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Old 14-December-2009, 20:34
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Default NAT Strict on XBOX with multiple routers

Hi All,

I have seen some posts close to this topic but none that have really helped me out. Hoping someone may be able to help with this odd setup.

I have BT Homehub for connection to the internet.
I have a Netgear DG834Gv2 connected by cable to Homehub (to extend LAN reach)
I have Zoom 4401a router connected wirelessly to Netgear (to extend WLAN)

One XBOX(1) connected directly (cable) to Homehub has NAT Open
One XBOX(2) connected to Zoom by cable has NAT Strict

What I am really struggling with is where I need to open ports etc.
to get the NAT for XBOX(2) to be Open.

I have tried port forwarding (88, 2074 & 3074) on all three Routers but to no effect.

On Netgear admin interface I get odd behaviour with XBOX(2) appearing and disappearing as a device. Also on Homehub, devices conencted to the Zoom router show as greyed out when they are connected and on (although I am sure I have also seen this happen with devices connected directly to the Homehub).

Any thoughts on where I should start or any logical approach would be greatly appreciated.

(otherwise it is going to be a very long LAN cable and 2 Routers in the bin!)

Many thanks
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Old 14-December-2009, 20:45
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silver silver is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Bournemouth, UK
Posts: 12,177
Default Re: NAT Strict on XBOX with multiple routers

not sure why you need the netgear - the Homehub is a router has NAT so to 'extend' it all you need is a longer cable - if you need more connection points just add a switch - unless you need 2 routers configured then it is just making things more complex

NATs and connecting routers, the main thing to ensure is that you have different subnets on the 'internet side' - NAT/routers tend to get upset if the networks on the WAN and LAN sides are the same / overlapping

so you'll want to use the private spaces,.

# - (10/8 prefix)
# - (172.16/12 prefix)
# - (192.168/16 prefix)

most home stuff is by default 192.168.xxx.xxx on the first router you could use a LAN side of 192.168.1.xxx - then the second router connect it's WAN side to that and make the second router LAN 192.168.2.xxx then on the third router make it's WAN side connect to that and it's LAN side 192.168.3.xxx


in practice you should be able to make the routers obtain their WAN IP address using DHCP

I don't know the specifics of any of the routers you list so the above is just my thinking on the matter
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Old 15-December-2009, 15:22
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Default Re: NAT Strict on XBOX with multiple routers

Just to be clear;
The Netgear is bridged to the HomeHub?
The Zoom is wirelessly bridged to the Netgear & thus bridged to the HomeHub?

In this configuration everything is on the HomeHub LAN, None of the settings on the Netgear or the Zoom routers have any effect. (Except of course their own IP address and disabled dhcp).
Ignore the status of devices on the Zoom and Netgear, You are only using the LAN side of these devices as the status only shows what they see on the LAN in their ARP tables.

So your complex topology aside;
You effectively have two Xboxes connected to a HomeHub router.
I am not an Xbox user but...
You can only forward the ports to one Xbox, I assume this is what MS call open NAT.
Strict NAt usually means that a connection cannot be handed off to a third party i.e from a central server to another user. This is a function of the NAT in the router and you may not be able to change it.

Your options are to try
Enabling Upnp on the Homehub an hope that MS have done something sensible.
Forward the ports to one xbox and put the other Xbox in the DMZ
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Old 15-December-2009, 19:09
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Default Re: NAT Strict on XBOX with multiple routers


Thanks for the replies.

Silver - Homehub is being used as a router. I only have one physical cable running from one side of my house to the other, which means I struggle to get Wired connectivity upstairs. Hence the Netgear sits on the end of the cable from the Homehub and wirelessly connects to the Zoom (upstairs). To be honest I was trying to do this on the cheap and already had the 3 routers. Buying a wireless card for the XBOX would probably have been easier.

Austin_KW - I have UPnP enabled on the homehub. I have to say I am not entirly sure what this does though. Sorry, you lost me on the DMZ point. As you say, it does appear that everything should effectively be connected to the Homehub.

I am going to see if having static IP Addresses (on the Homehub) for the routers and the XBOX simplifies things. At the moment it is very difficult to track what is connected and what ports are being forwarded to what device.

Thanks again for your comments and ideas.

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Old 15-December-2009, 20:40
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Default Re: NAT Strict on XBOX with multiple routers

upnp is a protocol that lets your PC/xbox configure the router to forward traffic. A lot of IT people turn it off because it allows applications, scripts etc to automatically and invisibly punch holes in the NAT.
I would delete all forwarding & DMZ rules and let the Xboxes try to configure the router. Here you hope that MS have figured out the mappings for multiple Xboxes. But it also depends on the capability of the router.

If your forward ports to xbox1 then traffic arriving on those ports is sent to xbox1.
If you put xbox2 in the DMZ then traffic arriving on any other ports is sent to xbox2.
Putting xbox2 in the DMZ bypasses the NAT, can be a security problem. Here depends on the capability of one xbox to handle different ports.

If you are port forwarding or DMZ'ing then I agree you should use static IPs.

You may want to change your router, I am not a gamer but I have been told that some routers support is better than others.
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