How to Prioritize Network Adapters for Internet Connections [Windows / Linux]

I recently had plugged in a router to my laptop through the Ethernet port. But to my disappointment, I found that Windows began routing all connections through the Ethernet when I wanted to use the Wireless for internet. Thus I began finding a way to prioritize the network adapters for internet connections.

This guide is to help others who find themselves in a similar situation.

If you are a Windows user, click on the network icon in your system tray and then click on the link that is titled “Open Network and Sharing Center.”

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In the left panel of the window that opens up, click on the link that is titled “Change adapter settings.”

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The resulting window will show all of your network adapters. Right click on the adapter that you want to prioritize for internet connections. From the context menu that appears, click on the Properties option.

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A window will be displayed that will list the properties of that particular adapter. After clicking on the ‘Internet Protocol Version 4’ option, you should click on the Properties button. This opens up the TCP/IPv4 options for the adapter.

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Now click on the button labeled ‘Advanced’ from the subsequent window.

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Over here you will find a checkbox labeled ‘Automatic metric’. Windows prioritizes network adapters based on this setting.

Go ahead and unmark this checkbox. The bottom text field will be enabled. Enter any numerical value, beginning from 1. The lower the value, the higher that adapter is prioritized. So if you prefer ‘Adapter A’ to be used for the internet rather than ‘Adapter B’, you could put in a value of 1 in Adapter A’s metric field and a value of 2 in Adapter B’s metric field.

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Once you have done this for all your network adapters, you might want to restart your network connections in case you do not observe the changes taking effect right away.

On Ubuntu machines, the same can be achieved in a different way. All you have to do is open up the Network Connections window – in order to open this window, click on the network icon in the top right and click on Edit Connections from the dropdown menu.

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From the Network Connections window, click on an adapter and then click on the Edit button which will be subsequently enabled. In the resulting window, open the tab titled ‘IPv4 Settings’.

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You will find a button labeled Routes. Click on it.

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In order to use any adapter strictly for non-internet networking in Ubuntu, mark the checkbox which is labeled “Use this connection only for resources on its network.” Repeat this for all adapters / connections that you do not want to use the internet with.

And there you have it – how to prioritize network adapters for internet connections on Windows and Ubuntu. If you have suggestions on how to do this in an easier way, please share them in the comments section.

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