NetConnectChoose is a simple free utility that lets you easily choose your default Internet connection (assuming you have more than one possible Internet connection in use e.g. LAN or WiFi plus a 3G dongle).
This default connection will then be used by all Internet applications so is an easy way to channel internet use through a particular connection without having to unplug or disable all the others. The utility also displays a lot of information about all active Internet connections such as the network adapter name, MAC Address, current incoming/outgoing data speed etc.
Using NetConnectChoose – this new portable utility from the excellent NirSoft site works on Windows XP through to Windows 8 and supports both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.
Download the program in a zip file from the developer here. Unzip (extract) it then run the NetConnectChoose.exe program file – if using Vista/W7/W8 with UAC enabled, right click it and choose ‘Run As Administrator’ or UAC will prompt you every time you try to change the default connection.
The program opens to display all the active Internet (network) connections, along with details of throughput etc – the current default connection has a green tick as shown below:
To set a new default connection, select it and press F8 (or choose File \ Set as default from the menubar). Alternatively, pressing F9 (or File \ switch default) switches the default connection. What happens when you choose a new default connection depends on your version of Windows:
XP – all existing uploads/downloads on the previous default connection will stop immediately. Therefore you may want to wait until existing downloads have finished or webpages fully displayed etc before switching the default connection.
Vista/W7/W8 – all existing uploads/downloads on the previous default connection will continue until completed whilst any new downloads/webpages will begin using the new default connection.
NetConnectChoose is a neat little utility to force the use of a particular internet connection, without having to manually reassign or disable/unplug other connections. It’s portable (so doesn’t need to be installed) and also provides a lot of information about active connections.
Note that, in the interests of full disclosure, the developer (Nir Sofer) states that in his own testing the program occasionally (and randomly) failed to switch the default connection properly – in my own testing I haven’t found any such problems so perhaps it may be dependent on a very specific network/OS configuration.