Is there a way to have a LAN gaming party with an ethernet switchbox for gaming but have an internal Wi-Fi card running on each machine if it wants internet access? What I mean is, I want my LAN to be used for games but NOT have windows try to use it for internet access while leaving each computer's Wi-Fi on to access internet from our WLAN network if they want music from youtube, etc.
Yes, if you have all the Ethernet connections on a switch with static addresses, you can allow the machines to all connect to the Internet with their wireless on a wireless router.
You just need to set the priority of each machine's adapters so that the wireless is above the wired to make the Internet connection. In Windows 7/8 that is done in the network control panel, change adapter settings, advance (if you don't see it hit the alt key and it will show up), then advanced settings, adapters and bindings tab, then just move the connections up or down so that wireless is above LAN.
Only give each machine a default gateway (the wireless router) for the wireless connection in a different subnet than the static wired connections. Each machine will go to the default gateway via wireless for unknown addresses (i.e. Internet addresses).
Is there any reason that you would not want to use the LAN for both Ethernet and the game?
Ethernet won't reach our gaming room. And I have one more question: since our wifi is also a lan itself, how can I be sure that if I select "lan" in games, it will use the Ethernet and not try to use a lan over the wifi? I don't really want to disrupt our wifi network itself, so would I have to set each machine to be not discoverable over the wifi so that lan games would have to look to the wired lan? Or is there an easier option. Thanks again for your help
Whichever adapter has a higher priority will be used preferentially. In the network control panel, change adapter settings, Advanced (if you don't see advanced hit the alt key), choose advanced settings, adapters and bindings tab, insure that the LAN is above the wireless.
First question I am going to assume you are asking how to have both active at the same time and if you were to play a game and video on the same machine it would use the proper interface ? If not it is pretty easy to turn nic on and off in the network settings to manually force which to use.
Second question would be can you set your wireless to be in a different subnet than the wired network. Some advanced routers allows this it would called vlan support sometimes. Other routers let you have a "guest" ssid and use a different subnet for that ssid.
If you can do it this way then you can use the route command and manipulate the metric.
Now if you can not get your wireless and wired nic on different subnets it gets very hard to make this work. You can if you hack around around enough tell the PC to actually use a interface rather than a gateway for the traffic..technically it is the same gateway. The problem will be the router may send the traffic back using the other interface. The only way around this is to put 2 ip from the same subnet one on each interface. I have been told you can do this but I have never figured out what to edit in the registry to get windows to allow this.
Ok, so if I understand you correctly, placing the LAN over the WiFi in preferences but giving the WiFi a default gateway will make the network choose LAN gaming through the wired network over the WiFi network, but it will not attempt to grab (nonexistent) internet through the LAN because it won't have a default gateway. For the subnet part, what will I put in for each computer on the LAN network? I'm assuming they all need to have the same subnet mask, but it needs to be different from my WiFi.
Using my mad paint skills, I drew up a quick map of what I want to do. You'll have to forgive me if its hard to express my point. I'm very computer savvy but totally new to networking.