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How do I specify a network connection in Windows XP?

How do I specify which network connection I want Windows XP to use as the Internet one?

Here's the situation: I have a wireless router connected to the cable modem. My two computers are connected to the Internet from wireless cards. At the same time, I want to connect them peer-to-peer with their gigibit NICs. The wireless router uses DHCP and 192.168.0.x as the network, and I have the two wired NICs manually set in the 192.168.1.x network.

For some reason, Windows XP decides it wants to use the wired connections for Internet, and won't use the wireless. The way I have had to do it is to make the wireless connections on both computers be ICS. This tells Windows to use the wireless connections as the Internet connections.

I want to use the gigabit as the peer-to-peer because I transfer large files back and forth, however I dislike having ICS on. Is there a better way to set this up?

To address this question, I would tell you to do one of two things.

First I would change the adapter's binding settings to default to the wireless network. You can change this setting by right-clicking on My Network Places and selecting the properties menu. On the Network Properties window, there's a menu item called Advanced. Go to Adavanced - > Advanced Settings. In there you will see the order in which the network bindings of the adapters work. You can reorder these according to which NIC you want to have the highest priority. I would recommend that you change this to the wireless network.

Then I would recommend you change the routing on the network cards to default the network to the other NIC if the destination IP address is in the network. You can do this by opening a command prompt on the desktop of each machine. If you type a route print into the command prompt window, you will see something like:

Add a route via the Route Add command to route the subnet to the other network card, e.g. route ADD MASK [IP of the other machine] METRIC 1 IF 2. This command will default the rest of the traffic through the other network card. I hope this helps to address your questions and allows you to configure your machines the way you like.

This was last published in November 2005

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