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  1. #1
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    Internet connection questions

    Some of our Win 7 HP pc's have both wired and wireless interconnection.

    1. Under windows there is a handy taskbar icon which shows wifi connectivity. This identifies the wireless network that one is connected to and if there is internet access. Is my assumption correct that this is "internet access" via the specified wireless link as distinct from overall connection to the internet?
    2. Is there an equally quick and simple way of determining whether there is internet access specifically via the wired route?
    3. Is it true that windows automatically routes internet traffic through the wired or wireless routes according to which is available without user intervention?

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    Quote Originally Posted by petermat View Post
    Some of our Win 7 HP pc's have both wired and wireless interconnection.

    1. Under windows there is a handy taskbar icon which shows wifi connectivity. This identifies the wireless network that one is connected to and if there is internet access. Is my assumption correct that this is "internet access" via the specified wireless link as distinct from overall connection to the internet?
    2. Is there an equally quick and simple way of determining whether there is internet access specifically via the wired route?
    3. Is it true that windows automatically routes internet traffic through the wired or wireless routes according to which is available without user intervention?
    1. There's usually 1 of 2 icons available, one looks like a monitor for Wired and the other is a series of curved lines for a Wi-Fi connection.
    2. Easiest? If there is a Wireless adapter in the computer, turn it off and see if you have the Wired when using an Ethernet cable.
    3. Maybe but haven't checked. I've had Notebooks connected to my Router via Wired and Wireless
    at the same time without problem. It MUST be said that of the 2 types of connection to a Router the Wired is the most reliable. But then that's true with anything using wired versus wireless, wired gives less problems.

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    Is there an internet connection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    1. There's usually 1 of 2 icons available, one looks like a monitor for Wired and the other is a series of curved lines for a Wi-Fi connection.
    2. Easiest? If there is a Wireless adapter in the computer, turn it off and see if you have the Wired when using an Ethernet cable.
    3. Maybe but haven't checked. I've had Notebooks connected to my Router via Wired and Wireless
    at the same time without problem. It MUST be said that of the 2 types of connection to a Router the Wired is the most reliable. But then that's true with anything using wired versus wireless, wired gives less problems.
    Berton,
    Thanks for reply. I don't recognise the looks "like a monitor" icon you refer to - attached is a screenshot of the icons on the subject machine. And I don't see it on other win 7 or 10 pcs. Is this something that has to be enabled somewhere?

    I agree re wired vs wireless. The problem showed up when the pc had just wireless, so I added wired - actually via powerline adaptors. This seemed to help for a few days but has now gone back to the previous intermittent loss of all connection to the internet (whilst others on the same LAN have no problem). Hence the desire to be able to see quickly what connection is claiming to be able to support.

    As A BTW the problem pc was allocated LAN ip via DHCP but I have now locked in both wired and wireless to fixed ip's.

    Peter
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    Last edited by petermat; 2016-01-24 at 22:38. Reason: missing attachment

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    Sorry about the curved bars part, was on a Win7 Wired computer and memory brought up the symbol on my Cellphone. You do show a Wireless/Wi-Fi [Wireless Fidelity] connection symbolized by the 5 sloped bars to the right of the Speaker icon.

    Added: I'm on my MacBook Pro now and it shows the same curved signal strength as my Cellphone.
    Last edited by Berton; 2016-01-24 at 23:33.

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    Yes sure re wireless - it's the "looks like a monitor" icon for wired that's missing. This is a windows 7 pc we are talking about!

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    By "looks like a monitor" icon Berton means that when a network cable is plugged in and Windows connects through the cable rather than WiFi the icon in the notification area will look like a computer screen with a cable/plug on the left-hand side.

    If Windows is connecting through WiFi then the icon will be the five signal-strength bars as shown in petermat's screenshot (#3 post).

    WiredConnection.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by petermat View Post
    1. Is my assumption correct that this is "internet access" via the specified wireless link as distinct from overall connection to the internet?
    Windows uses whatever network connection it has to determine internet access. If it thinks it can reach the internet is says so.

    cheers, Paul

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    You are talking about using power plugs, so how far are you away from the router ?

    In Win 7 when you wire up and have wireless enabled, it will be connecting with both - this can normally be seen in the router's logs where it is constantly acknowledging each Mac address.

    If your wireless was failing to connect then you would see a yellow alert on the WiFi icon in the system tray and if wireless was disabled, that would show as a red cross.

    If there are a number of machines connected at the same time and depending upon what they are doing, that could max out the bandwidth with your machine being the loser and you may need to set up a QoS so as to allocate a % of the bandwidth to each machine.

    Can you let us know the static IP addresses you have assigned to each adapter of the machine in question ?
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2016-01-25 at 04:53.

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    From Windows 8 on, wireless only connects if wired is not available. If wired is lost, after being available, wireless will connect.

    In 7, both connections are active, if both are available. Which one is used, I can't tell.
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    When I backed up my wife's win7 laptop to a NAS, doing it via wireless was slower than by ethernet. As I just plugged the ethernet cable in, this seems to indicate that it used wire if it was present and wifi if not. However, this is based on a population of one so can't be considered definitive. I don't remember the differences though (I now backup her laptop to a usb connected disk).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    From Windows 8 on, wireless only connects if wired is not available. If wired is lost, after being available, wireless will connect.

    In 7, both connections are active, if both are available. Which one is used, I can't tell.
    The router's log would show it is bouncing between both which is why you should really disable wireless if you are wired all of the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    When I backed up my wife's win7 laptop to a NAS, doing it via wireless was slower than by ethernet. As I just plugged the ethernet cable in, this seems to indicate that it used wire if it was present and wifi if not. However, this is based on a population of one so can't be considered definitive. I don't remember the differences though (I now backup her laptop to a usb connected disk).
    It is possible that wireless is faster than wired, if you have a really old Ethernet port and a really new wifi adapter. That's the case on my computer.

    I suspect that if I were to install a brand new Ethernet NIC (or perhaps update the driver for the current NIC), wired would be faster.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2016-01-25 at 11:39.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the responses.

    On an ultrabook I can see the 'monitor' icon now I know what to look for. Though it does not look much like the descriptions supplied - see attachment. On the problem pc - an old lenovo (though running win 7 HP, the same as the ultrabook) - this icon never appears. Even if I run a direct ethernet cable from router to lenovo - no such icon. also it does not apear on my desktop with a wired connection.

    So I am starting to suspect that this is a pc supplier produced icon rather than a windows icon.

    However switching between the real cable and the powerline 'cable' on the lenovo shows up very clearly on the network and sharing page - the cable works and the powerline does not. So the question about the distance apart may be very relevant. I will be doing some trials in that area. As the power cable runs, at a rough guess, router to lenovo is 15 yds, and via the main breaker panel. However the 'Link" light on the adaptors shows up green - which supposedly says things are OK.
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