What are the USB ports and Ethernet port on Thunderbolt Displays used for?

So my question is, what all things I can connect to Thunderbolt display's USB ports?
If I connect a thumb drive, will it be accessible? (on mac mini if its connected to thunderbolt display)

If I have connected a Mac mini's thunderbolt port to Thunderbolt display, and for Internet access if I connect LAN cable to Ethernet port of Thunderbolt display, will I get internet connection on my mac mini?

Apple Thunderbolt Display (27" flat panel)

Apple Thunderbolt Display (27" flat panel)

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1 Answer from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    The Thunderbolt display acts like a hub so the Thunderbolt ports and USB 2.0 ports are connected to the host computer in addition to any existing USB ports. The ethernet port in the display becomes a second ethernet port called "Display Ethernet" and if internet is available on this port, this service will become primary. The same goes for the Firewire 800 port. The main purpose of this is that you can connect ethernet and other peripherals and leave them connected and only the thunderbolt cable is needed to access all these devices. Also note that the captive thunderbolt cable is not necessarily required to connect to the display and all these ports. You can instead use any regular thunderbolt cable, which is reassurance should something go wrong with this cable with all the bending, inserting and removing going on on a regular basis.