Which network is used when both Cellular Data and Wireless are on and connected?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 27, 2012
When both Cellular Data (3G in my case) and Wireless are enabled and connected with full bars and full wifi strength, which interface does the device use to send/receive data? Is there a way (App) to tell which is being used and/or does it depend on the type of data (streaming netflix vs sending an email for example)?


The routing table shows 2 default routes which is what got me wondering in the first place:

- destination: default
* gateway:
* netif: en0
* flags: UGSc
* refs: 320
* use: 0
* mtu: 1500
* expire: -1
- destination: default
* gateway:
* netif: pdp_ip0
* flags: UGScI
* refs: 25
* use: 0
* mtu: 1450
* expire: -1

First is my home network, second is my Cell Data.
Last edited:


macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
I message uses cellular when avalible as does most push notifications. Other than that everything is via wifi


macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2010
Parts Unknown
Does it ever switch to 4G if it senses a faster connection?

I was watching a video and I had both 4G and WiFi enabled. I was in my own home, in range of my WiFi signal. I looked at the status bar and it said LTE instead of showing the WiFi logo.

I went into settings and shut the Cell Data off and I received a warning message something to the effect of degraded video quality.

I was always under the assumption that it would always be on WiFi unless WIFi was unavailable. This puzzled me and was a bit concerning, considering my 4G data is limited.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2011
I can tell you that it always shows the cellular connection when it's on instead of the wifi signal (why it doesn't show both the way my phone does, I don't know). Which connection it defaults to using, I don't know.

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