Q

We have both wired and wireless networks. Is there a way to set a default?

We have both wireless and hardwired network available in our office. It has been my experience that you can have both running, but it will run off the fastest connection available, so if you're connected with cable it will use that, but if you're not-- it will use wireless. Is there somewhere to tell it which connection to default to? Unfortunately, no. When you launch an application in Windows it will check your IP routing table for...

the best possible route (lowest metric). Under Microsoft Windows, the routing table is constructed using two factors:

  1. Shortest route to the destination
  2. Speed of the interfaces (bandwidth)

    With respect to the shortest route to the destination, assuming both wireless and wired interfaces are on the same subnet, they will be weighted equally. And, in this case, the second factor (bandwidth) will be the key differentiator.

    Recently (as of XP Service Pack 1), Microsoft have redefined the route metrics for different interface speeds to take into account wireless interfaces and like so;


    Link Speed Metric
    Greater than 200 Mb 10
    Greater than 20 Mb, and less than or equal to 200 Mb 20
    Greater than 4 Mb, and less than or equal to 20 Mb 30
    Greater than 500 kilobits (Kb), and less than or equal to 4 Mb 40
    Less than or equal to 500 Kb 50

    (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;299540)

    However, there is one last thing to know. When an application is opened it binds the TCP/IP session to the best interface at the time. If at a later stage a faster interface is enabled, any persistent sessions will NOT rebind to the new interface but rather stay bound to the existing interface.

This was first published in March 2004

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