Like many college students, when I went home for Thanksgiving break, I brought back my Xbox for some Gears of War action. I wanted to fire up Xbox Live for some online play, but unfortunately, my router was all the way on the other side of the house, and I didn’t have an Ethernet cable long enough to reach across the house. I’ve got an older model and don’t have a built-in Wi-Fi adapter, and I didn’t want to shell out $55 for an Xbox Wi-Fi adapter. What did I do in this situation? After browsing on Google a bit, I figured out I could use my Mac as a free wireless bridge. This is incredibly useful for those of you in similar situations in your dorm/apartment – why spend $55 when you can harness technology you already have to connect wirelessly for free? So today, I’m going to walk you step by step through how to do this.

What You Need: A laptop capable of Internet Sharing and an Ethernet cable.

I’ll first go over how to connect via Mac OS X:

On Your Laptop

1. Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi on your Mac, and then connect your Mac to your Xbox with your Ethernet cable.

2. Turn on Internet Sharing by going to System Preferences -> Highlight Internet Sharing -> Check the Box for Ethernet -> Finally, check the box for Internet Sharing to turn it on.

3. Go back to the System Preferences Menu -> Click on Ethernet -> Choose “Using DHCP with manual address” in the dropdown menu for “Configure IPv4.”

4. Set the IP Address of your Ethernet connection to something like 10.10.10.10 – anything that won’t be used by your router’s DHCP lease.

5. Then go to the AirPort tab in network -> click on Advanced -> go to the TCP/IP Tab.

6. Copy down your router’s IP Address, which is listed directly after “Router:” in the AirPort advanced options tab.

7. The last piece of information you’ll need is your ISP’s DNS, which you can find by going into your router’s control panel. Enter the IP Address for your router from step 6 into your browser to access the control panel. Then, poke around in your router’s settings to find the primary DNS. You’ll usually find it in “connection status,” or something along the lines of that. Copy down this information.

On your Xbox

1. Now you need to go to your Xbox’s network settings and manually enter your IP settings.

2. For IP Settings, set the IP Address to the IP Address to something that won’t conflict with your DHCP lease – something like 150.150.150.150

3. For Subnet Mask, set the value to 255.255.255.0.

4. For Gateway, set the value to the manual IP Address you entered from Step 4 above.

5. Then move onto the DNS Settings.

6. Set the Primary DNS Server to your Router’s IP Address from Step 6 above.

7. Set the Secondary DNS Server to your ISP’s DNS from Step 7 above.

Test our Xbox Live connection and everything should work out fine. Congrats! Now you can connect wirelessly to Xbox Live through your laptop without shelling out $55 for an Xbox Wi-Fi adapter. Enjoy and have fun killing noobs!

What are some common problems you’ve encountered in trying to do Internet sharing with your Xbox? Let us know in the comments!

[Photo courtesy of Marek Wylamowski. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.]