I don’t know why, but macOS doesn’t seem to have an automatic ability to shut down the WiFi adapter when an Ethernet connection is detected. It’s a simple thing that can cause several problems, especially if you are in an environment where you may need to authenticate to a network or access VPN services.
It may be possible to manage locations and some additional tools, but I didn’t want something that required retooling every time I used my system in a new location, so I decided to write a simple script, using built-in tools for everything except the execution of the script.
This script will check for both an active WiFi connection and also an active Ethernet connection. If it detects both, it will shutdown the WiFi interface and display a notification, via macOS notifications, that it has done this. I haven’t tested this on previous versions of macOS (only Mojave), though if the rest of the commands work, the script might function by simply removing the statement that generates a notification.
After I while I decided to purchase a Plugable USB 2.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter. It’s worked great ever since and as far as I can tell I haven’t had any new problems with the system (and bandwidth has clearly improved over the wifi connection). The device retails from Amazon for about $25.
Fortunately, the ASUS box also has wireless so I was able to shift all of the network services over to the wifi adapter. I had to re-establish the built-in VPN server, among other annoyances. Since the ethernet port was no longer usable I decided to disable it in Windows 7.
I noticed the service was no longer working and wouldn’t start. When I viewed mControl’s log I saw the following message every time I attempted to start it:
The Installation Code of the license file does not match with Code 2. Please contact your System Administrator.
mServer License Code=Hacked/Hacker, Ver=.
My version isn’t hacked. I paid the commercial price (less because it was an upgrade from a previous version that I had also paid for). At first I thought that perhaps the license information was damaged but then I remembered that I had disabled the ethernet port and I noticed that there were some entries in the log during the activation check that hinted toward a check of the network device.
I re-enabled the built-in ethernet port. Sure enough, the software passed the activation check and started up. It seems to use a hardware identifier that’s part of the network card for activation.
Last spring my brothers and I purchased a 32″ LCD Panasonic TV for our mother that includes several Internet streaming apps built-in (Netflix, Pandora, etc). At the time it would have cost an additional $90 for the wireless adapter so I decided to setup a Linksys AP in bridge-mode (to a Linksys wireless router) and connect it to the TV’s ethernet port.
Unfortunately, the AP to wireless router bridge required that I use WEP for her network. This wasn’t ideal considering the weak security that WEP provides but it worked well enough to get the television connected.
About a month ago I purchased an IOGear Universal WiFi N Adapter (GWU627W6) for about $40, which is a much more reasonable price than the other adapter and can easily be used with any ethernet-compatible device. A week ago I went over to my mother’s house and swapped out the AP with the IOGear device.
So far it seems to be working well and I’ve also changed her network to use WPA. I think this is a good device at a fair price.
I summarized all of my issues with sending HDMI signals to two different TVs from multiple sources and getting the DirecTV remote working. The page includes my latest solution, which also provides the ability to control all connected devices from either room.
Updated 05/25/2011: Save yourself time, money, and frustration by checking out my latest solution.
I decided to replace the Monoprice HDMI/Ethernet extenders in an attempt to resolve the signal issues with the TV in the bedroom. I replaced those adapters with a Sabrent HDMI Extension cable over Cat5/6 RJ45 Extender adapter. It is an improvement but it hasn’t removed the problem. I did finally get a steady signal light on the switch and I was able to change channels several times without any problems but later tonight it dropped the signal a couple of times.
On the bright side, this eliminates one part of the problem (and I’ll have another use for the older adapters). At this point either I need to upgrade the Cat5 to Cat6 or get a better HDMI switch.
Over at Mac OS X Hints a contributor has posted a hint with a script that will turn off Airport whenever the LAN port is used. For most folks this isn’t a concern but sometimes, in corporate environments, there are several reasons one may not want to be connected to ethernet and wi-fi at the same time.
The instructions are well explained though I had to reboot my system to get it working. In addition, you’ll also need to install growlnotify with Growl if you want to receive the pop-up notifications.
Updated 08/18/2011: I’ve been using this for about ten months and it’s really not an essential function. Sometimes it’s convenient and other times it can get in the way. In some situations when I wake my laptop up, after it was previously connected to the WiFi, it doesn’t automatically start Airport. All-in-all, it’s no better or worse than not having it installed. Your mileage may vary depending on your needs and network environments.