The gaming community is one of the largest communities that rely on network connection as their primary source of connectivity. The games of today’s world use data to allow people to communicate while playing multiplayer games. But before MMO, or mass multiplayer online, games became popular, gamers would throw LAN parties to play games with fellow players in one location.
What Is a LAN?
LAN is an acronym for local area network, and it acts as an internet connection for local devices. A device that is considered local is within a limited area.
This area is usually a neighborhood or building where all devices connect with the LAN and internet. This type of network uses ethernet cables to connect to the internet. Due to its limited range, anything outside of the LAN will not connect to other devices within the LAN.
What Is a LAN Party?
Since the 1970s, gamers have come together to form groups to play multiplayer games on different PCs. These gamers would use a LAN to connect since the gaming only took place in that one area. The LANs needed ethernet cables to connect because the ethernet acted as a direct line to the internet where the players would assemble.
How Popular Are They?
The popularity of LAN parties has fluctuated over the years. In the 1980s and 90s, it was typical for small groups of friends to make hasty plans to come together and play in convenient places like a garage. Larger groups were possible but required more planning and scheduling for meet-ups and acquiring equipment.
Currently, there are still LAN parties worldwide, both large and small. Some enjoy this technology style, while some enjoy the novelty of playing on a PC in a room full of friends like their parents did. With the advancement of WiFi and ethernet, these parties have fewer connectivity complications, and large-scale gatherings are now possible with larger network switches.
The Necessary Equipment
An event that brings together multiple people requires numerous pieces of gear. The equipment you will need to host a LAN party includes specific items and general furniture for everyone. Some people will bring their equipment depending on the party or the game you play, but it is always good to coordinate with everyone to have a smooth event regardless of who brings what.
Tables and Chairs
Every person at the LAN party will need a place to sit and place their computer or laptop. Depending on the type of monitor, computer, or console, you will want different levels of tables. For example, a LAN party with PCs and monitors will need sturdy tables with thick legs for support.
Multiple large metal desks are a reliable idea because they are durable, heat resistant, and wide enough to fit two people per desk on opposite sides potentially. The chairs need extreme comfort since the gamers will stay seated for a while, and using chairs with thicker upholstery will support them for more extended periods, especially when they may game for literal days.
PCs or Consoles
Among the most essential equipment you will need to host a LAN party is the computing system for your game. The computer you use will need strength in its connection. It will need good output signals and receive input signals just as quickly. PCs will have more WiFi capabilities, while laptops will have better wireless connections.
In the past decade, gaming consoles have improved their connectivity via wireless or ethernet. These devices are great for gaming and offer their benefits, and PCs are usually easier to acquire given their commonality.
Consoles are harder to have in mass since there are people who cannot afford a specific console. Sticking to a party with laptops or PCs is best as these are regular pieces of technology that numerous people use.
Without ethernet cables, a LAN party would become a moot point. The cable connects your devices, such as computers or consoles, to the internet. For LAN parties, ethernet cables are better for speed and connectivity because the cable acts as a direct line to the internet.
WiFi is sent in waves and may slow down due to other frequencies in the air or because of multiple objects in the way. But with the ethernet cable, the signals are sent directly from one device to another. If you want to prepare for any broken cords, buy bulk ethernet cables for the party.
There are different versions of etherenet cables that will help with connectivity. The Cat5e is a common option for gaming setups and computers. It transfers about 1,000 Megabits per second and protects the connection against crosstalk. With this cable, your party won’t have any interference between cables. The Cat6 and Cat8 are great options as well, offering faster transferring of bits and a wider bandwidth to reach more devices.
This device is a unique piece of technology that will save energy and resources by combining the capabilities of two devices. An ethernet switch is a type of internet switch with multiple ethernet ports for cables. It acts as a router that allows whatever is connected to it to connect to the internet and other devices. Using this device will free up a lot of space by decreasing the number of ethernet cords spreading in multiple directions.
Power Strips or Generators
Whether they be the computer or ethernet switch, the devices you use will require power for long periods. Powerstrips and surge protectors will supply energy to your devices and protect against potential fires. A common mistake people make with large amounts of electronics is they don’t realize that each item plugged in will increase the chance of a fire.
A generator is also a good option if you want to keep the power source in a singular spot. Connecting extension cords or power strips to a generator will assist in the prevention of a power surge. A surge may laed to a trip in the circuit breaker and the power shutting offruining the fun for everyone.
Although this isn’t a piece of equipment, it is necessary for people who will remain in one spot focusing on a screen for an extended period. Keep a readily available water supply for all the gamers; the room will have a high temperature from the running machines, and sweating will likely occur. Have food available that will keep the energy up.
LAN parties are an exciting gathering of people that love to game and be with their friends. And for a successful LAN party, you will need the best equipment for the occasion.