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How can I block all incoming/outgoing internet traffic except streaming to an Xbox 360?

For the past few weeks, streaming video files from my PC to my Xbox 360 has started failing, with the videos pausing to (presumably) buffer, and then continuing only to pause again a short time later, making the videos unwatchable.

This never happened before and I can only assume something else on my PC (which has many background and foreground programs open at any one time) is competing with the bandwidth.

No other PC or device is connected on the internal network and everything is where it's always been.

That's why I want to try blocking all incoming and outgoing traffic on my PC except the streaming to my Xbox.

  • Are you streaming from your PC or from the Internet? Or does your PC need to use the Internet to reach the Xbox? That's pretty unusual -- aren't they in the same location? – David Schwartz Feb 4 '14 at 21:34
  • @DavidSchwartz: I'm streaming locally and wireleslly from PC to Xbox. They are each in separate rooms. – ProgrammerGirl Feb 5 '14 at 0:42
  • So just pull out your Internet connection. – David Schwartz Feb 5 '14 at 1:24
  • @DavidSchwartz: I'm trying to figure out a way to do just that with the Windows Firewall. – ProgrammerGirl Feb 5 '14 at 1:46
  • Let in all traffic with both local source IPs and local destination IPs, block all other traffic. – David Schwartz Feb 5 '14 at 2:45
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Find out what port you are using to stream to the X-Box and configure the windows firewall to only allow traffic over that port.

You can open the firewall settings by typing in wf.msc into the search box on the start menu.

  • How can I find out which port my Xbox 360 uses to stream? I haven't configured any special settings, so it should be the default ones, I'm just not sure what those are. – ProgrammerGirl Feb 4 '14 at 22:08
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    Here is a list of all the ports that the X-Box uses. – Alex McKenzie Feb 4 '14 at 22:15
  • Are you on a wireless connection, or are they both wired? – Alex McKenzie Feb 4 '14 at 22:15
  • I'm streaming wireleslly. Your link is a pretty big list, is there a simpler way to do this, or is my only option to block all traffic except all the ports listed in your link? – ProgrammerGirl Feb 5 '14 at 0:43
  • I think that your wireless connection isn't fast enough. It is possible for your wireless speed to drop due to more interference or the router overheating. Here is how to check the speed on your computer. I don't know how to check it on your XBox – Alex McKenzie Feb 5 '14 at 3:33
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For Xbox to work, these are the known ports for its usage:

Port 88 (UDP)
Port 3074 (UDP and TCP)
Port 53 (UDP and TCP)
Port 80 (TCP)
Port 500 (UDP)
Port 3047 (UDP and TCP)
Port 3544 (UDP)
Port 4500 (UDP)

Now, these are ports that are reliant on your router, and not you're PC that you're streaming with however, the data streaming is most likely occurring on one of these.

To find which port your PC is actually using to stream content to xbox, you'll want to run an nmap scan on your PC's local address, and your Xbox's local address.

  1. Download nmap: https://nmap.org/book/inst-windows.html
  2. Install nmap and allow loop back traffic to be configured
  3. Login to your router via 192.168.1.1 or 10.0.0.1 (whatever redirects you to your routers login page).
  4. Find the local IP address of your xbox something like 10.0.0.123 or 192.168.1.123
  5. Set up the streaming from your PC to your xbox before proceeding (THIS IS VITAL)
  6. Once proper IPs are found, open NMAP and enter these commands and wait until each scan finishes before starting another.

a) nmap -sS -sU -p 1-65535 -T4 -A -v 192.168.1.ip_of_your_xbox

b) nmap -sS -sU -p 1-65535 -T4 -A -v 192.168.1.ip_of_your_pc

When the scans have finished and you have identified the ports necessary, its time to close off the firewall.

To close off all connections, inbound and outbound on your computer, you must execute the following command strings in an elevated command prompt window.

  1. Right click cmd.exe and Run as Administrator

  2. Execute: netsh advfirewall set allprofiles firewallpolicy blockinbound,blockoutbound

  3. You're going to want to allow basic outbound services such as HTTP, HTTPS, DNS by default. Use this format for the ports identified from the above steps.

    3.1. Allow HTTP(Internet to websites) netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="HTTP" dir=out action=allow protocol=TCP remoteport=80

    3.2) Allow HTTPS(Internet to websites) netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="HTTPS" dir=out action=allow protocol=TCP remoteport=443

    3.3) Allow DNS(Name resolution) netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="DNS" dir=out action=allow protocol=UDP remoteport=53 program="%%systemroot%%\system32\svchost.exe" service="dnscache"

  4. Finally, add the ports identified for the service you wish to use on your xbox:

    4.1) netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="Xbox_Service_Stream" dir=out action=allow protocol=ReplaceThisWithProtocol remoteport=ReplaceThisWithPort

NOTE: This command will reset all changes made this process:

Reset changes: netsh advfirewall reset

This command will delete all rules on your firewall (Not that good of an idea)

Delete all rules: netsh advfirewall firewall delete rule all

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