A. If you computer has wireless and wired connections, it's common to want to use the wired network if available, because it's generally faster than the wireless network. The network that's chosen for traffic when multiple networks exist with a default gateway is the network with the lowest metric. In Windows, this metric is set automatically by default, and a wire-connected network has a lower metric than a wireless network, so your wired network will be chosen over your wireless network. This can be seen in the results from my route print command, shown here. The interface is my wired connection and has a metric of 20, while the wireless network has a metric of 25.

                              IPv4 Route Table                              ===========================================================================                              Active Routes:                              Network Destination        Netmask          Gateway       Interface  Metric                                   20                                   25                                     On-link    306                                     On-link    306                               On-link    306                                  On-link    281                                On-link    281                                On-link    281                                     On-link    306                                     On-link    281                               On-link    306                               On-link    281                              

The automatic choice of the network with the lowest metric can be changed by modifying the TCP/IP settings of your network connections through the Advanced properties, as shown here. If you want the wireless to be used over the wired, unselect the Automatic metric and set a lower value than the wired.

Click to expand.

Related Reading:
  • Q. I’m using MAC filtering on my wireless access point. Do I still need to use encryption?
  • Buyer's Guide: Enterprise Wireless Routers
  • Q. I've configured Routing and Remote Access to connect two subnets, but clients can't communicate to servers via the router. What's wrong?
  • Windows Vista’s Wireless Security

  • Check out hundreds more useful Q&As like this in John Savill's FAQ for Windows. Also, watch instructional videos made by John at ITTV.net.