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Disable Multiple Network Connections & Turn Off Bridging

The Problem with Multiple Network Connections & Network Bridging

Many laptop and some desktop computers have both wired and wireless network adapters or cards. These two cards allow you to establish simultaneous wired and wireless connections to the campus network.

While this simultaneous connection (also known as ‘network bridging’) may be useful on some home networks, it causes problems on the campus network.

You can use only one network connection at a time. Ethernet jacks on campus are set up to automatically shut off once they detect network bridging. Plugging your computer into another jack will disable that jack as well.

Note: Some computers and network adapters may use network management software other than the built-in applications included with an operating system (especially on Windows). If you find that this is the case, the process described below will be similar, but the steps may not apply exactly. Consult the Help documentation for your network management software or contact the IT Help Center if you need assistance.

Step 1: Disconnect or Disable Additional Network Connections

Please do not use more than one network connection at one time.

Disconnect Additional Connections (temporary)

  • To disconnect your wired Ethernet connection, unplug your Ethernet cable from its jack.
  • To disconnect your wireless connection:

    Windows 7
    On the Windows taskbar (bottom, right), right-click the connection icon and select Disconnect from [connection name]

    Windows Vista
    On the Windows taskbar (bottom, right), right-click the connection icon and select Disconnect from [connection name]

    Windows XP
    On the Windows taskbar (bottom, right), right-click the Wireless Network Connection icon and select Disable.

    Mac OS 10.x
    On the menu bar (top, right), right click the wireless icon and select Turn AirPort Off.

Completely Disable Unused Connections

This will keep your operating system from using the disabled connection until you re-enable it. To enable your connection, reverse the process you followed below. Consult the Help documentation of your operating system if you need assistance.

Windows 7

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  2. In the left-hand column, click Change adapter settings.
  3. A new screen will open with a list of network connections. Right-click Local Area Connection or Wireless Connection and select Disable.

Windows Vista

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  2. In the left-hand column, click Manage network connections.
  3. A new window will open. Right-click Local Area Connection or Wireless Connection and select Disable.

Windows XP

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Network Connections.
  2. Right-click Local Area Connection or Wireless Network Connection and select Disable.

Mac OS 10.x

  1. In the Apple Menu, go to System Preferences...
  2. Under Internet & Wireless, click Network.
  3. If the lock on the lower left corner of the Network window is closed, click it so you can make changes to the network settings (do not click the lock if it is already "open"), then enter your system password when prompted.
  4. From the options at right, select the connection you wish to disable:
    • Ethernet and from the Configure IPv4 drop-down menu, select Off
    • Wireless: and click Turn AirPort Off (at right).

Step 2: Make Sure Network Bridging is Disabled

If your laptop has more than one network adapter or card, you may have to disable network bridging, otherwise known as Internet connection sharing. Find your operating system and follow the instructions below.

Windows 7

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  2. In the left-hand column, click Change adapter settings.
  3. A new screen will open with a list of network connections. If there is a network bridge listed among the connections, right-click it and select Delete to remove it.

Windows Vista

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  2. In the left-hand column, click Manage network connections.
  3. A new window will open. Right-click Local Area Connection and make sure Bridge Connections is NOT selected.

Windows XP

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Network Connections.
  2. In the Network Connections window, right-click on an active Ethernet connection (Local Area Connection Enabled) and make sure Bridge Connections is NOT selected.

Mac OS 10.x

  1. In the Apple Menu, go to System Preferences…
  2. Under Internet & Wireless, click Sharing. The Sharing window will open.
  3. If the lock on the lower left corner of the Sharing window is closed, click it so you can make changes to the network settings (do not click the lock if it is already "open"), then enter your system password when prompted.
  4. In the Sharing window, from the options at right, select Internet Sharing and make sure that Internet Sharing is set to Off. If Internet Sharing is On, next to To computers using: clear any check boxes that may be selected (e.g., AirPort, Ethernet, etc.).
  5. Close the Sharing window to save your changes.