The Xbox Live network allows Xbox 360 owners to experience a whole new level of interactivity. Silver membership is free and allows gamers to try new games and demos, create and customise an avatar, download exclusive content and chat with their Xbox Live friends. Gold membership brings a host of additional benefits, including the ability to play games with other users online and access to Facebook and Twitter. Gold membership must usually be paid for but free 30 day trials are sometimes included with brand new consoles and other promotional offers. In order to set up your trial membership you must first connect your Xbox 360 to the Xbox Live network and then set up an account.
Connecting to the Xbox Live network
Plug one end of a network cable into your router or modem. Plug the other end into the ethernet port at the back of your Xbox 360.
Press the "Guide" button on your Xbox 360 controller. This is the button with an "X" in the middle of the controller.
Go to "Settings." Select "System Settings" then "Network Settings." Select "Wired Network" when prompted then select "Test Xbox LIVE Connection." Select "Yes" if you are prompted to update your console software. You should now be connected to Xbox Live.
Join Xbox Live and activate your trial
Press the "Guide" button on the controller. Select "Join Xbox Live" then "Continue." The "Xbox Live Account Wizard" should now appear. Follow the step by step instructions.
When prompted, restart your console. Use the controller to scroll to the "My Xbox" tab. Scroll to the "Sign In" button and press the "A" button to accept. Select your gamer profile to sign in.
Press the "Guide" button. Scroll to the "Marketplace" tab then select "Redeem Code." Enter the code for your free trial using the onscreen keyboard. Select "Confirm." You have now set up your free month of Xbox Live Gold membership.
You can connect to the Xbox Live network wirelessly but using a wireless connection is simpler and may help prevent game slowdown or "lag."
You have to add a means of payment to activate your free trial. At the end of the trial the account automatically reverts to a paying subscription. You will have to cancel your membership if you don't want to be charged.