Help me set up a wireless-wired spoke for my home network using existing 10+ year old parts
January 22, 2011 10:34 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to use the wireless connection from my laptop to connect my hacked XBox (not 360) running XBMC to the network using a Ethernet cable?

So in my old apartment, I used this set-up for playing media through my XBox?

Cable modem --> Wireless Router --Ethernet Cable 1--> Desk PC1
                                                      --Ethernet Cable 2--> Xbox 2

1 where media files are stored)
2 for playing media files from the PC over Windows SMB and occasional Internet streaming

In my old apartment, this XBox was used in the living room and sometimes in my bedroom but it didn't matter because they were close enough that I could always use the same long Ethernet cable.

Now that we've moved into a bigger place, I would like to use the XBox occasionally in the bedroom without running the Ethernet cable (because it's not long enough)

I was hoping I could use my old mostly unused laptop (jacked up screen but can connect to the existing network wirelessly) and use an Ethernet cable to connect the Xbox to the network, creating a set-up like this:

Cable modem --> Wireless Router --Ethernet Cable 1--> Desktop PC
                                                      - --Laptop Connected Wirelessly> --Ethernet Cable 2--> Xbox

I've searched online for a solution but keep getting bogged down in solutions connecting XBox 360 to the Internet for Xbox Live (which is far newer than I need). I also realize that I could buy something to make the wireless connection but the whole point is to do this with existing gear to not spend any money.

If this is possible, please let me know what I need to do to the laptop, and what I should set the IP settings for in the XBox's network settings.

I feel like this could be really simple or not at all possible and I figured this would be a nice place to be told how to do it or that it can't be done.
posted by MCMikeNamara to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
What OS is your laptop?
posted by zvs at 11:13 PM on January 22, 2011

Response by poster: Sorry - running Windows XP on laptop (though could change that on one of them if I wanted - was going to run this on my work one to try it and then the aforementioned broken-screened one if I decided to make this more permanent -- at this time, both are running XP)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:22 PM on January 22, 2011

This would be pretty easy to do in Linux or one of the BSDs if your wireless hardware is supported. I'm not sure where to even begin in XP though.
posted by strangecargo at 11:27 PM on January 22, 2011

ics for xp, you might need a crossover cable to connect the xbox to the laptop.
posted by onya at 11:37 PM on January 22, 2011

So you want to use the laptop as a wireless bridge between the Xbox and your PC?

(Googling 'laptop wireless bridge xbox -360' will you get you various other sites describing the same thing.)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:58 PM on January 22, 2011

as obiwanwasabi says, you want to bridge two networks. Should be simple, but with good ol' winders involved I'm sure it will take fiddling. I do what you are talking on a monthly basis. Post if your having trouble getting it to work.
posted by token-ring at 12:58 AM on January 23, 2011

2nding onya - internet connection sharing is the easiest way...

the one downside (afaik) is that by default it's NAT not a bridge... if so you'll need to connect to the media server by address instead of being able to browse to it...
posted by russm at 2:08 AM on January 23, 2011

If you don't find your ideal answer, this might be an acceptable compromise:

100-foot Ethernet cables can be bought for around $10. Ethernet's maximum length is around 300 feet, so you should have no signal problems. If aesthetics are an issue for you, running a 100' cable to your bedroom may not be acceptably, but you said that cable length and money were the issues, not aesthetics. A $10 cable isn't exactly 'new equipment' in my book.
posted by Tehhund at 1:37 PM on January 23, 2011

Yes, use your laptop. It's easy. Go to your adapter list (control panel, network connections) Select the wired and wireless networks. Right click on the wireless network connection (with both selected). Click 'bridge connections'.

That's it. You now have a bridge. Plug xbox into wired port (you may need a crossover cable if your laptop doesn't have an auto-sensing port) and you're done. (If you don't have a crossover cable, you can use a spare switch or hub that you have lying around)
posted by defcom1 at 6:18 PM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

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