Question about ICS, xbox 360, and alternatives

Discussion in 'Console Games' started by ScottSummers, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. ScottSummers macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2006
    Hi everyone. First excuse me if this is the wrong forum for this question.

    Anyways, I have a question regarding using a MBP to serve as the wireless adapter for an xbox 360. I've read and know how to use ICS to connect my 360 to xbox live. The question I have is more specific though.

    What I'd like to know, please, is if there is any known method of turning the MBP into a true bridge for the 360? In other words, can I make my MBP simply pass the communication between my wifi router and 360 so that in essence the 360 is talking directly with my wifi router?

    Many thanks for anyone that can help/responds. :)
  2. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2007
    Totally not the wrong forum, and a good question that I'm sure many people have had. I've dealt with this problem as well, so I'll give you the steps that I took to getting it working. You may have done many of these already, but I'll just list them all in case other people need the help as well.

    DISCLAIMER - These are the steps that worked for me, and are not guaranteed to work for you. Everyone has different networking setups, and I can't speak for them all. I make no claims of being able to fix everyone's problem, but if you follow along, you can probably adapt this to your own specific setup fairly easily.


    First you need to get the laptop ready to serve the 360 correctly so that the 360 will be able to communicate with the outside world through the laptop...
    • Plug the ethernet cable from the 360 into the laptop, and turn on the 360.
    • Open Terminal and type in "ifconfig en0"
    • Find the line labeled "inet" and note the IP address (it is probably
    • Open up System Prefs on the laptop, go to the Sharing section, and turn on "Internet Sharing"
    • Go to the Network section, select the Ethernet connection, and from the Configure drop-down, select "Manually"
    • For the IP address, put in the address you got earlier (, and for Subnet put in ""

    The next steps will be done on the 360. You will be manually entering in IP address information so that it will now communicate correctly back to the laptop...
    • Now go back to the 360, and go to the "System Settings" section.
    • Go down to Network Settings and click "Configure Network"
    • Click to setup the IP address on the Basic Settings section, and select "Manual" when asked.
    • You will now manually enter the addresses of the IP Address, the Subnet Mask, and the Gateway.
    • For IP Address use the IP Address you found earlier in Terminal, but add 1 more to the last section (for example, mine is
    • For Subnet Mask enter the same one from before (
    • And for Gateway enter the original IP you found exactly as it was in Terminal (
    • After you have done that, select "Done" to save the settings.
    • Select the DNS section, and again select "Manual" to edit these.
    • For both the Primary and Secondary servers, enter the original IP address you found in Terminal (
    • Again, select "Done" when finished to save the settings.
    • Now, turn off the 360 to be sure the settings save, and go back to the laptop for a couple more steps.

    Now, there is just a couple final steps to do on the laptop in order for the 360 to have full access to the Xbox LIVE system...
    • You will next need to enable "UPnP" on your router. This can vary from brand to brand, so I can't really help you here.
    • Enabling UPnP will allow the laptop and 360 to tell the router what ports it needs open on its own, without the need for you to manually open them.
    • Once you have enabled that, there is just one last step on the laptop. You need to open the ports on the laptop.
    • Open up terminal, and enter "sudo killall natd"
    • It will ask you for your password, enter it.
    • Next type "sudo natd -interface en1 \"
    • Next you will be typing in 6 different ports for the laptop to open.
    • For the IP address to type, you will use the one you manually gave the 360 (for my example
    • Type the following red commands into Terminal exactly, adjusting if needed for your own specific IP Address
    • -redirect_port tcp 3074 \
    • -redirect_port udp 3074 \
    • -redirect_port tcp 53 \
    • -redirect_port udp 53 \
    • -redirect_port tcp 80 \
    • -redirect_port udp 88
    • You can now exit out of Terminal as you are done.

    All of the steps on both the laptop and the 360 are now complete. With everything plugged in and ready, turn on the 360.
    • Go back to the Network Settings" section.
    • Click on "Test Xbox LIVE Connection" in that first menu.
    • It will now run a diagnostic check of your settings.
    • If you entered everything correctly, it will complete all steps with no errors, and you will be good to go.


    Normally, if you have your 360 plugged directly into the router, all that you need to do is enable UPnP and you would be good to go. The Xbox has a certain set of ports it needs open, and UPnP would handle that all just fine. But, when you put a laptop in the middle of the 360 and the router, it would get a little trickier. You would be able to connect to Live, and play games just fine, but every now and then you would get an error saying "Your NAT settings are Moderate" etc, and it wouldn't let you connect to people. This is because even though the router might be opening the ports correctly for the 360, the laptop wouldn't. The last steps in my rundown, where you entered a bunch of stuff in Terminal, fixes that and allows the laptop to open those ports and pass the info through to the 360 correctly.

    I hope all that helps. I'm no networking genius or anything, I've just dealt with this problem in the past. This setup that I described is a mixture of a bunch of different guides that I found online when trying to correct this exact problem myself. Hope it all works for you, or anyone else reading this. If you have any questions, ask away, and I might be able to help.

    Here are my links I used previously...
  3. ScottSummers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2006
    Hey thanks for the reply. And yeah it helps for sure. I verified that I so far have done all the steps possible with the exception of enabling UPnP on my router. The big difference is that I have my laptop set as DMZ on my router.

    Yet while I am port forwarding according to the instructions you laid out, I'd still like to know if you know, or anyone else for that matter, if there's a way I could connect my 360 to xbox live without having to port forward through the laptop but instead pass through the laptop and have my router detect my 360 directly?

    All in all thanks again though for everything.
  4. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2007
    Not currently there isn't, no. For some reason, the way Apple handles "Internet Sharing" is a little different than the way Windows does. In Windows, you can bridge the connection, and the 360 would essentially show up on the network like any other device. So, all the ports it would need open could be directed right at it. But, in OSX, the laptop sort of proxies the connection when sharing the internet. The traffic will make it out OK, but it looks as if the laptop sent it. That is why you have to tell the laptop to open the ports.

    This was easier in 10.4 and earlier, because there was a menu option for this right in System Prefs. But, once Leopard came out, Apple changed the way it handles port forwarding. You don't tell it what ports you want open any more, you tell it what applications need it. Then it just allows those applications to open whatever ports they need. The problem is, obviously, the 360 isn't an application on the laptop, and thus you can't tell OSX, within a menu option, to open those ports. Going into terminal, as far as I've gathered in the long time I spent trying to correct this problem, is the only way.

    As far as I can tell, this is the best that can be done within OSX, and using it for ICS. Regardless of that limitation though, with things setup the way I've directed, you get the exact same connection to LIVE as you would if the 360 were connected to the router. The connection is good, you will have no NAT errors, and joining game sessions and parties work perfectly. So, I can understand you're question, but the result of doing it this way is exactly the same.
  5. ScottSummers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2006
    I see now. Excellent. Thanks for the confirmation of everything. It's a damn shame it's all gotta be done with port forwarding. I'm assuming, if I wanted Windows Media Center to find my 360 I would just open the appropriate ports too? Or would I have to provide an explicit route?
  6. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2007
    That I can't help you on, as I've never setup a Media Center. I would assume that since the 360 is technically not on the same network as the Media Center when using ICS, it would not work. The "network" that the 360 is connecting to is really just the laptop's ethernet, so it has no idea that other devices are available, since they are on a different netblock...

    Xbox 360 "network" -
    Laptop and Media Center -

    But again, I've never attempted that type of setup, and don't know any of the specific networking needs, so don't quote me on that.
  7. jbassfox macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2010
    Sorry to bring an old topic up, but I had tried this the other day and got it to work. Today, my NAT rating went back to "moderate." I figured that everything simply reset, so I went back to do it again, and so far nothing seems to be working. When I got it to work, I only opened up the ports 88 and 3074. Now I try, and I have to turn my Airport off back on because for some reason I lose internet connection after doing so. Any ideas?
  8. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2007
    I can't say for sure about the Airport thing, as I don't have one. But I do know that the section where you go into terminal and open the ports on the Ethernet of the laptop (the section in red), that has to be done every time the computer is restarted. Any time the machine is put to sleep or turned off, when it comes back on, these ethernet settings will be reset, and the ports will NOT be open. This is most likely why you are getting "Moderate" now.

    It's a total pain in the butt, for sure, but as far as I found, there isn't a way around that. I'm guessing someone who is much smarter than I am could probably create a script of some sort that would enter those settings automatically at startup. But, that is way beyond my ability. Hope that helps.
  9. jbassfox macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2010
    Well it looks like I'll have to do a bit of investigation then. I've tried several different things, and I end up having to reset my AirPort every time, and the ports don't seem to open up.
  10. macnoober macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2010
    I've got my 360 connected by ethernet to my time capsule, and I've never had any problems whatsoever(my connection is very fast-55mbps). However, I've heard "DMZ"ing your TC improves it even more(latency, ping, etc.). My understanding is it gives the 360 static ip address, equivalent to plugging my 360 directly into my modem(bypassing the router/time capsule completely). Does anybody know of a step by step idiot-proof tutorial for this(time capsule, not windows remember). Thanx in advance...:confused:

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