Preventing Windows 7 from using both wired and wireless network connections simultaneously

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 12 Dec. 2011 / Last Updated on 12 Dec. 2011]

Here's a tip on how to prevent Windows 7 from using both wired and wireless network connections simultaneously.

Say your Windows 7 computer is connected to a wireless access point and you connect the machine to a LAN drop on your corporate network. Your computer is now connected to both a wireless and wired network. Which one will be used?

Existing network connections will continue to use the wireless access point until they are renewed. But since a LAN connection has a lower metric than a wireless connection, any new network connections you set up will go over the LAN instead of through the access point. Unfortunately that may not be what you desire, and for security reasons you may want to disable all wireless connections whenever you connect your computer to a wired LAN. But there's no in-box way of doing this in Windows 7, so what can you do?

Some laptop vendors include utilities or BIOS settings that enable disabling of wireless connections whenever a wired connection is detected. If your computer doesn't include such capabilities however, you can try AWDD (Automatic Wireless Disabler Daemon) a tool on Codeplex that lets you disable your wireless adapter when your computer is connected to an Ethernet network. For more information about AWDD and to obtain this utility, go to http://awdd.codeplex.com

Mitch Tulloch is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. For more tips by Mitch you can follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

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