Networking / Beginners

Configuring Multiple Gateways

To provide fault tolerance in case of a router outage, you can choose to configure Windows Vista computers so that they use multiple default gateways. When multiple gateways are assigned, Windows Vista uses the gateway metric to determine which gateway is used and at what time. The gateway metric indicates the routing cost of using a gateway. The gateway with the lowest routing cost, or metric, is used first. If the computer can't communicate with this gateway, Windows Vista tries to use the gateway with the next lowest metric.

The best way to configure multiple gateways depends on the configuration of your network. If computers use DHCP, you'll probably want to configure the additional gateways through settings on the DHCP server. If computers use static IP addresses or you want to set gateways specifically, assign them by completing the following steps:

  1. Click Start and then click Network. In Network Explorer, click Network And Sharing Center on the toolbar.
  2. In Network And Sharing Center, click Manage Network Connections.
  3. In Network Connections, right-click the connection you want to work with and then select Properties.
  4. In the Local Area Connection Status dialog box, click Properties. This displays the Local Area Connection Properties dialog box.
  5. Double-click Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) or Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) as appropriate for the type of IP address you are configuring.
  6. Click Advanced to open the Advanced TCP/IP Settings dialog box.
  7. The Default Gateways panel shows the current gateways that have been manually configured (if any). You can enter additional default gateways as necessary. Click Add and then type the gateway address in the Gateway text box.
  8. By default, Windows Vista automatically assigns a metric to the gateway. You can also assign the metric manually. To do this, clear the Automatic Metric check box and then enter a metric in the text box provided.
  9. Click Add and then repeat steps 68 for each gateway you want to add.
  10. Click OK three times and then click Close.
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