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I am working on setting up the network for a small LAN party (less than 16 people). Most of them do not have wireless cards in their rigs, so I need to set up some way for everyone to a) play LAN games and b) access the internet.

The LAN party will probably take place in my basement, where I have enough space. However, the basement is not wired up with the router which is actually on the floor above. I make a cantenna a while back that can boost the wireless performance of my computer significantly. How can I use this to provide internet and LAN to guests?

My hope was that I could use a switch like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833181166 for the LAN - but how can I give people access to the internet? Is there such thing as a network extender / 16-port switch?

Obviously, the internet performance doesn't need to be super stellar, because the games will be using LAN - so I am looking to provide some usable internet for web browsing, and very high speed LAN for games.

Thanks!

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closed as not constructive by Simon Sheehan, soandos, Diogo, 8088, BBlake Nov 5 '12 at 14:07

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3 Answers

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As this a LAN gaming party I'm assuming you're all using PC's. Effectively what you're trying to do it ICS (Internet Connection Sharing). The steps for setting up ICS are available here: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-share-an-internet-connection-in-windows-7.html Make sure all the PC's connecting to the switch are using DHCP.

You'll need to set up your network as so (sorry about the shoddy diagram):

Diagram

Also, It might be a good idea to get a 10/100/1000 switch as that'll give you a bit of a speed boost on the LAN. It doesn't matter what ports on the switch you connect the PC's too.

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If the uplink/backhaul is wireless, unless a gig switch is very cheap, there is very little reason to get one :/ –  William Hilsum Nov 4 '12 at 8:36
    
True, but as he said the wireless uplink will only be used for basic web surfing, while the LAN should be 'very high speed' in order to support the traffic from the games.. I don't know what sort of network requirements the games have but your point is probably still valid: 10/100 would probably be enough to support whatever's going to be thrown at it :) –  Matthew Brown Nov 4 '12 at 12:24
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I am not a networks expert but I guess what you can do is

  • connect the switch's WAN port on the back to one of the ports in the router.
  • This will hopefully grant network access to all the computers connected to the 16 ports of the switch.

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    A switch does not usually have a WAN port. All ports on an average 10/100 switch are the same. (Routers typically have ports labeled WAN and LAN though. I guess that is where your answer comes from) –  Hennes Nov 4 '12 at 20:17
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    Put down a switch in the room and make sure there are cables for everyone to connect it. Even for those using wireless. A wired connection tend to 'just work'. Meanwhile a dozen wireless connections the same small space is asking for problems or extra latency. (Fine for browsing, bad for a lot of games).

    This is typically something which would work when you test it with a few test PCs, and then would fail once you tried to use it for real. (This includes the wireless connection on the sharing PC should you decide to use it.)

    Then:

    • Either connect it as in the diagram shows in Matthew Brown's post.
    • Figure out how to lay a long cable to the network above you (faster, possibly more stable)
    • Or use power line adapters to connect a port on the switch to the network above you.

    The PC 'sharing the internet' can be windows (ICS) or something else (e.g. OS/X, Linux, BSD) in which case you do not need to look up ICS but masquerading and forwarding.

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