Monday, April 25, 2011

An addendum to the last post about playing PS3 LAN games over the Internet using a VPN.

In that setup the PS3 was connected to a laptop which was connected via a VPN to the other players. This worked fine, but required two network interfaces. One for the PS3, one for the Internet.

A simpler solution exists. Leave the PS3 and PC connected to the Internet as usual. Create a bridge between the TAP interface and the interface used to connect to the Internet. Follow the other steps in the last post.
This may be slower than the previous setup because the PS3 traffic has to pass through the PC to get to the VPN. It will work though and it takes less setup because you don't need to play with any cables.

Hope you find this usefull. Happy gaming.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

I was looking forward to some Red Dead Redemption this weekend. A five day long weekend and there was even a Triple XP session planned.

Then the PSN went down.

Without the PlayStation Network there is no way to connect with other players over the internet. The only option for multiplayer is a LAN game. A LAN game, however, isn't very convenient if you live a long way from your friends, or don't have a car to transport your TV and PS3.

By creating a Virtual Private Network between players though, you can play a LAN game over the internet. You'll still be able to level up and earn trophies, but you'll only be playing with the people who are part of your VPN.

I'll outline the steps I took to get things setup. Firstly a diagram of how things were connected:
1: Connect the PS3 to the laptop with an ethernet cable.

2: Laptop is connected to the Internet over WiFi to the ADSL router as usual.

3: Download and install n2n. This excellent software will create the VPN. You can read more about it here. I downloaded the Windows version from here.

4: Download OpenVPN, run the installer and select only the "TAP Virtual Ethernet Adapter" option. This will create a virtual network interface which the VPN will use.

5: Create a network bridge between the TAP adapter and the ethernet adapter the PS3 is connected to.

6: Make a list of the IPs you and your friends will be using so you can be sure there are no conflicts. For example:
  • My PS3:
  • My Bridge:
  • Bob's PS3:
  • Bob's Bridge:
  • Sue's PS3:
  • Sue's Bridge:
7: Set the IP of the network bridge.

8: Set your PS3 to use a wired connection and set its IP. Use the IP you set for the bridge as the gateway IP and any other required IPs in the PS3 setup.
Steps everyone does

9[Host Only]: One person in the VPN, the host, needs to run a supernode to handle the VPN connection.
"C:\Program Files\n2n-Win32\bin\supernode" -l 6789
You'll also need to setup a port forwarding rule to allow incoming connections to the supernode. In this example I've used port 6789.

10: Once the host has the supernode running everyone, including the host can connect.
"C:\Program Files\n2n-Win32\bin\edge" -a -c VPNName -k biglongkey -l -m 00:00:00:00:00:00 -r
The -a option should be the IP of your bridge.
The -l option must be the external IP of the host.
The -m option should be the MAC of the bridge.

11: Run your game in LAN mode on your PS3 and have some fun. For Red Dead Redemption you first have to go into single player and then select LAN from the Multiplayer section of the menu. Any game that supports LAN play should work just fine.

I hope this is helpful, drop a comment if you have a question or way of simplifying the process.

It may be possible to get it working with computers with only one network interface and also get DHCP working so you don't need to worry so much about IP conflicts. Depending on how long the PlayStation Network is down for I may do some more tests.

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