How many times have you tried to yell out to your fellow first-person gamers to warn them about an impending danger only to have your cries fall on deaf ears? Tired of your teammates not hearing your last minute instructions before you engage the competition? Then you may need to upgrade your VoIP (Voice over IP) group communication software. Ventrilo (think ventriloquist), one of the leaders in the group VoIP industry, gives users the ability to connect up to eight players via the Web. While it can’t promise to improve your shooting accuracy, Ventrilo can help you and your brothers in the trenches interact thanks to its surround sound software.
There are three ways you can use the VoIP service: hosting your own Ventrilo server on your PC, renting a hosting package from a gaming server, or installing it on a traditional web hosting provider.
On Your Personal Computer
The most popular way to use Ventrilo is on your home computer. However, having eight individual channels coming in and out of your router is going to put some serious demands on your bandwidth—not to mention the internal storage on your personal gaming system. Plus, you might need a special configuration for your router or modem, as well. However, you <em>can</em> download the eight-user software directly from Ventrilo to your home computer and connect with your fellow gamers.
On a Gaming Server
Knowing the feasibility of getting a high-quality connection and still having bandwidth for gameplay is a combination most computers simply don’t possess, Ventrilo makes a pro version of its software available to rent via a network of gaming hosts across the globe, with about a dozen or so in the U.S. For the most up-to-date list of Ventrilo server hosting providers, refer to the company’s website.
On a Traditional Server
Most sources—Ventrilo’s website included—will tell you that you can’t download the software to a hosted server provider because Ventrilo is not an actual webpage. The best Ventrilo host is your own personal server which you manage yourself. Since that is a luxury most cannot afford, some forums have discovered a way to put Ventrilo on a traditional hosting provider.
Thanks to its use of extensions, the Joomla content management system might be able to house the Ventrilo software. That said, you’ll need to have a hosting account that supports the popular CMS. From your Joomla control panel, simply download the Ventrilo software. Once downloaded, you can then open your extension manager and install Ventrilo onto the server. In the setup wizard, select the proper IP and port then publish it to your site. Then, turn on your wireless headsets, round up the gang, and start hunting down virtual enemies of the state.
While there is no single method that is going to work universally for all situations, you should have a way to set up Ventrilo as your VoIP gaming communication system with the three options above.
If you want to learn more about VoIP, how servers work, or other hosting topics, check out our informative Web hosting guide.