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In Windows 7, how to select one from two diplayed networks

Posted on 2013-06-10
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Last Modified: 2013-06-13
My Windows 7 machine displays two networks in the network indicator on the task bar.

One is the displayed network which links via Ethernet to a modem. The other is the displayed network which is linked to a Novatel MiFi 2 'Intelligent Mobile Hotspot', which connects to 4G LTE internet.

I want to use the Ethernet link for normal use, and the MiFi network as a backup.

How do I switch between the two as required, experts, please?

Gordon
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Question by:Gordon_Atherley
8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 39236590
Hi Gordon,
In theory, Windows is supposed to pick the fastest connection available. Here's an interesting thread that talks about it:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-networking/wired-and-wireless-connections-on-the-same-windows/ee40d9a6-297b-46d4-b5c8-db57d927b62e

My personal experience (and that's all it is!), is that Windows doesn't always get it right, and I sometimes found it using the wireless connection even when it had a (faster) wired connection. So I've taken to disabling the wireless connection when I'm wired. You should be able to do the same thing with the MiFi connection, although I'm not familiar with that particular one. You should be able to have a one-click disable and a one-click enable, allowing you to switch between the two, as required.

However, if you want the MiFi connection to kick in automatically as a backup when the wired connection goes down, then you'll want to implement the ideas in the thread above...and hope for the best when you're wired. Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 39236595
I go to "Change adapter settings" and disable the one I don't want.  But it would probably work to pull the patch cord when the wired connection is not available
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Expert Comment

by:vuhanguyen
ID: 39236600
The easiest way is disable your 4G connection when your Ethernet connection is up and enable it when the Ethernet is down.

- Go to: Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings
- Right click to your connection to disable or enable it

The other way is more complicated. You can manually configure your network connection as your want by command-line:

Windowx + r > cmd > Enter

Use "route" command to manipulate your network routing table, for example:

route  print (show your routing table)

route ADD 157.0.0.0 MASK 255.0.0.0  157.55.80.1 METRIC 3 IF 2  (add a route with metric)
 destination^                        ^mask        ^gateway    metric^    ^Interface

In your situtation you can set:
route ADD 0.0.0.0 MASK 0.0.0.0  157.55.80.1 METRIC 5 IF 1 (157.55.80.1 - IP of Ethernet gateway)
route ADD 0.0.0.0 MASK 0.0.0.0  157.55.90.1 METRIC 10 IF 2 (157.55.90.1 - IP 4G gateway)
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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Rahman
ID: 39239892
If your machine has a WiFi On-Off toggle switch, position the switch to OFF and you will connected to internet via cable (provided the cable is connected).

Position the switch to ON and unplug the cable to access internet via MiFi

You can also force Windows to select Ethernet as first priority (when available) and select MiFi in case Ethernet is not good.

Go to -- Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections
Press and hold the Alt Key and press F - This will highlight File - Edit - View - Tools - Advanced - Help.

Click on Advanced and then Advance Settings.
Change the order or the connections under Connections box.
Move Ethernet at the top and MiFi below Ethernet.

Doing so, your computer will always try to pick Ethernet as primary connection and switch to MiFi only if Ethernet fails.

** Are you looking for a soft toggle where you don't want to keep plug/unplug cable and turn wifi on/off?
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Author Comment

by:Gordon_Atherley
ID: 39245349
Are you looking for a soft toggle where you don't want to keep plug/unplug cable and turn wifi on/off?

Yes, please!
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Accepted Solution

by:
Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 500 total points
ID: 39245381
Gordon,
You may put a shortcut to your MiFi adapter on your Start menu and/or the desktop as follows:

Control Panel
Network and Sharing Center
Change adapter settings
Right-click on the MiFi adapter and select Create Shortcut

It will say that it can't create the shortcut there and ask if you want it on the desktop instead...click Yes. You may then copy/paste the shortcut onto your Start menu (or cut/paste if you don't want to leave it on the desktop).

This shortcut will act as a toggle for the MiFi adapter. When the MiFi adapter is enabled, this shortcut will bring up a dialog box with a disable button...simply click it to disable the MiFi. When the MiFi adapter is disabled, this shortcut will automatically enable it. Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:Gordon_Atherley
ID: 39245406
Aha!

Thanks, Joe, just what I needed.
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 39245435
Gordon,
Glad to hear it! Regards, Joe
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