Commencing Brain Thoughs...3...2...1...

It's a little known fact that due to the nature of electro-magnetism and gravity (very short version) we do not touch anything. Our feet can't actually come in contact with the ground since those particles differ from that of the surface. The electro-magnetic force pushes back at many times greater strength than that of gravity, holding us up away from the opposing particles below. The same is true for any differenciating group of particles on the quantum level. So, your feet don't touch your socks, your socks can't touch your shoes and your shoes don't touch the ground. You're suspended in space, apart from all matter...Spiralling, spinning...And it raises the biggest question..."So...How does lotion work?"

Friday, July 15, 2011

LAN Ho! - Multiplayer Access and LAN Group

Aside from my ten googolplex hobbies, I love to have the guys over for LAN parties. It's amazing to me that search after search provides no results for the following questions:

The term LAN indicates local gaming usually in the same room. Why is it so difficult to find a schema for LAN / XBox Live optimum connections? I have a Belkin N / Wireless 4 port router and any type of hub and Lynxys router you can think of. What is THE BEST configuration model for a local group of 4 in a LAN to play online with 4 separate boxes, TVs and individual accounts?

What is the best router for this configuration? I've found many articles scratching the surface of the subject but...Is it really that rare in this day and age to incorporate LAN and online groups together?

I get it done now but the connections are sloppy and it seems that one person gets a terrible connection and ends up turning into a bullet sponge.

Suggestions? Schema?


  1. I would like to comment about the broken comments function in this blog! Come on Googlites! We paid $0 for this site and we demand satisfaction!

  2. Agreed... I wanna post! Wait... did I just post?

  3. Hey... can I ask you a question?

    I think last night you had one (or more) playing COD from your house. I guess you figured out how to have an open NAT for all. I'm guessing you have struggled with this yourself.... Care to share the secret?

    My NAT was moderate. The only way I could get it open was to put my xbox in the DMZ. I don't like this solution since if I ever want to have several xboxes on my net play online, there is only one DMZ. Supposedly, opening up UPNP is all you have to do, but mine is turned on in the router, yet I don't believe the xbox see's it, and I don't see a config item in the xbox that turns it on.

    Your thoughts?

  4. Good morning,

    All this time my new Belkin router has not allowed more than one machine to be in the “Open NAT” config. I have not quite figured out 2 things.

    1. Why is CoD the only game that cares whether my NAT is open or not? All of the Halo games connect without issue and do not give such “alerts” to multiplayer match making.
    2. Why don’t my Lynxsys routers or my new Belkin wiless routers acknowledge the term “NAT” in the instructions or settings? Or I guess I could ask, why does CoD use that term?

    To answer your question – I’ve gotten my Belkin router to work twice by changing the settings and opening up the UPNP. It stays open for a while then automatically shuts back up hours later and I have to run the whole sequence again. I’ve tried 2 other times since to get it to even work and it won’t! Tech isn’t supposed to be “moody” or have anything accept a static existence…But the tech around ME seems to have a mind of its own!

    Anyway, when Waterboy was over I decided to try my old Lynxsys and see if I could get both NATs open that way. It worked. I plugged the modem wire into “Internet” on the back and just plugged our 2 machines in from their and they registered as “Open” and went online.

    It wasn’t the best connection though, I could tell.

    Something needs to be invented or a scheme needs to be researched to optimize this nightmare. I’ve been battling this for 7 years. Between the demands from Wifey for a connection while I’m gaming (PC / TV/ Netflix) and solo play and LAN groups I need to accomplish a static configuration instead of scrambling every Friday at the last minute.

    I have 3 Hubs, 2 switches, 3 routers, hundreds of miles of Ethernet cable, 1 modem and 2 IP addresses to try and figure out how to get to work smoothly. At this time, I can only figure out how to gain access to one IP address and I try to feed of this demand through it. Supposedly there is a way to grab that other address but I haven’t figured it out yet.

    As I mentioned in the posting, I can get 3 machines to work in the Lynxsys, the 4th always seems to get hosed on connection speed and the latency is terrible for at least one player.

    I’d love to get this solved!

  5. Part 1

    Why can’t I consistently get an open NAT:

    Answers & Conjectures?

    Ok… so many of us have, at one time or another, wanted to use multiple XBOX’s or PS3’s networked on our personal LAN’s to play online games. And no matter what we do… we end up with the XBOX Moderate NAT indication or the games don’t seem to work correctly. WTF?

    So what is the problem? Well, that’s an easy one. It stems from “unsolicited incoming data packets”.

    What we do know:

    Games (applications) “talk” over the internet by directing their data packets to an IP address, over a known port, using a given protocol. Like IP, port 223, UDP (or TCP). The router manages these packets to make sure they go to the right system. LAN based games work just fine since the local router knows the IP address of the sender, and can return the response to the correct sender. If a packet goes out the router over the internet through its one public external IP
    address, the router appends the sender’s private internal IP address to the packet. Went it receives a packet on the one public external IP address, it strips of the private internal IP address, and then sends the packet to the correct system in local LAN. Therein lies the rub… what happens if the incoming packet was not answering” a “query” packet initially sent from within the local network? In other words, an “unsolicited incoming data packet” was received by the router, but knows
    not which internal IP address to route the packet to.

    Fortunately, if we only have one system running a given game on the internal LAN at one time, we have a plethora of options. They address the issue in different ways.

    How exactly these options work is quite confusing. There is so much information, and dis-information, available on the internet that comprehending it all is extremely difficult. To add to the confusion, certain routers are inherently better at handling NAT (IP sharing) then others… what works on one model of router may not work on another.

  6. Part 2

    Probably the easiest solution is to put the one system in the router’s DMZ. This is a broad brush… ALL unsolicited incoming data packets will go to the system in the DMZ. The down side is the system will be unprotected against intrusions… not yet a big threat for game machines since they are most likely turned off most of the time, but dangerous for computers. This is not a viable solution to multiple networked systems playing the same game online since usually only one system can be in the DMZ at one time.

    Enabling UPNP on the router may be the best solution for one system since it manages Port Forwarding auto-magically. I suspect it works like Port Triggering but my attempts to find out exactly how it works have been unsuccessful. It is most likely subject to the same restrictions described below when using multiple systems on the same network.

    Another solution would be to Port Forward the game’s known ports to one system’s private internal IP Address. Unfortunately you can only forward a given port to one IP address which again limits its usefulness to a single system.

    Port Triggering is very similar to Port Forwarding except that the port forwarding is automatically provisioned in the router when a given system sends on triggered port. The router will then route received packets from the outside to the machine that triggered the port. This is more secure then the port forwarding option as the triggered port will close again after a time limit of non-use preventing intrusion attacks. This is also unviable with multiple systems as it could get quite confusing having multiple systems triggering the same ports at the same time. The router could send packets to the wrong system. It has been said by some people that this method has worked for them. I have had limited success with this method however.

    Port Forwarding, Port Triggering, and DMZ all require implementing static IP addresses on your internal network. I have found that the easiest way to do that is by configuring address reservations in the router rather than changing each network device from DHCP to a static IP address.

  7. Part 3

    What we don’t know:

    I suspect the following order of precedence but have yet to confirm it.

    Single Port Forwarding
    Range Port Forwarding
    Port Triggering
    Where does UPNP fit in? Who knows?

    For instance, it is surmised that if a port is forwarded, it will not go to the DMZ.

    RANT: Sometimes range examples are inclusive, sometime exclusive. Come on people, be consistent!

    In Conclusion

    Ok, so now that I have indicated possible solutions to using single systems on a network, back to the original issue? How do we use multiple systems on a network to play online games without issue? Unfortunately, to date, the only reliable way [I know] is to use multiple public external IP addresses, one for each system. That is not the answer we want I know. Other solutions are hit and miss, mostly miss. But the good news is some providers give you multiple public IP addresses now, but we only use one. NPG cable gives my three. There are ways to implement them, but there must be a home run Ethernet connection to each system. I have posted a similar dissertation on the Playstation Network in 2009 I was going to refer you to, but it has apparently been trashed. I still have the image up at:

    Hopefully the blog allows edit… the intention is to update this as my lies (I mean errors) are discovered!

    Game On!

  8. Unfortunately, there is no option to allow comment editing on this blog site. Thanks for the info Fooser! All of this really is pointing to the need to find (or create) a router that is capable of allowing some very specific settings depending on the setup of each gaming senario. I know that just our basic internet cable service allows for two IP addresses but I can only really use one. Still investigating...

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