The case of the haunted xbox.
December 14, 2009 9:48 AM   Subscribe

My internet connection is haunted! I lose connectivity the second I turn on my xbox, even when the network cable is unplugged. How can that be?

The situation: we have Mediacom service in my apartment that provides a connection for two computers and xbox live on two xboxes via a netgear router. This works fine most of the time until the second I turn on the second xbox and the internet goes out every time. When this happens and the mediacom modem starts blinking just the internet light until we reset it. Eventually the internet seems to come back after reseting the modem and it seems to come back faster if there are less than four things hooked up to the router.

Here's the weird part: the connection breaks even if we have the xbox's network cable unplugged.

How can an xbox that isn't even hooked up to the router effect our connection?

More importantly, how can I prevent this from happening in the future so I can get down to business and kill some zombies in Left 4 Dead?
posted by cirrostratus to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are there ANY other cables connected (i.e. power)? Turning on the XBox might be causing some kind of power fluctuation that your router is unusually sensitive to.

Try putting the XBox on a different circuit (run an extension cord to another room) and diagnose that way.
posted by mikewas at 10:03 AM on December 14, 2009

Are you using wireless for your computers, or a wired connection? Google suggests that the Xbox sometimes can interfere with wireless Internet because of its wireless controller system that uses the same frequency. If you are, maybe switch your computers to wired instead, or move the Xbox and router further apart?
posted by phoenixy at 10:24 AM on December 14, 2009

This is a longshot as it shouldn't kill connectivity at the router, but could that 2nd Xbox be using the same IP address as one of your other devices?
posted by COD at 10:53 AM on December 14, 2009

Yes, something involving the outlet it's using was my first thought too. Think of it this way: if the xbox was a thousand miles away at someone else's house, it would have no effect, right? You were able to figure out a pattern because it's in your house. This would be a lot harder to fix if your router just died unexpectedly with no correlation. Now you just need to figure out what makes this pattern happen. I'd try plugging xbox 1 into xbox 2's plug. Then I'd try switching them both around and turning xbox 2 on before 1. Then I'd take xbox 2 to another room on the other side of the apartment or house.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 11:11 AM on December 14, 2009

The large power brick that sits in between your Xbox and the wall -- where is it?

This brick emanates a ridiculous amount of interference. We had it near a cable outlet once, and the cable tech couldn't figure out why he was getting so much feedback on a line that, down near the control box, he could shock himself on the other end of the cable.

Try plugging in the Xbox someplace where it's not near a network or cable connection. See if that helps anything.
posted by thanotopsis at 1:02 PM on December 14, 2009

Yes, keep both boxes away from each other.
posted by gjc at 1:57 PM on December 14, 2009

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