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Networking LAN parties

By L_Skywlker ·
I host LAN parties from time to time. I'm curious as to any suggestions on what is best to use: routers, switches, or hubs? I recently had a LAN party and was using a switch. Only 3 of the 5 computers would network and even then it was "iffy." One of the computers could ping every other host, except it's own IP address. NetBIOS was being it's usual slow and strange self by only showing 2 computers in the Network Neighborhood. I unsuccessfully tried doing direct connects through the Run command with the syntax of "\\hostname." Without having gone in and doing major troubleshooting on the software side I could not figure out what the problems were. I would appreciate any suggestions on how to take care of things in the future so we can spend more time gaming instead of trying to troubleshoot the network!

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by Joseph Moore In reply to Networking LAN parties

To be honest, if you just want to throw a bunch of machines together, a hub would be easiest. No port speeds to worry about, no segmentation of broadcast domains; just everyone out there all at once!
Now remember that hub connectivity will be slower than if you used a switch, and the single broadcast domain also means a single collision domain, so traffic is much nosier and more prone to errors.
If you want to run a switch, you need to make sure the switch is set for this type of thing. You can hard code the link speeds on each port of the switch, and that can cause problems with the nodes if they have a hard coded speed that is different from the port.
Hubs can't hard code speeds, so that makes them easier.
Now, I do think that the switch is the better product for connectivity; I would NEVER run hubs in a business environment where you need as reliable connectivity as possible.
But you aren't talking about work. You're talkin' about some frinds coming over and playing Doom over the LAN! And a hub should handle that just fine!
And you don't want a router for this. Trust me. Routers aren't hubs or switches; they work in an entirely different way, doing an entirely different job.
hope this helps

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by sgt_shultz In reply to Networking LAN parties

maybe you had a bad nic. you need switch imho. 10/100 linksys workgroup switch. you will soon become wiz at fixing these things...
first start with link light, as you know.
if you have that, then ping.
then use ipconfig or winipcfg to see each machines settings
you have to have workgroup same, subnet mask same, everybody on same subnet. accounts on each machine allowing login on server
if you can only ping yourself, you have ip problem or bad nic on that machine.
bad nic rare but not unheard of.
see more about this at www.linksys.com
which game you playing?

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by kr_kirru In reply to Networking LAN parties

U better opt for a switch. It doesnt support broadcast. More specifically, it maintains a mac table and sends the request for that perticular system. But a hub will broadcast the request to all the ports. Which increases the network traffic. Routers are ment for connecting different networks(WAN-LAN or WAN-WAN). They are too costly. Dont even think for them for inter office network(LAN).

If u can ping u'r own ip then there might be a problem in NIC or its settings. check them, with out blindly depending on others.

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by Armour In reply to Networking LAN parties

How man computers are you talking about? I if its under 2oo there is a few thing to make life easier if you don?t have a dedicated server use a linksys or d-link style home router as you can get them for less than $70. Canadian this will allow you to use DHCP and allow the router to give out the IP?s reducing the chance of IP conflicts. Then you want to make sure everyone is using the same workgroup name. You will defiantly want to stick with a switch if depending how many people you need to connect you can stick with a router/switch product I know linksys makes ones that have up to 16 ports for gateway internet access

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