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  1. #1
    How to force use of ethernet when Mac is connected to ethernet AND WiFi?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    How to force use of ethernet when Mac is connected to ethernet AND WiFi?
    Here is the background (warning, it is a bit complex): My home network is a mesh using Netgear Orbi routers (three of them, one base, two satellites). In my wife's office she has two Macs, one is a late-2014 Mini, the other is a mid-2015 MBPr. The Mini has both Ethernet connection to the Orbi and Wifi, the MBP has WiFi only, but is connected to a OWC Thunderbolt dock which has an ethernet port and which is connected by ethernet to one of the Orbi satellites. So basically, both Macs are attached by WiFi and Ethernet and it works pretty well. Each interface gets a unique IP from the DHCP server in the base Orbi router (for those interested, my Comcast modem is in bridge mode so it's only a modem, not a router). Also in her office is an Apple TV that is not near the router, so it is WiFi only. In my network is also a NAS storage device on which we have media (videos, music, recorded TV, etc).

    What she would like is to be able to access the media on either the Mini or the MBP and then view it on the ATV. To make that work, she starts the video on whichever she wants to use for the purpose, then uses AirPlay to send it to the ATV and then to the attached TV. It works pretty well, and she knows how to get done what she wants.

    But the challenge is that both the Mini and the MBP seem to "prefer" the WiFi instead of the Ethernet connection. We suspect this preference because the speeds over the LAN are slower with WiFi on than off, indicating that when WiFi is on, it takes precedence. I can't see how to get AirPlay to use Ethernet to connect to the ATV, so WiFi seems to be the only way to get the audio/video to the TV. What I would like is to have the systems prefer the Ethernet for everything BUT Airplay. I've gone into Sys Prefs>Network and moved the Ethernet Interface to the top priority on both machines but there is no difference. If I do a speedtest with just Ethernet, I get a high result, but as soon as I turn on WiFi the same speedtest drops off to WiFi speeds.

    Now the simple solution is to turn off WiFi for typical usage and only turn on WiFi when she wants to use Airplay, but that's another step in the process for her to connect to the ATV. Before I give her that bad news, can anyone give me a suggestion for how to have both WiFi and Ethernet connections but force everything except AirPlay to use Ethernet? Or is there a way to use AirPlay with Ethernet so I can just leave WiFi off permanently? Either way would be great and get me where I want, using Ethernet.

    TIA
    Jake

  2. #2
    How to force use of ethernet when Mac is connected to ethernet AND WiFi?
    chscag's Avatar
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    I'm assuming you've done some searching for solutions?

    I just went through 3 or 4 different answers and everyone of them is either complex or requires doing something that only works for different situations. Which means you would be no better off than using your simple solution above. Apple's answer is that you can't use ethernet with Airplay.

    Do some digging, maybe one of those odd ball solutions that I read will work.

  3. #3
    How to force use of ethernet when Mac is connected to ethernet AND WiFi?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Yeah, I did a lot of searching, but nothing seemed to be useful. Most simply said to move the preferred interface to the top of the list, which I've done. And apparently even if I could connect the ATV by Ethernet, I'd still have to have WiFi connection to it to make Airplay work. I know Apple hates wires, but that's a bit hard-headed.
    Jake

  4. #4
    Since AirPlay is built on top of WiFi, you are going to be limited in having it on to stream to the ATV. As you've found, the general idea is to put the higher priority interface on top of the list in Networks to have it be used, but there must be some additional logic that is switching things out underneath you.

    One way to FORCE the use of a particular interface over another is to create separate networks for WiFi and Ethernet. The idea here is that you would have access to the NAS and Internet on the Ethernet port, and access to the ATV only on WiFi since they would be on a separate network. The WiFi network would be local only with no Internet access, and the default gateway would point to the Ethernet network.

    This requires a bit of work and a router that can do that (not sure if the Orbi can) sort of isolation. Barring that, with the number of routers you have, you should be getting pretty good coverage across your house, you might just stick with WiFi and forgo Ethernet all together. Not the answer you want, but it doesn't upset the wife.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  5. #5
    How to force use of ethernet when Mac is connected to ethernet AND WiFi?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Ashwin, those are good suggestions, and I will think about them. I originally did have two networks, but then found I couldn't connect an iOS device in one net to a device in the other. Seems they need to be in the same network and the definition for "same" seems to be network name. So if the MBP, for example, is in Network 1 to access the NAS to get the video, it can't be in Network 2 to connect to the ATV. Now I suppose I could put the ATV and NAS in the same network, but then if I want to save a downloaded media file to the NAS, I can't get to it because it's in the "other" network. I could, I suppose, put the NAS in Internet mode and get an assigned IP for it and use the Internet to get to it, but that seems a bit silly to have to go through the internet to get from one network I own to another network I own. Not to mention the security issues opening the network to the Internet that way would create.

    I think what I need to do is to explain to my non-techie wife that she should turn WiFi off for most uses and only turn it on for when she wants to watch through AirPlay. She's bright, so while she may forget to do that a couple of times, it will eventually work into her 'how to do it' list. That's the simplest way I can think of to have the main default being Ethernet, but still able to use Airplay to direct streaming to the ATV.

    I knew AirPlay was built around WiFi, but was hoping somebody had a simple hack to make it think it was doing that but use the Ethernet interface instead. I guess that was just a pipe dream...
    Jake

  6. #6
    How to force use of ethernet when Mac is connected to ethernet AND WiFi?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I knew AirPlay was built around WiFi, but was hoping somebody had a simple hack to make it think it was doing that but use the Ethernet interface instead.

    Would this possibility help with your set up, but I don't know what the WMM setting it is all about???

    Figured out. To make AirPlay work when one device is connected via Ethernet and another via Wi-Fi, you should have WMM setting be turned OFF on your router. – Ivan Nikitin Dec 30 '15 at 15:38
    https://apple.stackexchange.com/ques...ther-than-wifi

    The possible solution seems so close yet so far, and it just seems there must be a way.


    EDIT:
    And of course the opposite instructions are suggestions here:
    How to Adjust Optimal WMM Settings
    It should be noted that if you use apple product such as iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV. You will need to turn WMM support on, or else you would not be able to connect to the 802.11n wifi network.
    https://routerguide.net/how-to-adjus...network-speed/


    Just to confuse the issue, if it's even related…








    - Patrick
    ======
    Last edited by pm-r; 11-15-2018 at 12:39 AM. Reason: added info

  7. #7
    How to force use of ethernet when Mac is connected to ethernet AND WiFi?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Patrick, WMM is WiFi Multi-media and it prioritizes media packets over other data packets at the router. In the early days of slower internet connections, to get smooth streaming you needed to turn WMM on in the router to ensure that the streaming took first priority. I have very high speed internet (300 Mbps according to speedtest.net), so streaming from the internet is not an issue. I don't see a specific WMM setting in my router control panel, so I'm thinking that concern no longer applies (needing WMM, that is). The rest of the information in the linked article says that Bluetooth might work in place of WiFi, but I don't remember seeing any setting for BT on the ATV. <pause> I just looked at the ATV and all it shows is my BT earbuds, which just so happen not to be connected at this time, No other BT devices in the list, so I don't think that's going to work. <another pause> I just looked at Sys Prefs>bluetooth and the ATV is not there, despite being powered up. So I don't think there is a way to pair the Mac to the ATV in BT.
    Jake

  8. #8
    How to force use of ethernet when Mac is connected to ethernet AND WiFi?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Patrick, WMM is WiFi Multi-media and it prioritizes media packets over other data packets at the router.

    OK, I guess maybe we should be thankful that WMM wasn't ever used with telephone service connections, otherwise all calls from the mothers-in-laws would have been prioritized and possibly block all other critical or important calls.

     I won't dare ask how it could differentiate and prioritize media packets over other data packets. I thought that everything transmitted was just a bunch of 1s and 0s. Actually it's almost mind-boggling what they can do.





    - Patrick
    ======

  9. #9
    How to force use of ethernet when Mac is connected to ethernet AND WiFi?
    chscag's Avatar
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    OK, I guess maybe we should be thankful that WMM wasn't ever used with telephone service connections, otherwise all calls from the mothers-in-laws would have been prioritized and possibly block all other critical or important calls.
    Never had that problem Patrick. My MIL lived with us for over 30 years until she passed away. She was an absolute saint. Some folks complain about their MIL, not me.

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