Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to prefer Ethernet over Wifi?

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    How to prefer Ethernet over Wifi?


    This is on a Windows 8.1 Pro system, with an on-board Intel Gigabit Ethernet port, and a generic USB wifi adapter (Ralink adapter, using MS drivers). The ethernet port connects to an Asus router, which in turn connects to a cable modem from my ISP (Optimum online). The Wifi adapter is configured to connect to hotspots (Optimum Wifi) near my house.

    I am using the 2 networks because I need 2 separate external IP addresses to test some web development I have been doing. I am hosting an application over my ethernet connection, but I want to connect to it with clients through the wifi connection.

    Both adapters are configured to use DHCP, and both have internet connectivity. I have changed the interface metrics to 5 for the ethernet adapter, and 60 for the wifi adapter. I have also re-ordered the "Adapters and Bindings" list (accessed through "Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network Connections > Alt-key > Advanced > Advanced Settings"), so the ethernet adapter is 1st and the wifi adapter is 2nd.

    None of this works though. For some reason, I cannot get windows to respect any of the priorities I have set. Whenever I open any application, by default it will always choose the wifi adapter. I am forced to disable the wifi adapter entirely, open the applications I want to use with the ethernet adapter, then re-enable wifi. Even when I do that, some of the applications I have already opened will revert to using the wifi adapter randomly.

    Since the interface metric and "Adapters and Bindings" list don't work, is there any other option? Is there any 3rd party apps that will make the system work correctly? Is this a known bug with my version of Windows (I haven't found any hotfixes)?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    It seems the "Adapters and Bindings" list is actually broken in the Network settings...If I have the ethernet adapter at the top of the list (1st), and wifi below it (2nd), then wifi is always used by default. If I swap the order and have wifi at top (1st) and ethernet under it (2nd), then ethernet is used by default.

    I'm going to test this more, but can anyone else confirm this? Such a blatant bug...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    There is nothing broken in Network Settings. Nor is there a blatant bug.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by broe23 View Post
    There is nothing broken in Network Settings. Nor is there a blatant bug.
    Can you offer a solution then? Or an explanation why it doesn't work properly?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    Quote Originally Posted by Bearonthejob View Post
    Can you offer a solution then? Or an explanation why it doesn't work properly?
    Because you are doing it wrong. You cannot use two connections at once, unless you have it Load balanced for allowing a failover or if you have a connection with slow download or upload.

    All that you can do is run a Virtual Machine and use one adapter with the VM.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by broe23 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bearonthejob View Post
    Can you offer a solution then? Or an explanation why it doesn't work properly?
    Because you are doing it wrong. You cannot use two connections at once, unless you have it Load balanced for allowing a failover or if you have a connection with slow download or upload.

    All that you can do is run a Virtual Machine and use one adapter with the VM.
    You can use 2 connections at once, as long as each application is bound to a specific network adapter. I am doing that now with my dev applications - the host application is bound to the ethernet adapter, and the client application is bound to the wifi adapter.

    The issue is that other, normal applications I'm running on my machine (Google Chrome, Skype, Spotify, etc.) are not properly following the priorities for network adapters (I forgot to clarify this part in my original post, so maybe that confused you). They ignore both the interface metrics I've set and the Adapter and Bindings priorities, and they always bind to the wifi adapter.

    I need to keep both adapters active so I can test my host and client applications properly. But this basically renders every other application on my system useless, as they always use the wifi adapter (which is significantly slower than the ethernet). Still no solution though, and the more I read, the more people I find complaining about the same issue, even in Windows 10.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    Again you cannot use two Network adapters at the same time inside windows. You have to use a Virtual Machine to use one of them. What you are attempting to do, has never been allowed, unless you are using Windows Pro versions to "Load Balance" as a Gateway/Router, or "Bridging" two adapters, to be able to say use the Wifi to connect to a Captive Portal.

    Your only way for testing is to either shut down one and enable the other Network device. Or run a Virtual Machine to be able to test the software in the actual OS and in the VM.

    Back in 7, you used to be able to change the IPv4 Metrics for the two adapters and use that as a Bandaid. You uncheck Automatic Metric and give each adapter a different number. With the changes to 8 & 10, no one has posted if it still works, since 7 was cousin of XP, 8 & 10 are cousins of each other, with very major changes in how network handling is done.

    This goes over the changes with 10, but should also be the same with 8. Adjusting the Network Protocol Bindings in Windows 10 - Microsoft Enterprise Networking Team - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

    You can also try "ForceBindIP", which has been around a long time, and has been updated to start working with Windows 10. It is another Band Aid, but it has always worked for those who need to do what you want, without the whole metrics thing in IPv4 for both adapters. https://www.raymond.cc/blog/bind-win...h-forcebindip/
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Thanks for the extra info. I've read that Windows 10 link before, and I've seen similar articles for WIndows 8. I've tried all the recommendations listed in the link (as described in my OP), but nothing works. Netstat and the "Get-NetIPInterface" through Powershell both report proper priorities for all my adapters. But Windows seems to ignore the priorities.

    I use ForceBindIP pretty regularly, and I am using a similar technique within my own applications, binding to specific network interfaces at the socket layer. I have written a few batch files to launch my commonly used applications with ForceBindIP as well. But I was hoping for a system-wide option in Windows, that would default all applications to a specific adapter without requiring the ForceBindIP tricks.

    It's frustrating that Windows still has these interface metric and binding priority options, but they don't actually do anything anymore...I wish they would have just removed them instead of leaving them non-functional.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    Windows Desktop is not made to be used as a Gateway or for connection sharing anymore. That went away when Vista came out.

    So in turn you have to use the software in the link I posted.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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