The cheapest 10Gb Ethernet adapter has just landed

(Image credit: OWC)

OWC has started sales of its Thunderbolt 3 to 10 GbE adapter that is designed to add fast networking connectivity to modern PCs featuring Thunderbolt 3 ports. Compatible with both Macs and Windows PCs, OWC’s Thunderbolt 3 10G is the cheapest 10 GbE adapter with a Thunderbolt 3 interface announced to date. 

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 10G is based on Marvell’s Aquantia AQtion AQC107S controller that works in concert with as Intel’s JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 controller (also known as Alpine Ridge). 

Since the product is bus powered, it can work out-of-box, but needs a driver for Microsoft’s Windows. While the adapter can work with all systems featuring a Thunderbolt 3 port, it is not guaranteed to work with all USB-C hosts given the fact that it uses the Alpine Ridge chip.

Faster Ethernet for every laptop

The Thunderbolt 3 10G is compatible with both emerging and existing Ethernet standards, including10GBASE-T, 5GBASE-T, 2.5GBASE-T, 1000BASE-T, and 100BASE-T over an RJ-45 connector using CAT-6 or CAT-7 cables.

OWC’s Thunderbolt 3 10G adapter is essentially a rebadged version of Akitio’s T3-10G adapter released a couple of years ago, which is something to be expected given the fact that OWC acquired Akitio last year. Both products use the same enclosure and the same internals, so the new one is essentially a proven product under a new logotype available through some additional channels. 

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 10G is now available directly from the company and from its resellers for $149. While $149 may not seem as a bargain for a network dongle, keep in mind that TB3-enabled devices are generally not cheap, whereas 10GbE remains a prerogative of corporations and prosumers.


Anton Shilov is the News Editor at AnandTech, Inc. For more than four years, he has been writing for magazines and websites such as AnandTech, TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Kit Guru, EE Times, Tech & Learning, EE Times Asia, Design & Reuse.