Question: Can connect to XBox live using my iPhone’s data-plan?

Answer: Yes. (If you don’t want to read my schmaltzy backstory, skip to “Directions” below).

For the record, I’m a geek. Not a nerd. Geeks make more money than nerds.

My biggest tech woe is that I live in the sticks. For those geeks not familiar with living on a one-lane dirt road 20 minutes from civilization, it means wire will never be run to your home for internet unless you’re willing to pay a $26,000+ install fee (my most recent quote from a mega-ISP).

As a result, we’ve tried everything under the sun. And I mean that. Satellites are the most common solution. But their weather-related finickiness combined with their outrageously low bandwidth allowances make it only slightly better than an internet dial-up connection. And for 100 times the money. Then there was Verizon’s nice USB stick option, which we tried. Until my first bill came back at $400 for exceeding the 4Gb monthly allowance.

Enter the iPhone.

While I wasn’t as open with discussing jailbreaking the iPhone before it became legal, I now see it as a more than viable option for bringing home internet capabilities to those of us “less-fortunate” in the sticks. A recent boost by AT&T to our local tower now feeds me a steady full-bar stream of 3G anywhere in my house. MyWi has become arguably my second most favored app (right after HeyTell). Now our little home in the middle of nowhere has beautiful wifi for all of our computers.

Except one. The only PC I own: XBox.

Before we moved to northern NY I had a sweet wireless router that I used for my Xbox. But now that my internet is provided by my iPhone, how do I get them to talk? The first trick is that you need a computer to act as a router. My directions are all for Macs, but the same principle will work for you PC users. (A big thanks to MacCheeta3 who’s 2007 directions I’ve modified below).


While plugging in an XBox to your Mac’s ethernet port and pointing it to “share” your AirPort or USB internet connection might seem easy enough, the XBox 360 won’t dynamically take an IP from a Mac using Internet Sharing, so it must be static (Manual).

Any IP ranges using the 10.0.x.x or 192.168.x.x ranges will work. It’s best if you don’t use the same IP range as your router. If your router has an IP of use a 10.0.x.x range and vice versa. I’ll use the 10.0.0.x range for example.

Mac OS X
1) Apple>System Preferences>Network>Ethernet>Advanced>TCP/IP
2) Set Configure IPv4: to Manually
– Set IP Address: to
– Set Subnet Mask: to
3) Apple>System Preferences>Sharing>Internet Sharing (don’t toggle on the field yet, just highlight the region)
4) Set: Share your connection from: to Airport
– Set: To computers using: to Ethernet
– Now click toggle on the Internet Sharing field, and click Start when prompted

XBox 360
1) While in the Dashboard, navigate to the System blade
2) Network Settings>Edit Settings>IP Settings>Manual
3) Set IP Address to – The first three segments (ie 10.0.0) will need to match what you set in step #2 of the Mac OS X section
– Set Subnet Mask to
– Set Gateway to – what you set in step #2 under the Mac OS X section
– Click Done
4) Go to DNS Settings
– Set Primary to your router (iPhone). You can find your router’s IP by going to your MacBook and to: Apple>System Preferences>Network>Airport>TCP/IP.
-Leave the
-Click “B” for back. Everything will save automatically. Now “Test Your Connection” to XBox Live.

Hope that helped! If you’re a PC user and want to list or link instructions below, I’ll gladly approve your comment.

Happy gaming fellow geeks! ch:


Snarph · 8 Dec ’10 at 2:41 pm

This IS the nerdiest post yet. I LOVE it. I think you should start a tech blog. Just saying. 😉 Wonder if I can do this with my droid….

    Christopher Hopper · 8 Dec ’10 at 4:31 pm

    You mean, geekiest, right?

    If you can get your Droid to tether, absolutely.

Rebekah Berthet · 12 Dec ’10 at 3:26 am

Wow. I don’t really know what any of that means…I don’t make any money apparently since I am neither a nerd or a geek..I leave that up to Joel. 🙂 However, I particularly like your use of the word “finickiness”. Nice.

Alex Strote · 6 Jan ’12 at 1:10 pm

Hi there,

I need some help with this :). Im very close, I think…to be playing some xbox live. I am currently ‘in the sticks’ as well. I’ve successfully connected xbox to my home network…just not to the internet. My problem seems to lie with the dns setting. I cannot locate the ip for my router…its blank in my system settings. I should mention my phone is not jailbroken, but I can tether through blue tooth and usb. Do i need mywi, and therefore a jailbroken phone? Help pleasse!

    Christopher Hopper · 6 Jan ’12 at 1:36 pm

    Hey Alex,

    A few questions for you first: do you have a tethered plan with your carrier, or are you on an unlimited plan? Also, are you using my system as outlined in this post (using a laptop, etc), or have you tried just using your iPhone’s tethering ability directly?


Alex Strote · 8 Jan ’12 at 11:57 am

Hey Chris,

Thanks for the quick response. I have a dataplan with my carrier, and tethering is included at no extra charge…as long as I dont go over my 2gigs a month. I am basically using the system you have outlined (however am not using a laptop, but an imac). I use my phones tethering ability directly through bluetooth or apple USB all the time. I am using right now to write to you. When i try to follow ” Apple>System Preferences>Network>Airport>TCP/IP.” to find my DNS setting, it is blank.
However, at the moment I am connected through a bluetooth PAN and i can locate the dns server through Network>Bluetooth PAN>advanced>DNS…i input it to xbox live and it does not work. xbox successfully connects to a local network, but will not connect to the internet or xbox live. I hope thats clear enough, sorry if it seems all over the place. Thank you again for writing back so quickly.


Alex Strotd · 8 Jan ’12 at 12:23 pm

Hi there.

I’ve sorted it out! The only thing I had to change…and this may be useful for some. Since I do not need to jailbreak to connect, I am technically not sharing through my airport, but my Bluetooth PAL network. All I had to do was change internet sharing from to “Bluetooth PAL -> Ethernet” I entered the DNS server found under Bluetooth PAL and voila …Call of Duty it is! Thanks again for the response and help!

    Christopher Hopper · 8 Jan ’12 at 2:24 pm

    Wow, your response to your response came in between the time I read your second comment and was about to write you but saw your third. 🙂 Awesome! Glad it worked out. Happy gaming. God bless you!

Roy · 22 Jul ’12 at 11:28 am

I can’t get this to work for me, I’ve done everything the tutorial has said. When I go to test the Xbox Live Connection it says something about a DNS error, I set the DNS to the Router address listed under System Preferences -> Network -> iPhone.

Any ideas?

    Christopher Hopper · 24 Jul ’12 at 4:07 pm

    Sorry man – this tip is so old now I’m worried is outdated with upgrades to both iOS and XBox. My apologies.

    If anyone has more current info for our man here, please chime in.

coby · 3 Aug ’12 at 11:48 pm

Hey im trying to tether to my xbox 360 but not shure what to do about additional settings wat doi do with the pppoe setting, user name, passwor an service name help would be appreciated

    Christopher Hopper · 6 Aug ’12 at 7:30 am

    Hey Coby,

    It’s been so long that I’ve done this I’m no longer familiar with the most recent software updates, and therefore not sure I could be of any help.

    Any commenters want to help Coby out? Feel free. Thanks.


David Morgan · 16 Apr ’13 at 6:49 pm

I have been trying this for a while since I bought the gs2 from ST and come to find out they locked the hotspot feature dont wanna root. I also live in Northern NY Clayton to be exact you can come over and fix mine anytime lol it gets on my nerves

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