How to Get on to XBox Live for Free

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While you will not be able to play in any online games without paying for an upgraded Xbox Live service, you can still access many free features with a Silver account on Xbox Live. Fortunately, the sign-up process is relatively simple and streamlined, so fire up your Xbox and let's get started.

Things You'll Need

  • Ethernet cable or wireless network adapter
  • Connect your Xbox Live to an Internet connection. You have a couple of options here. One, you can use a wired connection by plugging an Ethernet cable into the back of your console and connecting the other end to your modem or router. Or two, you can purchase a wireless network adapter, which retails for about $100, and insert it into the back of your Xbox 360 console. This adapter should automatically detect your wireless Internet.

  • Go to the Xbox 360 dashboard and select "Join Xbox Live." Follow on-screen instructions to download the latest software updates.

  • Create your account. After the update loads, you will be prompted to fill in your personal information to set up your account.

  • Choose a membership. The Silver version of Xbox Live is free. A Silver account will provide you access to many popular features, such as game demos, downloadable arcade games and avatar creation, but you will not be able to play peers online in multiplayer games or access the Netflix service.The Gold version, which gives you access to the features listed above, costs several dollars a month, depending on how you pay for it. Prices range from $49.99 for a year, $7.99 for one month or $19.99 for three months.

  • Create your gamer profile. Here you can choose your Xbox Live identity, make a cool avatar and more.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep it clean. Choose a Xbox Live ID that has no negative connotations or you could get your name revoked.

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