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If an iMac has both cat-5 and WiFi connections to the world, will MacOS use them both to optimize the overall speed? Or pick only the fastest for everything (since the ISP side of the modem is slower than Cat-5 anyway).

If yes, in what older version (if any) was this not true?

This is NOT a duplicate of any question that has two ISPs.

All devices are connected WiFi to an AirPort Extreme. One of them is also connected by Cat-5. I am not currently using USB or Thunderbolt or FireWire. The Cat-5 obviously has a different IP address than the WiFi. The Airport goes through a Motorola DOCSIS to the world. Ookla says the wired connection downloads at 79+ MBps and the WiFi at 50+ MBps.

Also, I wasn't thinking so much of link aggregation, but like letting one app use the wire and another WiFi, giving each app more bandwidth than if they had to shared the same interface hardware.

  • Does WiFi and Ethernet connect to the same router or different routers to egress to the internet? – bmike Nov 16 '19 at 20:03
  • I will have to study @ankii’s four links to figure out how much they apply. And lots of seemingly pertinent stuff in the related links. Wish SE would find related questions before I post instead of after! – WGroleau Nov 16 '19 at 20:41
  • @WGroleau - don't ever worry - we expect to have 5 to 10 good questions on every possible topic. The ones that aren't clearly dupe stay linked, when people self-solve following a link, they answer and explain how the link helped them. The rest get closed as dupe - it's actually a good thing to have a dupe point since everyone describes one issue in many different ways. We optimize to find many paths to great answers and not prevent anyone from asking. – bmike Nov 16 '19 at 20:47
  • @ me here if you want to self answer or make this different than the target for the hold. You can edit it so that you explain you know it's either or and how to determine how to make use of that knowledge. You'll want to remove some of the "how does it work, though" Or just ask a follow on question now that you have better information and understanding. – bmike Nov 16 '19 at 20:48
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No, macOS assigns one route to a network. You’ll need to set up link aggregation which does extremely effective splitting if you can’t have a router that selects egress efficiently and you route all your traffic to that router.

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  • My router is an AirPort Extreme and the modem is DOCSIS 3.0. So it sounds like I should just use Cat-5 for the desktop and WiFi for portables. – WGroleau Nov 16 '19 at 20:28
  • @WGroleau Yes! If your wired connection is not out performing WiFi - there are serious wiring or network issues that would almost certainly impact WiFi even harder. – bmike Nov 16 '19 at 20:46

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