XBox Live via an Airport Express?

Published 17 years, 1 month past

Thanks to the faintly odd generosity of a colleague—I won’t name names, but let’s just say the URL of the gentleman in question rhymes with “fairgag”—I find myself with a yearlong XBox Live subscription.  One interesting wrinkle in this scenario is that I don’t really have any multiplayer games besides Halo 2, but that isn’t really the biggest issue.  No, the real problem is that the XBox 360 is two floors away from the DSL router, with no possible cable routes that don’t involve winding about a hundred feet of CAT-5 around stairwell bannisters and across public walls.

Now, I do have 802.11b wifi in the house, so I could buy the official wifi adapter.  What I’m wondering, though, is if I could plug the XBox into my Airport Express‘ Ethernet port (or the USB port) and get it onto the network that way.  I Googled a bit but didn’t turn up anything relevant, and poking around the administration utility’s configuration pages didn’t seem to help.  Anyone know if there’s a way to make this happen?

Of course, I have no idea if my Netgear MR814v2 router is even XBox Live compatible, but one thing at a time, I guess.

Comments (16)

  1. in theory it should all work. i searched the xbox forums and found a good list of answers..

    snippet i found..

    My 360 is connected to my network wirelessly using an AirPort Extreme base station. It immediately saw my network and all I needed to do was run the AirPort Admin Utility on my iMac and click “password” to get the WEP password and enter it. Works great. I also have a PC laptop wirelessly on the same network and with Windows Media Connect I can browse all my photos and music on the laptop wirelessly. I love it, and it set up flawlessly.

    good luck!

  2. Ooh. Er… I’m not sure this works.

    I’ve tried a similar with with a strawberry G3 iMac. It connects to the wireless network, but doesn’t seem to be able to speak to the internet.

    I think there used to be a setting in the Airport Express’s admin screen that sort-of made it share network and internet over the ethernet port, but I’m now running the latest Airport software, and there doesn’t seem to be anything.

    Sorry, this is really vague and unhelpful. But it does maybe confirm that if there is a way to get it to work, it’s non-obvious.

  3. You can. In fact, any wireless bridge with an ethernet port should be able to do it.

  4. Unfortunately, whilst this can be achieved with most wireless extenders, the ethernet port on the Airport Extreme is only designed to connect to a cable/dsl modem/router and not to act as a bridge to other equipment.

    I would recommend a ‘gaming adapter’ from Linksys, Netgear, etc. They are specifically designed for just this thing.

    The Linksys WGA54G is one such device.

    Note: I have no connection to any of these manufacturers, I just do this stuff for a living.

    – Neil.

  5. Hello,
    I have my XBox connected via an Aiport Extreme. No problems so far.

    – daniEL

  6. Your router should work… you only need to be able to set an IP, in this the case the IP of the xbox as a DMZ… must routers, even very basic ones support this…

    Good luck!

  7. I am pretty sure that at one point I had the XBox wworking through a Netgear WGPS606 (wireless print server w/4-port switch). A wireless bridge might also be of some use, and possibly cheaper than a “gaming adapter”.

  8. I’ve got that exact setup and it works no problem. Just hook up your Express as an “extension” of the main network and you’ll be set. Grab a copy of Rainbox 6 Vegas too!

  9. It seems like the general answer here is that the pieces I have won’t go together. I can go through my router with no problem, but it’s a Netgear product, not an official Apple Airport base station. Because I don’t have an Airport base station, I can’t put the Airport Express into WDS mode, which means I can’t use it as a bridge.

    So in order to get the XBox on the wifi cloud, I could buy a wireless adapter (or a generic wireless bridge) for the XBox, or I could replace my Netgear router with an Airport base station. Alternatively, I could relocate the DSL modem and router to the rec room, where the XBox is located, so I could plug it in with CAT-5. The problem there is that then my desktop Mac would be three floors away from the router, and I’d have to buy a wireless bridge to get it online.

    So, in the end, I have to buy something to get my desired setup to work. Alternatively, I can just schlep the DSL modem to the rec room any time I want to go on Live—at least until I replace the desktop Mac with something wifi-enabled, which I’d been seriously considering anyway, and then permanently relocate the modem and router to the rec room. (I tested this setup last night and it seemed fine.) I could even pick up a new base station when I get the new Mac, although I’ve seen reports of problems with Live over the new Extreme base stations.

    If the Airport Express would just do WDS with any wifi network, not just those cast by Airport base stations, the problem would be solved. It’s fairly bogus that it won’t, but I’m sure there’s some long involved technical explanation why that’s not in the cards, and it isn’t at all a question of lock-in. Not at all.

    Thanks for all the pointers, folks!

  10. The Airport Express will do WDS with other manufacturer’s equipment, you just have to have faith in it working.

    I have a client who has BT Voyager Wireless Router Airport Express Linksys Range Extender. You have to do the configuration manually but it does work.

    As far as I can tell from their site, the Netgear MR814v2 doesn’t support WDS, so without replacing your router, that isn’t an option.

    I does however seem that my understanding of the Airport Express was incorrect and that it can act as a bridge. So with a WDS supporting router you could set the express up as a WDS remote and have it bridge the XBox via ethernet.

    My advice: If you don’t want to stump up for one of the new ‘N’ Airport Extremes, pick up one of the older ones. 802.11g should be plenty fast enough.

    – Neil.

  11. I’ve had a bit of a nightmare getting Airport WDS to work with others. I believe it’s because WDS was a part of the 802.11b/g spec that was never ratified, so different manufacturers implementations can be different.

    I really don’t know enough about networks to hack these things into working, and when the new Airport came out (USB hard drive sharing, ethernet ports, and a slightly lower price), I snapped it up. The niceness of Apple’s configuration software made it well worth it for a guy like me.

    But if I knew networks a bit better, I’m sure I could get all (well, most) of the same functionality and more.

  12. Not sure if anyone’s said this yet or not, but I’m sure they have. I was in the exact same situation as you last month. I wanted to get my 360 on Live, and I didn’t want to run Cat-5 all over the house, nor did I want to plunk down $100 for the WiFi adapter.

    So, I used this exact tutorial to bridge my connection to my laptop’s Ethernet port using a standard Ethernet cable.

    I was so happy when I got this working. All you have to do is basically select your wireless connection on your computer, and select the Ethernet connection, and just right click and bridge the connection.

    Well, sure someone already said that, but I hope it helped.

  13. Thanks, Vince. I actually figured out how to do that with my Mac laptop last night; I’ll be writing up the results in a day or two.

  14. Being a bit of a lurker on your site i thought it was about time i actually posted here!
    Anyway, glad you got it sorted, if you find it drops connection or the speed creates a bit of lag whilst gaming maybe consider going for the netgear power line products where you can carry your network over your internal power lines in your house. They do up to 200mbs and in reality i get 3/4 of that as i have similar issues/setup at home…
    Try here:

    Whats your gamertag by the way, i’ll give you a game of halo sometime!

    Good luck


  15. To get xbox 360 to work with aiport express, simply disable security settings on your airport. On you XBOX 360, go to SYSTEM – NETWORK SETTINGS – EDIT SETTINGS – WIRELESS MODE. Choose your airport. Now test xbox live, it should be working. To put your security back on your airport, go back to EDIT SETTINGS on the XBOX 360, copy all the the info from IP SETTINGS & DNS SETTINGS on a sheet of paper. Now turn back on your securty on your airport, go back to EDIT SETTINGS on your XBOX 360 and copy all the info you just copied into IP SETTINGS & DNS SETTINGS.

    This took me forever to find out, but now I am up and running. I hoped this saved you alot of headaches…