Sunday, July 1, 2012

NetRouteView ; Finding Routes On Your Network.

Many of us have question in mind which is if we have both dial up and broadband connected, would Windows use the bandwidth simultaneously or only use one of it? If Windows only uses one of it, which connection would it use and why?

I think it has something to do with the Windows Routing Table. It is possible to switch between the connections by changing the route and setting the lowest metric value for the default route. To do that, Windows comes with a command line route.exe utility which I would say it may not be easy to use for people who do not understand IP routing table.

Let us review this with NetRouteView which is a GUI alternative to the standard route utility (Route.exe) of Windows operating system. It displays the list of all routes on your current network, including the destination, mask, gateway, interface IP address, metric value, type, protocol, age (in seconds), interface name, and the MAC address. NetRouteView also allows you to easily add new routes, as well as to remove or modify existing static routes.

Here is an example of the connections on test computer. Here we have a wireless broadband (Celcom), WLAN connection (Wi-Fi) and a wired LAN, all 3 connected at the same time. How do we know which connection is being used when all 3 are connected?

Using NetRouteView, we would only need to look for the default route that has the lowest metric, which means that is the connection with the priority of being used. The routes with destination and mask are the default routes so by clicking on the Destination column, it would sort and automatically place all at the top for easy viewing. Next see which metric is the lowest. The interface IP would identify which connection is it.

Go to run by pressing WIN+R and type cmd to open the command prompt. Type ipconfig and it shows all the connection with the IP address.

As you can see, the default route with metric 1 is of Celcom 3G wireless broadband, followed by metric 11 with the IP address which is for wired LAN connection and finally metric 20 which is for wireless LAN (wi-fi). If we disconnect the wireless broadband, the next connection that will be automatically used is the wired LAN.

If you want all 3 connections to be connected and wants to use wireless LAN, you can either double click on the route and change the metric to a lower number. Metric 1 is the lowest, so if there is already a connection with metric 1, the easiest way is to switch the metric values by pressing and holding the CTRL key while clicking the on the connections. Then you can either press F9 or right click and select “Switch Metric Values”.

If somehow you screwed up the routing tables, a reboot would automatically fix it because the changes that you made with NetRouteView is only temporary and not persistent.

By the way, Cain & Able, a password recovery tool for Microsoft Operating Systems also has a GUI for editing the Routing Table called Route Table MAnager. It can be access from Tools menubar and select Route Table or you can use the hotkey Alt+R.

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