**** =====>>>> Using Wireless on your XBox FAQ >>>>=====****

ver 1.2 04-07-2003

Get the latest version here: http://www.qwkslva.com/XBox/Wireless_FAQ/wireless_faq.html

Note:  Due to recent inquiries, I will be adding info on 802.11G later this weekend.

Since it seems to come up several times a day, and I was getting tired of retyping this over and over, I have come up with this simple FAQ on how to wirelessly network your XBOX.  This FAQ focuses on using Linksys products, since I have them, and they are one of the most popular out there. The concepts will be similar no matter what brand you use. I may add more details on other products over time as I test them.

Here is a basic diagram of what you need:

Internet <==> Cable/DSL modem <==> Router <==> Wireless Access Point (WAP) <==> Wireless Bridge <==> Xbox

The router can be deleted if you are only hooking up one device (your XBox) or you don't mind switching cables each time. I recommend using one regardless, since it also adds some rudimentary firewalling as well.

The Router and WAP can be a combined unit (handy if you haven't purchased any of it yet).  This eliminates a few cables.

Devices I use:

Router - Linksys BEFSR41 (router with 4port switch.  This can be had with 1, 4, or 8 ports depending on need)

Wireless Access Point - WAP11 (I recently switched to a WAP51AB Dual-Band)

Bridge: WET11 - this is the part that connects to you XBox.


Your cable or DSL modem should already be configured.  If you are using a router, plug it into your modem. You will plug your modem into the WAN port on the router.  Most routers will configure themselves automatically if you are using a dynamically assigned (DHCP) IP address. However, depending on your setup, configure your router as necessary. See http://www.xbox.com/LIVE/connect/routers.htm for help.

Next, plug your WAP into the router. The WAP should automatically configure itself to get an IP from the router or modem. 

If you are not using a router, and are going into the modem direct, them plug your WAP into the modem.  A link LED should light up on the router and on the modem.  Depending on brand, you may need a crossover cable between the two (if no link LED lights up, you probably do). If you have a statis IP, more work may be required.  By default, the WAP passes DHCP (IP requests) through it to your router or modem. If the XBox is your only wireless device, then configure your XBox with your static IP info.  If you have other wireless devices as well, then you will need to configure your WAP to serve DHCP requests.

Plug the cable that comes with the bridge into the Xbox and bridge LAN ports. On the bridge is a small slide switch next to the LAN port. Set it to the X (crossover) position. 

Power up your XBox.  Your XBox should be in auto mode. Now perform a connection test... it should work, and the LAN LED on the bridge should come on while the test is active.  After a successful test, fire up your favorite XBox game and give it a try... and have fun!


Some notes:

SSID's:  (Service Set IDentifier) - All wireless devices use SSID's. When using the Linksys WET bridge, the SSID's of the bridge and the WAP need to match.  By default, Linksys products default to "linksys", so there is no need to change them to get them to work. If you are using a different WAP, you will need to make them the same.

Security: For all intents and purposes, wireless devices have none.  The security that is built into most of them basically sucks.  You can configure these devices to use WEP (Wired Equivelency Privacy), but it is easily hacked and slows down your access. So keep in mind, when you are running wireless, your home network is open to the anyone in range... you should turn it off when not in use.

Linksys: Makers of fine inexpensive routers, switches, wireless devices, etc.  I use them because they are cheap and they work. They also have great tech support.  I do not work for nor have any stock with them. There are others that I use and have tested.  For instance, Apple's Airport, Cisco, ORiNOCO (formerly Lucent), and 3COM.  Most of these are much more complex and expensive to setup.  The Apple AirPort, for instance, is very easy to configure if you own a Mac with an Airport card in it. It's much more difficult if you don't own a Mac. And it's a whole lot more expensive. They are all fine products.  There are others I have not yet tested as well... DLink and US Robotics come to mind... The only bridge device that I know of and have tested is Linksys'.  Just keep in mind, that all brands SSID'd default to something different, and in this case, with the Linksys bridge, they will need to match.

Caveats: As with any wireless product, 802.11b devices are subject to interference. Common household items, such as 2.4GHz phones, X-10 wireless cameras, and unfortunately, microwave ovens, use the same range of frequencies. For instance, someone recieving a phone call in the middle of a Unreal Champioship match might kill or at least pause your connection. So what can you do?  Well good antenna placement can help, and in extreme cases, using better brand equipment and better external antennas can alliviate the hiccups.  There is equipment to test for dead spots and interference, so you might contact your local computer store and ask if they have it (probably not though). I suggest if you are planning on a big tournament, that you have a test run beforehand... get the game going, explain to your buds your running a test, and then fire up the various devices in your home to see what happens. Oh, and if your microwave completely bombs you connection, make your popcorn before the game (thanks Ed) and consider having the oven checked for leaks.

Here is a link I just found on Linksys' web page that also explains how to set it up using there equipment: http://www.linksys.com/splash/wetxbox.asp.

In the last week or so, Microsoft has finally added a page on there web regarding wireless.  You can find it here.  Thanks Microsoft!

I will update this as it is needed and as time permits...



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