Adapter switching is a feature of the Intel® PROSet/Wireless WiFi Connection Utility that enables a system to have a mutually exclusive relationship between an 802.3 (wired/Ethernet) and an 802.11 (wireless) connection. The adapter switching feature helps to enable network access to the system through only one interface in the system between Wi-Fi and wired adapters.
The following information is intended for IT administrators, resellers, and integrators with an advanced level of knowledge in information technology. This information is not intended for use by the end user.
The adapter switching option is part of the application settings of the Intel® PROSet/Wireless Administrator Tool. It can only be configured through an IT Administrator package created using the IT Administrator tool.
- Switching from wireless to wired:
When adapter switching is enabled and the client machine is connected to the system through the wireless adapter (wireless connection) and the user plugs in a LAN cable (Ethernet wire) into the machine, then the wireless radio on the Wi-Fi adapter is turned OFF by the PROSet application. Thus only one connection is active on the client machine (Ethernet connection, in this scenario). The only way to enable the radio on the Wi-Fi adapter is to unplug the Ethernet cable from the client machine. The radio cannot be turned on through the Intel® PROSet/Wireless WiFi Connection Utility or the Windows mobility Center or Microsoft Auto Configuration Manager* (ACM) (since ACM is disabled, in this case).
- Switching from wired to wireless:
When adapter switching is enabled and the client machine is connected to the system through a wired adapter (Ethernet connection), if the user pulls out the Ethernet cable, the wireless radio on the Wi-Fi adapter is turned back on by the PROSet application. Once the radio is ON, the adapter management software like Intel® PROSet/Wireless on Windows XP* or the Microsoft Auto Configuration Manager* (ACM) on Microsoft Windows 7* will apply the last connected profile from the wireless profile list.
Honoring the user's choice:
If the user turns OFF the wireless radio on the client machine before adapter switching is enabled on the machine using either Microsoft Auto Configuration Manager* (ACM) or the Intel PROSet Connection Manager, then after adapter switching is enabled, the wireless radio stays OFF when the user plugs in an Ethernet cable in the machine. If the user unplugs the Ethernet cable from the client machine, the radio still stays turned OFF and will only turn ON if the user turns it on using the Intel PROSet Connection Manager or Microsoft Auto Configuration Manager* (ACM).
Adapter switching can improve bandwidth utilization by not having a single client connected to the network through multiple connections. Turning off the wireless radio on clients with a wired Ethernet connection reduces the number of connections on the access point. Fewer clients connected to the access point will increase per client wireless bandwidth. Costs can be reduced as fewer access points are required to support clients who are using the wired Ethernet connection.
- Microsoft Windows 7*, Microsoft Windows Vista*, Microsoft Windows XP*
- A system with both an 802.3 (wired) and an 802.11 (wireless) network connection
- Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software version 220.127.116.11 or later.
- The adapter switching option is part of the Intel® PROSet/Wireless Administrator Tool policy. It can only be used with an Administrator profile.
Steps to implement adapter switching
- Open Intel® PROSet/Wireless WiFi Connection Utility
- Select the Administrator Tool from the Tools tab.
- Create a new package.
- Select the Application Settings tab.
- Select the option "Adapter Switching."
- Check the box titled "Enable Adapter Switching" in the description window.
This behavior is for the system as a whole and is not specific to any user.
If the user has manually turned off the wireless radio, the radio will not turn on again when a wired Ethernet connection is lost. The user must turn the radio back on for wireless connections to be established.
- Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT) Issue: When adapter switching is enabled in the system, the ME (management engine) will not be able to get help to the user on the wireless network when wireless is in radio off state and there is a connectivity issue with wired network.
- No WiMAX Support: Adapter switching is a Wi-Fi only solution; WiMAX adapter is not considered as part of this adapter switching feature. For example when WiMAX is connected to network and user inserts wire in to the system for wired connection, WiMAX network won’t be disconnected.
This applies to: