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Creating my own network within university halls constraints

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Hi, First I will outline my problem: I need both my XBox360 and laptop on the same network, with my xbox connected to the internet so that I can compile and deploy XNA games to my 360. My laptop only has the one ethernet port, as does the 360, as does my dorm room. At first I figured I could simply add a switch into my room to extend the network and allow both, however I have since come to discover that all network devices in my room will receive the same IP address. I went to discuss this with a technician, who was as helpful as a shoe, and simply told me somethin along the lines of "its not possible, we only assign one IP address to each room because we have a limited number of IP addresses and would run out if students wanted more then one" complete BS i know but never the less he wouldn't help me out. So I need another way of getting both on the network, and am open to (Relatively cheap - I am a student =]) suggestions Scott

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I believe you're after a router. Another (and possibly cheaper) method may be to install another network adapter into the laptop, connect the Xbox 360 to it and set up Internet Connection Sharing (ICS). (Don't quote me on this, there may be an easier method, and don't know any any particular issues with connecting the Xbox 360 to the main Windows box for testing). [smile]

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See i thought that, with a router being designed to connect one network to another, however the only things I seem to be coming across in shops are "ADSL" or "Cable" routers, and ive no idea which if either i should be going for.

[Edited by - gameXcore on January 22, 2009 12:18:43 PM]

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A 'cable' router should do the trick as you normally connect your cable modem to the router with ethernet and it gives you an external DHCP IP which is exactly the situation you have.

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Be careful plugging a router in.. At my halls we'd get told off if we plugged in one without turning of the DHCP server because other students would connect to it accidentally. You can probably use Internet Connection Sharing with a cross-over cable, that's what I used to do.

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Sorry; I didn't read the initial question thoroughly enough. You're only getting one IP, even through a switch.
So you need a NAT router. It's kind of hard to find those without built-in wireless these days, but maybe that's not a big problem.
You want one without a built-in modem. Thus, you'll have the following ports:
1) a "WAN" port, which is an Ethernet port you plug into your school network.
2) some number of wired "LAN" ports, which is where you plug in your Xbox and perhaps laptop.
3) a wireless network, which you could run your laptop on if the spectrum isn't already too crowded.

The Linksys WRT54GL seems to be the reigning choice. I have one, and it's been doing just fine for me.

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Quote:
Original post by hplus0603
The Linksys WRT54GL seems to be the reigning choice. I have one, and it's been doing just fine for me.
Going a little off topic here; I used to have one of them and it kept freezing up or crashing. I installed DD-WRT on it and it works fine now, and has all sorts of other cool settings and things to play with.

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I bought a cardbus ethernet card for my lappy, and am ICS-ing it up. Not a solution for gaming - live complains about the routing, some sort of latency problem or something, but I can build and deploy XNA just fine, and downloading demos etc. is lightspeed

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Quote:
Original post by chapter78
Be careful plugging a router in.. At my halls we'd get told off if we plugged in one without turning of the DHCP server because other students would connect to it accidentally. You can probably use Internet Connection Sharing with a cross-over cable, that's what I used to do.

Yeah that will surely piss off whoever is adminstering the school network since there is nothing worse than a rougue DHCP server wrecking havok with the routing tables!
If it is true that you only get 1 IP and it's statically assigned it's easy to bypass with any router as already mentioned. Just make sure it supports MAC clone mode in case 1 MAC address per room is being enforced or some such policy(MAC authentification). Actually, all this should really be covered already in whatever network policy your school has. If they don't they probably won't be much help anyways!

p.s. Also if you spend any cash for a router make sure it has full XBox360 networking support since I've noticed alot of older routers need firmware updates for full support or support is quite spotty in some cases. Also unless you get a gaming router or some such thing, you will need to read the manual to figure out how to open up the router ports correctly so your XBox can get full access to the network,etc.

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Plugging in a router shouldn't be a problem if you plug the WAN port into the school network. However, if you plug one of the client-side ports into the school network, you'd have a problem :-)

Also, wireless in a dorm might be a problem, because you could actually run out of channels pretty easily. Given that the original concern was "other students connecting without recognizing it," then turning on WPA and/or turning off the announce beacon ought to solve that problem.

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