Monday, May 30, 2011

Lag Switches

An Epic Lag Switch

Hey folks, Epic again bringing you another beastly tutorial.

Today we're going to be discussing "lag switches", you've probably heard of them, but I'll be covering exactly what they do and how they work, then I'll teach you a few ways of making your own lag switch in a Do-It-Yourself tutorial!

What is a lag switch?

A lag switch is a mechanism installed on a home network that allows you to insert delays into the flow of local traffic to the Worldwide Web and other networks.

This basically means, its a mechanism (a device, a switch, a machine, an object) that would allow you to create "lag" (slow down the connection) between local users (like people playing a video game) to the Worldwide Web (the connection that bridges the local users and brings them together). 

To understand that, you must first understand a very simple concept:

All users have a "LAN" or Local-Area-Network, this is a connection created by their router that they can connect to. The router then sends and receives signals from the larger "Worldwide Web" that connects these smaller networks together.

What can I do with a lag switch?

Well, there's plenty of things you can do with a lag switch. You can learn more about them in other tutorials, but the most common one is to create lag for your opponents.

When you play a video game online you are sometimes set to "host", this basically means your console becomes set up to take in commands from other users, and then display the results back to them. In some games there are dedicated servers, but in many games, like Call of Duty games, there are hosts.

Now, a lag switch works by disrupting the flow of information from your console (the host) to the Worldwide Web, thus delaying the results that other users would receive.

For example, if you ran past someone in a first person shooter with a lag switch on, they may not notice until you've turned around and killed them (because of the delay of results). Often times, this causes kiddies to scream wildly and commit a phenomenon known as "rage quit". 

Most of the time "lag" is unintentional, however with a lag switch, we can intentionally cause lag for our opponents, thus giving us the upper hand in any fight we may be in.

How do I get a lag switch?

There's multiple options for lag switches, some work better or longer than others, and some are cheaper and easier than others. The easiest option is simply to purchase one, but usually the sellers are frauds, and the deal is a scam, also, you can't necessarily guarantee high quality work.

How do I make my own lag switch?

Fear not! Lag switches are relatively easy to make. Some people advise you to use phone applications that can cause lag, or just start loading a large YouTube video. Sometimes this will work, but even if it does, its a short term solution.

The best method requires that you use an Ethernet cable to connect to the Worldwide Web, and that you have easy access to your cable.

I will provide you with a text guide, and a video guide on YouTube, I would suggest you watch/read both.

  • A ethernet cable (prefferably 5M)
  • Wire strippers (not needed)
  • A switch of some sort
  • Electrical tape or Duct tape (optional but recommended)
  • Soldering iron & solder (optional, not needed)

1. Get your Ethernet cable and find roughly the middle.

2. Get your wire strippers/knife (or you can use your teeth and bite part of the cable), then you can peel away the casing with your fingers. You should see a wad of wires like this:

3. Peel away a decent amount of casing to make sure you have enough wire to work with.

4. Locate the SOLID ORANGE wire.

5.Cut the orange wire and separate it from the white wire.

6. Strip the orange wire, revealing the copper wire underneath.

7. Connect the copper wire around the metal connecters on the switch. 
Securely connect them by soldering them or tightly wraping the wire around it. If you use a light switch you simply wrap it around. I used that switch for mine, but many others use switches.

8. Secure everything and tape up: exposed wires, etc. Make sure there are no loose connections.

Video Tutorial:
credit to Household Hacker of YouTube for this video tutorial

Want a challenge?

Remove the switch from the lag switch so you just have the wire, take apart your controller and drill a hole in the case of your controller big enough for a button (that you would have already purchased). Then put the button in the controller and attach the wire to the button (you're going to need a controller that can be kept close enough to your gaming console). This will allow you to lag-on-demand by pressing the button for lag right on your controller. No hassles.


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