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WiFi is the best connection at my house for most things. I have it first in network preferences under service order.

However, I have a NAS connected over a local switch which I want to connect to via Ethernet.

The route is such that if I use WiFi, I reach the NAS via Powerline which dramatically slows the link.

When I disable WiFi I can connect to the NAS nice and quickly over Ethernet. If I do this, then all my other network connections go over Powerline and they are bad.

Question: How do I have both adapters enabled, prioritising WiFi, but utilising Ethernet for my NAS connection?

Note: I have tested and OSX does not find the local switch's Ethernet route with both adapters enabled and WiFi prioritised. It dumbly uses whatever is in the service order, whether it's Ethernet or WiFi. I had hoped it would choose the best route.

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It dumbly uses whatever is in the service order, whether it's Ethernet or WiFi. I had hoped it would choose the best route.

It doesn't "dumbly" do anything. It performs as expected; if priority is given to WiFi, it will direct all traffic over that connection. Keep in mind, macOS (out of the box) doesn't prioritize traffic as it's not a router/switch.

Question: How do I have both adapters enabled, prioritising WiFi, but utilising Ethernet for my NAS connection?

Put your NAS on a different subnet. You can do this with a different switch, with VLANs (if your switch supports it) or you can direct connect it. Just keep in mind if you want to share access to the NAS, you either need to have a multi-homed (multiple network adapters) on your NAS or you need a router between the networks (a layer 3 switch would be nice, but they're expensive)

  • Thanks for the answer. Sounds like there's no quick fix. Both my Mac and NAS are on an unmanaged dedicated switch, and my main WiFi router is on the end of the Powerline connection. As to "performing as expected", perhaps I'm a little ambitious. Yes I've set a priority, but I was hoping OSX could identify a faster connection and use it (across WAN and LAN separately). I'm no network engineer, however what you describe makes sense to me. It's just a little over engineered for my home LAN. Sad that my Powerline only delivers 1mbs (real world) compared to the switch 100mbs (also real world). – Mark Jan 6 '18 at 10:05
  • At this point running a cable across my home seems the most practical. Although that's what I was trying to avoid with the Powerline. – Mark Jan 6 '18 at 10:10
  • I recommend biting the bullet and running the cable. I took a weekend and cabled my house (even the garage) and everyone comments on how stable everything is especially streaming services like Netflix. All my TV's are hard wired to the network so everything is fast and reliable. – Allan Jan 6 '18 at 11:55
  • As far as creating a network segment, you can get a Netgear managed switch (5 port) for under $50. Use that to create your different VLANs one for the "whole home" and the other for the NAS. Then plug you Mac into both and it will automatically select the route for NAS traffic based on it's IP. – Allan Jan 6 '18 at 12:01

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