Prioritize Wi-Fi or Ethernet When Using Both

Apr 22, 2022 at 07:00 am by Warlord720

Recently I started using Starlink as my ISP as I live in the middle of nowhere and was confined to 15 Mbps service from a local phone cooperative. It was a great DSL service when it was introduced… around twenty years ago when streaming was not prolific.

It might be a bit of an exaggeration when I say I am in the middle of nowhere but if it’s not, we are surely within a short drive of it. My county was on a map shown on national news as an “underserved” area for the internet, so funding has been provided to bring us broadband. Some new companies have sprung up to provide that service, but I had already signed up for Starlink over a year ago. Waiting for something is also normal in the middle of nowhere.

Nothing happens fast here… except the tumbleweeds rolling by.

I have a legacy security camera system that alerts me to visitors as I am usually in my backyard studio far away from the sound of any doorbell. This camera system is wired with no way discovered so far to bring it into the wireless age. The only way I have found to use it with the Starlink system is to keep the old network running, sans internet, for the local intranet camera system while using the wireless connection for Starlink.

While it works there was a bit of trial and error to get it to this point. I searched out solution after solution to prioritize my Wi-Fi connection, but none worked until I came upon a solution involving the Automatic Metric setting in the Advanced TCP/IP popup dialog. Default is AUTO so uncheck the box and input a number. This setting allows you to set priorities like 1 or 5 with the lowest number being the highest priority.

At first, I set the ethernet connection to 5 and the wireless to 3. Nothing changed so I reversed what I did by unchecking the Automatic Metric for the ethernet connection. Before I could do the same to the wireless connection, I noticed the taskbar indicator had changed from ethernet to wireless.

I then went into the house on another computer and set the wireless to 3 without touching the ethernet connection. Sure enough… within a short time, the taskbar indicator changed to wireless and has stayed that way to this writing.

After bootup, the computers can still default to the wired connection at times but all I have to do is connect to the wireless network and it maintains priority. I have verified this repeatedly by doing speed tests that show the active connection.

Auto Metering Using the Automatic metric to set connection priority.

Steps to Follow:

  1. Click the Start button and type Settings
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Network & Internet
  4. Select Change Adapter Options under Advanced Network Settings
  5. Right-click the connection you want to prioritize and Select Properties
  6. Double Click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
  7. Select Advanced
  8. Uncheck Automatic Metric
  9. Enter the desired number of priority. I used 3 but you can experiment here. The lower the number the higher priority.
  10. Click OK until you are back to the connections panel which you can close along with the settings panel.

As in all things Windows I can’t guarantee this will work for everyone, but it worked on very different computers running Windows 10 Pro in my setup. It seems to be doing just as I needed… prioritizing the wireless connection for internet while running the ethernet network for the legacy camera system. Now I can continue to see who is at my front door to make a more informed decision on releasing the hounds or being a good neighbor.

M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years.  Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website


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