Tuesday, August 21, 2007

FiOS and XBox Wireless Adapter: Incompatable?

What the crap? I tried to connect my XBox 360 with wireless adapter to my new Verizon FiOS wireless router/FiOS modem, the ActionTec MI424-WR. The 360 sees the wireless network correctly, but when I try to connect, it fails (2nd step of the test, "Wireless Network: Not Connected"). I can connect to a neighbor's unsecured wireless, so I know the adapter works.

After trying a bunch of things, I call XBox tech support. The guy runs through his checklist, doing all the dumb things like restarting and reseting (I simulated those steps, as I had already done them). Then he asked me whether I had a Linksys or D-Link wireless router. Odd question, since there are more than two wireless router manufacturers out there. I told him it was an ActionTec, and he cut me off saying that was a modem and wireless router in one. This was odd, because while that was true, ActionTec sells regular wireless routers. I confirm that it's a Verizon-supplied wireless router and FiOS modem.

This is the interesting part. He pretty much instantly says I should call ActionTec to make sure I have the right settings. Now, I'm not an IT professional... wait, I am an IT professional! So I told him that I set up the wireless network myself and that it works with my computers. The tech is clearly concerned about something, but he asks me to run one more test before again declaring I should call ActionTec. This certainly seems weird, as I know the router is working fine.

So, being the nerd that I am, I searched the interweb for information. I came across this forum thread, with some interesting (but unconfirmed) information:

I have this same exact problem, and it is NOT a NAT problem and it CANNOT be fixed through port forwarding. I've done a bunch of searches in other forums and others are having the same issue. What I'm finding is that there used to be a d-link and an early model actiontec that DO work with the wireless adapter. However, newer customers (I got mine installed July 1, 2007), are getting the "rev. C" version of this router and it is incomptatible

Weird, huh. I will be writing ActionTec, Verizon, and Microsoft soon about this.

UPDATE: From ActionTec:


DO NOT reply to this email. This is a send only account.

You wrote:Hello
ActionTec, I recently (first week of August 2007) had Verizon
FiOSinstalled in my house. The installer gave me a ActionTec MI424-WR
router.However, I cannot get my XBox 360 with Wireless Adapter to connect to
theActionTec's wireless network. The 360 can connect to other wirelessnetworks
without trouble. Can you help me? Thank you, -Ed

The reponse to this issue is below:


If your MI424 has Rev C after the model number we have seen an increase incalls
where XBOX wireless adapters will not connect.We cannot assist at this time, but
the issue is under review by Actiontec,VERIZON, and Microsoft. Once a resolution
is found it will posted on theVERIZON website.Until that time, you can connect
the XBOX with ethernet and play online,but we cannot get the wireless to


If this solution did not correct your issue please click this link: http://support.actiontec.com/email_support/support_form.php?callid=00878442

Thank you,
Actiontec Electronics

Well, there you have it. I got FiOS mostly for XBox Live, and now I have to use my extra wireless router to actually connect it. What a load of garbage.

I connected my old D-Link router to the LAN side of the ActionTec to see if the 360 could connect to that and then to the interweb. It works, though I'm not sure how much latency I'm losing with that extra layer.

Also, I chatted with Verizon's live-chat service to ask them about it. The tech was unable to help, but he offered these two nuggets of information:
  • Verizon only guarantees wireless devices 10 feet from the router can connect. Anything further than that is not guaranteed.
  • Verizon does not support gaming network connections. If you want one to work, you're on your own.
Not terribly surprising, but interesting.

After cursing at NAT and firewalls and routers for a few hours yesterday, I finally realized that my nested routers didn't allow my XBox to connect to other users for any online gaming. I'm going to try finagling the DMZ and port forwarding settings, but for now I've just busted out the 50 ft. Ethernet cable. Oh well.

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