Only certain types of wireless network adapters
work with video game consoles. These Wi-Fi
adapters allow you to connect a console to a wireless home network for online gaming. A short cable connects these adapters to a console, enabling the console for wireless connections to home routers. With Wi-Fi support built into newer versions of the Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation, these products are useful mainly for older legacy consoles.
First released in 2009, this latest version of Microsoft's wireless adapter for Xbox supports both 802.11a
(for the few people who would need it) and the 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi family. It's designed to plug into the USB
port on the back of the console. The adapter draws its power through the USB connection and therefore does not require plugging into a separate power source.
One of the most actively discussed networking products on this site, this 802.11n adapter is designed to be an alternative to Microsoft's Wireless N adapters. The Mad Catz unit connects to the console via its Ethernet port
, making it compatible with more devices than just Xbox. Follow the link below then scroll down to the Comments section to get the full details on how to install and manage this device.
Released in 2005, this older Microsoft adapter installs and functions similarly to the newer A/B/G/N model (see above) but lacks 802.11n support. The unit does support WPA
Wi-Fi security. It's cream-colored case matches that of older 360 consoles.
The DWL-G820 supports 802.11b/g wireless connectivity fed by an Ethernet link to the console. The DGL-3420 adds 802.11a support and featured a system called GameFuel that simplifies configuration of network settings through the Xbox console screens. Designed to be used together with D-Link wireless routers, some settings on the DGL-3420 may be incompatible with routers from other vendors. Both products are discontinued by the manufacturer.
The Linksys WGA54AG (pictured) connects to the Ethernet port
of an Xbox, Playstation or GameCube. As the name suggests, the Linksys WGA54AG supports both 802.11a and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi networks. The company also produced a similar WGA54G model that does not include 802.11a support. Unlike other products in this category, however, the WGA54AG and WGA54G support only WEP
encryption, making them unsuitable for use on most wireless networks. These products are discontinued.
Belkin's 802.11g gaming adapter networks a Xbox, PlayStation or GameCube via Ethernet cable. You can additionally connect it to the console via USB to substitute for a separate power cord. If necessary, upgrade the adapter's firmware to get WPA support. The F5D7330 ships with Belkin's lifetime warranty.
Though not labeled as a game adapter, network bridges
like the WET54G connect any Ethernet device like a game console to a wireless home network. This unit supports 802.11g with WEP/WPA encryption. The product also supports a Power over Ethernet (PoE) adapter which eliminates the need for electrical cables. Otherwise, the WET54G is functionally similar to the WGA54AG above.
8. Microsoft Xbox Wireless Adapter
Microsoft's Wireless G (802.11g-only) adapter for the original Xbox perfectly matched that console's look. It connects to the Xbox Ethernet port and works as a general-purpose network bridge; therefore, it can actually be used with other consumer electronic products including the Xbox 360. Being an older product, however, it only supported WEP encryption and not WPA thus is not recommended for general use. Microsoft has discontinued this product.