Xbox 360 Slim built-in wifi connection to extended network

We have a a router downstairs creating our wifi network.  We have 100% signal strength in a couple rooms upstairs and only 30 - 40% in the room with Xbox 360 Slim in it.   It was virtually unusable and mostly terrible to unusable for laptops, smartphones and tablets.  I finally got around to getting a second wifi router that extends the network created by the downstairs router.  I put it in the upstairs room with 100% signal strength connection to the downstairs router and now we get 100% signal strength in the upstairs room with the Xbox 360 in it.  Computers, smartphones and tablets dynamically switch to the router with the highest signal strength no matter where they are in the house, but they always think they're on the same wifi network -- because the network services and network name are the same, only there are two routers instead of one broadcasting that single network.

There's also a PS3 in that upstairs room with Xbox 360 S.  The PS3 sees the one network as two networks, both with the same name.  But for wifi configuration you can pick the correct router, the upstairs extender in bridge mode, simply by picking the one with 100% signal strength instead of 30%.  Then the PS3 always connects to the extender, not the downstairs base wifi router.  So the PS3 sees two networks when it should see only one but it you can pick the connection point.

The Xbox 360 S behaves a little more like a laptop.  It only displays the one network as a connection option, but it warns me I have two networks with the same name and I need to change the name of one of them.  Of course in this case I can't because it's one network extended, not two distinct wifi networks.  Unfortunately, though The 360 only shows the extender in the wifi network selection screen -- with full bars signal strength -- once it's setup it mostly are always connects to the weak signal downstairs router and ignores the strong signal from the upstairs router.  Meaning my network connection is terrible.

Has anyone run into this with an extended wifi network?  Have you found a way to force the Xbox 360 to connect to the extender, not to the base router where the wifi network originates?  I thought about turning off the main router, then connecting the 360 to the extender so it would be the only possible connection, then turning the main router back on.  But that won't work because if I shut down the main router the whole network goes away.

 

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Last updated July 4, 2018 Views 32 Applies to:

You can turn off wireless functions ONLY on the downstairs router, then connect to the upstairs router, or change the name of one of the networks then they will appear as separate networks to the Xbox and the other devices will connect to the stronger of the two depending on where they are.

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Hey Monty!
What is the make and model of the second router?

Is the operating mode for the second router set up as router mode (default) or Access point (AP) mode?

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The main router is an Apple Airport Extreme and the second is an Apple Airport Express.  They're actually both in AP (or bridge) mode, the Extreme bridging the ISP's router, connected by wire and broadcasting over the air, the Express bridging the Extreme's wifi network, connected over the air and broadcasting over the air.  I can't dump all the routing services, DHCP, main NAT, etc. onto the Extreme because the Verizon FiOS router has to do all that.  The way FiOS set-top boxes work, they're on the TCP/IP network in the house so they have to have IPs and be routed, with Internet access, in order to work.  The FiOS router hands out addresses to the set-tops over the coax, not over ethernet wire or wifi, so if I shutdown routing services on the FiOS router I shutdown a lot of the set-top box features.  Multi-room DVR, remote scheduling, widgets (what they call apps), possibly other things like the program guide and software updates to the secondary and maybe primary set-tops, too.  I don't know.  I tried it once because I've always used my own personal routers to route and the ISP router only to bridge to the ISP's network.  Complete chaos with the set-top boxes.  So I can't do it.

I don't know that moving routing services onto the Extreme base station router would help matters with the Xbox 360 anyway.

Vibroplex mentioned running two wifi networks under different network names.  That would work except not in my environment.  I was doing that for a while with an old junk router that had a directional antenna, just to get passable signal upstairs.  It was bad but it wasn't quite as bad.  Anyway, the problem is the other devices.  There's enough signal upstairs from the downstairs router so that devices taken upstairs used to stay connected to the downstairs router but they couldn't get out to the Internet or do anything at all on the network, really.  We had to manually switch everything every time we went upstairs.  With a laptop that's not such a big deal but phones and tablets it's a huge hassle every time you go up or downstairs to manually switch routers.  Now they switch between the base router and the extending router on the same wifi network, no problem.  I never notice the change, not even a hiccup, but I've always got full speed on all the devices no matter where I am in the house.

I know the reputation Apple stuff has for only playing nice with Apple stuff and that used to be the case with Apple's routers but not anymore.  When I had the Xbox downstairs connected to the Extreme via wifi, online performance was outstanding, no problems whatsoever with connectivity, speed, restrictive NAT or anything like that.

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Then I would suggest acquiring a 5 metre USB extension cable and an external wireless N adapter for the upstairs console, and putting the external adapter at the optimum practical position for reception.

 

If reception is not adequate, then please consider building a parabolic reflector for the external adapter a la http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2005-05/ask-geek-scott-fullman or other similar aluminum-foil-and-cardboard parabolic.

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That's an excellent idea and I'd thought of doing that, but don't want the hassle of running cable.

I've thought of something.  When the Airport Express is in bridge mode as an extender its single ethernet port is a LAN port.  It's intended to support a single wired-only device like a computer or game console placed near the Express, something that can acquire IP via DHCP and otherwise take care of itself.  Well the spare router, a Dlink WBR 1310 wireless g router won't bridge but I could connect it via ethernet wire to the Express and set it up to create its own wireless network and never configure any other device to connect to that network.  I'd configure the Xbox 360 S to connect to that network broadcast by the Dlink.  The router being wire-connected to the Express so it would have the effect of forcing the Xbox to connect to the Express, though via the Dlink as an intermediary wifi network.

That's still a lot of mess and signal traffic and extra wifi networks running around.  I mostly use the Xbox 360 for single-player games, disc-based or XBLA (which I can download, it's just slower than I'd like).  I'll probably just live with it unless I reach a point playing online or using any other XBL gold services online -- streaming TV, etc. -- is something I need the Xbox to do.

I still don't understand why when it has to choose between two access points it believes otherwise the same the Xbox doesn't connect to the one with the best signal strength.  Most all other wifi devices, all the ones we own, anyway, do connect that way, opting for highest signal strength in range.

Anyway I appreciate all the help.  But I was getting bad Xbox 360 connection and truly miserable connections for  smartphones and tablets and the streaming movies/music/TV device we have in that room before I installed the extender.  Now I'm still getting bad Xbox 360 connection but maximum effective throughput on the smartphone and tablets and streaming device.  If the Xbox 360 can't be forced by setting or a simple trick to connect to the extender, I think I'll leave well enough alone.

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I deleted my system cache and deleted and redownloaded my XBL profile. I know, basic frontline troubleshooting for 360s, but I didn't do it first, probably because my network environment changed and I assumed it would be that.  I still have no idea where the thing is connecting but connectivity is better.  Downloads are still slow but not as slow.  1080p video -- it's got to be 1080 compared to the others -- pauses to buffer, 720p and 480p video do not. SD video (480) never paused to buffer, but I think 720p was pausing to buffer before I cleared everything, so that would be a clear improvement.  I think gameplay will be fine.

The only thing I have to compare it to is the beige 4GB flash builtin (with HDD slapped on it) Xbox 360 downstairs.  And it's connected by wire.  On the wired Xbox, dashboard UI elements dependent on connection/content from XBL are somewhat quicker but not THAT much quicker.  Downloads are about 3 times as fast but then again that's wire for you.  It's easy to forgot in this wireless age how much faster wired connections are.  Smartphones, tablets, even my laptop doesn't even have a builtin ethernet port.

Thanks again for assistance.  What I've got going isn't perfect and I wish the 360 played nicer with extended networks but it's good enough and no cabling or broadcasting multiple networks hassles.

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I have the same problem with two airport express routers. My 360 connects to the router with the weaker signal and drops the connection. I have a mac mini sitting next to the 360 and it knows how to handle wifi networks like a mature adult and connects to the stronger signal. My cheap hack is simply sharing the wifi connection of the mini over it's ethernet port and plugging the 360 into the mini via ethernet.

Very annoying, I have to be running my mac mini in order to have xbox live because the 360's wifi doesn't know how to connect to the stronger signaled network. This needs to be fixed. Windows machines seem to figure it out, why not a 360?

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Hey there Sieken,

Sorry to hear you're having an issue connecting to your routers.

You can manually select the wireless that your console connects to. Steps for that are listed here: http://support.xbox.com/xbox-360/settings-and-initial-setup/configure-wireless-settings

Let us know how that goes. If you are still having an issue connecting to that stronger router, please create a new thread detailing the situation. This thread is over 5 months old.

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