storage investment. For certain MacBook and MacBook Air models which lack a FireWire port, this ThunderBolt to FireWire adapter can be helpful in backing up or transferring data at better speeds than USB 2.0. The Apple ThunderBolt FireWire adapter has a standard FireWire 800 socket, but you can use a FW400 to FW800 cable or adapter if needed depending on your hard drive, camcorder or video deck's interface.
|Apple FireWire Adapter||3rd-Party FW800 Adapter|
|FireWire ThunderBolt Converter
FW800 To ThunderBolt
|ThunderBolt FireWire Adapter
TBolt To FW 800
There's a limited selection of low-cost ThunderBolt FireWire dongles. Demand for them is declining over time as FireWire interfaces have been phased-out from Apple's computers. Above, we see a genuine Apple adaptor and a 3rd party Chinese adaptor from Chenyang - but the 3rd-party option isn't any cheaper than Apple's own trusted manufacturing standards.
ThunderBolt Docks With FireWire PortsThe only alternative to a standalone adaptor is by buying a Multi-Port ThunderBolt Dock or Hub with FireWire port in the $150-$300 price range. Generally only 1 or 2 FireWire 800 ports were included on some (but not all) ThunderBolt docking stations from Mac-friendly companies like OWC, CalDigit, Belkin, and ElGato. In some instances, the 1st generation 10Gbps ThunderBolt docks may have had a FireWire port, but when the peripheral was updated to 20Gbps ThunderBolt 2 compatibility the ports changed and dropped the FireWire interface in favor of eSATA or other type of interface.
|ThunderBolt Dock w/FW||Akitio Multi-Port Hub|
|OWC Dock With FireWire
1 FW800 Port + Others
|Thunder2 Drive Dock
1-FW800 + 2 eSATA + 2 USB3
Although FireWire ports are largely ubiquitous on legacy Apple computers, FireWire to ThunderBolt converters and adaptors might be needed by some Windows PC users as well. FireWire 400/800 is far more efficent in data transfers than USB 2.0 ever was. And if you have a combo interface USB and FireWire Hard Drive - you're always better off using the FireWire port than USB 2.0. There's an awful lot of existing video gear, camcorders and video and audio decks that take advantage of FireWire/i.Link's low-latency, low-overhead data interface. So expect FireWire ThunderBolt adapter gadgets to be in-demand for legacy equipment connectivity for several more years.
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