Most hotels have some sort of web-based authentication in order to use their wireless networks. Some devices (Xboxes) are unable to handle those. The systems behind these wireless networks are based on device MAC addresses, which are basically unique identifiers of your hardware. Once you’ve authenticated with an identifier, it is “trusted” for a set period of time (typically 24 hours). It is possible to lie about your identifier, which is what we’ll be doing here. There are a number of articles on doing this with your Xbox 360, but nary a one for the One. Microsoft has made it a little bit easier this time around, but only slightly.
Previously, you had to spoof your MAC address (of your Xbox) on another device (I used LinkLiar on my Mac and most seem to use Mac Makeup on Windows), connect to the wireless, accept the agreement/enter your code, disconnect, set your MAC address back on your device, and then connect with your Xbox. You can still do that if you’d like, but there is another way assuming you have a device that you can connect to the wireless, can get the MAC address from, and does not need connected to the wireless in the future (think: your smartphone).
- Connect your device to the hotel’s wireless network
- Fill out the agreement and/or code that pops up
- Find the MAC address of the device you connected (Android | iOS)
- Disconnect your device from the hotel’s wireless
- Connect your Xbox One to the wireless (you will be told there’s one of a number of problems with your connection, which can vary depending on the system the hotel is using)
- Do not attempt any of the recommended steps and instead choose to edit your connection
- Go into the wireless connection’s advanced settings
- Scroll down to and select “Alternate MAC address”
- Put your other device’s MAC address in there (Note: Use dashes in place of colons)
Voila! Your Xbox One is now doing the spoofing of its own address. This was much easier for me than the old method of spoofing my Xbox’s MAC address on another device, connecting, unspoofing my other device, etc., etc.
I’m assuming all of the above can also be done with a wired connection too, but I’ve not had an opportunity to try it.
I’m still not sure why Microsoft can’t handle these types of network authentications now that they’ve included a full-blown version of Internet Explorer, but it is possible they just haven’t gotten to it considering how rushed they were to get the One out the door (let’s face it, we’re currently using a beta). We can only hope that they’ll include it in a future update.