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Xbox 360's Jamming Wireless Signals? 222

WirePosted writes "A report has emerged suggesting the Xbox 360's inbuilt wireless system for communication with wireless controllers and headsets is transmitting over a wide area of the 2.4Ghz spectrum, causing interference to WLAN's and other 2.4Ghz devices."
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Xbox 360's Jamming Wireless Signals?

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  • by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:05PM (#21726502) Homepage
    I would think we would have heard of this problem long before now. There are million of these units and when they are not displaying the red ring of death, you think this problem would be shutting down WLANs worldwide generating numerous WTFs. Microsoft also sells its own USB wireless adapter for the XBOX 360. You think the wireless adapter would be nuked by the wireless controller if this was the case.
    • Yeah...this does sound a little suspicious. You think it would have been noted before. I don't have a 360 so I can't comment. What is the PS3 doing to avoid this I wonder?

      Note that if this is true and the 360 really is using the 2.4ghz spectrum, you could point to this as evidence that selling their own wireless gizmo separately to make extra cash kind of came back to bite them in the ass - Sony would have figured this out pretty quickly when the wireless internet and the wiress controllers didn't work w
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by coolGuyZak ( 844482 )
        The PS3 uses the bluetooth protocol to transmit data, which was designed to share 2.4 GHz with WiFi. MS, as usual, has reinvented the wheel, poorly.
      • Sony and Nintendo both use Bluetooth controllers. Which is still 2.4GHz, but at least Bluetooth is fairly standardized and easy for other wireless device manufacturers to work around.c

        That said, the X360 has been out for over two years now. If this was a major issue I think we'd have heard about it long before now.
    • Sounds like FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

      by paranode ( 671698 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:30PM (#21726888)
      There's a lot of stuff that operates in this range. From the article itself it merely says: "It's not clear whether the signal disrupts the college's WLAN access points or students' wireless notebooks. There is some anecdotal evidence, however, that it at least affects other radios in the same 2.4GHz band." Basically the article just talks about a 'strange' 2.4GHz signal that they found and didn't know where it came from. Turned out it came from the XBox 360 (and that is admittedly his "best guess"). No evidence or claim in the article that it is interfering with any WLANs, he basically just says they need to do more 'systematic testing' (that is, putting a bunch of 360s in the room to see if they can cause interference).

      Nothing to see here...
  • Didn't notice (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bryansix ( 761547 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:06PM (#21726514) Homepage
    Just a little anicdotal evidence but I have a 360 in the same room at my PC which is on wireless and two access points in that room as well. They all work fine at the same time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Cabriel ( 803429 )
      I concur with this guy. I've been using a Wii (built-in WiFi), two laptops, and the Xbox360 within five feet of eachother for about two months, now, and we've been relatively free of problems. There is a new issue with one of the laptops losing it's wireless connectivity, but the Xbox360 has been around far longer than the problem, so I'd be very wary of trying to make that association.
    • Going to have to agree myself, running 2 desktops, 3 laptops, and the 360 on two access points, and I've noticed no interference. Seems like FUD to me.
  • Read TFNOTBOED (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ancient_Hacker ( 751168 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:08PM (#21726528)
    Read The Fine Note On The Back Of Every Device.

    Something along the lines of:

    (1) Tolerate interference from other devices. (2) .... something else that I forget....

    You see, the FCC does not want to have to certify that each and every $3 wireless mouse keeps its emissions within 0.2 KHz of 945.343 MHz at a field strength of no more than 330 microvolts / meter.

    Welcome to the Republican Spectrum of the Future.

    • by SengirV ( 203400 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:17PM (#21726666)
      Welcome to the Republican Spectrum of the Future.

      But the Dems are in charge of Congress, so this shouldn't be a problem anymore, right? 'bout time you realize that problem is ALL politicians, you partisan hack.

      • But the Dems are in charge of Congress, so this shouldn't be a problem anymore, right? 'bout time you realize that problem is ALL politicians, you partisan hack.
        FYI - all five of the FCC Commissioners were appointed by Republican President Bush and all five of them were confirmed by a Republican led Senate. The Democrats have only been in power in the Senate since January 2007 and no FCC Commissioners have been nominated or confirmed since.
        • by Zak3056 ( 69287 )
          Your point is made, but his point still stands. The idea that the FCC under Bush created the problem of devices operating in unlicensed spectrum is absurd.

        • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
          Hat to point out facts but the 2.4 unregulated spectrum predates Bush.
          802.11b was made an official standard in 1999. It had to be in the works for years before that.
          When the FCC made the 2.4 ghz spectrum I doubt that they ever dreamed of every joe on the planet having a wifi network, wireless phone, wireless mouse, wireless keyboard, and a cell phone with Bluetooth.
          So yea partition hack sounds very accurate.

    • Re:Read TFNOTBOED (Score:4, Informative)

      by operagost ( 62405 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:36PM (#21726996) Homepage Journal
      Are you thick? These are very old regulations, and they have nothing to do with any one party. You could have at least looked up the regs first instead of proving to everyone that you don't know what you're talking about. Class B from memory:
      • The device must not create any harmful interference,
      • The device must accept any interference that may cause undesired operation.
      • You are correct, but it's actually FCC "Part 15" - "Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation."
    • Re:Read TFNOTBOED (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mwilliamson ( 672411 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @03:07PM (#21728352) Homepage Journal
      But, amateur radio operators also have a band that overlaps part of the WiFi allocation, and part 97 rules apply. We indeed do have legal recourse if part 15 devices start to piss on our allocations.
      • True, provided that you can prove that a device covered under part 15 was indeed causing actual harmful interference, and not just transmitting as designed. Until amateur radio receives primary allocation status of its section of 2.4GHz, I doubt that any ham would be very successful at kicking a part 15 device off their local airwaves.

        Amateur radio has to comply with part 97, and the unlicensed devices have to comply with part 15, but the secondary allocation status for amateur radio (on 2.4GHz) puts the

  • Old News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JedaFlain ( 899703 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:11PM (#21726574)
    This isn't really new news as shown by this [] article from 2005. It talks about Wal-Mart's problems with some of it's 360 kiosks causing problems with their wireless inventory system.
  • The ironic part to this is so many people have complained about the xbox wireless losing connection or just working just plain badly. I guess Microsoft didn't think how badly the controlers would interfear with the wifi card for the xbox.

    This isn't just a problem for microsoft though it will most likely be a problem with any console that deals with wireless lan access and wireless controllers that both function in the 2.6 spectrum.
    • Re:xbox wireless (Score:4, Informative)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:39PM (#21727054) Homepage
      For the record, my Wii seems to have problems with the wireless. If I leave the WiiConnect24 on, after a couple days the wireless router stops responding, and it doesn't kick back on until I turn off the WiiConnect24 , even after I reboot the router.
      • by James McP ( 3700 )
        It's probably your router. I've got a cheap access point that every so often stops transmitting any data over the WAN port until I do a hard power cycle. Internal data transfers work just fine. I figure it's either a a malformed packet kills the software for the external port or a buffer that gets corrupted.

        The problem was originally pretty sporadic (like every couple of months) but the ocurrence rate spiked when my TiVO went on the network and increased the overall load.
  • Not just the x-box (Score:2, Interesting)

    by methano ( 519830 )
    I know we're supposed to hate MS and love the competition (and I do), but my wife claims that the Wii is also messing up the WiFi signal to her laptop.
    • Even microwave ovens use 2.4G. There are so many different comms using 2.4G it is suprising anything works.
      • This is why I searched so long (and found! Yay!) a phone that still used 900MHz. One less thing to crowd the wireless at home.
    • by TheThiefMaster ( 992038 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @02:13PM (#21727602)
      I'd have thought that if the Wii was messing up a laptop's WiFi connection, it would also have been messing up its OWN WiFi connection. Coupled with the fact that it uses an international standard (bluetooth) for its wireless controllers, which is used by millions of other devices without problem, it seems unlikely that it's messing up WiFi signals.

      The 360, on the other hand, doesn't have WiFi, and has wireless controllers that use a proprietary (I think) wireless system, on the same frequency spectrum as WiFi. There's every chance that it interferes.
  • ...given all of the other hardware-related problems that Xbox 360 has had with overheating [], brittle solder joints [], optical disk scratching [], and general instability [].
    • The RROD is well known and the 3 year warranty was implemented by MS to deal with that. The optical disc scratching is overblown and is usually the result of some moron moving the console while it's running. As for the instability, blame the coders, not the hardware. Almost all of you articles are from 2005, how about dealing with the 360 as it stands now? I play mine on a regular basis, have a great time on Live with friends, and it doesn't crash any more than my PS2, Dreamcast or Gamecube. Anecdotal sure,
      • Sorry, I didn't mean to do mindless bashing. What I was trying to say was that designing and manufacturing hardware, such as the xbox 360 console, takes an entirely different infrastructure of engineers and design and manufacturing facilities than software development does. Of course, modern hardware has a certain amount of software embedded into it but generally, the hardware is the hard part. I get the feeling that Microsoft approached the xbox 360 with an arrogant idea that the hardware design was the
  • by PJ1216 ( 1063738 ) * on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:23PM (#21726758)
    A small college is experience problems with their new wireless network equipment in the presence of a few xbox's. however, apparently all over the rest of the country, in huge universities with thousands of xbox 360s... there's no problem whatsoever. the only bit that doesn't fit with this is that they said the IT staff had issues using their bluetooth headsets. now, the only comment i can make on this is that i think they have cheap bluetooth headsets. they said the 360 makes the signal even when its not turned on... just plugged in. i have both a ps3 & 360 virtually one on top of the other (a shelf plus a few inches of space in between) and the ps3's bluetooth controllers work just as fine as they did before i got the 360. so, all in all, i think this is a load of bull. the 360 has been out for way too long for this to not have been noticed. i think something else is screwing with their headsets & wireless network. or maybe its just the wireless network thats screwing with the headsets and they're looking for a scapegoat.
    • by PJ1216 ( 1063738 ) *
      plus i have a wireless router in the same room about 2 feet from the consoles and its wireless n & b/g. n craps out on me every so often (even before the 360), but thats pretty much a given with it. i haven't noticed it get any worse with the 360 either.
    • by jc42 ( 318812 )
      small college is experience problems with their new wireless network equipment in the presence of a few xbox's. however, apparently all over the rest of the country, in huge universities with thousands of xbox 360s... there's no problem whatsoever. the only bit that doesn't fit with this is that they said the IT staff had issues using their bluetooth headsets.

      Well, a quick google check right now found "about 14,100" matches for "xbox wifi interference". A (somewhat less quick) scan of the first 100 or so m
  • I have two xbox 360's in my living room, mine and my roommate's. We're both using wireless controllers, and I have an access point literally 2 feet away from my roommate's 360, which puts mine about 4 feet away. We never have a problem with the wifi signal, or the controllers. I hate micros~1 as much as the next slashdotter, but this is total fud.
  • by mikej ( 84735 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:38PM (#21727024) Homepage
    Seriously. Come on.
  • And people laugh at me for wearing a tin foil hat! YOU AREN'T GETTING MY BRAIN WAVES BILL!!
  • Look up the XBox 360 and controllers FCC IDs and read up on them. I don't have one so I can't, but I've heard it uses a frequency hopping spread spectrum system. Because of the way the FCC rules are structured, an FHSS system can put a lot more power on a given frequency than a DSSS (802.11b) or OFDM (802.11g) system. They are also required to hop across most of the available spectrum, as the article describes.
  • I don't know how many Slashdot readers made it to ZendCon this year, but Microsoft had their hand in the event. At night they supplied 4 XBox 360s, each with a pair of wireless controllers and wifi internet, and they were all working properly in the same small room.

    If the 360 has problems with wireless interference, I sure didn't see it.
  • Come on, man, you're literate. Don't make me sic Bob [] on you!

    A little more on topic - Xbox 360s are made by Microsoft. Microsoft has never ever worked or played well with others. Why is anybody surprised that any MS device would hog bandwidth?

    The question should be, why does the FCC let them get away with it? Is it because of incompetent FCC people, coprrupt FCC people, or some other reason?


    (if there are typos it's because I went blind [] this morning (see the 1st comment to the journal)
  • Haha, it's 2.4Ghz. It's a free for all... so, what's the story? The Xbox can spit out all the interference it wants there, within some power envelope.

    My WiFi will get wonky once in a while when the neighbours use their microwave. Fortunately, the cordless phone is on the 900Mhz frequency.

    The other option, is to get licensed spectrum... but if Microsoft had done that (which is totally unrealistic for the application)... we'd get 10 posts from people saying that "the FCC should be dissolved" because the ai
    • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) *

      he Xbox can spit out all the interference it wants there, within some power envelope

      Actually the Part 15 regs say that "this device may not cause harmful interference".

      we'd get 10 posts from people saying that "the FCC should be dissolved" because the airwaves are a public resource

      They are a public resource. Something needs to exist to manage them. In theory the FCC should manage them in the best interest of the public (in reality.... pffft, but that's another story). Should we dissolve the National Park Service too?

  • 802.11a? Anyone? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @05:58PM (#21731668)
    Everybody has to make devices that use the same spectrum, meaning everybody wants to make devices that utilize that spectrum for the sake of cross-compatibility. This would be a non-issue were it not for 99% of home wireless networking hardware supporting b/g exclusively.

    I'm looking forward to the IEEE finalizing 802.11n if for no other reason than because I'll finally be able to get 5 GHz access points without paying through the nose for office equipment.

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