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I'm going to be working/living a facility with ridiculous internet security for a few months. Does anyone know how I can still play on Xbox Live?

Is there a mobile hotspot capable of supporting XBL, and if so, what kind of data plan would I need?

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Just curious - you are going to a place with high Internet security, that allows cell phones? If cell phones are not allowed a 4G radio for your XBox seems unlikely. Also, underground bunkers tend to have poor cell reception :). –  EBongo May 12 '12 at 14:55
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Yes. My home broadband has notoriously bad XBOX Live performace (high pings, dropouts, etc) so I recently got a MiFi dongle and connected the Xbox to that. As long as the dongle has good signal you should be fine.

My dongle (on UK Mobile network 3) has a 15GB monthly limit - a two hour Xbox Live sessions uses around 50MB. I don't use voice chat or do any extra downloads, it's just Halo: Reach matchmaking. I didn't need to open any ports, the Xbox auto-negotiates the connection fine.

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Well you need to open the following ports according to this article:

  • Port 88 (UDP)
  • Port 3074 (UDP and TCP)
  • Port 53 (UDP and TCP)
  • Port 80 (TCP)

Furthermore you need the WiFi module or a router that acts as a Hub (WiFi to cable).

Problems you could encounter are:

  • Poor connection if hotspot is too far away
  • High latency, as WiFi is slower than cable network
  • Huge spikes of traffic, when someone downloads big files, that result in varying latency

If this is a high security facility I guess this will not work. The admin will not open extra ports so you can play XBox360.

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WiFi speeds greatly exceed what you'll get from an ISP. Protocol speed is not a factor. Also, speed and latency are two different things. –  EBongo May 12 '12 at 14:47
    
In addition, huge spikes from others downloading on the same pipe is just as much a problem on a cabled network (from personal experience). –  EBongo May 12 '12 at 14:48
    
@EBongo: I agree that speed is often misused as throughput, but what I mean is the time one packet needs to go from your computer / xbox to its destination. As far as I am concerned speed is km/h or mph not kb/s the later one is throughput or bandwidth. –  ayckoster May 12 '12 at 15:01
    
Ok. Fair enough. I think the big issue to highlight though is 4G is SLOW, assuming you are in an area that supports it. The local network is the least of your problems. Mentioning WiFi at all distracts from the main issue IMHO. –  EBongo May 12 '12 at 15:08
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