I would like to have 2 connections on 2 computers, where 1 connection will be used for internet and the other will be used to transfer files from a Windows 7 Ultimate computer to a Windows XP computer.

The connection for the internet goes to a router, the other connection is a twisted pair cat5 ethernet cable straight from the windows xp computer to the windows 7 pc.

I would like this setup to eliminate the router in between when transferring files from one computer to another as it will be faster.

I obviously have 2 network cards on the windows 7 computer as well as on the windows xp computer.

My question is, how do I specify which connection to use for internet and which connection to use for sharing as the router is by default creating a lan between the 2 computers as they are connected to the same router.

I tried setting a static IP without a gateway but didnt work.

Couldnt find anything on google, actually im tired of researching something which I do not know how to explain in a few words, I had to give an example.

Any suggestions?


  • twisted pair cat5 describes all catX cables, as well as stp phone lines... But, more pertinent, describe your router and why you think this would be faster at least by any scale that matters. – Austin T French May 4 '13 at 22:26
  • It will be faster because i tested it. WHen I connected pc1 with pc2 without a router the transfer speed went up to 40mb/s+ and when the router is used it wont go over 15mb/s. I have to correct myself, the cable I used is straight through not crossover – drinu16 May 4 '13 at 22:51
  • When i tested it, I had to disable the internet connection on both pc's so that the only connection was the one between them. – drinu16 May 4 '13 at 22:52
  • tried setting a static IP without a gateway but didnt work. I believe you also need the subnet mask, did you set that? – Alvin Wong May 5 '13 at 5:36
  • Yes the subnet mask came automatically as – drinu16 May 5 '13 at 14:16

An easier solution, get a new router/switch.

Your computers support Gigabit eithernet, however your router only supports only up to 100 Megabit. I am fairly confidant due to the math you gave us in your coment.

  • Direct connection: 40 MB/s = 320 Mb/s
  • Over router: 15 MB/s = 120 Mb/s

Throw in a fudge factor saying you really got 12ish MB/s over the router and you rounded up to 15 and that is the exact behavior you would expect to see of a Gigabit link downgrading to 100 Megabit.

Repacing your router with one that supports Gigabit, or buying a switch and hooking your network up like the below diagram will make the speeds between the two computers act like the direct connection.

enter image description here

P.S. One thing that could make me wrong is if you had Gigabit already is if something is talking to the internet and was making the hard drive fight for resources (like a torrent downloading or seeding). Test what happens if you still have your router connected but you disconnect the internet side of it. If you get the fast speeds again using a 2nd cable won't help you, its your hard drive slowing you down, not the network.

  • yes, I did actually round it up, it starts from 15mb/s and goes down to 12mb/s. I just check the specs of my router and it is 10/100 :( Ill search a little on switches maybe Ill find a good and not expensive switch. Thanks for your help :) – drinu16 May 5 '13 at 14:36
  • If you felt my answer solved your problem be sure to upvote it and mark it as the accepted answer. – Scott Chamberlain May 5 '13 at 15:02
  • Also you can get good gigabit switches in the $25 - $40 range from newegg. – Scott Chamberlain May 5 '13 at 15:08

Technically, the routing table determines which interface will be used, but that is not very relevant here. It is important to understand that network interfaces talk to other interfaces, not computers; the concept of a computer is just for our benefit. Although two network cards may be hooked up to the same machine, they are seperate interfaces with different addresses and as such, trying to communicate with the other one involves setting a different destination IP address.

Without the use of DHCP or static addresses, the secondary interfaces will probably be configured by their own operating systems to have a 'link-local address' in the range You can view these using ipconfig. Normally, the operating system would also configure the routing table for these interfaces to be used to talk to other hosts in the same range, but if this fails, you can try to set IPs manually.

The Windows XP machine will then be accessible on either interface using different destination IPs, although a firewall may be overly selective. For example: ping would use the connection via your router, whereas ping would use the direct link.

Finally, I would like to add that only in extraordinary circumstances would this setup result in a significant increase in transfer speed. For simply copying files, you'll need extremely fast hard drives, dumb, outdated or broken network gear or unusually high loads to max out a 'normal' wired LAN connection.

  • 3
    "only in extraordinary circumstances would this setup result in a significant increase in transfer speed." One situation I can think of that is very likely to happen with modern hardware is if both NICs on both computers are Gigabit but the switch inside the router between them is only 10/100. The switch could be slowing down the transfer when it goes through the router vs a direct connection. – Scott Chamberlain May 5 '13 at 1:54
  • @ScottChamberlain: That's fairly common indeed, I can't believe I missed that. Thanks for pointing this out. The point I failed to make was that adding direct links between every pair of hosts is generally not the way to go about improving your network infrastructure. It may help, but if it does, you should probably be looking for problems elsewhere. – Marcks Thomas May 5 '13 at 23:05
  • just a fyi, I still gave you a +1 for the detailed explanation :) – Scott Chamberlain May 5 '13 at 23:07

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