wired vs wireless- how does the mac decide?

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I currently have our macbook plugged into cable modem. at the same time, we're getting a full signal from our neighbor's wi-fi connection.

does the mac assume the ethernet connection is the primary one?
 

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I currently have our macbook plugged into cable modem. at the same time, we're getting a full signal from our neighbor's wi-fi connection.

does the mac assume the ethernet connection is the primary one?

It depends on the order in which you've connected to a network. Whichever network it obtained an IP address from first would take precedence. If you didn't intentionally connect to your neighbor's network, you're not using it.
 
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Just to simplify things, I turn off my AirPort card.
 
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It depends on the order in which you've connected to a network. Whichever network it obtained an IP address from first would take precedence. If you didn't intentionally connect to your neighbor's network, you're not using it.

if I disconnect my ethernet cable, I can still surf wirelessly. it doesn't ask me to connect to any network.

I bought an airport extreme but am waiting on the delivery of my new imac before I set up my network.

this is what freaks me out a bit, how do I know if my mac is using my bandwidth or my neighbors?
 
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Technically what you are doing is illegal....silly of your neighbour for not have it protected.
 

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if I disconnect my ethernet cable, I can still surf wirelessly. it doesn't ask me to connect to any network.

I bought an airport extreme but am waiting on the delivery of my new imac before I set up my network.

this is what freaks me out a bit, how do I know if my mac is using my bandwidth or my neighbors?

My experience has been that you have to click the wireless icon on the menu bar and then select the network you want to connect to - unless you had previously connected to a wireless network, it won't connect automatically. So, when you get your AirPort Extreme, simply choose it from the list. It won't connect to more than one wireless network at a time.

To disconnect from your neighbor's network without disabling the AirPort card, open System Preferences -> Network -> Choose AirPort from the Show: field. Delete the wireless network name for your neighbor, by highlighting it and clicking the minus button.
 
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My experience has been that you have to click the wireless icon on the menu bar and then select the network you want to connect to - unless you had previously connected to a wireless network, it won't connect automatically. So, when you get your AirPort Extreme, simply choose it from the list. It won't connect to more than one wireless network at a time.

EDIT: Removed last sentence, incorrect.

I think what happened is that my neighbors network is named 'default'. when we first got the macbook and enabled the airport card we got the message that no trusted networks could be found. do you want to use default?

I may be wrong, but I can carry the macbook anywhere in the house and get a wireless signal without logging into any network, and the one listed is 'default'
 

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I think what happened is that my neighbors network is named 'default'. when we first got the macbook and enabled the airport card we got the message that no trusted networks could be found. do you want to use default?

I may be wrong, but I can carry the macbook anywhere in the house and get a wireless signal without logging into any network, and the one listed is 'default'

I would imagine that your neighbor unpacked his shiny new wireless router, did the rudimentary setup and once he got it working, never bothered to change the default network name or set up security. "Default" is a common default SSID (wireless network name).

There has been a lot of discussion about the legality or morality of leeching on a non-secured network whose signal bleeds over to your home, so I'm not going to get into that - but this type of scenario is unfortunately all too common. Let's hope that none of your other neighbors takes advantage of his ignorance.
 
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I would imagine that your neighbor unpacked his shiny new wireless router, did the rudimentary setup and once he got it working, never bothered to change the default network name or set up security. "Default" is a common default SSID (wireless network name).

There has been a lot of discussion about the legality or morality of leeching on a non-secured network whose signal bleeds over to your home, so I'm not going to get into that - but this type of scenario is unfortunately all too common. Let's hope that none of your other neighbors takes advantage of his ignorance.

that's what I was assuming and why I was asking. I don't want to get into a morality thing, but I'm keeping the macbook hardwired at this point.

when the imac comes, I'll bring out the extreme and do my best to protect my bandwidth.
 
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go into system preferences>network>in show tab select airport>you will then view all of your networks your airport tries to connect to, simply delete your neighbors connection and it wont automatically attempt to connect to that one.

i'd go drop by your neighbor and let him know his connection is open and that he should lock it up....the other houses in the area probably arent being so honest
-chris
 
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go into system preferences>network>in show tab select airport>you will then view all of your networks your airport tries to connect to, simply delete your neighbors connection and it wont automatically attempt to connect to that one.

i'd go drop by your neighbor and let him know his connection is open and that he should lock it up....the other houses in the area probably arent being so honest
-chris
when I do that I'm showing totally different ip's and submasks.
 
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I currently have our macbook plugged into cable modem. at the same time, we're getting a full signal from our neighbor's wi-fi connection.

does the mac assume the ethernet connection is the primary one?

if you dont want the mac to connect to your neighbours connection either turn off airport or going into prefs and check in the there set a default connection.
 

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when I do that I'm showing totally different ip's and submasks.

That's right, you'll have one IP that your AirPort got from your neighbors router, and one IP, and if you switch the Show: field, to Bult-in Ethernet, you'll see the IP for your hard wired connection. But we're not really concerned with that at the moment. What you need to do is switch the Show: field to AirPort. You'll see a list of wireless networks (most likely only one with show called "Default"), then click the minus sign to remove the network from your list, thereby disconnecting from your neighbor's wireless connection.
 
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If you open system prefs, and click network you get a list of network connection types. Airport, Ethernet, Bluetooth, Firewire, etc. The order they are in, from top to bottom, is the order they will connect to the internet. So if airport is at the top of the list, then airport will connect to the internet first, and the computer will use the airport network. If ethernet is at the top, it will use the ethernet connection, and so on.
 

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