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Connect file sharing laptops to wired switch & Wi-Fi LAN's simultaneously?

By ARogers420 ·
Hi all,

I am having an issue getting several laptops to connect to the internet via their wifi cards while also using the LAN wired connection through a Netgear 8 port gigabit switch. If they were to plug an Ethernet cord from the wall to the switch they would most likely obtain an IP through DHCP and then all connect through the client?s network for internet access.

The issue we are having is that not every place you go to allows you to plug into or even has access to wired wall ports. The most typical scenario is where they all connect via the switch to each other (sometimes with plenty of hassle involved due to computers not wanting to see one another). In the event that they seamlessly connect to the workgroup, the switch will assign them an IP that begins in 169.254.etc.etc. I have heard this is the IP that is assigned to laptops when a router is not assigning on for them. I also have created scripts that setup static IP, DNS, and gateway info with a double click per user. Every user other than the host will then point their file location to the hosts IP and shared file folder location.

Once they all finally are able to connect to each other for file sharing with either of the methods above, they then try to enable their wifi cards to gain access through an available wifi connection. The cards will pull the IP, DNS, gateway, etc., but a connection to the outside world isn't being established.

I have read in some places that XP will use only one connection at a time. Is the fact that the LAN is connected in a workgroup preventing each individual wifi card from accessing the internet because of this?

To me, the wired connection is most important because that is how the main portion of the work is performed, but people want to access internet and their e-mail as well which we have setup to use port 80 through Outlook. No internet means they have no e-mail access while in the field.

Is there a relatively simple solution to these issues, or is it not possible to do what I am trying to do here?

Thanks in advance for any guidance with my issues.

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I'm Curious....

by pctechmike33 In reply to Connect file sharing lapt ...

From experience, and from what I've read, Windows will use the connection with the fastest speed, which in most cases, would be the wired connection. Windows can easily get confused if it has two connections to use, and therefore making it impossible to reach the outside world until you disable one or the other.
If you're having major problems with the workgroup, maybe it's time to look into setting up a domain with a main file share (depends upon how many computers you have).
I'm wondering how hard it is for a customer to connect/disconnect from the wireless network just after/before they connect the network cable. This should solve most of your problems.
The 169 address is simply the default for Windows when it cannot communicate with the DHCP server. This is not only specific to laptops, it can happen with any networking device.

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