If you are using the Xbox 360 by Microsoft the device is designed for Internet connectivity for accessing applications such as online games and other programs. Depending upon the model of the Xbox 360 you have it may be necessary to purchase an Xbox 360 wireless adapter to establish a connection to your wireless network.
An Xbox 360 wireless adapter is fairly easy to install and configure. There are also methods you can use to help you maximize the connection to your wireless Internet configuration. If you are using an Xbox 360 for the first time or you are just looking for some extra information on improving your current unit, here are a few helpful tips on working with an Xbox 360 using a wireless adapter.
Xbox 360 vs. Xbox 360 S Console
If you have the original Xbox 360 console then it is necessary to purchase the Xbox 360 wireless adapter in order to establish a connection to the Internet. Without the wireless adapter you will only be able to use Xbox Live by establishing a connection with an Ethernet cable.
On the other hand, if you have the Xbox 360 S the console already has WiFi built into the unit so it is unnecessary to install wireless adapter. If you already have a wireless network setup this will be all that is necessary for connecting to the Internet.
Choosing an Xbox 360 Wireless Adapter
If you have the original Xbox 360 console which requires a wireless adapter there are many different brands of wireless adapters for the Xbox 360. Your best bet is to use the wireless adapter designed by Microsoft since it is specifically made for the Xbox 360 unit. When you connect the adapter to the console it will automatically perform the installation without any user intervention. Other brands of wireless adapters for Xbox 360 sometimes require configuration that is more complex.
The cost for an Xbox 360 wireless adapter will vary according to the brand and can range from as little as $35 up to as much as $100. The Microsoft wireless adapter tends to be on the upper end of the price range and the other brands that are cheaper use installation discs and require configuration.
How an Xbox 360 Wireless Adapter Works
It is necessary to use a wireless adapter with the original Xbox 360 console since the device is responsible for detecting the wireless signal from your router. This is the only way to establish wireless connectivity with a unit that does not have built in WiFi. The adapter is compatible with three types of WiFi standards which are 802.11a, b, and g, with “n” currently emerging on the market.
Xbox 360 Wireless Adapter Setup
The Xbox 360 wireless adapter is easy to install and setup if you are using the Microsoft brand that installs itself. You simply connect the wireless adapter to the Xbox 360 console via a USB cable and then allow it to perform the installation process. Once the setup is complete choose “System Settings” from the primary menu to establish a wireless connection to the Internet. Under System Settings choose “Network Settings” and then select “Configure Network” and choose the “Wireless Mode” feature. In the next window select “Scan for Networks” and choose the wireless connection you want to use. Enter your password if you are prompted to do so and click on “Done.” Once configuration is complete the connection to Xbox Live will automatically be established.
Enhancing the Wireless Signal
Once the console is connected to the wireless network if the signal appears to be weak or non-existent you can perform a test with the “Test Xbox Live Connection” feature which is located in the settings listed above where you configured the wireless connection. If the test shows that the wireless signal is weak move the Xbox 360 console closer to the wireless router and check to ensure there are no objects interfering with the wireless signal. Objects may include a microwave oven, other wireless devices, walls, and metal objects. If necessary you can also purchase a wireless signal extender to place in between the console and the wireless router to increase signal strength.
Wireless N is the newest and fastest type of wireless Internet connectivity and is commonly referred to as 802.11n. If you want to connect an Xbox wireless “n” adapter it will be necessary to update the software in your Xbox 360 console before you can install the adapter.
You can accomplish this by installing the CD disc that is included with the adapter by inserting it into the console. Then you simply turn off the console and then turn it on again and choose “Yes update now.” When the update is complete you can proceed to install the adapter according to the instructions we discussed above.