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I'm moving from a one-story apartment to a two-story apartment and I'd like to place my router on a different floor than my XBox.

However, my xbox doesn't have built-in wireless. Rewiring the apartment is not an option, and the official adapter looks pricy.

Are there any cheaper third-party alternatives I can use?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

There are several options that might help.

  • The "official" USB-based Microsoft wireless adapter. As you've noted, it's a bit pricey, but it's officially supported and pretty much guaranteed to "just work."
  • Use a wired-to-wireless "bridge" device. These plug into your ethernet port, but have a wireless radio in them that can connect any wired device to a wireless network. These can get somewhat expensive, but at least they're not locked to just the Xbox 360, like the official adapter is.
  • Put a computer with a wired ethernet port and a wireless adapter into a mode where it bridges the two - Internet Connection Sharing on some versions of Windows, for example. iptables on a Linux installation is capable of this type of bridging as well, although configuring it is beyond the scope of this answer.
  • Buy a set of wireless routers that are capable of something like WDS, and plug one into your broadband modem and the other into your Xbox 360. The advantage here is that you get multiple ports at each router, and it extends your wireless range/signal strength to boot. This isn't super common in consumer-grade routers, but open source router firmware like DD-WRT is capable of adding this to many devices.

Some people have issues with latency and wireless connections when using their Xbox, although I use the 2-router WDS route and have been for many years without issues. One major factor is the number of wireless networks in your area - the more other traffic around, the worse your latency is going to be.

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Just an add-on: for DD-WRT, the modes that will allow the wireless-to-wired connection are called "Wireless Bridge" and "Repeater Bridge". A repeater bridge is the same as a wireless bridge, except it will also further extend the wireless signal (or you can create your own access point off of the receiving signal). – PileOfDuty Jul 3 '12 at 17:18

Agent86's options are good, but he's missing the one that worked for me:

You could buy a new 360. They have onboard wireless now (and a bigger hard drive).

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But they're considerably more expensive than the wireless adapter, lol. Yeah, we're eventually planning to upgrade, but we don't have the budget right now and the move forced our hand – Yamikuronue Jul 1 '12 at 0:11

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