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Wired and Wireless Connection

LockDown32 asked
Last Modified: 2019-01-11
In a corporate environment where a user has a laptop and it is connected both wired and wirelessly which connection takes precedence and why? Is the way to fix it by setting the metric on the wired lower?
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Top Expert 2011

Usually the wired takes precedence. Yes, a lower metic should cause the wireless to be used. Some OS's allow you to arrange the priority of the interfaces as well.
Top Expert 2016


It is Windows 10. Metrics on both interfaces are "Automatic". I really want the wired to be used whenever it is connected. So is setting the metric the industry standard was of doing it or is it a known that wired will take precedence in Windows environments?
Top Expert 2011
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Top Expert 2011

Do a netstat -rn from a command prompt. It should show you the current metrics on your box.
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2019

You said, "I really want the wired to be used whenever it is connected."

The simple way to do this is just disable WiFi when you have a hard connection, this way there's no requirement for managing connection type by priority.

So no guessing. If your WiFi is disabled, you're only connection type is wired.
Devin BeckerIdentity Management and Security
Distinguished Expert 2018

Normally wired takes precedence because almost all of the time the connection to the network is stronger. Most of your wireless signal strength is represented in dBm(typically something like: -48dBm). If you are in a corporate environment where there are multiple Access Points(APs), you will jump from AP to AP based off of the signal strength of those APs. Wired does not have this level of loss, and thus is a stronger connection, and more ideal.

Most of the windows settings default the connection to wired if it's available. If wired is not available, then it will search for wireless signals.

I agree with David, a simple way to make sure that you are using Wired is to switch off wireless on your laptop. This can be done by putting your laptop into airplane mode(typically done either with a switch on the front or side of the computer, or using one of the function keys at the top of your keyboard, but can also be done by clicking on the internet taskbar item and selecting airplane mode). This way you can be sure you are using your wired connection and you can easily turn the wireless on and off as needed.

Hope this helps give you an understanding of what is going on,

Devin Becker
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2019

As Devin said, "Normally wired takes precedence".

"Normally" is the key word here.

I have noticed on some Macs, no I don't know why, WiFi seems preferred over wired.

This is why I've taken to disabling WiFi on machines using wired connections.

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