LAN Setup

There's nothing better than staying up all night playing videogames with your friends. Everyone craming into a small basement, ten or more gaming PCs pumping out heat, and more RGB LEDs lighting up the place than you can shake a stick at. If this sounds like a fun evening to you, but you don't know where to start, let me help you out.

To setup a basic lan, you will need:

  • Two or more computers
  • Network Router / Switch
  • Network Cables or WiFi (please use wired!)
  • Adequet Power
  • Monster™ Energy Drinks or Mountain Dew



Obviously, everyone who plans on participating in a LAN party will need their own computer.

I would also suggest trying to have everyone install all the games & updates BEFORE arriving. That way, you won't spend hours waiting for everyone to get up-to-speed.

Be sure to set all your LEDs to full rainbow mode for more FPS.


Network Cards



If you somehow have a computer without a network card in it, go buy one for $20. But honestly you probably need a new computer.



Or you could be a man and buy this one.


Network Cables

This is another obvious one. Every computer will have to be connected to the network, prefferably using a physical network cable. I would try to avoid wireless if possible.

There are a few types of network cables available. There is Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat6 (technically there are more, but these three are the norm). There are also shielded and un-shielded versions of these cables. I would go with either Cat5e or Cat6. Cat6 is technically rated for gigabit speeds, but Cat5e can work too. If you want to pay extra for the shielded version of the cable, that's great, but unless you are having a lan party inside of microwave, you probably won't see any difference. I suppose the lifespan of the cable may increase, but that's about it.


Hub, Switch, or Router

I mean... I would hope in this day and age you are using a router with a few available ports. Better yet, you have a separate switch plugged into your router giving you an additional 5 or 8 ports.



When I host LANs we're using a 24 port gigabit Linksys switch, but you can easily use something a bit more affordable like one of these 5 / 8 port DLINK switches.



Having adequet power for a LAN party is essential. You don't need a dozen PCs suddenly shutting off because you blew a fuse. I personally recommend putting no more than 3 computers on a single 15amp fuse. Just spread it over as many fuses as possible. I don't have actual eletrical readings, but with today's power supplies easily being rated at at least 550w, it's better to be safe than sorry.

If you don't have enough outlets on separate fuses in the area you plan on having your lan, go buy some cheap 50ft extension cords. Also, use surge protectors not just power strips!! Power strips offer no protection!! Most people should only have two things they absolutely need to plug in: the computer, and the monitor. If they bring speakers, tell them to use headphones.



Once you have all your computers, network adapters, cables, and switches together, they need to be connected.

  • Make sure each computer has a network card installed with the proper drivers
  • Plug a network cable into each computer
  • Plug the other ends of those network cables into an available port on your switch/router.
  • Remember, don't plug a computer into an uplink port!
  • Don't use crossover cables to connect a computer to a switch/router!
  • If you need more than one switch, simply connect them together with a network cable. If this is an older switch, you may need to connect it using the uplink port. So one end of a cable goes into the uplink port, and the other connects to a regular (non-uplink) port.


Disable Unused Adapters

On most modern computers, you may find two or more network adapters. This poses a problem for some games, and it is highly recommened that all unused LAN adapters are disabled, whether it be a physical plug, wireless, or even virtual (like hamachi or some other vpn software). The ideal scenario is to have ONE and only ONE adapter in use. This way the game can't somehow get confused as to which adapter it is trying to send/recieve information from.

Open the Control Panel, go to Network and Internet, Network and Sharing Center, Change Adapter Settings, and then right-click on the unused adapters and disable them so they are greyed out.


Verify Connectivity

To test connectivity, simply go to Windows start button, go to run, type in 'cmd' with no quotes and push enter, then in the DOS screen that appears, type in 'ping IPADDRESS'. Obviously, don't include the quotes, and dont actually type in IPADDRESS. Instead, type in another computer's IP address.

Assuming no one is running any firewalls, antivirus, or anti spyware programs, you should be able to ping one another with no problem.

A successful ping request will say 'Reply from (IPADDRESS): bytes=32 time....' 4 times total, and then give a short summary of the ping request.

An unsuccessful ping request will say 'Request timed out.' 4 times total, then give a short summary of the failed ping request.