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We're making some sort of LAN-Party with friends, and, due to various reasons, we want to setup the network in a way of a ring network. We of course all have modern machines with end-user network adapters; we also all run Windows 7 (in different versions - but the lowest is Home Premium I believe).

So, what's a way to set up this kind of network? The use cases and requirements for this would be:

  • Support for standard laptop OEM LAN cards as well as cheap USB-LAN adapters (most laptops have only one LAN port, unfortunately)
  • Support of games based on IP addressing (some may work with weird protocols, other may not)
  • It should support internet connection sharing (most likely only one person will have shared internet connection)
  • Minimal installation complication and configuration (I can configure every PC, but I'd like to keep my work as simple as possible. Preparing the easy script for everyone would be even better, bust most likely I will test anything myself anyway, so it's not a priority).

I'd like to know what I will need to set this all up properly, also, what are the caveats (special abilities LAN adapter should support -> how to check for them, etc.)

I am mostly concerned with the physical layout of cables. I don't want them to be concentrated in one point; instead, I want them to go around the room.

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If you're just worried about tripping on a clutter in the middle of the room, then wouldn't using longer Ethernet cables (and a little bit of cable organization) to run lines to the central switch (which sits someplace not actually in the middle of the room) be easier? :) –  techie007 Aug 15 '12 at 1:51
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"Misconceptions - "Token Ring is an example of a ring topology." 802.5 (Token Ring) networks do not use a ring topology at layer 1. As explained above, IBM Token Ring (802.5) networks imitate a ring at layer 2 but use a physical star at layer 1." -- I edited your question to reflect just a "Ring network", to avoid (further) confusion. :) –  techie007 Aug 15 '12 at 1:54
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If you want a true modern ring network then go FC-AL. Do note that it won't be cheap though. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Aug 15 '12 at 2:00
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closed as not a real question by RedGrittyBrick, 8088, MaQleod, Diogo, Canadian Luke Aug 15 '12 at 18:37

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1 Answer

I think you can do this by simply bridging the two network adapters on each machine, including the one connected to the router / internet gateway.

  1. Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center
  2. Change adapter settings
  3. Ctrl+Click the two network adapters
  4. Right-click on one and select "Bridge Connections"

It's been a while since I looked at what exactly a token-ring network was, though. As best I can tell, this still won't be a real token-ring network (you're just using standard ethernet with daisy-chained bridges instead of a hub or switch); A proper token-ring network would require the appropriate hardware.

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Well, token-ring-like is sufficient. I meant physical topology rather than hardware "implementation". –  Bartek Banachewicz Aug 14 '12 at 20:24
    
It's certainly worth a try, though. I will try that, if it's indeed enough, I will accept it. I want to give others at least 24 hours, though ;) –  Bartek Banachewicz Aug 14 '12 at 20:27
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@BartekBanachewicz Side note: Don't actually make it a ring by connecting the first computer to the last one. The ethernet gods will smite your network with a congestion that renders it inoperable as packets collide with themselves. –  Darth Android Aug 14 '12 at 20:27
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@BartekBanachewicz: Token Ring's physical topology was "star wired", so just plug your ethernet cables into a central ethernet switch and you have the same physical topology. –  RedGrittyBrick Aug 14 '12 at 20:53
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@BartekBanachewicz Taping the cables to the floor with ducttape or similar is going to be far less headache then trying to configure this setup, or resetting it afterwards. –  Darth Android Aug 14 '12 at 21:36
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