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automaticly switch between wireless and wired card for laptop

my customer had raised a request, they wanted to know if there's any software or simple configuration in the WINXP laptop to do an automatic switch between wireless and wired card. For example, if the laptop is put on the dock, then the wireless card will automaticaly disabled, if the laptop is taken away from the dock, then the wireless card will automatically be enabled. There are differnt laptop models, HP,Dell,Toshiba, etc.

Any idea on it? Appreciate any input.


I believe XP is smart enough to use the fastest connection automatically so if you're using WLAN then dock your laptop it will switch to using the wired NIC without user intervention. No need to disable the wireless.

Rising star

XP will use your preferred adapter, but it won't disable the card.

We use Fujitsu laptops, and I have a Fujitsu application called the "Fujitsu Wireless Switcher". It actually disables the wireless card when in the docking station and re-enables it when I undock. Maybe check with the laptop manufacturer to see if they have something similar.


Why bother? If the laptop doesn't use it why worry about disabling it? :)


Customer always raise strange requests especially to meet those tech-idiot guys' requirement, this question is the same, I asked them the same question, why bother on this, it's too simple to disable the wireless manualy. However they says for high lever managers, they don't know how to do it---are they really high lever? or low level?

Yes, we know both wireless and wired card will be up and get two different IP addresses, its the same as a router having two interface. By default WINXP will select the faster one(in some system, maybe need additional patch, the WINXP is not so smart to use it, sometimes just make the system hung there or running very slow). However although the wireless card maybe not be used to tx/rx, but it is up and ready to tx/rx, so this customer's concern is that this may open a back door for security because in their network, wireless and wired connnection has different security level, wired is for internal usage, wireless is for visitor usage. That's why they want to disable wireless when wired is available.

I told them this should be achieved by laptop manufacture or some SW developer, however they want me to provide them some idea is there any solution existed in the market. I have no idea on the existing solution for diferent vendors, HP/DELL/Toshiba, that's why I asked this question in this forum.

Jeff, thanks for your idea, now at least I know Fujitsu has a application for their laptops. 5 points for your valuable input!

Hall of Fame Master


What I know is that some users go into the ethernet connection (tcp/ip | advanced) and set the metric to 1 and then go into the wireless connection and set that to 2 or higher. This will not disable the wireless though when the Ethernet is connected. I use IBM's Access Connections that has that feature, I don't know if Intel ProSet has that feature. There is this utility that does it... but of course it is not free.

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There is a cisco software product named Cisco Secure Services Client (CSSC),may solve your custom's odd problem. I have ever use it in IBM T42, you can try it.


Jack, thanks. I tried CSSC just now, yes, it can do the automatic switchover.

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