Intel’s Thunderbolt Share Provides Fast PC-to-PC Screen and File Sharing

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Key Takeaways

  • Intel has unveiled Thunderbolt Share technology that provides a speedy PC-to-PC link.
  • You can share screens at very high quality, and transfer files quickly.
  • It's coming to PCs in the second half of 2024, including from Acer, Lenovo, and Razer.

Intel has revived direct PC connections by launching Thunderbolt Share, a software feature that lets two Thunderbolt-equipped computers establish a fast link.

So long as the computers are running Windows and have Thunderbolt 4 or 5 ports, they can provide uncompressed, highly responsive screen sharing between each other. You can quickly drag-and-drop files, too.

Thunderbolt Share works through a direct cable connection, but it also works through docks and monitors. It’s a private connection that won’t affect network performance, Intel said.

The feature will come to PCs that are licensed for Thunderbolt Share in the second half of 2024, as well as matching accessories. PC makers like Acer, Lenovo, MSI, and Razer have already signalled support, as have accessory brands like Belkin, Kensington, OWC, and Promise.

Effectively, Intel is bringing back the concept of file transfer cables, which generally faded away when Ethernet and Wi-Fi became ubiquitous. Unlike old serial cables, though, this is useful for considerably more.

The current limitations might affect adoption. There’s no official support for AMD-based PCs, as you might expect, and there’s no mention of bringing the technology to Thunderbolt-capable Macs. For now, Thunderbolt Share will depend on both you and the other PC user both having reasonably modern Intel-based systems.

There’s also the question of whether or not it will remain alluring. Technologies like Wi-Fi 7 and 10Gbps Ethernet aren’t as fast, but may be good enough for people who only occasionally need large files.