Windows: Wired vs Wireless

This morning I started up my work laptop after placing gently yet firmly into the docking station and saw my connection to the network was with the wireless network.  Something inside of me thought, “The docking station has a wired connection, why not use it versus a wireless connection?”.  Now that I have considered it for more than a few minutes, I am a little upset about the wireless preference when a perfectly good wired connection exists.

Armed with a sense of righteous empowerment and a little noodle power, I think I have come up with a sure fire way for WIndows to chose the right connection given a set of scenarios.  Here goes:

  1. Speed advantage– If one is faster than another then go with the fastest
    • Pros – the fastest will result in the best experience for the user.
    • Cons – How often does the measurement need to take place?  Do we warn the user when switching in case they are streaming or connected via VPN or any form of connection where the adapter and the data flow matters?
    • Net – I don’t see this as a viable option when it comes to configuration because the cons are too many and too hard to interpret.
  2. All network connections– Have no preference and use them all at once
    • Pros – Amazing throughput for applications that can use more than one connection at a time.
    • Cons – Incredibly complex implementation.  If wired and wireless are pointing to the same network there would be no advantage to the multiple connection points.  Possible application issues for apps that require a specific MAC or IP.
    • Net – Too many potential issues but if it could be done, the result could be amazing.
  3. Use wired as primary then wireless as a secondary or allow the user to select a preference
    • Pros – Simple and predictable; wired is usually better for speed and throughput; user preferential order for overrides; the functionality for wireless already exists
    • Cons – The user needs to know which is faster; the user may get confused if too many networks are available
    • Net – Easiest for Windows to support because half of the functionality exists

I don’t think making the third option work would be too hard and third parties may be able to get the other options working.  This request will be made to the Microsoft support network but I am interested in getting your feedback.

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