I have multiple network adapters on my Windows XP system. Is there a way I can establish which adapter Firefox and Internet Explorer are using? Can I force them to use a specific adapter?

  • Out of curiosity, why are there multiple network adapters on your system? It's uncommon just to have more than one NIC on a system let alone have multiple NICs that are in use. Is this a "work PC" attached to different internal LANs? – irrational John Jul 6 '10 at 19:37
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    I can't speak for the original poster, but I use one NIC for the directly-exposed-to-the-internet network, and another NIC for my internal NATted network where my NAS and wireless trafic live. – Zed Jul 6 '10 at 20:45
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    @irrational John: Add a VPN to this and a virtualization software like virtualbox/vmware and you'll get at least 4 network adapters listed, that's not really uncommon imho :) – Shadok Dec 7 '11 at 16:48

Your browser isn't choosing which interface your traffic goes through, the network settings in the OS are responsible for that. In this case it would probably depend on what the default gateway was set as. By default all the traffic would go through that unless there was an exception.

If this were linux the answer would simply be 'iptables' but in windows it's a tad more murky. I wish I could answer better, I'm sure someone else will have a better answer, but this should at least get you started.

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  • I don't believe there is any logical necessity for a "default gateway" setting to also specify which interface to use. The default just needs to identify which router to use as a "last resort" when IP can't figure out where else to send a packet. – irrational John Jul 6 '10 at 19:42
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    The default gateway setting is an IP. An IP which is in the range of one of the interfaces as specified by their subnet masks and IP. So yes, you only specify the DG and not the actual interface (Unless you're using linux). – Daisetsu Jul 6 '10 at 20:32
  • in Windows 7, you can type netstat -rn to see the ip routing tables. – Alexander Bird Aug 20 '13 at 22:02
  • Windows networking behaviour is just bizarre. I can ping the address and tracert it to see the connection go the right way, but within the web browser it resolves the address via a totally different route (the same subnet routed to via a different adapter). – deed02392 Aug 8 '14 at 10:56

You can use ForceBindIP to force applications (e.g. web browser) to bind to a specific network interface or IP address.

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  • It seems nobody here noticed your answer. It works only sometimes and it's not a "beautiful" program nor easy to use, even if it has some experimental GUIs. It would be great to have an option implemented natively on Windows. – skan Jan 18 '17 at 19:05
  • Thanks for noticing! Updated URL so it points to updated page. :) – Sun Jan 18 '17 at 19:06
  • This is actually the best answer for Windows. ForceBindIP is the way to go. You can create a shortcut that launches a browser on a particular network interface, and then you're done. – Gabriel Hautclocq Aug 3 '18 at 15:00
  • Openvpn is Overkill but you could also show a certain up for your browser this way – Sun Aug 4 '18 at 16:28

You cannot set the browser's default interface, but you can change Window's default interface. See this article from http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/27994/how-to-change-the-priority-of-wiredwireless-network-cards-in-windows/

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  • but that would force all the applications to use the same interface – skan Jan 18 '17 at 19:45

I believe that in XP you can choose the priority list like so: control panel>network connections>advanced(in the top toolbar) V Advanced settings... and you can move the connections up and down etc.... I don't know if this REALLY changes the USED connection or not... EDIT:::tried-and-working-on-my-connections-with-different-IP's......:)

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  • It doesn't. As Daisetsu mentioned, "Your browser isn't choosing which interface your traffic goes through, the network settings in the OS are responsible for that." – BloodPhilia Jul 7 '10 at 18:35
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    I know that the browser doesn't choose... but this has worked to get the OS to change it for me.. I had 2 separate connections running (with different external IP addresses) and I switched them.. and checked the IP in the browser and it worked!... at least for me it did :) – Luke3butler Jul 7 '10 at 18:37
  • Then put that in your answer... At the moment it seems like this will tell the asker that the browser CAN... – BloodPhilia Jul 7 '10 at 18:40

My PC has two network cards. I did this: In the network card that has internet, I left the IP for default gateway. In the other network card, I deleted (left blank) the default gateway. It worked. I Hope this helps someone.

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  • And then how do you force some applications such as Firefox) to use one card and other (such as Chrome or torrent) to use the other one? – skan Jan 18 '17 at 19:09

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