LAN Party Help?

Didn’t know where to put this so I figured the Living Room would work, correct me if I’m wrong.

Now to the topic, I have been wanting to set up some LAN Parties and such, this town gets boring otherwise.
Anyways I was wondering if you guys could give some advise on how to set up the LAN hardware side.

I’m probably going to be running off 2 Linksys WRT310N’s with the latest dd-wrt firmware, and I didn’t know if they could do it, and if so how? Also I like the gigabit part about these, less lag in a LAN party if people have gigabit on their computers.

Anyways you guys have always helped before and I figured why not here.
Thanks in advance.

http://www.lanparty.com/theguide/network2.shtm

Most LAN data isn’t much traffic on games. If people start filesharing their crap it gets a whole new matter of course. Make sure you have dedicated servers just for the game(s) you’re planning to run.

You could also use virtual machines for that of course.

Funny thing is, I looked through their site a few days ago.
I know how to set it up basically I just don’t know how to say link the routers together if I have more than the 5 people, because they don’t have specified uplink ports. (dd-wrt allows me to use the wan port on the switch/lan side)
And would I really have to set up static ip’s for everyone or would dhcp work?

To use two WiFi routers together as one SSID you need to set them up in bridge mode. Make sure you know if you have to connect them at the same channel or have to use different channels. Do not use auto channels. Bridge mode can be hell.

For the rest use DHCP. Your clients will not have to set up anything and you can give your server(s) their own set of ip’s outside the DHCP scope. Way easy. Make sure there’s only one dhcp server in the entire network.

Oh, I was thinking about keeping it wired as I can get a bunch of these routers from a local computer shop to borrow for free if I need. I was talking about wiring the routers together as I want to keep everything wired. I have about 1000’ of Cat6 cable and can make cables as needed. (Less chance of interference than using the WiFi.)
I planned on putting the server outside the dhcp scope anyways, but thanks for the reminder.

The way I was thinking right now is just use the WAN port (set on the switch of course) as my “uplink” and connect the two current routers through those. But I don’t know if it would work. If it would than if I planned to go bigger probably just use a central one and plug all the WAN ports into a single router.
Is my thinking a little off? As I am thinking this would be a ton cheaper than a giant switch or something.

This is what I want to attempt now. Would that be possible?


Well, you actually don’t need the routing capabilities if your LAN isn’t that big. Just use the stuff as one huge switch. To protect your game server(s) from too much traffic you could use one of those puppy’s in front of them.

In the schematic below you give your clients each their own segments. Gives some responsibility as well since you just place one router on a table and always know what it’s for.

I do believe the WRT310N’s have four lan and one wan port. So you can use four clients (gamer pc’s) on one segment.

Connect the WAN ports of those WRT310N’s (router 1 and 2) to the LAN of another WRT310N (router 4).
This way all communication in between your clients (dc++ and other file sharing crap) doesn’t affect your game servers.

The wan of router 4 goes to a lan port of router 3, leaving three other lan ports for your game servers.

You could even use the wan port of router 3 to connect to the internet. :slight_smile:

If you need to connect more clients you can add two other routers on router 4’s two left over lan ports, giving you 8 more clients.

Mind you: This is done using the hardware you can get. If you can get hold of a huge switch (48 ports 3com or something) you would not require this schematic.


That’s basically what I was thinking if I went bigger sized. But if I kept it small like I had in my post would it have any problems that you could possibly predict from that setup? And what if I ran my game server on one of the routers along with the gamer pc’s? Would that cause problems?

I wanna keep it simple and only use the minimum number of routers needed as you have probably heard the saying, you break it you buy it. Lol, that’s the only policy they gave me on them.

And I prefer the whole bunch of routers as then like you said I can keep one close to the gamer pc’s and then just link them either together if it was just two or link them to another one as in like your picture or maybe bigger…

And yes they are four lan’s and one wan, like in my drawing, and I definitely have no intention of connecting to the net as I want to keep the party speeds up and minimize ping and lag, actually I could have the server connected to the net as it is a dual gigabit lan motherboard, maybe host some massive 16v16 over the net or even 32v32 if i can find a game that big… but alas those are thoughts for another party, I just need to get the first one going then I should be good.

I forgot to add, couldn’t I just connect router 4 to the wan port on router 3 as I can set up the wan port as part of the switch in dd-wrt and that would give me room for a fourth server right?

If you didn’t know about dd-wrt I can basically turn the whole router into a switch and that’s what I think I am wanting to do right? As that would turn all five ports into basically LAN ports and then in my head I’m visualizing the WAN port as basically the uplink to where ever else it needs to go, say the central router for a big party or just another router for a small party.

Switch: (It just connects computer a to b to c, etc…)

If the firmware allows to put all five ports in such a mode that they all act as a switch, it should be no problem at all. Just connect any computer to that “switch” and they all should be able to talk to each other.

Note that you don’t use the DHCP server WRT310N, so either give all the computers their own fixed ip adress or make your game server the dhcp server.

There is no control whatsoever. The setup is one big river of bandwith and if someone tries to grab all that bandwith, he gets it. All transmissions, wether they are for your server or not is treated equally.

The evil trick i used on lan parties is to make a seperate connection to each file i wanted to download from other peoples computers windows shares. Say i wanted 64 files out of one windows share, i just opened 64 connections to that share. :slight_smile:

How would I setup the server as the dhcp server?
I am just going to use my own computer as the game server, and if it helps it is running Vista Ultimate x64. And I’m guessing it shouldn’t matter who uses what operating system right? I mean cause you can’t expect everybody to come using Vista or XP or possibly something older.

[QUOTE=oldhome7;2240992]How would I setup the server as the dhcp server?[/quote] By installing the DHCP service inside a server operating system.

I am just going to use my own computer as the game server, and if it helps it is running Vista Ultimate x64.
Vista x64 doesn’t have a dhcp server service. Perhaps using fixed ip adresses is better. You can also set up one of your routers as a dhcp server.

And I’m guessing it shouldn’t matter who uses what operating system right? I mean cause you can’t expect everybody to come using Vista or XP or possibly something older.

Well not really, but i don’t think you can find lots of game hosting products that run on a vista 64bit machine.

Depends on how you gonna host games. Are you using dedicated game server products or are you just gonna install a game and host sessions from there?

Which router would you recommend being the dhcp server?

And i think it all depends on what the game allows, preferably I want to run a dedicated server but if the game only supports hosting sessions I guess I could play the game alongside everybody and show em who’s boss.
I think I can pretty much handle the game software wise, I just need the hardware help as I do know this isn’t the normal way of doing things. But I think it makes it a little more fail-safe and redundant the way I think.

I’m guessing probably router 4 in your LAN setup right? Because don’t switches work like a usb hub kinda? Where you can just keep adding and adding and it will automatically configure them from your computer? Correct me if I’m wrong as I like to think I know somewhat about computers and hardware and the likes, just not the big ol’ LAN networks like you see at a school or office.

Ye hubs and switches

Hubs and switches transport any data from one Network Interface Card (NIC) to another NIC. It just uses the MAC adress (unique number of the NIC) to transport data from one to another.

Hub accept any signal and transport it to all the other ports.

Switches accept any signal and tries to learn which port needs that data. So after learning which signal goes to which port, them switches are a lot faster than hubs. :slight_smile:

DHCP

DHCP is regulated at the DHCP service (a resident program). That DHCP service resides either on a server (windows 2003 dhcp service) or some router (your linksys routers with a dhcp service). DHCP is a TCP/IP protocol schematic and has nothing to do with switches and/or hubs. It’s on a different layer in the OSI model.

Enabling DHCP at a computer means it is going to search for a DHCP server. If it finds one, it asks for an ip adress according with the appropriate gateway and subnet mask. The ip adress it gets is defined in the DHCP pool. Usually you make the DHCP server itself say 192.168.1.254 and give out a DHCP pool of 192.168.1.10 to 192.168.1.100. This gives you 100-10 = 90 ip adresses to put out.

You can use other computers out of the DHCP pool. I.E. the ip’s 192.168.1.1 - 9 for your servers, printers, ftp server, etc. You can also use 192.168.101 - 253 for that.

If there are more than 90 gamerpc’s connecting you can also expand your DHCP pool to say 192.168.1.253 as well. This will give you 253-10 = 243 ip adress to put out.

Don’t make the DHCP too big, but also not too small. If people try reconnecting, they will get a new DHCP adress. Also don’t make the lease time of the adress too long. 2/3 hours is long enough. Rule of thumb = your clients x 2. So if you have 64 clients, make the dhcp pool 128.

For more info see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Host_Configuration_Protocol

Now back to yer situation

Taken my last picture in account:

If you set up router 1, 4 and 2 as switches then they are just that : switches. They’ll try to learn which data goes to where. They have no ip adresses since they are just switches. No matter how many switches you have, they will all act as a switch.

If you set up router 3 with DHCP service on the LAN ports, it will give out ip adresses to all computers. You will have ip adresses because of the DHCP service and for the rest all the LAN ports are just acting as a switch. Also activate the firewall on router 3. Dunno if you can setup a firewall between lan ports.

Note that you don’t use the WAN port of router 3 in this scenario! You don’t need any routing since there is no other network to route to.

Extra info (or: how the hell does the data go?)

Note how the data will transport:

If a gamerpc connected to router 1 wants to access a game server it will travel like this: gamerpc -> router 1 (=switch) -> router 4 (= switch) -> router 3 (= dhcp) -> gameserver

If a gamerpc connected to router 2 wants to access a game server it will travel like this: gamerpc -> router 2 (=switch) -> router 4 (= switch) -> router 3 (= dhcp) -> gameserver

If a gamerpc connected to router 1 wants to access a gamerpc to router 2 it will travel like this: gamerpc -> router 1 (=switch) -> router 4 (= switch) -> router 2 (= switch) -> gamerpc

If gamerpc’s are connecting to each other, your gameserver isn’t affected. This saves bandwith on your gameserver.

Additional features:

In this scenario you could also make router 4 a nice firewall. If some gamerpc at router 1 tries to attack someone (and router 4’s firewall blocks it), he can only affect gamerpcs on the same router. The rest of your network is at peace.

If you connect a ftp server on the spare LAN port of router 4 you can give your clients (the gamerpc’s) a nice ftp server and it still won’t affect your gameservers bandwith

Rule #0: People will do things you don’t want to. You cannot stop them.

You can’t control the gamerpc’s. People will install download tools. They will hunt down the network for open shares, ftp’s and dc++ connections. Accept Murphy’s Law and accept that all people who are connected to your network are instantaneously incredibly smart and incredibly stupid at the same time. They will try to mess up your network. Nothing is more annoying than lag on your network because some moron/einstein has hogged 800mbit bandwith for downloading porn on his neigbour’s pc.

So make rules. Make people sign the rules and make sure you can kick them out if they don’t follow. Make sure they can’t reconnect as well. Have them leave the area with their computer. Make no exceptions. It’s your network and you decide.

Thanks, that helped a lot and I actually understood all that even though it was long.

And sorry for the long reply, I have been out of the country for a while and forgot to check back up on this. But it was still open when I got back last night so I figured I could look back for a reply.

One thing that bugs me a little, and sorry if this offends you or anything, but you seem to be missing the point that with the dd-wrt firmware I can add the WAN port to the LAN switch and basically it just becomes a 5 port LAN switch without the WAN capabilities, I think that’s what I mean to say, instead of it just being 4 LAN ports and 1 WAN. I am basically talking about router 3 if I wanted to add 5 game servers at some point, which I probably won’t soon but I’d like to think that if I wanted to eventually than I would have the capabilities of doing so.

Oh and I forgot to add that these routers do have a built in firewall, I don’t know how well they would work but all the friends tech savvy enough to attempt anything respect me enough not to as they know it is a lot of work setting up everything. I think the built in firewall would be more than sufficient enough for everybody else though.

No worries and not offended :slight_smile: Sure, if the firmware gives you that opportunity, then let’s do so :slight_smile:

Oh and I forgot to add that these routers do have a built in firewall
Doest that still works when you apply the modified firmware?

I don’t know how well they would work but all the friends tech savvy enough to attempt anything respect me enough not to as they know it is a lot of work setting up everything. I think the built in firewall would be more than sufficient enough for everybody else though.
For normal operation perhaps sufficient indeed.

Keep in Mind that an 8port switch will provide many times the bandwidth between PC’s … compared to two 5port switches hooked together.

In theory, an 8pt gigabit switch can provide 4 pairs at full gigabit speed between any PC’s … whereas when you hook up two 5pt switches, one or two file transfers between computers on two different routers can saturate the bandwidth across the single gigabit link between the routers, and you’ll get dropouts, and lag.

Investing in a few unmanaged 8pt gigabit switches, or even a 16pt gigabit switch wouldn’t be amiss. They’re quite affordable now, even if they’re bandwidth limited, and not true switches.

They’ll make your life alot easier, and provide much better network performance than a couple of routers kludged together.

[QUOTE=Mr. Belvedere;2268727] Doest that still works when you apply the modified firmware?[/QUOTE]

Yes it still works.

And debro, I currently am unemployed and was wondering what I could do with the resources I have available to me. But thank you for the information though.

I would just like to update on this and say thanks for all the info, as it helped my first big lan party go pretty good. There were a few hiccups and very minor stuff but that’s to be expected since you can’t always get everything perfect.
But again, big thank you to you Mr. Belvedere.
And a note to debro, the single gigabit links between everything were quite sufficient for all the transfers that were needed once the games got up and running, but I will look into possibly a switch or two in the future. But as a “proof of concept” (more or less for me) this turned out to be very successful.