Intel’s Thunderbolt Share is the easiest way yet to link and share data between two PCs

Intel has unveiled its Thunderbolt Share technology, which utilizes the bandwidth on offer from Thunderbolt 4 and 5 ports to share and sync data, and control two PCs with one keyboard and mouse. 

Thunderbolt Share configuration examples

(Image credit: Intel)

It's not the first way to link two PCs. I've used crossover cables in years past, and I recall using a USB link device about a decade back, but this method looks like it will be the easiest way yet to link two PCs together. It's not quite a plug and play solution though, as it will need a software app to work.

At its most basic, Thunderbolt Share is a great way to share data between two computers that would eliminate the need to use flash drives or external hard drives to transfer data. It supports drag and drop functionality, and automatic folder sync. I really like the idea of using this to transfer Steam backups between benchmarking systems!

Beyond data sharing, Thunderbolt Share supports remote access, so you can control a second PC using one monitor, keyboard and mouse. It supports screen sharing at up to 1080p at 60fps. Support for 1440p or 4K would be nice, but that's something that could come in the future.

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Thunderbolt Share can be licensed with Thunderbolt accessories. Docks would be the most logical example, while things like monitors with multiple Thunderbolt ports could use it too. As it's an Intel technology, and separate from USB4, AMD owners appear to be out of luck, at least for now.

Intel emphasizes the security aspects of Thunderbolt Share. It supports VT-d and Windows User Access Control. And, sharing data over a cable is inherently more secure than using WiFi, a wide area network or the cloud. 

Apart from a couple of tests with external GPUs in years past, I have never used a Thunderbolt device on any of my home systems. I quite like how this sounds, and this might be the first time I consider using Thunderbolt on a day-to-day basis. We'll have to wait and see just how the app performs in practice before giving it the thumbs up though.

Intel says Thunderbolt Share will be offered on select PCs and accessories starting in the second half of 2024. Lenovo, Acer, MSI, Razer, Kensington, Belkin, Promise, Plugable, OWC and others are on board, with more announcements to come.


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