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OCAU First Time LAN Guide!

From OCAU Wiki

Due to popular demand here is some info for the first-time LAN attendee. Hope it clarifies a few things. Enjoy!


Whats a LAN?

Ok firstly it might help to explain what a LAN actually is. (LAN = Local Area Network) To put it simply it’s an organized event where computer enthusiasts gather to socialize, play games, share data via a network etc. (thus the title)

Are There Any Variations?

Two broad types of LAN:

Private – These are commonly conducted by an individual at his/her own house with the individual inviting their friends as space and equipment permits. May or may not be internet-based, depending on infrastructure available.

Public/Business – The more common of the two, this type is generally run by a business at larger commercial premises. Internet availability is very common here.

Duration: Unique to each LAN, but as a guide; Private – one night/or whenever the home owner gets sick of you lol; Public – Typically run longer, generally 2-3 days.

What To Bring/Do

Recommend Equipment

Individual (for both Private or Public LANs)

  • PC case (small toolkit with e.g. Screwdriver etc may be useful also)
  • Monitor
  • PC power cable, monitor power cable, monitor dvi/vga cable, reputable power board
  • Keyboard + Mouse (if wireless bring charger and/or docking station) + mouse pad
  • Headphones (a headphone extension cable is often useful too)
  • Microphone
  • Network cable (recommend minimum of 10metres to limit any difficulty with reach; and bring two if you have them – depending on setup people are known to back their chair over them…or your mate will forget his)
  • Operating System Install Disc
  • Game discs (can’t stress enough to patch and run the game(s) the night before so ALL people have the latest version)
  • Backup disc with ALL necessary drivers should the worst happen
  • PC or laptop case lock (recommended for added security)
  • Blank CDs and/or DVDs (very useful if you’re running out of space)
  • External HDD (again useful for backup and extra storage)
  • Eye drops (trust me they’re a godsend after 24hrs awake)
  • Sleeping bag/pillow (I’d recommend some sleep no later than 3am if you don’t want to be a zombie the next day)
  • Food/drink (water and healthy food is preferable as many will come to realise)
  • Deodorant (pretty self explanatory…so your mates don’t kick you out because you stink so bad)
  • LAN bag (not mandatory but very useful for transportation of pc and all other equipment)
  • Money (yes bring some cash)

LAN Host


This is in addition to that needed by the individual above


  • Hub/Router (10/100 minimum, gigabit recommended if funding allows; number of ports needed will depend on size of LAN)


  • Strong home power supply (3-phase recommended if you don’t want to loose power after a few pc’s are setup; a room with appropriate power points should also be considered)
  • Tables and chairs (a spacious, well lit environment with air-con is desirable)
  • Extra network cables, power boards and extension leads are also useful
  • Plan some suggestions for food. Either have a BBQ area ready or discount vouchers to your local pizza shop.
  • Clear some space in your fridge (or make sure you have an esky of ice avaliable). No one likes a warm glass of coke/jolt/red bull.

Extra Tips/Recommendations:

  • Check your PC and all components are running fine (also charge wireless mice etc)
  • Prior to the LAN it’s often a good idea to run spyware/adware programs and defrag your hdd
  • In addition, ensure you have antivirus protection completely updated and running. Also ensure your Operating System has ALL the latest updates.
  • As mentioned earlier, patch all programs/games to the latest version
  • Free up as much hdd space as possible
  • Double check you have everything BEFORE and AFTER leaving (had a mate forget his keyboard/mouse three LANs in a row haha)
  • Creating a list of all items taken and ticking each off before leaving is also a good practice to follow

Security Tips

  • Try to go with some friends and setup next to them for added security
  • If still paranoid then have your pc case locked and put any expensive extras e.g. headphones in your bag and out of site
  • Laptop owners: purchase the special lock that allows you to secure your laptop to the desk
  • Limit administrative rights, password protect your computer, limit file/folder sharing, and run a firewall/virus protection

I hope I’ve provided a pretty comprehensive guide, feel free to note anything I’ve missed and I’ll add it. First and foremost however, get out there and have some fun!

More Information

Related Wiki LAN Pages LAN Index, LAN Party, Traveling to a LAN event, Running A LAN.


  • OzJustin - original thread starter

Other Contributers:

    • Biterphobia
    • Killing Time
    • h0uSe
    • camjoenz
    • AMLagonda
    • Arachnadactly
    • Cyanpixie

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