How to force laptop to connect to wired instead of Wi-Fi connection

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Mobile
Networking
Wi-Fi
Wireless networking
My hotel room has both Wi-Fi and wired Internet access. The Wi-Fi is marginal so I'm trying to use the cat5 wired connection. My laptop defaults to the Wi-Fi connection. How can I force my computer to use the wired connection as opposed to the Wi-Fi one? This question was asked by a SearchNetworking.com reader.

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Most Windows computers will automatically use wireless if it’s available, even if you also have a wired connection plugged in. When using your wired connection, it’s best to disable wireless for optimal performance. Follow these instructions to Disable or Enable your wireless connection.
Disable

1. Click Start and go to Control Panel
2. if your Control Panel doesn’t show network connections, click Switch to Classic View on the left side
3. Double click on Network Connections
4.Right Click on Wireless Network Connection and choose Disable

When you want to switch back to using wireless normally you will need to re-enable the connection by doing essentially what you just did backwards:

1. Clicking Start and going to Control Panel
2. Double click on Network Connections
3. Right click on the Wireless Network Connection and
4. Choose Enable

Or if you do not want to disable you wifi you can set it to only connect to preferred networks read this:

1. Wireless Auto Configuration attempts to connect to the preferred networks that appear in the list of available networks in the preferred networks preference order, if the preferred networks are configured to automatically connect (the Connect when this network is within range checkbox is selected on the Connection tab for the properties of the preferred wireless network).

2. If there are no successful connections, Wireless Auto Configuration attempts to connect to the preferred networks that do not appear in the list of available networks, in the preferred networks preference order. This is done so that a Windows wireless client can connect to a hidden wireless network, one that is either not broadcasting its SSID or broadcasting an SSID of NULL. Configuring hidden wireless networks is used as a security measure to prevent malicious users from detecting and attempting a connection to a wireless network. However, the SSID is included in other types of wireless connection management frames and is easily discoverable by either capturing wireless management frames or using tools available on the Internet.

3. If there are no successful connections and there is an ad hoc network in the list of preferred networks that is available, Wireless Auto Configuration tries to connect to it.

4. If there are no successful connections and there is an ad hoc network in the list of preferred networks that is not available, Wireless Auto Configuration configures the wireless network adapter to act as the first node in the ad hoc network.

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  • Robert Stewart
    Sometimes in xp, you can right click the network connection and there will be an option to set this connection as the default connection, meaning it will be the first connection that is tried. Hope this helps.
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  • CosmoC
    Disabling wireless is the sure bet method but not always practical. By default the wired connection should have automatic priority over the wireless connection (with a few exceptions). Setting static routes that force a lower (higher priority) metric on your wired interface and higher (lower priority) metric on your WiFi NIC should do the trick. Manual Routes will be lost when the laptop is rebooted so make sure you use the -p switch if you want them to be persistent.
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  • Schmidtw
    You can always go into the BIOS and power off your wireless adapter. This will set the primary address for networking interface to the the Ethernet port MAC address as opposed to the wireless adapter's MAC address. To verify this change, simply have the wireless adapter on, Start>Run>cmd>ipconfig /all and look for Physical Address...then disable the feature in BIOS, start up, Start.Run>cmd>ipconfig /all and check the Physical Address, it should have changed. If you are concerned about the wireless device working once you have changed the setting in the BIOS, remember the device is powered to search for wireless networks automatically, this will keep it powered off until YOU want to search for wireless networks.
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