What is a LAN?
LAN is the acronym for Local Area Network, which refers to a group of computers linked together. This link, or network, allows the computers to access each others files, printers and other resources. In the case of a gaming LAN the network is also used to connect to games running on other computers and play against other network users.
By “Local” we are referring to a network contained in a single building or campus. The Internet is also a network, but is what we refer to as a “Wide Area Network” because it is world wide.
What should I bring?
- Desktop PC or Laptop
- Mouse and Mousepad
- Power and video cables
- Extra money for food and drinks
What shouldn’t I bring?
- Second or large monitors (beyond 34″)
- Printers, scanners and other unnecessary accessories
- UPS equipment (not compatible with our setup)
- Kettles, Fridges etc
- Network cables
- Wireless Access Points
- Alcohol and any other non-prescription drugs
- Weapons of any kind
How do I prepare my computer for a LAN?
So it’s your first LAN, not sure what to expect? Well here’s some tips on how to prepare for an upcoming LAN so you can make the most of your time at the event.
Firstly, before even contemplating connecting your computer to a LAN, you should always ensure your computer has antivirus software installed. This software will use ‘virus definitions’ to identify and protect your computer from infection. Therefore these definitions must be current to be effective, preferably updated no more than 1 or 2 days before the LAN.
You should also have an active firewall. If you don’t have a 3rd party firewall installed (for example Norton Internet Security) you should make sure the Windows Firewall is turned on.
In addition to this it is important to have the current Windows updates installed to ensure there are no potential security leaks through which a virus could enter your system. To do this you must be connected to the internet.
With all that out of the way you should be able to plug into the LAN and access all it’s resources including joining multiplayer games hosted on the network. But in order to successfully join game servers you must have the game installed and be running the correct game version. Installing and updating games can be quite time consuming, time you could be devoting to playing the games. We recommend installing any games that are likely to be played ahead of time and ensuring you are running the latest version of each. Most games run through a distribution platform like Steam, BattleNet or Origin. To ensure your games are up-to-date make sure you’ve opened each distribution platform, they should update your games automatically.
Now you should be well prepared to experience the exhilaration of computer gaming LANs at their best.