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VB Tutorial

     Ok, for all those confused people out there, especially people that want to attend the LAN parties myself and my friend G.L. host, I'm going to explain to the full extend of my useful knowledge of what a LAN (Local Area Network) is and a LAN Party is.

1.) LAN:
It's free, first off all.  Or I should say there isn't a monthly fee or anything.  It's a way of linking computers in a house, office building, or whatever together to share files, folders, chat, and communicate with out the need for an internet connection.  The most common form of the home LAN is either wireless or ethernet.  Ethernet is the cable form of the typical LAN.  All computers on the network link to a central hub (now called switches) and this switch routes all network traffic to other computers.  LAN's are typically faster than most home based internet connections.  A typical cable internet connection is around 1.5 megabits/sec.  A slow form of ethernet is 10 megabits/sec while most are 100 megabits/sec.  56k users operate at a theoretical 56 kilobits/sec, never actually achieving that speed due to FCC limitations.

A Diagram of a LAN network:

You can also share an internet connection with this technique.  You would thus hook the switch into a router.  This router directs internet traffic the computer(s) need out into the internet.  It's like a sign telling all the computers on the network that wants to know where the internet is.  It also serves as a security device (AKA firewall) for everything inside the LAN.  Outside the LAN is called WAN (Wide Area Network).  That's the sheer basics of a LAN.

2.) LAN Party

This is where you get a bunch of friends with their computers, and you all play games on a LAN.  LAN's reduce lag by factors of 10, make easier to communicate between each other, and a bunch of other things I haven't thought of.  It also allows easier connectivity for the players.  You all have a bunch of different games, each having a copy to him or herself.  Yes you do bring your own computer...So there you have it.