Quick networking question. My main dev machine is a notebook and my source control and file server (two computers) are desktops which are not meant to connect to the internet. My Notebook connects to the internet via wifi - I do not have access to the router otherwise I would plug my servers in via cat5.

My question is if I purchase a switch and plug all three computers in will my laptop be able to access resources on my two servers, and still be able to access the internet?

I have a spare router and tried connecting all of them that way however my notebook tried to access the internet via that router instead of the wifi connection. I briefly looked into this however I did not see an option in Windows 7 networking to set a preferred / default connection.


Normally, the wired connection will have a higher preference than the wireless connection. In your configuration, you want to go the opposite way.

You can change this default arrangement by going into the TCP/IP Properties of each NIC, "Advanced..." button, uncheck the "Automatic metric" check-box on the lower portion of the default "IP Settings" tab and then possibly assign a "1" to the wireless while assigning a "2" to the wired NIC.

  • Hey this is a great answer I didn't even see this and did not have a chance to try it but may test it out later. I did fix my issue though by disabling the DHCP server on the local router and manually entered my IP for the local net and set the default gateway on the wired NIC to be the wireless connection - worked great. – Payson Welch Jul 13 '11 at 13:57
  • The combination is not spoken about much. Changing the NIC metrics should be more flexible in the long run, if you want preference to go to the wireless NIC. – user48838 Jul 14 '11 at 12:39

Your notebook will connect to the internet via its default gateway. As long as the items are connected via a switch (the router will act as a switch). As long as your computer's default gateway is set as the wifi device, then it will connect to the net via that. If you need further advice in setting that up add to comments below and I'll edit the answer.


Don't enter default gateway for local net, and you'll be able connect to internet and connect to your server.

  • so you are saying disable local dhcp set a static IP and leave the default gateway blank? – Payson Welch Jun 30 '11 at 21:13
  • who works as DHCP server? You can tell your DHCP-server does not give default gateway. – Aleksandr Makhov Jun 30 '11 at 21:18

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