How to Play Xbox Live on a College Campus Network

I started college in the fall of 2010 with great anticipations of faster internet speeds for Xbox Live. However, it did not work because my school requires me to first register computers on the network. No web browser exists on an Xbox (for now, wink wink) for registration so I needed a workaround. Here is the secret.

NOTE: This fix works on all models and dashboards of the Xbox 360. This fix isn’t really changing anything on your Xbox, it’s simply making the information on your Xbox appear as if it is your computer. The real question as to whether or not this will work for you is how your school’s connection is setup, though, I haven’t had anybody not get it to work eventually.

PLEASE NOTE: This tutorial is for connecting to Xbox Live using an Ethernet cable. I’ve yet to find a workaround for wireless connections. If you figure one out, please post in the comments below.


First and foremost, connect your desktop (or laptop) to your school’s network via an Ethernet cable. Do not plug the cable to the Xbox yet. If you unplug and then plug it back into your computer, some settings could get changed and you would have to do the first few steps over again.

PC Ethernet PortWall Port

The second step is to register your computer on your school’s network. I am not going to go into detail about this because it is likely different for each campus. Once you are registered, you will probably see a screen similar to this:


MAC Users: Go to the following links, follow what they say and write down the corresponding info. Skip the next four steps.

IPv4 Address:
DNS Servers:
(Choose your OS from the list)
Default Gateway:

PC Users:

Once you’ve registered your PC on the network, open your Start menu.

Start Menu

Search for “CMD.” (Without the “quotes”) When you find it, click it.

Search CMD

Type “ipconfig /all” (without the “quotes”) into the Command (CMD) Prompt that you opened and hit Enter.

IP Config

You will be presented with a list of information concerning your computer’s current network configuration. There could be many things listed here, but you’re looking for a section titled “Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:”. When you find this section, copy down the information highlighted in red.

LAN Info

DOUBLE CHECK that you’ve written down the numbers correctly and make sure you’ve labeled them so you don’t get them mixed up.

MAC Users continue here…

Now, unplug the Ethernet cable from your PC and plug it into your Xbox 360. Turn your Xbox on. Since you’re not connected to the internet yet, I’ll assume you’re presented with a screen similar to this:

Start Screen

If not, scroll up or down until you get to the My Xbox menu. Press until you get to System Settings. Press .

System Settings

Scroll down to Network Settings and press .

Network Settings

Press  on Wired Network.

Wired Network

Press  on Configure Network.

Configure Network

Under the Basic Settings menu, press  on “IP Address, Subnet, Gateway.”

Basic Settings 1

Make sure Manual is selected and press .

Basic 1 Manual

Press  on IP Address.

IP Address

Enter the number you wrote down for “IPv4 Address” from the CMD. Be sure you press  on the (Done) button.


Go down to Subnet Mask and press .

Subnet Mask

Enter the number you wrote down for “Subnet Mask” from the CMD. You must press  on the  button.


Go down to Gateway and press .


Enter the number you wrote down for “Default Gateway” from the CMD. Once again, be sure you press  on the (Done) button.

Go down to Done and press .

Basic 1 Done

Go to DNS Settings and press .

Basic 2

Press  on Primary DNS Server.

Primary DNS

Enter the first number you wrote down for “DNS Servers” from the CMD. MAKE SURE you press  on the (Done) button.

Go down to Secondary DNS Server and press .

Secondary DNS

Enter the second number you wrote down for “DNS Servers” from the CMD. You must press  on the (Done) button.

Go to Done and press .

Basic 2 Done

This will bring you back to the Basic Settings menu. Go right to the Additional Settings menu. Go down to Advanced Settings and press .

Advanced Settings

Press  on Alternate MAC Address.

Alternate MAC Address

Enter the alphanumeric address you wrote down from the CMD. NOTE: On the CMD it’s listed as “Physical Address”. It’s vital to press  on the  button.

Alternate MAC

Go down to Done and press .

Advanced Settings Done

Now press  to return to the Network Settings screen. Go down to Test Xbox LIVE Connection and press.

Test XBL Connection

Three things will happen now.

  • 1. Your Xbox will test for a connection to a Network. If this passes then you know everything you entered worked. If it doesn’t pass then you need to double check your credentials.
  • 2. Once the Network connection is established your Xbox tests for a connection to the Internet.
  • 3. Finally, your Xbox will test to make sure it can connect to Xbox Live.

Test For Connection Test For Network Test For Xbox Live

Once all three pass you’ll be fully connected to Xbox Live.



On rare occasions, while testing for your Network, your Xbox will give you a DNS Error.

To fix this error, try entering Google’s free DNS Servers. (Primary:    Secondary: or

This is the only problem I’ve ran into thus far. If you have any other error PLEASE leave a comment below; I will respond ASAP.


About Aaron St. Clair

Aaron St. Clair is a tech guru studying Computer Science at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. When he's not tinkering with new gadgets, modding systems, or slaving away at the mercy of the Tech-Recipe overlords, you can find him exploring the high country.
View more articles by Aaron St. Clair

The Conversation

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  • Great article! I do believe that this is one of the largest tech-recipes ever.

  • asdfadsfji3;asdf

    so this will work “if” your campus has an open NAT policy. on some campuses, they have one external IP servicing several internal networks….so you can have the case of multiple XBoxes routing through a single external IP, which will cause lots of issues.

    • Anonymous

      Excellent point. College networks are not very uniform in their design. However, many require registration and these work arounds that are described here. Certainly, however since there are so many configurations, these steps may not get everybody connected…

  • Chris Luongo

    Awesome job Aaron

  • Zzzza

    An alternate yet more advanced method (but it works for wireless) is to change the MAC address of your computer to match that of your xbox, authenticate, then match the xbox’s settings to your computers. Make sure your computer’s MAC is changed, then your xbox should work. To the network they should look like the same physical machine if they use MAC based authentication.

    • Zzzza

      Or if your computer has two ethernet adaptors, there are ways to bridge connections so that the Xbox’s traffic goes through your computer’s connect, and doesn’t need to auth.

  • Anonymous

    You will get in hot water with your campus IT department when they figure it out.

  • freebullets

    Google Alt DNS IP is

  • Brianhibbie

    This works great for playing Xbox in hotels!

  • razor

    also a neat piece of software called wifi router manager will allow you to output your internet connection as a wifi signal.

    • Billy Hornet

      Those type of software ends up taking a huge dump on your system registry, thereby disabling your WLAN.
      You are better off doing it manually.

  • Billy Hornet

    I have the newer version of the xbox (xbox s), that is capable of receiving a wireless connection. What i did instead of using this method  or bridging a connection was using Internet Connection Sharing (ICS). All you need is a ethernet adapter (duh), internal wireless adapter or a usb wireless adapter, for those without laptops.

    Connect your computer to the school network using ethernet port, by logging in your username or what have you.
    Next, go to Network Connections. Right click on the ethernet adapter and go to properties, then sharing.
    Enable ICS

    Next, using your wireless adapter go to set up a connection or network. Then go to setup a wireless ad hoc and assign a SSID, and a password.

    Finally, on your xbox go to network connection>>wireless connection>> and connect to the network you created.
    If everything  is done correctly, you will be able to connect to xbox live and browse the internet at the same time.

    >>Note: Ad hoc is a temporary network that closes whenever the xbox is disconnected.

  • andrea

    hi..i was just wondering..i did everything you said to do here and it connected me..but then it said it was updating my xbox. it did it a few times and then said that there was an error or something and i couldnt be connected. how do i fix this?

  • I have neglected to respond to comments on here… Sorry about that everyone.

    @asdfadsfji3;asdf Your campus does not need an open NAT policy. Mine has a Strict policy and it still works. The IP address is the same as your computer, so you can’t use Xbox Live and your PC at the same time (in some cases.)

    @Everybody else… This is just one method of bypassing the restrictions. The other suggestions here are great as well! As Billy Hornet said, using software such as a router manager will bog down your registry.

    @andrea Something probably glitched in the download process of your system update. If possible, update your xbox at a different location, then try reconnecting using this method.

  • Tyler

    Hey man thanks for posting this my only question is will this process work with a new xbox and the new updates ? im at a branch campus of psu up in erie by the way, thanks.

  • Rick

    Hey, followed the steps exactly, I still get an IP Address error everytime I start up the network test. Whats Wrong?

    • What exactly does the IP error say? There are multiple IP error screens possible.

  • Andrew

    Ive enterered all the information correctly because the xbox 360 connects to the network. However, the network will not connect to the internet! Any solutions?

    • What error are you getting?

      • Andrew

        The xbox connects to the network but the network will not connect to the internet.
        The error status report is as follows

        Im no tech guru but i have also tried using different Ethernet cords and that has not worked either.

        • Look at A: 150.216.78/

          There’s supposed to be three periods in the IP there, with four sets of numbers. You’ve only got 3 (150.216.78.???)

          • Andrew

            > My bad that is a typo. A correctly reads

  • Tyler

    I tripled checked that I entered the correct DNS and still got the DNS error. Then I used the Google ones and the error remained. Do you have any reccomendations on what to do?

  • B


    Thanks for the guide first off, the most useful one I’ve read. In university halls i’m trying to connect my xbox 360 to the ethernet port in the room. Each room has their own assigned ethernet port. A guy in one of the rooms just had to change his mac address and his was working straight away.

    Mine however doesnt seem to want to play ball so easily. I have changed the alternate mac address to the same as my PC. But then I get the error “IP Address Error” there is no codes or anything else provided. In my “configure network” section of the menu they are both automatic (I have tried changing them to manual but get the same error) but the DNS Settings are the only section that doesnt get completed. I’m just left with in both primary & secondary servers.

    I tried the suggestions above but it didnt seem to work.

    Any help on this would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    • Aaron St. Clair

      > You need to register your computer on your network, and run /ipconfig as mentioned in the tutorial. I’m assuming the ethernet port has been assigned a static IP, and setting your xbox to manual will not pull the DNS. You need to get all of the information from /ipconfig to ensure your xbox can imitate your computer successfully.

  • Katie

    My Xbox will connect to the network but not to the internet, all it says is that I have an Internet Error and that I should reconnect my power. What should I do?

    • Aaron St. Clair

      Sorry, somehow overlooked this one. For this, can you hook up a laptop or other device with an ethernet plug to the exact same setup you’re hooking up your xbox too? I.E. If you’re running a cable from your router to your xbox, run the same cable from the same port to your laptop and ensure you can connect through the LAN port to your network (disabling your wireless adapter will ensure you’re connecting through the LAN port). If your laptop is able to get online, verify that you’ve entered all of the information gathered from /ipconfig into the xbox EXACTLY as it was on your computer. If the laptop does not get online, then you know the problem lies within the router, not giving an IP to that port.

  • Dylan

    Great article…..any way to do it with wireless?

    • IT1

      > If you have to authenticate with a browser on the wireless copy the mac address of your xbox wireless nic to that of your laptop wireless nic (or vice versa)
      This can be done in your network adapter properties to spoof your mac.
      Authenticate, shut the wireless off on your laptop and test the connection with your xbox and see if it connects.
      Be aware that some campuses may need ports to be opened by the IT staff

      (I work as an IT staff for a college, I fight for the users 😉 it becomes a nuisance but its the only way I have found out)

      • This is a very good tip. I’ll have to try this out on my campus and see if it works! It’d be great to finally have a wireless solution to this as well.

  • trev

    ive entered in everything correctly, the xbox connects to the network and internet, but it fails when it gets to xbox live…it doesnt give me an error either, it just sends me straight to troubleshooting.
    any ideas?

    • Troubleshooting doesn’t give you an error? It should give you some kind of suggestion as to what the problem is.

      Things to try:
      1. Reset your network settings to default by going to Configure Network > Additional Settings > and choosing Reset to Factory Defaults. Then turn your xbox off, back on, and re-enter all the information.
      2. Go here: Choose Wired, then, at the bottom, click No on “Did this resolve your issue?”. On the next screen, choose No again. Then choose Xbox Live Failed (the third picture). The troubleshooting window should give you one of these errors listed on this screen (ICMP, MTU or possibly an XBL issue). Follow the instructions on this page for the issue you get when troubleshooting.

  • Josh

    My computer does not have the numbers for the Gateway or the DNS servers? Any clue why?

    • Hmm that’s odd. If you don’t mind, can you post your IP? I don’t think any elite hackers will be viewing this topic… The IP will allow me to determine if you’re being assigned an external IP (i.e. your campus is running a dedicated T3 and assigning external IP’s for each connection, instead of routing each through a “router” and assigning an internal network IP). If this is the case, I’ll have to dig around and find a workaround. You could try using or as your default gateway. I’m not a network engineer, and without the use of some sort of internal networking router, I may not be able to help, but I’ll definitely try!

  • Jack

    You are a legend! i wasn’t going to buy an Xbox for uni because everyone said they couldn’t connect it, but seeing this made me take a chance on it and it worked! Thanks a lot dude, makes staying in touch with friends at home much easier.

  • edian

    Hi, my campus has 802.1 x authentication, i tried doing this but it didn’t work. Is it cause of that 802.1x thing?

    • I’m not too experienced with 802.1x authentication. We covered it in a cryptography course I took, but that’s about it. After researching it a bit for you, I found this “The supplicant listens on this address, and on receipt of the EAP-Request Identity frame it responds with an EAP-Response Identity frame containing an identifier for the supplicant such as a User ID.” This means the xbox would need to be able to “respond” with an EAP-RI frame that contains a username. The Xbox has no protocol for storing this username, so since the username/pass has to be sent every time a connection is made with 802.1x auth, it very well may be the issue. This issue may be why a few others cannot connect either.

      At what step does your Xbox fail to connect to Xbox Live?

  • Jordan

    I’m having the same problem with wireless 802.1x username and password. When I test my connection on the Xbox, the problem comes during the first “network” test and gives me a “Can’t connect to Wireless Network” error.

    • Ahh, ya’ll are having problems doing this wirelessly. That makes sense. I have yet to find a way that works for wireless. A few comments have surfaced that use the method of changing the MAC address to confuse the network, but vise versa from this tutorial. For wireless, try configuring your laptop’s MAC address to be the same as your Xbox’s (can find the Xbox MAC under Advanced Settings in network configuration) and reregistering your laptop on your school’s network. Then use ipconfig /all to find the correct IP/DNS/Sub on the laptop, and place those into the xbox, without changing the Alternate Mac Address on the Xbox.

  • ryan

    My Default gateway has letters listed as well as numbers. The xbox does not allow me to enter these. What to do?

    • > Umm… I’ve googled this and I can’t find anything referring to numbers being in a a gateway. I’ve never heard of such. Are you positive it’s listing these letters for defualt gateway? Do these letters span outside the range A-F? Ensure you’re looking at information about IPv4 and not IPv6.

  • Tyler

    i only get 1 DNS server in cmd and the alt google ones do not work

    • Try entering the 1 DNS listed for both primary and secondary on your console.

  • Tom

    Wow man than you so much. Worked without a htich!

  • JohnA

    Hi, I did everything you said and it connected to the “network” but then when trying to connect to the “internet” i get “MTU error.” Any way around this that you know will allow me to get on?

    Thanks man!

    • Are you on a campus or do you have access to the network hardware? If so, the MTU can be changed from your router configuration. If not, try running this program: Set your MTU something between 1500-1700.

      • JOHNA

        I am on a college campus and do not have access to network hardware. I clicked this link you sent me and downloaded it… I have no clue how this works? Can you help me so I can figure out how to change the MTU settings on my network so I can access xbox live? Thanks again man!

        • It may not work since you don’t have access to the hardware, I was just suggesting trying it to see. You simply change the value in the box labeled MTU using that program. If your campus is using MTU restrictions, then the only other option I can think of is to hook up a router in your room, disable DHCP and then change the MTU using that program on the new network your router created.

  • ????

    im still having trouble..

  • Cheers for this easy step by step guide i have worked it for a while whilst being on campus and it works great. However i have shown a couple of my mates and now when someone is online no one else can go online yet it says that network and internet is connected just not xbox live …. any ideas how i can resolve this?
    Thanks for your response!

    • Sounds like you’ve setup all the consoles on the same IP address. If you have multiple people doing this on the same network, each IP address must be different. Have them all do the full procedure of the /ipconfig and get their own IP address from the computer.

  • bobby

    is there a way to allow connection to a network that you must enter your user and pass to sign into the network?

    • I’m assuming you sign into this network via a webpage? I’ve got two suggestions to try. First, try using the new Internet Explorer app on the Xbox to sign in to the network. If that doesn’t work, the second option is to connect your computer to the network, then sign into the network using the webpage. Once you’ve signed in, follow the /ipconfig instructions in the tutorial, enter them into the xbox and plug the ethernet cable into the xbox. That should trick the network into thinking your xbox is the registered computer.

  • Allison

    This helped so much thanks!

  • Claire

    This worked perfectly for me so thank you. However I just turned my xbox on again and plugged the ethernet cable into my laptop and signed in then plugged it back in, and it won’t work now :S it’s connecting to the Network but won’t connect to the Internet etc. What do I do?

    • Hmm, sounds like re-connecting your laptop may have refreshed the DHCP pool of IP addresses, and your laptop acquired a different internal IP than last time. Connect your laptop to the internet once more via the ethernet cable, verify you have connection (just go to google or something and see that it loads), then pull up your CMD and type “ipconfig /all” to see your IPv4 address again. Check this IP address against the one you entered into your Xbox the first time you connected it. It’s my guess that the IP addresses will be different. If this is the case, wherever you’re logging into on the laptop (campus, library, hotel, etc) does not have their router setup to assign a static IP address to the MAC address of your computer. One new alternative to this problem would be to simply try logging in with your information via the Internet Explorer app they’ve added to the Xbox each time you connect…

  • Katie

    Thank you so much. These step by step instructions helped me out so much. Great job Aaron!

  • Chante

    Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,
    awesome blog!

  • Shaun

    Hey Aaron. I get an MTU error when testing the connection. Can you help please?
    I’ve tried the Google DNS servers too

    • For everyone with MTU problems… I really cannot come up with a solution that doesn’t involve having access to the routing service giving your room signal. If they throttle the MTU then you may be out of luck… But I’m still trying to find a work-around!

  • Dennis Veestraeten


    I’m at a college in Belgium. For the past few months, this thing has been working all the time without any problems. But since I’ve changed my locale for some reason, my connection drops every 10 minutes, and I have to re-login on my computer. I’ve changed my settings back the way they were, but nothing seems te be helping. Do you have any clue of what it might be?


    • Do this test: Login to the internet on your computer and do an: ipconfig /all in the cmd. See what your IPv4 address is. Put it in the Xbox and connect to Xbox Live. Once it drops off, re-login on your computer and do an: ipconfig /all again. See if the IPv4 address has changed. Also, does the internet drop when you’re using the internet on your computer? This scenario sounds like the IP address you’re pulling from the network is changing after that 10 minute increment.

      • Dennis Veestraeten

        > I’ve looked and the ipv4-adress remains the same after a relogin. Is there anything I can do?

  • Pete

    Hi, tried this. Didn’t work for me I’m afraid! Put all required fields in correctly but can not connect to live.

  • Spot on with this write-up, I actually think this web site needs far more attention.
    I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the info!

  • lele

    There is one step that says “mac users continue here”? What about the regular laptop users that do not have mac??

  • Kevin

    I see that you were given two DNS Server options, however when entering the prompt 5 options came up for me. I’ve used the first two but still have problems connecting to the network. Any help?

  • Kati

    THANK YOU. You’re a life saver

  • Derek

    I have a MTU error… i guess my school just don’t allow gaming. or is there a way around this? bridging doesnt work… i keep getting disconnected every 5 mins. I was hoping this method would work 🙁

  • Samantha M

    I tried to do this with wireless connection and it always fails at the part to connect to the internet. I tried what you said and it is not working… I cannot hook my xbox or laptop up to a ethernet port. I double checked everything and nothing is working… I would love for this to work…

  • jp

    works on xbox one

  • barry rocks

    after entering all the details correctly it still comes up with “Internet Error” however my laptop is able to browse the internet. Any suggestions?

  • David

    Hey Aaron, I really benefited from your article unfortunately I completed all the desired steps and my xbox connects to the internet and not xbox live this may be down to the fact that my university uses a password page. Is there any advice you could give me? I have tried using the PPoe settings (think that’s what its called)

    • I’m assuming you’re on an Xbox 360? Firstly, I don’t think you should be using PPPoE. That should only be used if you’re using DSL or another dial-in service that requires a username/password for the modem to connect to the ISP. The modem would be in bridge mode, and would not do the PPPoE itself, so the Xbox would have to do it to connect to the ISP. I’ve never seen this kind of connection at an enterprise level.

      You say that your university uses a password page. Can you elaborate? Do you mean they use 802.1x authentication for their wireless network? Or are you prompted with a webpage asking for a username/password pair every time you open a browser window to get online? If it’s the latter, the only thing I could suggest would be to try using the Internet Explorer app on the Xbox and enter the username/password there.