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How can I use 2 network connections on 1 computer at the same time?

Posted on 2004-08-16
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Last Modified: 2008-02-07
I have a computer that is used in a mobile installation.  It has a NIC card connected to a Wireless Access Point.  This access point is connected to a Bridge so that the bridge can connect to other access points to provide internet to the access point.

I also have an AT&T AirCard installed in the computer.  This is the primary connection for this computer.  Unfortunately, unless the LAN is disabled, the computer will not utilize the AirCard connection; even though the AirCard connects to the network fine.

This equipment is installed in a vehicle that is used by non-technical people.  I would like to not have to have the LAN disabled and enabled as needed.  How can I set the computer up so that the LAN connection does not need to be disabled in order to utilize the AirCard connection?

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:BlueTraveler
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8 Comments
 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Gary Dewrell
ID: 11817108
Hi BlueTraveler,

Try changing the binding order by doing this.
Right click on My network places
Select properties
Click on the advanced tab at the top of the windows
Choose Advanced Settins from the menu
In the top box highlight your AirCard connection and click on the up arrow to move it to the lop of the list.




God Bless
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:shad0_cheng
ID: 11817487
If what you are doing is using 2 different connection then you can only have 1 default gateway, so pick one and set both cards to use the same default gateway in TCP/IP properties. (hint: pick the one you use most for internet)

You can get your TCP/IP configuration and settings by:
Click "Start" Button -> "Run" -> type in "cmd" <enter>
in the DOS prompt type "ipconfig /all"

write down the settings, then right click on your network place icon -> properties, that should bring you to the window with all the active network connections, right click on LAN connection and change the default gateway to the AIRCard's.
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Author Comment

by:BlueTraveler
ID: 11819607
Thank you gdewrell!  I will try your suggestions this evening when I have access to the vehicle.  Your suggestion makes alot of sense.
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Author Comment

by:BlueTraveler
ID: 11824692
GDEWRELL:

I have tried your solution on another machine.  With the machine connected to a LAN through the NIC card, I then dialed up to my provider using the AirCard.  Even though the AirCard is listed first in my list of Adapters in the Advanced Settings of My Network places, all internet traffic still uses the LAN connection.

My problem would be similar to setting up a home network with dial up internet.  If I had a machine that dialed up to the internet, but also had a NIC card in it to connect to an internal network, how would that be done.  Can it be done?

I have been told that Windows automatically selects the fastest connection for network traffic.  In all cases, this is going to be the Ethernet connection in the NIC card.  I know it is a simple task to disable and enable the LAN as needed, but I am trying to make this process as seamless as possible, because the people that will be using the set up always make things complicated.

I appreciate your help on this.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:BlueTraveler
ID: 11826215
GDEWRELL:

I have tried your solution on the mobile setup in question.  This did not work.  All network traffic still tries to go out through the LAN port.  Any other suggestions???  I cannot use the suggestion above about setting both connections to the same default gateway, as that will prevent the LAN connection from working when there is a valid internet connection through it.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:BlueTraveler
ID: 11827337
Thank you all for your time.  I have found the solution on Microsoft's web site.

Windows automatically assigns a metric value to a connection based upon that connection's speed.  You can manually set the metrics for the connections, and set a slower connection with a faster metric, thus forcing Windows to use the slower connection for internet instead of the faster connection.  If the slower connection is not present (because I didn't dial up to it), then Windows will use the next available connection (the LAN).  I have tested this out and it works like a champ!!

Here is the link that shows the instructions and background info if you would like to check it out:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;299540&Product=winxp
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