We gave you a little heads up about the Xbox One back in May, but we figured now that we were getting closer to the November 22nd release date, why not offer a little tutorial on how to get your network ready? After all, the Xbox One is not being marketed as a mere gaming system; if the hype is to be believed, the Xbox One will stomp all over your PlayStation and casually fling your Roku into your desktop screen. This is the entertainment system to end all entertainment systems, and you better make sure you have a weapons-grade network ready to handle all of the bandwidth demands the Xbox One entertainment console will will require.
Meet the Xbox One
But before we actually start prepping your network, we ought to at least mention what it is the Xbox One does (rather than just keep vaguely comparing it to a world-crushing monster).
As we alluded to above, Microsoft is marketing the Xbox One as an “all-in-one entertainment system”. This means that, aside from all the usual fun that comes with an Xbox gaming console, the Xbox One will offer Skype, integration with your television (to the point of learning your viewing habits and making recommendations), and even social media integration complete with increased cloud computing functionality!
The Xbox One will also include a Kinect camera and sensor that will be attuned to the owner’s heartbeat, a microphone that enables voice command, and can even be controlled by your phone or tablet.
In short, if used properly, the Xbox One will be the gateway to all of your music, movies, television, and gaming. No longer will it be necessary to toggle through several different systems to switch between your iTunes library and your movie library. This may be the system we’ve all been waiting for.
Xbox One Specs and Availability
Expert Reviews in the UK have a damn good rundown on the hardware and specs of the Xbox One, and it’s definitely worth checking out, but we thought it’d be useful to synthesize that data so you can get a quick look at what you’ll be dealing with. The Xbox One offers:
- 853 MHz GPU clock speed
- 500GB internal hard disk, along with a Blu-ray optical drive to play games and films
- 8GB of DDR3 RAM – “which has a 68.3GB/s memory bandwidth, along with 32MB of embedded ESRAM. This faster memory has a theoretical memory bandwidth of 192GB/s, although 133GB/s simultaneous read/writes speeds look more likely for early launch titles.”
- x86 Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) designed by AMD, based on its Jaguar processor architecture
- 8 Core CPU
- 802.11n Wireless with Wi-Fi Direct
- HDMI In/Out
- USB 3.0
- Xbox SmartGlass & Skype Integration
For those of you wondering if Xbox One is going to be available at a store near you on the initial release date, you’ve got no need to worry provided you’re in one of the following countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the UK, and the USA. For the rest of you, the wait will be a bit longer (though we suspect some of you may travel for it if need be).
Best Routers for Xbox One
As we mentioned above, these Xbox Ones are going to be bandwidth-gobbling monsters: you don’t get one machine handling all of your media and expect it to go easy on your wireless network. Fortunately for you, FlashRouters is here to help…
At FlashRouters, we offer open-sourced solutions that are designed to maximize the efficiency of your wireless network. Our routers are all flashed with either DD-WRT or Tomato firmware, replacement firmwares that are made to enable maximum efficiency from a router – the centerpiece for a home network and the gateway to your online gaming experience. Using a router flashed with DD-WRT or Tomato means allowing yourself to extend the range of your wireless network, access advanced security options, and (here’s the kicker for Xbox One users)y control how your bandwidth is allocated.
That’s right. You can decide which of the devices in your house using your wireless network gets top priority, and if you’re using an Xbox One, we’re gonna go ahead and recommend making that number one.
You really can’t go wrong with a FlashRouter, but if we were forced to choose based on which would best handle and distribute wired & wireless bandwidth and save you from worrying about annoying freezes or stalls in gaming action these are the top choices. The beasts, the most powerful WiFi devices we handle!
- Netgear R7000 Nighthawk DD-WRT Router – A great balanced model, Wireless-AC, 1 GHz processor, powerful antennas, USB 3.0 port.
- Netgear Nighthawk R7800 X4S AC2600 DD-WRT Router – Wireless-AC router with our strongest 1.7 Ghz processor and 4 external antennas, ready to future proof your network for the next-gen in wireless protocols Wireless-AC.
- Asus RT-N66U Dark Knight Tomato Router – A router that can handle any amount of traffic that you throw at it.
Best VPNs for Xbox One
Aside from making your XBox One experience as fluid as possible, a FlashRouter can help make your wireless network more secure.
FlashRouters ship with built-in VPN-connectivity for OpenVPN, PPTP, & L2TP. VPN services, or Virtual Private Network services, are subscription-based services designed to ensure the complete safety of their user’s internet experience. When you log in to a VPN, all of your online information is tunneled through encrypted servers located all over the world, thus making it impossible for hackers, identity thieves, or even the government to trace your sensitive data (credit card numbers, e-mails).
Interactive gaming can leave you open to all sorts of nefarious online forces, so if you’re going to use an Xbox One, we highly recommend taking advantage of VPNs and their many benefits.
Popular VPN service providers for FlashRouters users include NORD VPN, IPVanish VPN, and more on our new VPN provider comparison list to help you find the virtual private network that best suits your needs.