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Networking Hardware For A Lan Party


BlueWyvern
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Do you guys think it would be prudent for an approximate 60-100 person lan party to run a DD-WRT router (like a WRT54G or similar) and then have it run to switches at each table and branching off like a tree from switch to switch?

or would it be better to buy two larger switches and run longer cables from them to the client PCs?

Also do you think that wifi should be enabled with an encryption key or just keep it off?

Thanks!

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I don't know if you've heard of TomHardware, but he wrote a very good article on how to set up a Lan Party. I would recommend you reading that, to get some general ideas, of what is behind setting up a lan party.

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/lan-party-how-to,review-496.html

Edit: By the way, I wouldn't want to leave my wireless unprotected. So make sure encryption is enabled.

Edited by Infiltrator
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The size of the switch has nothing to do with the length of cable you can run. Ethernet can only go so many feet before the signal will degrade and needs to hit another device to relay the information. That said, a LAN party shouldn't even come close to exhausting the length of cable run needed unless you are all spread across the entire building like further than 328 feet(max length for a 100/1000 base-t segment). Gigabit ethernet length runs vary on the type, but if using CAT-5 cable, its still going to be needed to repeat every 100 meters (328 feet) unless you go fiber.

In your situation, your speed issues will be limited by the speed of the ports on the switch and the slowest persons NIC card. If you have 100 people on the same network at the same time, you would need 100 physical Ethernet ports, so 1 switch might not be enough to do the job given how many physical ports the device has.

The alternative is to go wireless, but then you have to also hope everyone uses the same wireless class, for example everyone using 802.11 G or N. If 1 persons uses B and the router is set up for B and G together, the router will down clock speeds to compensate for 802.11 B, and speeds will be no faster than the 11mbit you get with a B class router, limiting throughput.

Just some things to think about.

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I would't use wireless for playing games in lan party, the speeds are not as quick as a gigabit switch. Also very important to consider is latency make sure the switch is of a non-blocking type switch, you want a switch that is always delivering the speeds and not blocking the speeds.

In addition, if you want to have good ping responses, look into upgrading your NIC to a Killer-Nic-k1

http://www.bigfootnetworks.com/killer-nic-k1/

Just some options to consider.

Edited by Infiltrator
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Thanks guys for the input!

definitely some great info here. And Mr-Protocol and digip are making me think wifi is definitely a bad option :P Unless I get an access point for B, G and N wifi and set them to only use those (which I think i would have enough hardware lying around to do actually!)

I just hope noone decides to run a de-auth tool :P

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Thanks guys for the input!

definitely some great info here. And Mr-Protocol and digip are making me think wifi is definitely a bad option :P Unless I get an access point for B, G and N wifi and set them to only use those (which I think i would have enough hardware lying around to do actually!)

I just hope noone decides to run a de-auth tool :P

Wifi is not a bad option, its just doesn't have enough juice to keep a lan party going.

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Back in the day, we only had dialup, and Quake worked fine on dialup for me, just depends on the game and its bandwidth requirements.

If they were all G or all N wireless, I think you would be ok. If anyone uses B and the routers are doing B+G switching, you will only get the slower B speeds (11mbit max) and might bottleneck everything at 100 people on at once but i have no real world test to back that up. FastEthernet 100Base-T or Gigabit Ethernet wired in theory is the best solution for throughput, but depending on the game a 10/100 network might not even be an issue.

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Back in the day, we only had dialup, and Quake worked fine on dialup for me, just depends on the game and its bandwidth requirements.

If they were all G or all N wireless, I think you would be ok. If anyone uses B and the routers are doing B+G switching, you will only get the slower B speeds (11mbit max) and might bottleneck everything at 100 people on at once but i have no real world test to back that up. FastEthernet 100Base-T or Gigabit Ethernet wired in theory is the best solution for throughput, but depending on the game a 10/100 network might not even be an issue.

I guess there could be some Lan Party standards put in place to only allow wireless N clients instead of a mixture of A, B and G. That way the wireless performance shouldn't heavily be degraded.

Edited by Infiltrator
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For smaller LAN Parties of about 10-25 (and where nobody is being a jerk by messing with the network) you can easily get away with a wireless network. When I'm hosting I make both available and usually about half the group will come with laptops and just use the wireless because they already have my network key.

For larger LANs of 40+ it's exclusively wired Ethernet. Gigabit hardware is pretty cheap these days so it's not difficult to setup a pure Gigabit network.

In most cases, games don't really need the kind of bandwidth that Gigabit provides for. Most games are designed to play well over broadband connections with relatively high latency. Having a few 100Mbit switches feeding in to one or two gigabit switches at the center is usually sufficient (still a LOT better than most people's "broadband").

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I've been a host for a local lan party going on for about 6 years now, we've finally just upgraded to Gig networking equipment just because it's so cheap. I would NOT use that router though, your going to go through about 3 or 4 of them, I can promise you on that. We've had some many different off the shelf routers, and they all get fried because all the traffic going through them. You should probably build/invest in a heavy-duty router or build one yourself with pfSense, monowall, ipcop, smoothwall, etc, etc.

You could do WiFi at the lan party, we have it open for people to connect their phones, laptops, shit like that through, but you should probably tell the people that are gaming to use wired (everyone should know that by now anyways :rolleyes: )

You can run a 16 or 24 port (depending on layout) to each table and just run one cable from the main switch or router to the other switches, no point in wasting all your cat5e/6 cable.

Anyways, if you need any more help feel free to send me a PM.

We get about 100-125 people monthly and we still manage to keep it free.

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I've been a host for a local lan party going on for about 6 years now, we've finally just upgraded to Gig networking equipment just because it's so cheap. I would NOT use that router though, your going to go through about 3 or 4 of them, I can promise you on that. We've had some many different off the shelf routers, and they all get fried because all the traffic going through them. You should probably build/invest in a heavy-duty router or build one yourself with pfSense, monowall, ipcop, smoothwall, etc, etc.

You could do WiFi at the lan party, we have it open for people to connect their phones, laptops, shit like that through, but you should probably tell the people that are gaming to use wired (everyone should know that by now anyways :rolleyes: )

You can run a 16 or 24 port (depending on layout) to each table and just run one cable from the main switch or router to the other switches, no point in wasting all your cat5e/6 cable.

Anyways, if you need any more help feel free to send me a PM.

We get about 100-125 people monthly and we still manage to keep it free.

so with the wifi and the wired you think i should VLAN them to be separate?

also do you know if smoothwall or pfsense etc etc support USB wireless cards?

thanks again!

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Just have one switch per bench and then have them branching off to the core switch.

I wouldn't worry about setting up a VLan, not really that important on a Lan Game.

And the wireless you could connect it up to the core switch.

Thats what I would do anyway.

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Just have one switch per bench and then have them branching off to the core switch.

I wouldn't worry about setting up a VLan, not really that important on a Lan Game.

And the wireless you could connect it up to the core switch.

Thats what I would do anyway.

+1

I wouldn't mess with the Vlan, just extra shit you have to worry about.

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+1

I wouldn't mess with the Vlan, just extra shit you have to worry about.

In addition, I don't know if VLans would cause any performance hit. So better off making it a simple Lan Game design.

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