Connecting an Xbox 360 S to a wireless network with MAC address filtering enabled

My new Xbox 360 S (with Kinect sensor) arrived today and I’m very excited. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to set it up until quite late at night and it took me a while to connect to my home Wi-Fi network, even using the Windows Connect feature, because I use MAC address filtering (in addition to WPA2 encyption). Adding a new MAC address to the Wi-Fi access point is simple enough – except that I had a few problems finding the MAC address for my Xbox 360s.

Once I’d gone through the initial setup (unfortunately I had to complete that before I could access the dashboard), I could examine the network settings in the system blade but, strangely, the MAC address I needed was labelled as the wired MAC address, even though it’s on the Wi-Fi connection (See solution 7 in Microsoft knowledge base article 978945). Just to confuse me further, there was also a MAC address listed in the wireless information (but I think that relates to the connection to the controller…).

Xbox 360 Advanced network settings - the wired MAC address is wireless on the 360 S

Now that I’ve connected to the Internet and installed a couple of system updates, the interface is much less confusing (it now says MAC Address, rather than Wired MAC Address, and gives me the correct one!)

3 thoughts on “Connecting an Xbox 360 S to a wireless network with MAC address filtering enabled

  1. Probably worth mentioning that MAC address filtering doesn’t really do anything for your wireless security? Quite a lot of administrative overhead for virtually no advantage! (Well, it might delay someone 10 seconds or so, but is it really worth it?!)

  2. Hi Sam – I’d agree it’s not really “security” but it is one (of several) layers of defence. Sure, the MAC can be spoofed, but on a low-traffic network such as mine, it might take a while to find a valid one to use (certainly more than 10 seconds)

  3. I agree with Sam – Mac filtering wont make your network more secure. It’s just annoying when you have to connect any new device to your network. Anyway, congrats on getting new Xbox. :-)

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