Jun 30 2012   7:43PM GMT

How to Prefer Wired Connections on Windows 7

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all,

A friend recently was very frustrated about wired/wireless options on her laptop. She has a hard network connection at her home office, but also uses the laptop elsewhere in the house. What she was doing was just using wireless wherever she was (including her desk) and never plugging in. Then… one day, she plugged in and realized how much greater the Internet speed was. “But I have to turn off the wifi to use it!” she said. “I don’t want to keep manually turning it off and on every day!”

Her computer was using wireless as the primary connection. But… since Windows uses the network connection with the lowest metric when there is more than one connection available, this means you can force it to use wired by changing the metrics. We went ahead and changed her settings to prefer wired… meaning no manual changes needed as she went from wireless to wired and the assurance she would be using the faster wired connection when she was plugged in. (She says it changed her life. Perhaps a bit dramatic, but nonetheless, it’s a fantastic tip to be aware of to ensure a good Internet speed experience.)

Here’s how you do it with Windows 7:

1. Go to the Start menu. Type in Run, hit enter and type ncpa.cpl then OK.
2. Right click on your Wireless Connection.
3. Choose “Properties.”
4. Doubleclick “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).”
5. Click on “Advanced.”
6. Uncheck “Automatic Metric.”
7. Enter the number 15 in “Interface Metric.”
8. Click OK on all windows.
9. Next, right click the Wired Connection.
10. Choose “Properties.”
11. Doubleclick “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).”
12. Click on “Advanced.”
13. Uncheck “Automatic Metric.”
14. Enter the number 10 in “Interface Metric.”
15. Click OK on all windows.

Essentially, you can enter any value under “Interface Metric” as long as the Wired is lower than the Wireless. Then Windows 7 will choose Wired when you have both on. And… no more manual switching.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)

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