Ethernet is the most common way intended for local area networks. It uses physical optical fiber cables for computer-networking components. On the other hand, Wi-Fi is a technology that enables Wireless LAN Networks to electronic devices using 2.4 GHz Ultra high frequency (UHF) and 5 GHz SHF ISM radio bands. But have you ever wondered if you can use Ethernet and WIFI together on Windows 10 and Windows 11?
Most people prefer Wi-Fi to connect to the internet because it doesn’t require physical wires and provides easy access. However, Computing devices such as laptops and desktops still have Ethernet ports. Many users widely connect to the Ethernet, switch their Wi-Fi on to toggle between them, and get continuous connectivity whenever required.
If you are a Windows 11/10 user and always connect to the internet through Wi-Fi but want to connect to the Ethernet network when it is available, follow the steps given below.
How to use Ethernet and WIFI together on Windows 11/10
While it can be done, we must prioritize one network over others. So here is how to prioritize Ethernet while keeping the Wi-Fi on. Ethernet or Lan cables will always deliver better stability. There are three ways:
- Ethernet Properties Method
- Windows Terminal/PowerShell
- Control Panel
You will need admin privileges to complete these suggestions to use WiFi and Ethernet at the same time Windows 11.
1] Ethernet Properties Method
- On Windows 11, go to Settings > Network and Internet > Advanced Network Settings > More Network Adapter options.
- On Windows 10, Open Control Panel > Network and Share Center > Change adapter settings.
- Select the Ethernet you want to prioritize, right-click and select Properties.
- Select TCP/IP4 or IP6 and click on the Properties button.
- Under the General tab, locate the Advanced Button, and click on it.
- At the bottom of IP Settings, uncheck the Automatic Metric Box
- Make the Interface metric as low as possible, i.e., 1 or 2, which is a better priority.
To confirm, repeat the steps for Wifi Adapter, and set the priority lower than Ethernet. Windows will now connect over Ethernet first and Wifi next. This way, you have a backup if any of the connections fail.
2] Windows Terminal/PowerShell Method
Get-NetIPInterface is a PowerShell command that displays all network adapters, including the index number and the interface metric we saw above.
You will have to run the following command to change the priority
Set-NetIPInterface -InterfaceIndex <Adapter Index> -InterfaceMetric <New Priority of Adapter>
Now that we know the Index of the Adapter and the Metric value, we can change it.
- Open PowerShell or Windows Terminal.
- Type Get-NetIPInterface and press the Enter key.
- Note down the Ethernet Adapter Index, type and execute the command
- Set-NetIPInterface -InterfaceIndex <4> -InterfaceMetric <3>
- Repeat the same for the Wifi Adapter, and set it right below what you chose for Ethernet
- Set-NetIPInterface -InterfaceIndex <6> -InterfaceMetric <4>
Note: The adapter with a lower InterfaceMetric, gets more priority over a higher one i.e. Windows 11 prioritize ethernet over wifi.
3] Control Panel Method
Now that you know better how to use wifi and ethernet at the same time Windows 11? The classic control panel allows you to do it.
First of all, open Control Panel. You can search for it in the Start Menu—type Control Panel in the search box.
- Click on Network and Internet
- Select Network and Sharing Center
- Click on Change Adaptor Settings, which is located on the left side.
A new screen will pop up and show you the list of networks available. It would help to press the Alt key on your keyboard to get all menus for this window.
- Click on Advanced
- Select Advanced Settings from the list.
In the Advanced Settings window under connection, you will see the list of all connections, including your Wi-Fi and Ethernet. You need to highlight the Ethernet connection by selecting it and using the arrow key on the right side to re-order the listing. Once the Ethernet appears at the top of the list, hit OK.
If you notice the Network Providers list, select Microsoft Windows Network, and move it to the top.
How will routing work after setting up the priority?
After this, your Windows will prioritize your Ethernet over the Wi-Fi. You can change the setting whenever you want by following the same steps and prioritizing your Wi-Fi to get preference over the Wired Ethernet connection. That way, you can use ethernet and wifi at the same time Windows 11.
You can only access the internet through one of these in one device as they all use the same gateway. Practically, it is impossible to browse the internet through one connection and download files from the other simultaneously If you have one NIC.
If you have two network interface controllers and use two internet connections through Wi-Fi and Wired Ethernet, it is possible to use both in tandem with a manual setup of the subnet and gateway for every connection. It is necessary to know that all DNS requests go through the gateway.
Thus you need to set a gateway for the primary internet connection only. A link will be directed to the subnet if it falls within it. Otherwise, it will route through the gateway device.
Switching the internet connection from Wi-Fi to Ethernet is helpful if you use a single device at two places, like home and work because it allows you to port the device and get the internet without interruption. To combine wifi and ethernet in Windows is possible based on the discussed configuration.
What happens if you have Ethernet and WiFi at the same time?
The network will take a route based on the priority of the adapters. While Ethernet usually has more priority, if the Wifi speed is better, then Windows may choose it. However, if you have a Gigabit Ethernet port, Wifi might never be used unless it’s the last option. So it is possible in Windows 11 to use ethernet and wifi simultaneously, but you cannot manually switch between them, and Windows will automatically switch from ethernet to wifi as per the requirement.
Do I need Ethernet if I have WiFi?
If you have an excellent WIFI adapter that can deliver speed, you don’t need to connect over Ethernet. However, an Ethernet connection will deliver better speed if you use one of those cheaper adapters.
Since we are talking about a Desktop, it all depends on your router location from your PC. If it’s close by and you can run the network cable, then go ahead with an Ethernet connection.
I hope the post was easy to follow, and you are now able to use Ethernet and WIFI together on Windows 11/10