Incrediboy's guide to common Xbox Live router problems


Active Member
Incrediboy’s guide to common Xbox Live router problems.

Hello AVForums,
Having noticed the growing amount of similar threads throughout the Xbox section relating to router problems I have decided to take a stab at writing a guide that will hopefully help people out with the most common problems.
All the information in this guide can be easily found on the internet.
Don't forget to hit the thanks button

I plan to cover these topics within this guide:
1. NAT - What is it?
2. DMZ - Perfect for one Xbox
3. Port Forwading - For one, or multiple Xboxs.
4. Xbox Network Settings – IP, DNS, Gateway, Alternative MAC Address.
5. DHCP and DHCP Reservation.
6. UPnP.
7. Multiple Consoles.
8. University Students and Halls of Residence.
9. Have I missed something here? How do I access my router?
10. Conclusion

Read part one before you jump to your relevant part of the guide.

Part One
NAT Settings

Three types of NAT issues that can occur:

: This means that you router has optimal settings, and you should not run into any of the issues described in this article.

Moderate: This means that you can talk to other players who have open or moderate NAT issues, but you cannot talk or play with users who have strict NAT issues.

Strict: This means that you can talk to other players, but you cannot talk to players who have moderate or strict NAT issues.

“NAT, or Network Address Translation, is a networking concept that, in part, allows your router to share a single IP address across multiple devices. Instead of your ISP assigning you an IP address for every single device that you want to use to connect to the Internet, NAT provides your ISP a more efficient way to assign a single IP address to your router. Your router will then generate its own set of IP addresses, which it will manage.”

If your network test on your Xbox looks like this then you have a strict or moderate NAT.
This can be sorted depending on your situation and what option best suits you.

If you are running one Xbox then the easiest option is to set your Xbox as the DMZ. Continue to the DMZ section of the guide.

If you have two or more Xboxs connected then you need to look at port forwarding. Continue to the port forwarding section of the guide.

Part Two
DMZ Settings​
I will start by saying that you will still need to look at port forwarding if:
1. You have more than one Xbox.
2. Your computer or another device that is not your Xbox is set as the DMZ.
3. You router does not support the DMZ function.

The vast majority of home networks have a Firewall unless disabled. Computers and Games consoles are protected from malicious content on the internet by the Firewall. The Firewall can also stop information that needs to be sent and received. In this scenario, the information that the Xbox trying to send or receive is being limited. A Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) is a zone (IP address) that is external to the Firewall. In layman's terms it exposes one computer or console to the internet with no protection. This isn't recommended for computers, but for a games console it is perfect!

You will need to set your Xbox to a manual (static) IP address. If you are unsure what this is, how to do this or why you need to do this look at part four of the guide.

Now that you are armed with your Xbox's IP address you need to access your router. Somewhere on the router the DMZ setting will be hiding. An example of the DMZ setting is shown below. Enable DMZ and enter your Xbox's IP address. Click Save and you're done! The NAT on your Xbox should now be open. Go to your Xbox and test the network settings.

Part Three
Port Forwarding​
"Port forwarding or port mapping is the practice of forwarding a TCP/IP packet in a network address translator gateway to a predetermined network port on a host within a masqueraded, typically private network based on the port number on which it was received from the originating host. The technique is used to permit communications by external hosts with services provided within a private local area network."

The vast majority of home networks have a Firewall unless disabled. Computers and Games consoles are protected from malicious content on the internet by the Firewall. The Firewall can also stop information that needs to be sent and received. In this scenario, the information that the Xbox trying to send or receive is being limited. If the specific ports are opened, then the Xbox can send and receive all the information that it needs to.

The port fowarding settings will be hidden somewhere in the router. Find them! These ports will need to be opened for the Xbox:
TCP 80
UDP 88
UDP 3074
TCP 3074
UDP 53
TCP 53​

Here are some examples.

Name it Xbox Live and put the ports in seperately. For example;
Service Name : Xbox Live 1
Service Type: TCP
Starting Port: 80
Ending Port: 80
Server IP Address : YOUR XBOX'S IP

Save it and make new rules for the rest of the ports.
Some routers allow all the ports to be assigned like this but under one title. The new O2 Thomson router for example has the ability to do this. On the O2 router you then have the ability to assign the port forward rule to an IP address or device.

Now that your ports have been forwarded your NAT should be open.
You can use this method of port forwarding for your PS3 too.
The port numbers for PlayStation®Network servers used for this are TCP: 80, 443, 5223 and UDP: 3478, 3479.

Part Four
Xbox Network Settings

IP Settings
"A number assigned to each computer's or other device's network interface(s) which are active on a network supporting the Internet Protocol, in order to distinguish each network interface (and hence each networked device) from every other network interface anywhere on the network. (Normally written out in dotted decimal form, e.g."

The Xbox's IP address is used to identify itself on your network. You can assign rules for port forwarding or DMZ settings to the IP address. The Xbox has two settings, Automatic and Manual. If it is set to Automatic, your router will handle the Xbox's IP address. Each time you turn on your Xbox it will be given a different IP address unless it has been reserved by the DHCP. For DHCP, see part five of the guide.
If the Xbox is set to manual, every time you turn your Xbox on it will have the same settings.

Subnet Mask
"A subnet mask is used to identify the network within the large network"​
In almost every circumstance, the subnet mask will be
When your Xbox is set to automatic it will tell you your subnet mask.

"A node on a network that serves as an entrance to another network. In enterprises, the gateway is the computer that routes the traffic from a workstation to the outside network that is serving the Web pages. In homes, the gateway is the ISP that connects the user to the internet."​
In the vast majority of cases your Gateway will be the same as your Primary DNS.

DNS Settings
Primary DNS Server
Secondary DNS Server

A service that translates domain names into IP addresses.​
In short, this is your router's IP address.

Alternative MAC Address
"In a network, the MAC address is a unique number that identifies a specific hardware interface."​

Every device on a network has a MAC address. All games consoles, computers and wifi enabled mobile phones have MAC addresses. Without the MAC address the router would not be able to determine what is what.

To view your Xbox's MAC address go to Network Settings -> Configure Network -> Additional Settings -> Advanced Settings -> "Wired MAC Address"

The ability to change the MAC address becomes useful in certain situations. One example is at a University's Hall of Residence. The majority of University bedrooms are only allowed one MAC address per room. If you have your Laptop or PC's MAC address assigned to the room you are unable to use your Xbox. This is where you would change your Xbox's mac address to clone your Laptop or your PC's MAC. To find out your Computer's MAC address follow this link:

How to find your computer's MAC address

Part Five
DHCP and DHCP Reservation​
"A protocol for assigning IP addresses to devices on a network from a pool of available IP’s. A dynamic IP address changes each time the device connects to the network"​

Your Router's DHCP Server assigns your Xbox an IP address when your Xbox is in automatic settings. The only problem with this is that when you turn your Xbox on again, it will be assigned a different IP address and the settings which you applied to it (DMZ or Port Forwarding to a specific IP) won't apply to the Xbox anymore.
There are two options. Give your Xbox a manual (static) IP (see part four of the guide) or reserve it's MAC address under the DHCP settings. If you reserve your Xbox's MAC address it will automatically be given the same IP address every time you turn your Xbox on. You will also be able to keep your Xbox's settings to automatic using this method as it will be assigned the same IP address each time.

Part Six

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is a set of networking protocols promulgated by the UPnP Forum. The goals of UPnP are to allow devices to connect seamlessly and to simplify the implementation of networks in the home (data sharing, communications, and entertainment) and in corporate environments for simplified installation of computer components.​

Generally to make things run smoother on your network and to decrease the risk of Xbox Live problems enable UPnP. It is somewhere in the router settings. UPnP is terrific for devices on your home network. It enables devices to connect to each other easily. For example, UPnP will enable your PC or Laptop to stream music or videos to your network via Windows Media Player or a program like TVersity to your Xbox or a media streamer.

Part Seven
Multiple Consoles

Yes, it can be done. I run between two and four Xboxs and two PS3s on my network at once. I also simultaneously run four computers. (Student University House) Just take your time when you are putting in your settings and try to do it as methodically as possible. Assign different rules to different IPs. If all the settings are correct you should have no problems. To find out how to set up your router for multiple consoles see part three of this guide.

Part Eight
University Students and Halls of Residence
A lot of Universities only allow one MAC address per person. To learn how to change your Xbox's MAC address see part four of the guide under 'Alternative MAC Address'

Part Nine
Have I missed something here? How do I access my router?
If you open your computer's web browser and enter the router's IP address it will take you to it's settings. The easiest way to view your router's IP address is to look under your Xbox settings and look for 'Gateway'.
Another way to find out the Gateway on your PC (Windows) is to click on the Start button -> Run -> and Type "cmd" -> Press [enter] key.
A black screen should appear, type
"ipconfig /all"

Ignore the red box :) and take the number that's labeled 'Default Gateway'. That number will be your router's IP. Type the number in to your web browser's address bar. You should then be presented with something that looks like this:

If you do not know the username and password it is worth checking the manual/guide that came with it. Occasionally it is set to Admin/Administrator and Password.

Part Ten

Hopefully this guide was useful and will cover the most common problems. If you have still not resolved your problem feel free to use a search engine. If that fails then the guys here at the forums will be happy to help you out.This is not the ultimate guide to solve all router and Xbox Live related problems so it might be susceptible to change in the future whether to add sections or correct sections.


Well-known Member
First off.. Great guide!! ..but, there are a few things I think you touched on but haven't elaborated on enough...

1) Port Forwarding for multiple Xboxes on the same home LAN... You mention it at the start of your post but don't go into further detail :)

AFAIK most routers will NOT allow you to set up port forwarding rules to the same ports for more than one device with a static IP when utilising NAT... And this is important to note when telling people about running multiple 360s at home, as if they *do* need to utilise port forwarding to remedy the Moderate or Strict NAT situatiion they will enounter this issue.

I certainly couldn't get it to work with my netgear DG834N (running DGTeam Firmware 1.50), and I think it was MunkeyBoy who pointed me to the above info when I posted a question about trying to do the exact same thing a few months ago :)

Also, the same internet info sources say that port 88 should be both TCP & UDP.. your guide only mentions UDP for port 88

2) Putting the Xbox360 in the DMZ...
You make some good points about the 360 being a closed system effectively rendering it immune to the usual hacking risks of putting machines in the DMZ.. however a quick google search reveals a raft of posts etc. discouraging people from taking this approach. I'm on the fence with this one, but its worth mentioning all the same.

3) Assigning a Static IP for your XBox...
You should probably mention that its better to start your Routers DHCP range *outside* of a range of IPs you intend to use as static.. i.e. With IP range, leave say IPs - as static, and start your DHCP range from 21 to 254.. some articles I've read say port forwarding on some routers won't work if the static IPs the rules apply to are within the DHCP allocation range (apparently O2 Thomson routers suffer from this) :)

Finally, the following link might prove useful to people :thumbsup:

HTH :)
Last edited:

Munkey Boy

Distinguished Member
I've managed to set-up port forwarding on my router for 2x Xbox connections to different static IPs, I think it's possible on some, not others. What's the problem though is I'm not 100% sure that port forwarding solves the problem of 2 simultaneous connected Xboxes not having open NAT - the only conclusive evidence I've seen is some routers can do it, most can't. I bought a D-Link DIR-825 just because I knew it had this feature.

And as for assigning static IPs, a) it's generally not recommended in my experience as it can invoke a moderate NAT when it would be open if IP addressing is left to the router's DHCP and b) my router won't let me assign an IP outside the DHCP range!

All in all, it just goes to show how specific to make and model many of these settings can be.

Top post though Incrediboy, it's very useful and I hope people add their experiences.


Well-known Member
Good points Munkey.. The Netgears for example, are quite happy letting you set up DHCP ranges and then allowing Static IP assignement outside of this range, whereas your D-Link doesn't *but* allows you to do the port forwarding thing... Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

I took another look at the netgear and whilst it *does* allow you to set up the rules against more than one static IP... Both simultaneous xboxes do not get open NAT, which is the thing I think we discussed in a thread somewhen last year. I ended up copping out and assigned both 360s to the same IP because I knew I'd never use them at the same time, so port forwarding to just the one IP worked for me :)

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