Monday, October 14, 2013

Bridging Network Connection for non-WiFi devices or Xbox 360

Sometimes you may need to connect a device to the internet that either doesn't have WiFi, or doesn't support the available WiFi protocol.  Fortunately there is a very easy solution that only requires an Ethernet cable and a laptop that can connect to WiFi and has a built-in Ethernet port.  USB to Ethernet adapters may not work for this trick.

Update: USB to Ethernet adapters have been tested and do work.  However, it seems to only work on certain USB points of my test laptop (YMMV).

1. Connect the device to the laptop with an Ethernet cable.

2. Right click on the Wireless Signal icon on your laptop and open the Network and Sharing Center

3. In the top left corner, click Change Adapter Settings.  When the network connections window opens you should see your WiFi connection and a local area connection.  Highlight both items, then right click and select Bridge Connections.

4. Congratulations!  When both connections and the bridge have finished identifying both devices should be sharing the laptops internet connection!

This seems to work intermediately with some Xbox, but is fairly reliable with other devices.  Please post in the comments if you discover that this method doesn't place with certain network adapters.  For best results turn the Xbox on and setup the bridge as instructed above.  After completing this you will notice that you still don't have internet on your Xbox.  Just turn the Xbox on and off (making sure auto-sign in is enabled) and it will eventually shake-hands with the laptop and connect.  Once connected it seems to be fairly reliable.

Let me know in the comments how well this works for you.