Different Ethernets: how to prefer certain network

  1. Posts : 96
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro for Workstations 64-bit 19044 Multiprocessor Free

    Different Ethernets: how to prefer certain network

    I was using my computer normally, transferring lots of data due to YouTube usage etc. Suddenly my mobile network operator sends a text message saying I have used over 25 GB per this month. I was surprised. Then I realized that as soon as I had connected my iPhone to my computer (just to charge it), Windows 10 had started using the phone's network. So I found out that Windows 10 Settings / Data usage has "Ethernet" and "Ethernet 4". Also, Ethernet (above Data usage) has "Network" and "Network 3". Very confusing. Apparently "Network 3" is effectively the same as "Ethernet 4".

    When I hover mouse cursor on top of systray's network icon, it says "Network" and "Network 3" as if they would be both actively used at the same time, but that's not possible is it?

    How do I even see which "Ethernet" or "Network" is actually being used?

    How do I force (reliably) a particular Ethernet to be preferred?

    I noticed I can disable a certain network "completely" in Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings. However, I'm not sure if the connection might still spontaneously turn on after updates etc. So it would be important that the preferred connection is the real Ethernet, not a mobile connection.

    (I don't want to solve this by disabling tethering in my iPhone, because that also disables other tethering which I don't want. Also the Data limit in Windows Settings does nothing useful, apparently it only warns in the notification center.)
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 30,422
    Windows 11 Pro x64 Version 23H2

    Hi Jim

    Have a look at this tutorial. There are also some related tutorials at bottom of tutorials that could be more specific to your needs.

    Change Network Adapter Connection Priorities in Windows 10

      My Computer

  3. Posts : 17,049
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4170

    Android wold have given you the choice of connecting only for charging. If your phone does not do so then check its manual or go to its help site to find out how to enforce a choice [or how to always set a connection for charging only].

      My Computer

  4. Posts : 96
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro for Workstations 64-bit 19044 Multiprocessor Free
    Thread Starter

    Thank you, that Automatic metric value thing seems to be exactly what is needed to customize the priority for the network connection.

    I noticed that I can go to systray's network icon > Open Network & Internet settings > Network and Sharing Center, where you can see the "Network" connections. And at right, it shows e.g. "Ethernet" and "Ethernet 4". By clicking those, I can see realtime Sent/Received bytes. So this gives me insight as to which connection is actually being used. However, now that I look at it, while connected both to ethernet and mobile, on BOTH connections the Bytes Sent/Received are increasing. However, only the otherone increases substantially, if I watch YouTube for example. The other one seems to be only doing minimal traffic. Seemingly the other one is therefore preferred but the second connection is still connected also. What does this secondary connection do in this case? What does the small traffic consist of?

    Is it impossible to use two connections simultaneously in this setup (to speed up Internet)?
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 30,422
    Windows 11 Pro x64 Version 23H2

    To see what is on different connections, and it is not a simple product to use, you could explore WireShark.

    I don't think you can team your two connections. Could be wrong. Not sure how you coordinate data form two totally different sources. Maybe someone can comment.
      My Computer


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