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PS2 Online FAQ - The Basics
Here are some of the most basic questions people have been asking about the Network Adaptor. Before sending in your own PS2 online questions and concerns, PLEASE click here to return to the table of contents and read up on the other sections within this guide. Repeated questions are more likely to be ignored. Thank you.
This section lasted updated: August 20, 2005
1. What kind of monthly fee should I expect to play PS2 games online?
None. Sony Computer Entertainment America says that its own games will be free (i.e. Amplitude, SOCOM II, Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, etc.), however, Sony doesn't want to lose potential online games to the Xbox or Gamecube, so 3rd party companies can charge gamers if they want to. For example, if Electronic Arts decided that it is not making enough money on Madden NFL sales, it could ask people to pay $5 per month to play Madden online. However, something like that is very, very unlikely, so there is no need to worry.
The good news is that the only games that won't be free are online RPG's such as Final Fantasy XI ($12.95/month), EverQuest Online Adventures, and EverQuest Online Adventures: Frontiers. Online RPG's are expensive for companies to create and run, so it is nearly impossible for Square Enix and Sony to offer them without a monthly free. Other genres will stay FREE.
2. Which ISPs work best with getting my PS2 Online?
Nearly every major ISP (Internet Service Provider) in the United States and Canada will work with the Network Adapter. If you use AOL dial-up, AOL DSL, Earthlink, AT&T Worldnet, Comcast, Prodigy, Shaw, or Sympatico, then you will have an easier time getting online with your PS2. If you subscribe to a very small or local ISP, then it is less likely to work with the PlayStation 2.
This does NOT mean that if you have a "no-name" ISP, it won't work with the Network Adaptor. If you have a lesser-known provider, we suggest calling or e-mailing them regarding the PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor before going out and purchasing one. Or you can go and subscribe to a larger ISP, such as Comcast.
Note: As of this update, AOL Cable Broadband still does not work with PlayStation 2 Online or Microsoft Xbox Live service. AOL DSL works though (for more info on AOL DSL, please see the broadband section of this guide). Free/cheap ISPs such as Juno and Netzero 3G do not work either. ISPs such as Juno and Netzero rely on banner ads and special software that MUST be installed on your PC. When you play your PS2 online, there is no way for them to deliver the banner ads to you. Hence, they lose money and there is no way to get the ISP software onto your PS2.
3. I don't own a computer. Can I use the PS2 to go online for free after I buy the Network Adaptor?
No, you still need to subscribe to an ISP (Internet Service Provider) first. Also, you need a PlayStation 2 compatible browser, which probably isn't going to be released in North America. Sony Computer Entertainment America has promised a PS2 internet browser since 2002, but has failed to deliver. To just play games (not surf the net) you need the Network Adapter and an ISP. For the last time, NO COMPUTER IS REQUIRED!
Update: If you purchase a network adaptor and a PlayStation 2 hard disk drive, you can use your PS2 for e-mail via PlayOnline (no monthly fee is required for PlayOnline). This is nice for families who cannot afford a computer, but want to be able to use e-mail.
4. Can I use third-party equipment to play my PS2 online so that I don't need an Official PlayStation 2 Network Adapter?
Yes, but I don't recommend using them. They are less likely to work with newer PS2 games. For example, SOCOM 2 only works with the official PS2 Network Adaptor. After all, Sony prefers that you purchase its adaptor, instead of a 3rd party one. And more and more games are only working with the official adaptor. Just save yourself the hassle and pick-up the official adaptor ($30 to $40). Or you can get a built-in adaptor for free by purchasing the new slim PlayStation 2. Note: I can no longer provide technical support for USB adaptors. Do not e-mail me about them.
5. What type of keyboard and mouse do I need to use with my PS2?
Any USB keyboard and mouse. All modern PCs have USB keyboards and mice, so you can just use those if you want. Most USB keyboards sell for $14.99 to $19.99 (if it's higher than $20, you're probably getting ripped off unless it is wireless). Just make sure you DO NOT get a PS/2 compatible mouse. "PS/2" (note the forward slash) is not the same as "PS2" or "PlayStation 2".
Update: Not all games support a keyboard and/or mouse. However, there is a device called SmartJoy FRAG that allows you to use a keyboard and mice for any PS2 title. Very popular with SOCOM II players. Click here. You can read my review of this item in the 'Review' section of this site.
6. What do I need to install the Network Adapter? Do I need any screw drivers or any other tools?
All you need is a nickel or another coin to screw the Network Adaptor into the expansion bay. Update: The new smaller and more slim PS2 comes with built-in network card. No installation is required, but it does NOT support a hard drive.
7. How much space do I need on my memory card to use the Network Adapter?
Luckily, it's not 2MB like with the DVD drivers. All you need is 137KB of free space on your memory card to store your configuration data. Note: Your network configuration data can only be used on the PlayStation 2 that it was created on. You cannot take your memory card and go over to a friend's house and use your config info -- even if your friend has the exact same Internet Service Provider and setup as you.
8. Do I have to put in the start-up disc every time I want to go online?
No, of course not. The settings are saved onto your memory card. If you lose your start-up disc, or if you bought a used network adaptor and it did not come with a start-up disc, do not worry. Every PlayStation 2 online game has its own network configuration wizard.
9. Can I take rented games online or do I have enter in a serial number that only allows that specific game to work with one PS2?
Rented games work just fine.
10. Is a USB keyboard or mouse required to play online?
No. They just make things a lot easier for most games.
11. Has anyone else made a network adaptor designed for the PS2 besides Sony?
Yes, but we no longer recommend them. Just save yourself the trouble and purchase an official Network Adaptor ($30 - $40). Update: I cannot provide support for unofficial network adapters. Also, the new smaller and more slim PS2 has a built-in network card for both dial-up and ethernet (broadband) connections.
12. Is it normal for a brief orange light to appear inside the vents of my PS2 when I start up my network adapter?
Yes, this is normal. When you get the PS2 hard drive, you see the orange light appear every time that the HDD is being read, much like on a desktop computer or laptop.
13. Can people hack into my PS2 while I am playing it online?
No, there isn't really any useful information on your PlayStation 2 anyway. And no, they can't gain control of your character while you are playing either.
14. Can you list all of the games that can/will go online?
This is not a complete list:
All-Star Baseball 2005 (2 Players) *
* Broadband Connection Required
15. Is it true that some PS2 units have trouble working with the Network Adapter?
A very, very rare number of PlayStation 2's do not work with the Network Adaptor, especially considering that there are millions of North American PS2's out there. Here are the list of serial numbers:
To find the serial number, look onto the back of your console. If you have any of the numbers listed above, call SCEA technical support @ "1-800-345-SONY".
16. Which PS2 games only allow broadband connections to play online?
Please see question #14 for a list of games. If the game you are looking for is not on the list, feel free to e-mail me and I will tell you if it requires broadband or not. Final Fantasy XI does not require a broadband connection, but it takes about 5-6 hours to download updates on dial-up. You only need to download the 5 hour update when you first get the game though. Updates after that typically only take 1-2 hours to download on dial-up. Note: Games that are only broadband compatible have grey "Broadband Only" boxes on the front cover. Needless to say, it is easy to identify a broadband only game.
17. Is it normal for the Network Adaptor to change the function of my PS2's reset button?
Yes. Resetting the system with the network adaptor attached can damage the unit. So it just puts it to sleep instead. Note: You must hold the reset button longer than usual WHILE the Network Adaptor is activated. You should hold it for 6 to 10 seconds before the system will go to sleep. If the Network Adaptor is not in use, then the reset button will function normally.
18. Does the SOCOM headset work with other games?
Yes, it works with Madden NFL 2005, SOCOM II, SOCOM 3, SSX 3, Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, Champions of Norrath: Realms of Everquest, Medal of Honor Rising Sun, Karaoke Revolution, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004, NFL Street, James Bond: Everything or Nothing and much more. NOTE: Not all of the games listed above can go online. SOCOM headset can also be used with a PC running Windows XP.
19. Can I use the network adapter that came with my PS2 Linux Kit to play games online?
20. I have an ISP that requires me to input a username and password. Will I still be able to play PS2 games online?
On the Network Adapter set-up disc, it will ask you if you need a user name and password. Just enter in your info and you're all set. Note: In order to get it to work, some ISPs may require you to enter in your full username with the domain name (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
21. What is DNAS?
DNAS (Dynamic Network Authentication System) is a proprietary authentication system developed by the folks at Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. in Japan. It checks to see the game you are using is not a DVD-R or CD-R copy of a PS2 game. Not only does it check the software, but it also checks your hardware (it can possibly check for cheat devices or mod-chips). For example, if you've been banned from SOCOM II for cheating, this system will stop you from logging in. The data is then sent back to Sony Computer Entertainment America.
22. Can I use my SOCOM headset with my desktop or laptop computer?
Yes. Windows XP will automatically detect the USB headset and install drivers for it.
23. Does the network adaptor package come with a web browser?
No, and it probably never will.
24. I have a network config file saved onto my memory card. When I try and use the configuration file on my friend's PS2, it won't work!
When you create a network configuration file, it only works on the PlayStation 2 that you used to create it, even if the PS2 has the same ISP, router, etc.
25. I lost my Network Adaptor start-up disc. Where can I get another one?
If you lose your start-up disc, or if you bought a used network adaptor and it did not come with a start-up disc, do not worry. Every PS2 online game has its own network configuration wizard.
26. Please list everything I need to get my PS2 online.
Broadband (Cable or DSL):
NOTE: If you have the new slim PlayStation 2, you do not need an official network adaptor!
27. If I have a USB headset, can I make phone calls using a PS2 that is hooked up to the Internet so I can avoid long distance fees?
No, not at this time.
28. I told my ISP that I want my PlayStation 2 to go online and they said I had to pay extra for it! You said it was free!!
It is free. Some ISPs will charge you for each device that accesses the internet because each device that connects at once will usually need its own IP address. It has nothing to do with PS2 online gaming. They will do the same thing if you connect two PCs at once. To get around this, simply purchase a router. This will hide the fact that more than one device is connected to the modem.
29. I connect to the Internet using a satellite on my roof. Can I get my PS2 online with this setup?
Yes, but keep in mind that satellite connections have TERRIBLE upload speeds. Afterall, it has to send data from your house, through the clouds, and into space (or it uses phone lines for uploading). Due to the delay of sending data to satellites in space or using phone lines, satellite connections are not recommended for first-person shooters, racing games, and other fast paced games (including SOCOM 2).
30. I live on a university campus with a very fast connection. Can I play my PS2 online at college?
Maybe, but I don't know how the network at your school is setup. Please contact the network admins at your college.
31. I have a DSL connection of 256Kbps. Is this enough to play SOCOM II?
Yes, you will be able to play, but only with a couple people. 256Kbps is amazingly slow for broadband standards. Luckily, many American providers offer service of at least 1.5Mbps. If you have a large ISP (such as Comcast, Earthlink DSL, SBC, Verizon) but have no idea how fast your connection is, chances are you have a download speed of 3 to 5Mbps, which is definitely enough to handle SOCOM II.
32. How come PS2s in Europe can visit web sites and the ones in North America can't?
I don't know. Maybe legal reasons? Also, Sony Computer Entertainment America and Sony Computer Entertainmetn Europe operate independently of each other, so when something happens overseas (such as a price drop), it doesn't automatically happen in North America.
33. Does the new NetZero 3G work with the PlayStation 2?
It is not compatible, as stated on the official NetZero web site.
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