Connecting Both WiFi & LAN?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Kryptik.Kode, May 3, 2012.

  1. Kryptik.Kode macrumors member


    Mar 8, 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    Hello everyone,

    My apologies if this has already been asked. I am long time Windows PC user and I am waiting for the new 2012 iMac to release before making the switch to Mac. With that being said, I was wondering if there is a way to make OSX use both the WiFi and LAN connections at the same time for increased performance?

    Correct me if i'm wrong but it's my understanding right now that when both LAN & WiFi are connected, some network traffic will go through LAN and some network traffic will go through WiFi. Or perhaps there is a priority setup in OSX? Perhaps LAN>WiFi? So if LAN is connected, it will prioritize it over WiFi for ALL traffic? Can someone clarify how OSX manages this double network connection? :confused:

    Long story short, is there any advantage to having WiFi connected when already connected with gigabit LAN?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. steveza, May 3, 2012
    Last edited: May 3, 2012

    steveza macrumors 68000


    Feb 20, 2008
    It isn't possible to bridge (combine) connections to gain a performance improvement without the support of a fairly good network switch.

    Even if you could achieve this your 1Gb LAN will always be much faster than wifi in real terms. 1Gb wifi is now available but I doubt you will get anything near that bandwidth outside of a test lab.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No. You can only connect to one network at a time.
  4. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    In System Preferences, you can set the service order to choose the priority that one network takes over the other. You can be connected to a LAN and a Wifi connection and send data over both, but only one will provide your internet connection. If the computer is able to connect to another device on your network through the port that has priority, it will use that, but it will use the other if it's not available through the first. Thus, if you have devices that only connect wirelessly and you connect to the internet via LAN, you can be online through the LAN and transferring files over Wifi, or vice-versa. This is a fairly unusual setup overall, though.

  5. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Nov 26, 2007
    Austin, TX
    So, I think your first word is correct - no, there will be no performance. However, you can connect to more than one network at a time - I have done it on several occasions. In fact, right now, I came to work, forgot to turn off airport, and plugged in a lan cable. when I run ifconfig, I can see each interface has it's own address. I have not run a sniffer to see what is going over which interface though.

    I do find the ability to connect to multiple networks useful when I need to connect the lan cable to a private network, but use the wireless to connect to an external network..
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I should have been more clear. I was referring to connecting to two simultaneous networks for internet connection, as the OP was wanting to do, to increase bandwidth.
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    As others have stated, it will only use one active connection for general network services for the same lan. And what are you looking to improve performance to? Other systems on your lan? Make sure you have all your systems connected to a gigabit switch and not a hub. That will help.

    As for your internet connection, that's your real bottleneck. So any fancy setup you have at home just won't improve that.
  8. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    And besides not telling us what you are trying to speed up, you also didn't mention how you connect to the internet, and what is upstream of your Mac.

    The pipeline into your network from the outside world would perhaps be the limiting factor.

  9. RichardF macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2006
    New York City
    Similar problem:

    I need to remote connect (via teamViewer or equiv.) to a XP SP3 virtual machine running in Parallels Desktop 8 on Mac OS X (10..8.4).

    The VM is also using the ethernet port of its host to connect to another computer to retrieve data.

    It doesn't seem possible to maintain both WiFi and Ethernet connections on at the same time. Right it's either or.
    Anyone knows a way to do this?

    In the VM, there is only one adapter. Is it a matter of adding another one?



  10. Dragonitidae macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2013
    Following problem with mine setup - have iMac 2013 connected to internet via time capsule (wifi) but need to connect dental 3D x-rays via lan. Mac wont start internet connection without pulling out the lan cable. Is there a way to tell to mac, that it should use wifi for internet and the fixed ip adress only for x-rays?
    Thanks in advance.

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