How to Set Up a LAN Network for Gaming

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PC games are often played online, pitting players against hundreds or even thousands of other players over the internet. All that is required to do so is an internet connection. However, if a player wants to set up a match locally with others they know personally, preparation and testing are required. Failure to do so often results in LAN, or Local Ara Network, parties that end up failing because the game consoles or computers won't communicate with each other.

Things You'll Need

  • Router(s)
  • Ethernet cables
  • Multiple consoles or computers

Wiring the Network for up to Four Consoles

  • Plug a main router into the power and plug up to four Ethernet cables into the row of ports on the back. Do not use the "up-link" or "Internet" ports, which are used purely for direct connections to a modem. A router with default settings will work for up to four consoles or computers. This means the router will not need to be configured.

  • Plug the Ethernet cables into the consoles so that they connect the router to each console or computer. Turn on every console or computer. Ensure that the corresponding "1" "2" "3" and "4" status lights on the router are active and green for each device that has been connected.

  • Test the games ahead of time to make sure that every console or computer can communicate with each other. Use one system to set up a game and the remaining systems to connect to it. If the games can connect, the LAN party is ready. If not, double-check the wiring to ensure the cables are snapped in tightly and check the console system settings to make sure the network settings are correct. If the IP address is anything other than 192.168.. or 10...*, the router needs to be reset to defaults by holding the reset pinhole in for 15 seconds. (Asterisks are wild cards for numerical values.)

  • Refer to Section Two if more than four game systems need to be connected.

Wiring the Network for Five or More Consoles

  • Follow step one of Section One. Connect only as many Ethernet cables as necessary. The first router will connect up to four routers and each subsequent router can connect three game consoles. For example, if five consoles are needed, it would require two routers. The first router would hold a connection to the second router and three connections to consoles; the second router would hold two more connections to the remaining consoles. Six Ethernet cables would be required.

  • Configure each secondary router to disable the "DHCP" server. Turn on the router and connect a computer directly to it. Open a web browser and type in the router's default IP address into the address bar. This can be found in the router's manual. Generally the default IPs are "192.168.1.1" or "192.168.0.1".

  • Refer to the router's manual for username and password if prompted. Default accounts are usually Username: "admin" and password: "password" or "admin" for both username and password.

  • Once the Web Utility is open, disable the option for the router to act as a "DHCP server" by checking the "Disable" option.

  • Connect each console to their respective routers and ensure the status lights are all active and green on each router. Test each console to make sure the systems can communicate with each other. The LAN party is ready.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some level of expertise is recommended for following the steps provided in Section Two.
  • Do not use the "Internet" or "Up-link" ports on any of the routers.

References

  • Photo Credit Computer Network Interface Card image by Northwest Photo from Fotolia.com ethernet cable 2 image by BlueMiniu from Fotolia.com
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