XBOX Live and Network Address Translation (NAT)

OK so not really Embedded but this has been driving me mad for months...

When on XBOX Live I occasionally had issues connecting to sessions, or could connect but with no voice - funny thing was it was always with the same people.  Over Christmas someone mentioned that I should check the NAT (Network Address Translation) type on my router.  You can do this from your XBOX 360 by doing the following:

  1. Go to the System area of the Xbox Dashboard.
  2. Select Network Settings.
  3. Select Test Xbox Live Connection

You should get something like this:

If your NAT is set to Moderate or Strict then chances are this is causing the problem - the table below outlines the implications and a full discussion can be found at

In my case the NAT type was moderate and the fix was surprisingly easy.  Firstly give your 360 a fixed IP and then drop it into the DMZ, and voila the NAT Type changed to Open - no more connectivity issues.

Happy gaming


Comments (18)
  1. gary rimmer says:

    Dave, I found your WebLog from the MS TechNet site.

    I recently started a thread …

    and wonder if you caould comment? I am trying to connect 2 xbox360 consoles thro a Netgear DG834 ADSL router with latest Firmware.

    Any comments would be appreciated.


    Gary (Wirral UK)

  2. MSDN Archive says:

    Can’t say I’ve ever tried to connect two 360’s to the same router but can’t see why it’s not working, NAT status should stay static once set.

    Have you tried putting both 360’s in the DMZ?

  3. Wayne Boudreau says:

    In some cases dropping the 360 into the DMZ is NOT an option.  Take for example my case.  I run a network in my house that stretches between two routers and a total of 5 systems (4 PCs and 1 360 Console).  3 of the PCs are directly connected to the first router (2 wireless and 1 wired) while my PC and 360 are connect through a secondary router.  My computer is, at all times, off the firewall because I do a LOT of downloading and FTP transfers and setting up all the port forwarding would get crazy.  Here is my solution.  Go to your routers settings and port forward your 360.  To do this first make sure your console has a fixed IP Address (or reserved IP address).  Next find your routers port forwarding section and set both a TCP and UDP.  Some routers allow you to set both on a single setting while others you have to do each one seperate.  Either way, use the 360’s IP address and the port number 3074 in all the places it asks for a port number.  Once this is done you should be able to run the 360 flawlessly while saving your DMZ for more important things since you can only have ONE system on a DMZ.  If you are having problems with this or if you need any further assistance setting up your network with a 360 please email me at  Thank you!

  4. Ian Zylstra says:

    I have not been able to private chat video chat or join any of some of my friends games. i cant host games in Gears of War but i can host games in some other games when i figured out that my NAT was on strict i new that probly was the problem.:(

  5. michael horemans says:

    heey people!! a friend of my has her NAT on moderate and she keeps disconnecting to xbox live! does anybody can explain me how to turn it on OPEN? (its to connect 2 xbox 360’s on 1 router)

    thanx michael

  6. CJ TheWonderboy says:

    You also need to set your port forwarding on the router for UDP: 80 For your xbox ip address as soon as i set that and UDP+TCP: 3074 My Nat turned to Open 😀

  7. Nio Mai says:

    Hello peepz, umm i’m not sure if my problem is related to any of yours but any help would be appreciated,

    so far, i’m able to connect to Xbox live, but the thing is, (GEARS OF WAR) everytime i try to "join someones session", a pop-up comes up and says i lost connection to the host. and this happens "EVERYTIME". so when i run the connection test, everything seems to be confirmed or  connected.  

  8. Fate IT says:

    I’m looking for a solution to get 2 xbox 360s to show

    open NAT on One router. none of the above solutions help

    one will show as open and the other as moderate every

    time, depending on which was turned on first

  9. Fugazi says:

    The solution requires 2 public ip addresses & 2 routers

    I used Netgear RP614NA & the wireless counterpart 54m version

    With cable modem->Hub(used linksys 8 port switch)->router #1 ->xbox 360#1,pc!

    With cable modem->Hub(used linksys 8 port switch)->router #2 ->xbox 360#2,WII!

    Since each xbox has its own router and each router has its own public ip address your able to have port 88 for example open on both xbox 360’s. When you run the xbox live test both show open. Hope this helps!

  10. elvis says:

    I am a novice at this but have the same NAT "moderate" reading and failure to join sessions…I would like to use your "fix" but I have no idea how to designate an IP or "drop it into the DMZ"   Can you expalin this for us novices…thanks Dav!!!

  11. JR says:

    So there is no way to have 2 360s work flawlessly on 1 router? Me and my roomate both have 360s and normally game together with a few other friends, but since moving in for school 1 person can play at a time. The other gets disconnected.

  12. Billy says:

    I had the same problem. 2 xbox 360s on 1 router, I could only get 1 on a open nat at any time. The D-Link 540 wireless router was suggested, and it works perfect. Open NAT on both X box’s all the time, out of the box, no tweeking. I have 2pc’a and 2 xbox 360s on this router all running at once, no problems at all.

  13. Billy says:

    you don’t need 2 ip’s and 2 routers, just one router that works. D link 540. Worked for me and for several other people who had this problem. Don’t know why it does, it just does, out of the box with no change to settings.

  14. ElegyEnigma says:

    Here’s a doozy for y’all.

    I cannot host Gears of War matches.  It has nothing to do with the NAT; my NAT is open.  I can host matches in that I can host up to three people total.  However, it seems after three people, it firewalls EVERYONE in the session, booting them all at once.  Either that or it resets the connection, I’m not sure.  But mind you, not until there’s four people does it suddenly kick everyone.  I could be mistaken but I swear I think my router just simply resets.  It happens every time and as a result I can’t host a fraggin’ match.  At all.  Does anybody have any suggestions?  It’s a Netgear gateway/router, the standard router/gateway they give you when you sign up for Comcast.

    Note, I can join matches and there’s no problem.

  15. meatwad31 says:

    Yeah well I have search the web up and down and there is no such thing as a D-Link 540 wireless router.

  16. Patrick says:

    There is no Dlink 540? whats the exact model number?!?

  17. bim says:

    i’m having a similar type of problem. i just bought my 360 two weeks ago.  i just bought halo 3 last week.  so when i connect and am playing, i get disconnected (from my friends).  the message i see says something like "you are connected to a XBOX live session but have no connection".  i cant even reconnect to see my friends at that point (it doesnt even give me the press "Y" to see your friends option), i have to reboot.  then i play for 5 minutes and it happens again.  

    my house is wired (not wireless).  i have a modem that feeds a router (Dlink) which feeds my xbox. when i plugged directly into my modem, i didnt have the problem.  all the connection settings seem okay (NAT is open too).

    weird think is i had an xbox until last month which i never had any problems with connecting to xbox live.  just my new 360.  

    anyone can help me?

  18. cstoyka says:

    i recently perchased 2 plasmas and 2 360’s. i have it hooked up to one modem and router. both sytems work individually on halo 3 and using xbox live. we cannot join parties with each others and the nat is set to open. how do i fix this problem. im hoping somthing simple.  


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