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Setting Your 360 In A DMZ


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#1 OFFLINE   Player Oni

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 11:56 AM

Since the move to the 360, there have been a lot of people experiencing severe issues getting into, and staying in a multiplayer game. This has a lot to do with the way the 360 interacts with the network it's on. The original Xbox was a little less intensive with its network code, but the 360 has added a ton of new features to the old Live, which always means there's a higher risk of failures. Basically, the 360 needs a lot more room to breathe than the old Xbox. In technical terms, what this means is the 360 needs a lot more ports open for I/O to function properly.

Here are some signs that you are experiencing connection issues due to your router:
  • Cannot connect to games hosted by players you used to play with all the time
  • If someone else hosts the exact same room, you can now connect
  • After you enter rooms, there are certain players you can't hear in voice chat (generally the same people you can't connect to)
  • Often randomly disconnected from games for no reason
As a security measure, routers tend to block a lot of ports to protect computers on the subnet from being hacked into. While this is great for your average PC user, this is terrible for your average online gamer. For PC games, this means finding whatever specific port that game needs and opening it. The process is not much different for the 360, there are just several ports to open. To make things easier, routers have an option to put any device connected to it (PC, Xbox, 360, etc.) into a DMZ (De-Militarized Zone). The DMZ is a special area of your router that has no network restrictions. All ports are open, so anything can come in and out without a problem. For a PC, this is dangerous, but for a 360, the chances of being hacked are slim to none. Thus, in order to reduce one's connection issues as much as possible, the best bet is to put the 360 in a DMZ.

Okay, well that's great Oni, now how do we do it? Unfortunately, this is the tricky bit. Since there are hundreds of makes and models of routers out there, and none of them have the same software, there is no real step-by-step process that is foolproof across the board. What I can provide you with, though, is a general idea of how to set up a DMZ. From there, you will need to apply these steps to your own router. (Note: To provide an example, I will also show how I've done all these steps with my router, a Netgear WGR614 v6 wireless router).

Step 1: Locate Your Manufacturer's Support Page
Before you do anything, you need to find the support page for your router. Generally this page will be able to provide you with the step-by-step procedures that go along with any of my steps. Here are some common router manufacturer support pages:Example: The support page for my router model is here.

Step 2: Logging Into Your Router
All routers have a way you can log into them from your PC for administration purposes. This will allow you to do any of the following steps. Generally, you just need to type the router's IP address into your web browser and it will bring a login prompt. The IP is usually 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1, and the name/password is generally admin/password or admin/1234. Sometimes routers will prompt you to change your password once you log in. Unless you will definitely remember it, I would advise against changing it. Check your support page to verify how to do this.

Example: I can type www.routerlogin.com into my web browser and it lets me log into my router.

Step 3: Determining Which Device Is Your 360
The first thing you'll have to do once you log in is find out how your router identifies the 360 connected to it. For this, I would disconnect all devices except your primary PC and your 360, and make sure the 360 is on at the time. Most routers will give you a list of connected devices, with IP address and MAC address. There are two ways you can identify which is your 360. You can go to your 360 network settings and run the connection test. After this, go to the "Edit Settings" option, and there will be an item that shows your IP address. Find this on your router's list, and that is your 360. The other option is to turn off your 360, refresh your router's list, and whichever one disappeared was your 360.

Example: My router menu has an option for "Attached Devices" which lists two connected devices. After looking at the 360 settings tab, I see my 360 IP address is 192.168.1.2, which I find on the list.

Step 3: Assigning Your 360 A Static IP Address
This step is crucial. Your router generally assigns IP addresses dynamically when a device is turned on. What this means is that your 360 may not have the same IP address each time you turn it on. However, the DMZ option in a router only works for a given IP address, so you need to be sure that your 360 will have the same IP address no matter when you turn it on. Almost all routers have an option to assign static IP addresses to connected devices. They will reserve that IP address, and only assign it when that device is turned on. Now that you've identified which connected device is the 360, you need to find the option in your router menu that allows you to assign it a static IP (usually based on the MAC address, so copy and paste that from the device list to be sure). The process is different for each router, so definitely check with your support page.

Example: My router menu has a "LAN IP Setup" tab, which has a subsection for "Address Reservation." I hit the "Add" button, type in the MAC address, the IP I want to reserve it (192.168.1.2), and give it a name (Xbox 360).

Step 4: Setting Your 360 Into The DMZ
This is the last step. Now that your 360 has an IP that will never change, you can now tell the router "Hey, put this IP in the DMZ and let anyone access it." Somewhere in your router menu, possibly in the "WAN Setup" tab, there will be a subsection that says "DMZ." Usually there is a text box to enter in an IP address. Just enter in the IP address you assigned to your 360, hit "Submit," and now you're good to go!

Example: My router has a "WAN Setup" tab, with a subsection called "Default DMZ Server" with four text boxes for each section of the IP. After entering it in and submitting, my router resets and now my 360 is primed and ready for gaming.

Alternate Method: Opening Required Ports For Xbox Live
There is another method to fixing connection issues without opening all ports to your 360. However, I haven't tested this method so I don't know if it's as effective as the DMZ. Basically, you will need to open three specific ports to your 360. The process is exactly the same up until step 4. Instead of setting up the DMZ, you need to go to the menu tab for "Port Forward/Port Triggering," or at least something similar to that. From there, you need to add three items to your port list, all of them pointing to your 360's static IP. The ports are: 53, 88, and 3074, and they should all be of the type TCP/UDP. Like I said, I have not tested this method so I can't verify it's validity, but other people have said it works for them.

Example: My router has a "Port Forwarding/Port Triggering" tab, and inside is an empty table of ports, service names, and the IP address assigned to them. I click the "Add Custom Service" button three times, entering in the ports and my 360's IP (192.168.1.2), and then hit submit.

I hope this proves useful for everybody, and maybe we can solve these 360 connection issues once and for all. Please, if you have any questions about this router stuff, feel free to send me a PM and I can work with you on it.

Edited by x Player Oni x, 10 March 2006 - 12:37 PM.


#2 OFFLINE   SG Steelhead

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 11:57 AM

This should be pinned....works like a charm.
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#3 OFFLINE   Player Oni

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 11:58 AM

Yeah, if a mod could please pin this, that would be great.


#4 OFFLINE   SG Impreza

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:02 PM

Nice work! Ive been waiting for something like this. Problem I have is I have to connect my 360 to my PC which then connects to the net. :mellow:

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#5 OFFLINE   SG Bullitt

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:05 PM

Great post, Oni. I'll be printing it out when I get home. I don't have a 360 yet, but I imagine it will come in handy once I get one.

#6 OFFLINE   blackzipper

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:05 PM

Pinned.

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#7 OFFLINE   SG Xcaliber

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:06 PM

I never even thought about posting this. Good post Oni. Mine has been in the DMZ since I set it up and I've never has the problems others have.

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#8 OFFLINE   corndog

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:06 PM

I hadn't thought about this. I'll do this...as soon as I get a 360 <_< .
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#9 OFFLINE   Payload9

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:08 PM

Well done Oni.
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#10 OFFLINE   Player Oni

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:11 PM

I wish I could give you guys a more detailed way of doing it, but unfortunately routers like to be as different as possible. For instance, I tried to walk Wicked through it a couple of weeks ago, and we couldn't find a section to assign static IP addresses. It was goofy as hell.

If you're looking into getting a new router and you're worried about the DMZ stuff, just get the same model I have. It works like a charm, and I can actually tell you exactly how to get it set up.

By the way, thanks for pinning zip. Now I'll only teamkill you a couple of times in GRAW.


#11 OFFLINE   SG Noodles

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:20 PM

Nice work Oni... I am gonna go through this as soon as the baby goes to nap!

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#12 OFFLINE   Fancy Pants

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:57 PM

I wish I could give you guys a more detailed way of doing it, but unfortunately routers like to be as different as possible. For instance, I tried to walk Wicked through it a couple of weeks ago, and we couldn't find a section to assign static IP addresses. It was goofy as hell.


HAHA, just thought about something. Did Wicked ask you how to rename his wireless connection? When I was down there in Texas I renamed his wireless connection to "Jamo PWNS Wicked" :lol: I figured it would remain that way until I was back down there, somebody helped him, or he bought a new router.

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#13 OFFLINE   Jaleeb Caru

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 01:00 PM

I don't really experience these problems but thanks for the write up Oni, I'm sure it'll help alot of folks out.
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#14 OFFLINE   Player Oni

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 01:06 PM

HAHA, just thought about something. Did Wicked ask you how to rename his wireless connection? When I was down there in Texas I renamed his wireless connection to "Jamo PWNS Wicked" :lol: I figured it would remain that way until I was back down there, somebody helped him, or he bought a new router.


You know, actually, I think he did mention something about that, but he was just sort of mumbling it like a grumpy old man. I'm pretty sure it started out with, "That bitch Jamo..."


#15 OFFLINE   SG Steelhead

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 01:32 PM

HAHA, just thought about something. Did Wicked ask you how to rename his wireless connection? When I was down there in Texas I renamed his wireless connection to "Jamo PWNS Wicked" :lol: I figured it would remain that way until I was back down there, somebody helped him, or he bought a new router.

</hijack>

That is hilarious!
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#16 OFFLINE   SG Jon

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 01:40 PM

Not to seem too ignorant, but... :unsure:

When I get my 360 I should be able to just plug it directly into my DSL modem, correct? :duh:

I understand the flexibility that networking and a router would give me, but I just want it to work right in the beginning and then I will be happy to fool around with it. :devil:


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#17 OFFLINE   Player Oni

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 01:42 PM

Yes, plugging it directly into a modem is actually a foolproof way of not having these kinds of connection issues. Of course, if your ISP sucks, then that's a different story altogether.


#18 OFFLINE   SG Jon

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 01:44 PM

Yes, plugging it directly into a modem is actually a foolproof way of not having these kinds of connection issues. Of course, if your ISP sucks, then that's a different story altogether.


With the XBox I have never had any problems so I am hoping that is an indication that my ISP will be adequate. Thanks for the information.


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#19 OFFLINE   Dr. Vest

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 01:56 PM

Very well written, Oni.

I'll be doing this when I get home.

#20 OFFLINE   SlikRX

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:21 PM

Oni, GREAT POST!

And thanks for all your help earlier.

One silly question. Where do you find the MAC address for the 360? I have one for my PC. Does each component get a different one, or do they all use the same one?

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#21 OFFLINE   Player Oni

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:37 PM

The MAC address should show up in your router information. There's usually a table that will show the device, its IP and its MAC address. Your MAC address will definitely be different between your 360 and your PC. The MAC address is a unique ID hardcoded into each network adapter.


#22 OFFLINE   SlikRX

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:39 PM

The MAC address should show up in your router information. There's usually a table that will show the device, its IP and its MAC address. Your MAC address will definitely be different between your 360 and your PC. The MAC address is a unique ID hardcoded into each network adapter.


You truly are a fount of unimaginable info! (that's a good thing IMHO) THANKS

Since I now have the same outer as you, which tab will that be in?

(looks like i owe you a couple more beers!)

Edit_ umm that's ROUTER not outer. that might be painful. Probably not as psainful as an "inner".

Edited by SlikRX, 10 March 2006 - 06:40 PM.

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#23 OFFLINE   Player Oni

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:42 PM

You're going to owe me a keg by the end of this. :lol:

To find the MAC address, click on the "Attached Devices" option under "Maintenance" on the left menu. This will bring up the table I'm talking about.


#24 OFFLINE   Wicked Catfish

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:46 PM

Tell me about this IP address thing again.... B)

HAHA, just thought about something. Did Wicked ask you how to rename his wireless connection? When I was down there in Texas I renamed his wireless connection to "Jamo PWNS Wicked" :lol: I figured it would remain that way until I was back down there, somebody helped him, or he bought a new router.

</hijack>


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#25 OFFLINE   digdoug

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 09:25 PM

This sounds great. I have a Netgear WGT624 V3 router. I followed your instructions, but I have something really weird going on.

If I use your options and give the xbox a static ip and place it in the DMZ, after it runs its test, it tells me that my NAT is "Restricted".

If I go back to using DHCP on the xbox and take it out of the DMZ, it tells me that the NAT is "Open".

I would think that the NAT test would show "Open"

Any ideas why this is happening?

#26 OFFLINE   Player Oni

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 10:09 PM

That's interesting digdoug, are you absolutely positive the 360 is in the DMZ?


#27 OFFLINE   digdoug

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 10:13 PM

I double checked it and did it 2 or 3 times, restarted both the xbox and the router several times.

#28 OFFLINE   gregnnn

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 09:39 AM

This is a great write-up, Oni.

There's one got-cha you might add to it. Some "modems" actually contain firewall and/or routing software in them,
which could be a problem. In my case, I have a DSL modem connected to a Netgear MR814. Through
a comedy of errors with my ISP's tech support, the firewall in the DSL got enabled once, messing everything up.
If I recall correctly, I had to do a factory reset on the DSL modem to make it a simple bridge, and set up the
router to do a PPoE login.

So, setting the router to use the the console as a DMZ won't help if folks have got firewalls running in their modem.

One last point - DMZ or manual port forwarding configuration are not necessarily requried for XBox Live - I'm
running just fine with no DMZ or manual setup of port-forwarding. But, the DMZ approach outlined in this
thread is a good sledgehammer to hit the problem with, and shouldn't be risky so long as it's set up correctly.

#29 OFFLINE   Player Oni

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 09:51 AM

That's an interesting point, although as far as I know it's a pretty rare occurrence that you'd have a firewall in your modem. Was this a modem you bought or something your ISP issued you?

Also, you're right, Xbox Live will technically work and you can definitely connect and play games, but depending on how your connection is set up, you will likely still experience some of the problems I highlighted.

Edited by x Player Oni x, 16 March 2006 - 09:52 AM.


#30 OFFLINE   gregnnn

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 09:59 AM

That's an interesting point, although as far as I know it's a pretty rare occurrence that you'd have a firewall in your modem. Was this a modem you bought or something your ISP issued you?


The ISP issued it, and fortunately the default configuration is for no firewall. I think it's just something
else to check if a DMZ doesn't work.

#31 OFFLINE   A G00D TIME

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 11:11 AM

Very nice guide Oni! Keep in mind though that DMZ is often used for troubleshooting. It's generally used to temporarily open up all ports in an emergency or to see if your router is causing a connection issue. This is not generally meant to be a permanent setting. I'd recommend going with port forwarding if at all possible. This leaves DMZ available for other purposes, AND allows only the necessary ports for the 360. I know that right now the 360 is relatively safe, but it's possible that in the future they could be exploited. Plus, with only 3 ports to forward, it's an easy one!
For those that are having static IP issues, take note that if you go to manual setup in your 360, you'll need to supply ALL network information, not just the IP.
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#32 OFFLINE   SG 59Fifty

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 11:37 PM

I have the same problems when playing R6. I can't hear or join certain people's games and my NAT is set to strict, but my xbox is plugged in directly to a modem.

#33 OFFLINE   Player Oni

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:21 AM

Sounds like your modem might have some kind of firewall then. Can you use a different one?


#34 OFFLINE   SG 59Fifty

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 06:47 PM

I only have this one modem, is there a way to turn off the firewall?

#35 OFFLINE   SG Tactr

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 11:09 AM

I'd like to give this a bump for good measure, quite a few people've been asking how to change firewall settings...

#36 OFFLINE   BRODEL

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 12:53 PM

Erm, it's pinned.. no need to bump. ;)
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Posted 20 June 2007 - 01:29 PM

I'd like to give this a bump for good measure, quite a few people've been asking how to change firewall settings...

Erm, it's pinned.. no need to bump. ;)


and it's not really a great thing to do anyway.

Edited by Chess TRP, 20 June 2007 - 01:29 PM.


#38 OFFLINE   SG Jaycurl

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 12:45 PM

Anyone have a Linksys WRT54G wireless router? I'm used a wired connection to it with my 360 and I keep getting messages in Halo 3 saying that my NAT is restricted. I swear that I've done all the DMZ/static IP, etc. stuff that Oni mentioned here, but I must still be missing some setting.

If someone has experience with this and might be able to walk me through it, I'd be indebted.

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#39 OFFLINE   gregnnn

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 01:47 PM

and it's not really a great thing to do anyway.


Let me take this oportunity to agree once again. :lol:


Jaycurl - I have a WRT54GL router - and I don't use a DMZ. I'm
guessing either there's a firewall in your modem, or your console's
IP address changed.

#40 OFFLINE   SG Jaycurl

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 01:57 PM

Let me take this oportunity to agree once again. :lol:


Jaycurl - I have a WRT54GL router - and I don't use a DMZ. I'm
guessing either there's a firewall in your modem, or your console's
IP address changed.

Hmm. Thanks. I'll take a look at the IP. I don't know if I can do anything if the modem has a firewall.

It generally hasn't been too problematic, except for one time I was hosting and I couldn't get into a MM game. As soon as I handed it over to a teammate, we got in right away.

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