How To Set Up A Wi-Fi Network To Play LAN Games With Your Neighbors

Karl L. Gechlik 20-04-2010

how do i set up a wifi connectionIn this article I’m going to detail how to set up Wi-Fi to play networked games.  I have some friends that live in my apartment building. They wanted to set up a home network Everything You Need to Know About Home Networking Setting up a home network is not as hard as you think it is. Read More LAN so that we would be able to play games together without having to play over the Internet. We love playing fast paced games together like DOOM 3 or Quake 4.


We each have different Internet connections. Personally I have a 15/MBit connection to the Internet but some of my friends had slow DSL hookups and one of them was even on dial-up! Can you imagine that people are still using dial-up where broadband is available? Talk about a blast from the past!

So connecting over the Internet to play was just out of the question. We needed a faster connection!

how do i set up a wifi connection

The next step was to figure out a way to connect all of them to the same network without running cables from apartment to apartment. We decided to use Wi-Fi. Most of the apartments were close together. They would be able to access a central wireless router in an apartment near the middle. But we had one apartment that was not getting a very good signal two floors up.

how to set up wifi

In determining how to set up this WiFi network, I could have upgraded to a Wireless N router from the wireless G router I was using but all of the machines except one only had 802.11G adapters. So to keep things simple and cheap we stuck with the 802.11G. Then I was able to throw a Range Extender How To Set Up A WRE54G Range Extender On A Home Network Read More into the mix and boost his connection and after a few hours of trial and error we were able to get our game going from the comfort of each of our respective homes.

how to set up wifi

I will walk you through how how to set up this WiFi network.

Your first job will be to find the central point between all of the houses or apartments. Take an educated guess and try it out. We want a central point so all the machines will get the best wireless signal possible. We will then put a wireless router in that central location. You want both antennas on your router pointing in different directions and away from walls or other obstructions.

Remember this has nothing to do with your Internet connection so this will be a totally separate network. We will set up the wireless router to broadcast a SSID (Service Set Identifier). Name it something that you will easily be able to recognize. Then set up any security protocol of your choice like WPA or WPA2 to protect your network from outsiders.

After setting up the wireless router, turn on the other computers that will want to connect to your wireless LAN to play. If they do not have wireless cards in them you will need to purchase or acquire one for each machine. Scan for wireless networks and see what kind of signal you are getting from the router. If you have more than 3 bars you are golden.

You can see an example of the wireless network selection box below. The first network listed is my Internet connection and the one at the bottom with the 3 bars is the router that was set up four doors down. I have three bars to connect to it and it works wonderfully.

how to set up wifi

If you do not have at least 3 bars you can try moving the router to another location or adding a range extender. You can follow this post on how to set up a range extender. How To Set Up A WRE54G Range Extender On A Home Network Read More What that will do is take the weakest point of your new network and boost it. The extender will be broadcasting for your wireless router and relaying the information back to it seamlessly.

You can still connect to a network with one or two bars but  you might experience a lag. This means while people are shooting at you – you are a sitting duck waiting for your screen to refresh!

how do i set up a wifi connection

If you already have a wireless connection to the Internet you will need to disconnect from it and connect to your new gaming network (at least while you want to play). If you have a wired Internet connection you should be able to run both connections simultaneously.

When you are all on the same network you will be able to play any type of network game with each other and transfer files as an added bonus! Back when Internet connections were expensive (more so then now anyway) we used this to share not only a network but also Internet access!

How do you set up your WiFi network? Do you do something similar? We would love to hear about it in the comments!

Explore more about: Computer Networks, Ethernet, Multiplayer Games, Wi-Fi.

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  1. Tenzing Kom
    October 4, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Use your mobile hotspot as a router to play offline multiplayer games. Simply connect to the mobile hotspot and create the game and from another pc join...simple ways

  2. Tenzing Kom
    October 4, 2016 at 5:22 am

    You can also use your mobile hotspot to play various offline multiplayer game with your friends. Your mobile also works as a router device.Not sure if it works with all like call of duty, warcraft etc smoothly runs..

  3. Karl L. Gechlik
    June 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    You should set up security on your router.

  4. pragya_decent
    April 27, 2010 at 9:05 am

    nice post !!!
    I would love to play the game DOOM3, but I am little afraid of security issues, don't have much knowledge about routers, do I need extra software/hardware to prevent my network from viruses and unauthorized access ? I have this Router

  5. Karl L. Gechlik
    April 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks for your comments Jenny. I always choose wired Ethernet over WiFi when I can for the reasons you stated. But I also was unable to run cables between apartments in the above scenario!

    • EATmyA$$!!!
      June 4, 2010 at 6:11 am

      Wireless N is pretty darn fast dude. At home, my PS3, PC and Mac have nearly identical speeds wired or wireless.

  6. Jenny
    April 20, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Wired LAN is faster and much more secure, since you're not broadcasting anything through the air. That means anyone who wants on your network needs a lin connection, they can't just park in your driveway and get on it.
    Wireless LAN is near painless to set up though. No wiring needed and you can have a network up and running in no time. It's also not that hard to make it fairly secure through use of passcodes and such. Play a game of chess against various chess engines or another local or onlin… are hundreds of famous games you can analyze and... player network playing over LAN or Internet is also...