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LAN Attendee's Guide

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. 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.

*Note: Some of the below steps may be slightly different on you Operating System.

Windows XP:
To do this you must be connected to the internet. Simply click "Start", "Run" and then type in "wupdmgr" and hit enter. This will open a webpage that will take you through the updating process. Simply scan for and install the critical Windows updates to add extra protection for your PC.

Windows Vista/7:
As with Windows XP, you much be connected to the internet. Click “Start” and type in “Update” find “Windows Update”. Before you jump into selecting the update make sure you click on “Check for Updates” on the left hand panel. Make sure all Critical Updates are installed, then restart and check again.

So now it's safe for you to connect to the network, next there's a couple of things to check to ensure you will have access to the networks games and resources. After all, that is the entire point of attending.

In order to receive an IP address, a unique number assigned to your computer to identify it on the network, your computer must be configured to obtain an address automatically. You can easily check this in your network card's TCP/IP properties, which can be found by following the below instructions:

Windows XP: • Right click on "My Network Places" and select "Properties".
• Right click on "Local Area Connection" and once again select "Properties".
• On the "General" tab of the properties box, scroll down until you find "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)". Double click this.
• On this screen both "Obtain an IP address automatically" and "Obtain DNS server address automatically" should both be checked.
• Now just click "OK" until all the dialogue boxes are closed. Job done.

Windows Vista/7: • Click “Start” • Right click on “Network” and select “Properties”.
• Click on “Change adapter Settings” in the left hand panel.
• Right click on “Local Area Connection” and select “Properties”.
• Find “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and double click this.
• On this screen both "Obtain an IP address automatically" and "Obtain DNS server address automatically" should both be checked.
• Now just click "OK" until all the dialogue boxes are closed. Job done.

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 gaming. We recommend installing any games that are likely to be played ahead of time and ensuring you have the latest version installed. Game updates can be downloaded from the website of the company who released them or from a patch repository such as www.ausgamers.com or www.fileplanet.com. If you don't know what games to expect, this can usually be found in the LAN's discussion thread.

Now you should be well prepared to experience the exhilaration of computer gaming LANs at their best...that is assuming you haven't over looked the necessity of a network card...

As a recommendation, users should also turn off XP's ability to auto search for network shares and printers. This can affect people when you connect to a network and your machine is requesting info from them (especially if they are gaming). This is done as follows:

• Open up any Windows Explorer window (whether you open a folder, a network share, whatever...)
• Go to Tools - Folder options. From there, select the View tab. The first option in the lower list is 'Automatically search for network folders and printers'. Untick this box and Apply.


Last Updated on Thursday, 03 May 2012 23:06