I’m going to explain what it is, and not so much on how to set it up on unRAID, because there’s, as we say in Denmark, “no cow on the ice”.
The Game Cache, also know as Steam Cache, is not the name any more. I think the latest name, is the most fitting one, because it’s not only for games. The latest name is LAN Cache.
What is a LAN Cache?
It’s pretty straight forward. Whatever it downloads, it also saves. Wether it’s games from all major places, Steam, Blizzard, Riot Games, Ubisoft and so on, it will save it, and the next time someone wants those files, you don’t even go online anymore, it gets it from the LAN Cache.
It uses the DNS protocol to achieve this.
You want to update whatever game you’re playing on Steam, so you just update it as you normally would do, and you wouldn’t notice anything different.
Then your roomie/GF or who it might be, plays the same game, and updates it the same way you did. They won’t notice anything different, except the speeds (depending on your internet bandwidth) will be a lot higher.
For the sake of the example, let’s presume you have a crappy connection, something like 10/1 Mbit. That means you can download a file with 1,25 MB/s. A 10 GB file will take more than 2 hours.
With a LAN Cache setup, you will run at the speed that your PC’s and network equipment can handle. Most equipment after 2010, will do 1 Gbit without much hassle.
So with 1 Gbit speed, it will take less that 1½ minute.
This is useful in a scenario like this, and at LAN parties, and especially in countries that has a data cap on the internet bandwidth.
How do I set it up?
I’ll explain it, and not do a “how to”.
On unRAID as I use, you grab the docker, give it a fixed IP address, chose the services you want to use, it has pretty much anything, and then you select a drive or array it should use. Most of the time, a regular HDD will do the job, but you can use an SSD if you’d like.
Then you can set the LAN Cache as your DNS on your PC, or just do it directly on your router, so everyone gets it.
I did use a LAN Cache at first, but since I have 600/600 Mbit bandwidth now, and getting 1000/1000 Mbit in october, there’s no point for me, until at get 10 Gbit internal network speed.
For reference, look at their website, they also have great documentation for: