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running a gaming LAN

Heya all, didn't know if this was the best section to post this in but I couldn't see anywhere else it really fit (not really a hardware/software problem, more a query).

Well anyways, I'm planning on having a few friends around to have a bit a gaming session, only I wasn't sure if I would need to have a specific computer set up as a gaming server or not?

There is only a few of us (about 10) any help would be great =)
No, you don't need to.
LAN is automatic. Your router would count as a server. Wink
Awesome, I thought I would be allright. I just wanted to make sure the night runs smoothly =)
Klaw 2
you do need an router with enough slots for everone or with wireless conncetion, you can put two routers together but this can create a lot of hassle.
spobor wrote:
Awesome, I thought I would be allright. I just wanted to make sure the night runs smoothly =)

If you are all on the same network (aka: same router) then there shouldn't be any lag if the server is also local. That way, nobody will be contacting your ISP and your router will handle everything.
So here's the thing, don't try to do this over wireless. Even the best of routers won't be able to handle more than 4 or 5 people well. Of course this depends on the game, newer games require more bandwidth, older games less. If you are going with more than 4 computers, it is likely you won't have enough Ethernet ports. I suggest you see if you can borrow a 16 port switch from a local school or university for the weekend. You may have to ask around, but hopefully somebody will have a spare one, if not you can get one on eBay for under $50 (10 base T go for under $20). You will also need a bunch of cat 5e cables, so ask your friends to bring one or two, somebody is bound to forget theirs. What you will do is connect any of the 4 ports on the router to the uplink on the switch (it is usually the first or last port) and make sure the port is in uplink mode (there should be a physical toggle button). The hub will then act as an extender for the router, and you can then use up to 18 ports. The router still does the heavy lifting, but it should clog up way less than wireless. You may want to unplug your modem, too if not everyone is playing at once. If a few people open youtube videos at once, the gamers pings will look like dialup.

Power is another concern you will need to look into. DON'T just stick a multi tap into an outlet and plug 4 machines into it. Spread out the machines in as many rooms as possible and as many circuits as possible. Avoid using long extension cords, if you must use an appliance cord rated for high amperage, and only have one machine plugged into it.

Cooling would be more of a concern in the summertime, but don't hesitate to open the windows if it is getting too hot in the room.

Oh, one more thing. Test your setup a few days before the party. There could be nothing worse than showing up and the host is not prepared. Make sure to test more than one game, too
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