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Organizing a LAN party...

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#1
I don't know if this should be here, and if it's not on topic then feel free to move it.

I'm trying to organize a LAN party in my area with a small group of friends, there shouldn't be more than 10 people coming, and I was wondering what I need to get it up and running, how LAN works, if it can be done on a wireless connection, what equipment I'll need, and just any tips in general, really.

I know I've played on a LAN connection with my friend, we were playing Unreal Tournament 98 (I think), and we were playing on a LAN server over the wireless connection at my house. Can this be done with more than two people? I don't really understand how it works, since on most websites explaining how to host a LAN party they generally advise the host not to do it through a wireless connection, explaining that a router and switches are a better alternative.
 
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#2
You can do it wirelessly, but a wired connection is preferred for latency issues. You'll have a lot more connection consistency with a wired LAN set up. Yes, use a switch for the computers you'll be using in the LAN, and if internet connectivity is required (BNet for SC2) connect a router to the switch.

If internet isn't required, then you don't need a router. You can LAN over a router as well if it supports the amount of computers you wish to connect.
 
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#3
You can do it wirelessly, but a wired connection is preferred for latency issues. You'll have a lot more connection consistency with a wired LAN set up. Yes, use a switch for the computers you'll be using in the LAN, and if internet connectivity is required (BNet for SC2) connect a router to the switch.

If internet isn't required, then you don't need a router. You can LAN over a router as well if it supports the amount of computers you wish to connect.
So it's just as simple as plugging network cords into a switch, and then into the participating computers? We'll probably be playing Team Fortress 2 and other such Steam powered games, so I suppose we'd need an internet connection for that, as well.

Where could I buy a decent network switch? Radio-Shack?
 
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#4
So it's just as simple as plugging network cords into a switch, and then into the participating computers? We'll probably be playing Team Fortress 2 and other such Steam powered games, so I suppose we'd need an internet connection for that, as well.

Where could I buy a decent network switch? Radio-Shack?
Yes it's just as simple as plugging cables in.

If Radio Shack sells switches they're going to be expensive. Better luck getting them off newegg or mwave. I got a 24-port gigabit switch with jumbo frame support for $100 off of mwave a while back.

You mean to tell me that out of 10 people at your LAN party not a single one has a 10-port gigabit switch (even 100Mbps switch will do)? For shame! :shadedshu
 
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#5
If you want Steamworks and all your TF2 goodies (hats) you'll need the internet. I do believe that you can set up one of the machines with a dedicated server and host it yourself, though.

Go to Newegg for the switch, buying from a retail outlet will be expensive.
 

hat

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#7
You should make your own ethernet cables. Buying already made ethernet cables is fantastically expensive compared to making your own, and when you make your own you can customize your length. You just need the cable itself, ends (RJ45) and a clamp.



Just run a cable from a computer to the switch. All computers connected to the switch are now connected through LAN. If you need internets, you'll need to get a router, connect your modem to the router (using the WAN port on the router) and connect the router to the switch using a LAN port.
 

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#8
I'd definitely use a router to hand out the IPs, it just makes setting up the network and making sure everyone gets the proper settings. It doesn't have to be an expensive router.

You can get a 16 Port Switch for $25 and a router for $19 and be up and running. Of course if you already have a router then use that.

I would definitely run the internet connection through the router so everyone has access to it. So if someone needs to download updates or patches they can. I seems like every LAN part I go ti, at least one person has to end up reformatting their computer...
 
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#9
I seems like every LAN part I go ti, at least one person has to end up reformatting their computer...
Off topic:

Since it's at every lan party you go to. Is said reformatter you?
 

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#10
I don't know if this should be here, and if it's not on topic then feel free to move it.

I'm trying to organize a LAN party in my area with a small group of friends, there shouldn't be more than 10 people coming, and I was wondering what I need to get it up and running, how LAN works, if it can be done on a wireless connection, what equipment I'll need, and just any tips in general, really.

I know I've played on a LAN connection with my friend, we were playing Unreal Tournament 98 (I think), and we were playing on a LAN server over the wireless connection at my house. Can this be done with more than two people? I don't really understand how it works, since on most websites explaining how to host a LAN party they generally advise the host not to do it through a wireless connection, explaining that a router and switches are a better alternative.

Router (or other source of DHCP) - internet to it not required
networking switch(es), enough ports for all PC's. try to use as few uplinks as possible (see below)

if you want wireless, you need to have a wireless router or wireless access point - wireless and wired people can access each other/game with each other.


as for uplinks, imagine the following.

two 5 port gigabit switches, one router with 4x ethernet ports.


giga ---> router <---- giga

one port is taken from each giga to link to the router, so everyone is connected. problem here, is that the router is likely only 100Mb - so while people on the same gigabit switch can get 1Gb speeds to each other, the 100Mb link to the router slows down the links between the two switches (to 100Mb TOTAL, not 100Mb per person)

this wont matter for gaming, but if you start transferring files (game installers, patches etc) it will really start to suck.
 
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#11
You want a 10/100 switch with Gigabit uplink ports (for the dedicated server). Also, you will need to survey the area where you are hosting the LAN party and make sure you have enough power for the 10+ computers. General rule is 4A per computer, and if you are hosting in 1 room, chances are that room all goes to a single 20A breaker. So you might have to run extension cords from one to two other rooms to be stable.
 

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#12
You want a 10/100 switch with Gigabit uplink ports (for the dedicated server). Also, you will need to survey the area where you are hosting the LAN party and make sure you have enough power for the 10+ computers. General rule is 4A per computer, and if you are hosting in 1 room, chances are that room all goes to a single 20A breaker. So you might have to run extension cords from one to two other rooms to be stable.
gigabit uplinks are unneccesary, they just need to get a switch big enough to fit everyone.

minus the wireless users, an 8 port switch oughta do it.


power is a good point, i forgot that. use as few extension cords and power boards as possible.
 
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#13
gigabit uplinks are unneccesary, they just need to get a switch big enough to fit everyone.
I guess it depends. In my case, I've help host TF2 LANs and we used switches with gigabit uplinks for the dedicated server, particularly when it comes to custom maps and what not. We didn't have the internet bandwidth for everyone, just the server.
 

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#14
I guess it depends. In my case, I've help host TF2 LANs and we used switches with gigabit uplinks for the dedicated server, particularly when it comes to custom maps and what not. We didn't have the internet bandwidth for everyone, just the server.
custom maps should fly at 10MB/s+ anyway
 

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#15
Off topic:

Since it's at every lan party you go to. Is said reformatter you?
No.:D

Router (or other source of DHCP) - internet to it not required
networking switch(es), enough ports for all PC's. try to use as few uplinks as possible (see below)

if you want wireless, you need to have a wireless router or wireless access point - wireless and wired people can access each other/game with each other.


as for uplinks, imagine the following.

two 5 port gigabit switches, one router with 4x ethernet ports.


giga ---> router <---- giga

one port is taken from each giga to link to the router, so everyone is connected. problem here, is that the router is likely only 100Mb - so while people on the same gigabit switch can get 1Gb speeds to each other, the 100Mb link to the router slows down the links between the two switches (to 100Mb TOTAL, not 100Mb per person)

this wont matter for gaming, but if you start transferring files (game installers, patches etc) it will really start to suck.
It would be better to daisy chain the gigabit switchs in that situation.
 

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#16
No.:D



It would be better to daisy chain the gigabit switchs in that situation.
yes it would, it was a purely educational example.

depending on room layout, sometimes you cant do that however (without really long cables)
 

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#17
10mb is enough for a lan party wired router/switch
I have play with my mates these games with a 10mb and a 100mb router no difference in games:
Gears of War
UT3
Sniper Ghost Warrior
Split Second
Stalker CoP
Lost Planet 2
Turok
Fear 2

Dude, no difference at all!:D
but if your are planning on share data it is when the bandwith comes.
 

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#18
10mb is enough for a lan party wired router/switch
I have play with my mates these games with a 10mb and a 100mb router no difference in games:
Gears of War
UT3
Sniper Ghost Warrior
Split Second
Stalker CoP
Lost Planet 2
Turok
Fear 2

Dude, no difference at all!:D
but if your are planning on share data it is when the bandwith comes.
please do not confuse MB with Mb.

My translation was:

We have tested with 10Mb (100Mb) and 100MB (1Gb) networks, and games run fine!


my reply: well no shit, they work fine only on dsl, which is usually only 1-2Mb (0.10Mb/s+) so of course GAMES are fine. file transfers is where it will slow down.

try sending steam backups over 100Mb networking and see how slow that goes when doing it between 5 people.
 

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#19
why so serious Mussels, i just try to make a point from my experience in lanpartys, I
never denied your words:toast:
relax dude :eek:
 

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#20
why so serious Mussels, i just try to make a point from my experience in lanpartys, I
never denied your words:toast:
relax dude :eek:
lan parties are srs bizness yo.
 

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#22
whatever,nevermind. I enjoy lanparties a lot, and if it is just to play games,we use a 100Mb router. Stalker CoP is awesome for it.
 
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#23
Thanks for the ideas guys. There's the possibility of this thing going down in my garage, we'll see.
 

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#24
please do not confuse MB with Mb.

My translation was:

We have tested with 10Mb (100Mb) and 100MB (1Gb) networks, and games run fine!


my reply: well no shit, they work fine only on dsl, which is usually only 1-2Mb (0.10Mb/s+) so of course GAMES are fine. file transfers is where it will slow down.

try sending steam backups over 100Mb networking and see how slow that goes when doing it between 5 people.
I've been to professional LAN parties where 10M was used. And the LAN parties I've put on all use a 10M network as well. Why? 2 reasons:

1.) 10M is fast enough for playing games. The network should be used for playing games, if you want to transfer files, use a flash drive or external hard drive. And when I put on a LAN party I always make sure I have at least a 120GB external hard drive available to pass around if needed.
2.) 10M hubs are extremely cheap to buy used. I bought 2 24-Port 10M hubs off ebay over a year ago for under $50, and I'm sure you can get them even cheaper today. This makes setup cost extremely cheap for large setups compared to using Gigabit or even 100M.

I will say, compared to Gigabit, transferring files over even 100M is a real drag. But even a CS:S backup will go through in about 6 minutes, so it isn't terrible. If the person doesn't already have it installed, they deserve to wait. Seriously, it kills me how many people will show up to a LAN party with no LAN games installed. Then expect everyone else to privide the images and steam backups so they can install them.
 
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Software Windows 7 x64 Home Premium (non-acer-bloatware)
#25
I haven't seen a 10Mbit hub since what, 1999?
All professional LAN parties should have at least 100Mbit connections. I'll be damned if I have to transfer files over 10Mbit. Can't even find 10Mbit hardware anywhere anymore.

Smaller LANs are fine with 100Mbit, Anything 25+ (professional parties) should consider upgrading to Gigabit imho.