DreamPi! Not only does DreamPi support every game, but it's far easier to set up and more reliable than a PC-DC server, much cheaper than a broadband adapter, and has a faster connection speed than a real dial-up connection. In addition, it has many refinements to make connecting to the private game servers easier and supports the Dreamcast Now service which tells you who's online and what they're playing. To see a full comparison of all the different connection methods, please see the Connection Guide.
DreamPi is custom software created by Luke Benstead for the Raspberry Pi which takes your high speed internet service and converts it into a dial-up connection which can be used by the Dreamcast. It also has many additional bits of software built-in which makes getting connected much easier and adds features such as Dreamcast Now. You can think of it as tiny, much more refined and polished PC-DC server.
Sure! Check out the Dreamcast Live Shop where you can purchase complete DreamPi kits. You can also just purchase a line voltage inducer which is the only part that requires soldering.
The recommended modem is the Dell NW147. This same modem is also sold as the Lenovo RD02-D400. They both use the Conexant RD02-D400 chipset. It's not recommended to purchase an unbranded modem even though they look very similar. Many are not compatible and it's impossible to tell them apart.
Yes. While the model A Dreamcast modem itself doesn't require line voltage, the USB modem on the Pi does.
No. You're going to get 33k speeds regardless of your Dreamcast modem as you're limited to the upload speed of the USB modem, which is 33k. It wouldn't really matter regardless since most Dreamcast games are P2P, which means you're uploading information to other players at 33k and they're uploading information to you at 33k.
Yes you can! Check out my video tutorial here which explains how to configure a USB Wi-Fi dongle for use with DreamPi. This same process applies to the Raspberry Pi 3's built-in Wi-Fi.
Check out my DreamPi video tutorial at the 10:11 mark for instructions on how to set your username and avatar on Dreamcast Now.
The broadband adapter was released late in the Dreamcast's life so many games simply don't support it. Out of the 14 games that you can currently play online, only 4 support the broadband adapter. It's also very rare and expensive. Unless you're hardcore into Quake III Arena and want the best connection speed possible in order to dominate your opponents, it's simply not worth the price.
Yes but your experience will vary depending on the ISP you choose. The main issue you may run into is that some ISPs will ignore your DNS preference and use their own. A specific DNS server is required by many games in order to redirect them from the now defunct official servers to the new private servers. In addition to this, the connection speed will be slower and you'll experience more lag than with the other connection methods like DreamPi or a PC-DC server.
No. Using dial-up through a VOIP service will add a lot of latency to the connection and will cause frequent connection issues and disconnects, if you can even connect at all.
Not really. You have to keep in mind that these games were designed to be played over a 33k/56k dial-up connection so they actually play very well over that connection speed. While you may experience noticeable lag when playing with people from other countries, this is true of high speed connections as well.
You can think of a DNS server as the address book of the internet. Every server on the internet has an IP address but rather than having to remember something like 22.214.171.124, we have easy-to-remember domain names such as www.google.com. Whenever you type in a domain name into your web browser, it looks it up on a DNS server and finds the IP address. So how does this apply to online Dreamcast games you ask? Well when a game tries to connect to a server, it looks up the server's domain name in order to find its IP address. This is a problem when the server no longer exists and the domain name is still owned by someone (in most cases Sega). This is why we create our own custom DNS server which will tell the games where the new private servers are instead of the long-gone official servers.
You can find a full list of games that are playable online here under "Online Now".
Absolutely! Work is being done to bring back many of the Dreamcast's online games. Keep an eye out on the News page for all the latest announcements and check the "Coming Soon" section of the Games page which shows which games are likely to come back soon.
We have a good size community of people playing online regularly. There are currently over 200 players listed on Dreamcast Now (which is only counting players using DreamPi) and that number is constantly growing. There regular games played every week (see schedule here) and people playing randomly most nights and weekends.