1) Is there an option to by a wireless kit for XBox Live?
If so, what specific equipment comes with it?
2) Is the price point really only $50 a year for the service?
3) Is wireless actually fast enough for the service, or would waiting for the next home and just running a cable from the XBox to the router work better?
4) If wireless is truly the way to go, what type router would you recommend? As I would also need wireless NICs for both my PC and my wife's, do you have any specific recommendations for those?
5) If wireless if the way to go, is there a special connector for the XBox that I would plug into the ethernet port?
Me and my overbearing opinion are here to ruin your day.
1) There is no MS bundle for live and wireless.
2) The Live service itself is $50. Get the live kit with crimson skies. If you've tried and hated the live headset (wraparound), then get the Halo2 one. It's a-frickin-mazing, with better noise cancellation.
3) Hell ya Wireless is fast enough. Let's look at the numbers..
- 802.11b = 11Megabits
/sec = ~1.3MegaBytes
/s= 1.375MB/s = 1408KB/s = 1 Full CD (700MB) transmits in less than 9 minutes at optimal speed.
- 802.11g = 54Megabits
/sec = ~6.7MegaBytes
/s= 6.75 MB/s = 6912KB/s = 1 Full CD (700MB) transmits in less than 2 minutes at optimal speed.
Does your NET connection go that fast? I wouldn't worry about the wireless unless you have interference problems (microwaves, cell phones and cordless phones). These can degrade signal while in use, but to make enough of a difference to game packets it's got to be *really* bad. You're not doing major file transfer here, and the service runs well on 200KB/s.
4) a 802.11g router. Find a cheap one; the MS one isn't bad at all. I don't have specific recommendations on this.
5) Yes there is a wireless Xbox connector. Nyko makes a Wireless Net Extender, but the reviews have it out to be crap. Check out PC Mag's review
and right now the going rate of the MS Xbox connectors on ebay is around 75US. Name search MN-740 part search
As to just running a cable, make sure it's UTP CAT5 patch cable ... it should feel flexible, as opposed to the permanent type. That stuff is cheap (by the foot) and getting RJ45 connectors is cheap too. The tool to crimp it is less than 20 bux, but there is the inconvenience of it all. You could wall-fish the line and install pretty wall-jacks with very little problems... I'd help ya, but you're a little far away.
As to the other PCs, you don't need to get Jack for em; they can use the existing cabling to get to the router (wireless routers also tend to have 3 or 4 10/100 RJ45 jacks too)