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Desktop PC shows both Wireless and Wired LAN connections, but which one is it running on?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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May 29, 2013 7:43:57 PM

Hello,

Yesterday I finally installed the wireless module that came with my Asus P8Z77-V Pro MB. I did this installation because it was a feature that I thought would at least allow me to perhaps transfer files or photos from my iPhone, and I am not even sure about that yet. Otherwise, I have no need for it. My desktop computer has a wired Ethernet cable that runs from the router to the desktop PC. As we all know, no matter how good the wireless network is, it is never going to outdo or match a wired configuration. I download/upload a good deal of files so speed is important.

So here’s the deal, when I looked at the network control center today it shows two separate networks: one is called “SKYNET – Work Network” and the other is called “SKYNET 2 – Home Network.” SKYNET is the name of the network (SSID). It did not have two separate networks before yesterday but obviously setting up the wireless network created another network. But what does that mean for me?

With the Work network, the connection type is labeled as “Wireless Network Connection 2.” However, with the Home network it has an additional line that shows the word “Home Group” and then the word “Joined” across from it. Under that it reads “Connections” and across for this it shows “Local Area Connection” and then underneath that it has “Wireless Network Connection” (SKYNET). See example below.

Access Type: Internet
Home Group: Joined
Connections:
Local Area Connection
Wireless Network Connection
SKYNET

It seems like everything is in order except that I thought my Internet speed seemed slower today, and I started to wonder whether or not the desktop may be using the wireless network which is considerably slower than my wired network. I do not want my desktop to ever use the wireless network for Internet activity of any sort.

So how do I know which network my computer is using for accessing the Internet or for downloading torrents? Would the computer operating system (Windows 7 Ultimate) default to the faster network speed? Is the wireless network on but only setup to interact with other wireless devices like my iPhone?

So these are my questions that I need answered. Thanks for your feedback in advance.

Best solution

May 29, 2013 7:53:57 PM

Bring up your "Network and Sharing Center" window. Click on the "Change Adapter Settings" link at the upper left of the window. This will bring up your network connections, any network adapters you have. It should have a wired network connection and a wireless one.

- Right-mouse click on the wired connection, then left-click on Properties.
- Double-click on "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)"
- Click on the "Advanced" button at the bottom right of the window.
- Remove the checkmark from "Automatic metric" at the bottom left of the window
- Inside the "Interface metric" field near that removed checkmark, type "1". This will give your wired network port the highest priority.
- Click OK, OK, and OK.

Do the same thing for the wireless network connection, except in the "Interface metric" field, type something larger than "1", such as "10". That will ensure that the wireless network port is the last one chosen for communications.

That's the only way I know of to prioritize network ports when there are two or more of them on a PC.
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May 30, 2013 10:02:29 AM

mbreslin1954 said:
Bring up your "Network and Sharing Center" window. Click on the "Change Adapter Settings" link at the upper left of the window. This will bring up your network connections, any network adapters you have. It should have a wired network connection and a wireless one.

- Right-mouse click on the wired connection, then left-click on Properties.
- Double-click on "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)"
- Click on the "Advanced" button at the bottom right of the window.
- Remove the checkmark from "Automatic metric" at the bottom left of the window
- Inside the "Interface metric" field near that removed checkmark, type "1". This will give your wired network port the highest priority.
- Click OK, OK, and OK.

Do the same thing for the wireless network connection, except in the "Interface metric" field, type something larger than "1", such as "10". That will ensure that the wireless network port is the last one chosen for communications.

That's the only way I know of to prioritize network ports when there are two or more of them on a PC.


Dear mbreslin1954:

Thank you for your step-by-step guide on how to prioritize my wired network over the wireless one for my desktop computer. I suspect it would have taken more than a couple of google searches to come up with the same info you provided me here.

I did exactly what you wrote and so I expect that my desktop will not default to the wired network. I also thought that I could run a cable bandwidth speed test on my network that would probably confirm what network the desktop is running on now. Alas, I do not have a wirelessly configured laptop computer to compare my findings, but I think I can still make an educated guess nonetheless.

Again, thanks so much. Take care.
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May 30, 2013 10:10:18 AM

You can see what network port is being used by bringing up Task Manager, then go to the Network tab. It should show both of your networks, wired and wireless, and any traffic on either. You can run a speed test (www.speedtest.net) and then watch the Network tab in Task Manager and watch which network is being used.
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May 30, 2013 6:19:08 PM

mbreslin1954 said:
You can see what network port is being used by bringing up Task Manager, then go to the Network tab. It should show both of your networks, wired and wireless, and any traffic on either. You can run a speed test (www.speedtest.net) and then watch the Network tab in Task Manager and watch which network is being used.


Hey mbreslin1954,

I followed your instructions and accessed the Task Manager and then click on the Network window. From there I then ran an Internet speed test. While the test was running I did see an increase on the Wired Connection only, so I am sure that this is my default network connection. Interestingly, when I was looking at the Task Manager Network Window it listed three adapters: Comcast Ethernet, Wireless, and also Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter. I did google the name and read about it being some kind of virtual WiFi network that can be used with your other wireless network, as I understand it. I started to follow directions on how to utilize this Microsoft Virtual WiFi network but when I made a change to the Microsoft Wi-Fi it booted the Comcast Ethernet connection offline. The instruction did not say this would happen. I decided that not much good would likely come with playing with the various network settings. I was easily able to reconnect to the Comcast again (yeah!) and I double-checked that auto metric setting to make sure both wireless were set to a number ten and Comcast Ethernet set to one. Again. I appreciate your additional help in showing me how to check to see which network the computer is running off of at a given time. Take care.

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May 30, 2013 7:37:15 PM

Your welcome! Yeah, I would leave that virtual adapter alone. I think it's used for virtual machines, but I'm not sure, but I've left well enough alone and never messed with it.
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