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1. Hardware Requirements

You will need the following:
  • Sega Dreamcast Console
  • Dreamcast VMU (Memory Card)
  • Network Compatible Game (see our Online Game List)
  • For Dialup:
    • Dreamcast Dialup Modem (33k or 56k)
    • Standard Telephone Cable
  • For Broadband:
    • Broadband Adaptor (Model HIT-0400 or HIT-0401)
    • Standard Ethernet Cable
    • Router or ICS setup (Required in most cases)

2. Network Adapters

33k Modem Early Japanese Dreamcasts, and all PAL Region Dreamcasts were stocked with a 33k modem. If you live in Europe, playing online with fellow PAL players should work fine with a 33k modem. Low Bandwidth games such as Phantasy Star Online and Starlancer work fine online with the 33k modem. However if you are looking to increase your performance when playing Quake 3 against North American users, purchasing a 56k modem is highly recommended.
56k Modem Most Japanese Dreamcasts, and all North American Dreamcasts were stocked with a 56k modem. These modems perform much better than their 33k counterparts, and can be installed on a Dreamcast of any region.
LAN Adapter - MODEL HIT-0300 Released in Japan in 1999, this model shipped bundled with a web browser. The HIT-0300 is not compatible with any official Dreamcast software other than the web browser it ships with. It does not work with any commercial games. The HIT-0300 uses a Fujitsu chipset on a proprietary bus. It is only capable of transferring data at a maximum 10mbps.
BROADBAND Adapter - MODEL HIT-0400/HIT-0401 This model was released in both Japan and the US, hence the 2 model numbers. Both are the same. They are compatible with all commercial Dreamcast games supporting Broadband capabilities, and can connect to any Dreamcast console from Japan, North America or PAL Regions. This model is built with a Realtek 8139 chip on a simple PCI-esque interface. It is supported by NetBSD, Linux, DCPlaya(alpha), and other misc homebrew utilities. Note: specific drivers are needed to use this device with linux/netbsd. Only use if you have experience with these OS's on a PC, and a working knowledge of traversing these operating systems while running them on a sega dreamcast. The Broadband Adaptor is capable of speeds up to 10/100Mbps.

The Dreamcast's modem can be found on the back right side of the console (if looking at it from the front). If you see a large chunk of your Dreamcast missing, then you need to re-purchase a dreamcast modem. Once you have located the modem connector on the back of the Dreamcast, plug one end of the telephone cord into your Dreamcast, and the other into the phone socket on your wall.

The Broadband Adaptor goes in the same slot that the modem is connected to. In order to install the BBA you will have to remove the dialup modem, and connect the BBA. Owning a Router is recommended. If you plan to surf the internet from a Dreampassport Browser, or play Phantasy Star Online via your BBA, you will need to connect your Dreamcast to a Router or a PC running ICS (Internet Connection Sharing).

3. Configuration Settings (Dialup)

The Dreamcast needs to be configured with your ISP information to sign onto the internet. Once entered it will be saved to the Dreamcast's internal memory.

You can use any of the following to configure your dialup ISP settings:
  • DreamPassport (Japan)
  • Dreamkey 3.0 (Europe)
  • PlanetWeb Browser ver 1.x/2.x/3.0 (North America)
  • XDP Browser Pack
  • 4x4 Evolution (NTSC-U/C)
  • NBA 2K1 (NTSC-U/C)
  • NFL 2K1 (NTSC-U/C)
  • POD Speedzone (NTSC-U/C)
  • Quake 3 Arena (NTSC-U/C)
  • Unreal Tournament (NTSC-U/C)
The Dreamcast has multiple ISP fields, 2 for PlanetWeb, and multiple others for Dreampassport, and Broadband settings as well. Different games / browsers have the capabilities to alter different ISP settings. Be aware of this when configuring your Dreamcast, especially when configuring 4x4 Evolution.

If you have entered your ISP information correctly you should be able to get online without any problems.

4. Configuration Settings (Broadband)

For Broadband, the Dreamcast needs to be configured with your ISP information to sign onto the internet. Once entered it will be saved to the Dreamcast's internal memory.

You can use any of the following to configure your Broadband Adaptor:
  • DreamPassport 2.x/3.x (Japan)
  • Broadband Passport (DreamPassport 2.x)
  • XDP (DreamPassport 3.x)
  • PlanetWeb Browser ver 3.0 (North America)
  • POD Speedzone - US/NTSC
  • Quake 3 Arena - US/NTSC
  • Unreal Tournament - US/NTSC
  • SegaAM2 BBA Config Tool (Outtrigger/Propeller Arena)
To have your Dreamcast automatically retrieve an IP on the local network, set the IP, Subnet, Gateway, and DNS entries to "". This is the standard configuration for accessing a DHCP server, which will automatically assign your Dreamcast with the necessary information upon connecting.

For Phantasy Star Online you must use a Broadband compatible release of Dreampassport to configure your BBA settings. SegaAM2's BBA config tool "might" work on a previously configured Dreamcast. However on a Dreamcast that has had it's internal memory reset via PlanetWeb 1.x, it will not configure the Dreamcast properly for Phantasy Star Online.

If you wish to connect directly into the DSL/Cable modem via PPPoE compatible software, you will need to fill out all of the required fields on the Broadband Setup screen. Information such as GateWay, Subnet, and DNS Servers can be retrieved from the network connection settings on your PC. If your DSL service requires you to log in before accessing the Internet, then you have PPPoE. PSO and DreamPassport only have support for DHCP and Static IP. They do not have support for PPPoE which is required in order to configure and play your Dreamcast when directly connected to a DSL/Cable modem. Quake 3 Arena and PlanetWeb Browser 3.0 do have PPPoE support, in addition to DHCP and Static IP.

Interfacing with a Router or ICS Try setting your Dreamcast up with your current router. Your Dreamcast should connect, but if you run into some unstable network problems such as disconnects, you might want to look into buying a new router. We recommend routers by LinkSys. In general use it has been learned that they are more compatible with online console gaming than other router brands. The LINKSYS BEFSR41 is the cheapest 4 port router available as of this writing.

If you do not wish to purchase a router, you can setup ICS (Internet Connection Sharing). You will need a computer with 2 network cards installed. Also, you will need a specific cable connection way to connect the Dreamcast to the PC. You have 2 options, and which one you choose will depend on what hardware you currently have available.
  • Crossover Cable: A cross over cable is just like an Ethernet cable, however the CTS (clear to send) and RTS (ready to send) lines are crossed over. This is the cheapest solution, if you order a crossover cable online. Buying it from an electronics store often costs double.

  • Network HUB + 2 Ethernet Cables: Connect the PC to the slot on the far right (usually slot 4), while connecting the Dreamcast to one of the remaining slots. Next you will need to toggle a switch from Normal to Uplink. This is essentially the same setup as a cross over cable.
Click Here for a step by step process on setting your PC up for Internet Connection Sharing.
Using a PC-DC Server to route Dialup games over Broadband To get your Dreamcast to play online games over Broadband, without a Dreamcast Broadband Adaptor, you will need to setup what is known as a PC-DC server. It involves connecting a Dreamcast via its built in modem to a PC modem, routing the data onto a broadband connection. This is a solution for those looking to play their Dreamcast online who do not own a broadband adaptor or have access to a dialup internet service.

Note: This is a very technical process, and is primarily for those who have a working knowledge of networking and are capable of troubleshooting technical problems on their own. We have a very detailed working guide here at OnlineConsoles. It should get you setup if you follow the guide exactly. If you run into any problems, feel free to discuss them in our Support forums.

Click Here to visit our PC-DC guide for the Windows98 operating system.

5. Improving Network Performance

For dialup connections, use a phone line filter to eliminate noise on the telephone line. You can get one at any Radio Shack. Just go up to the associate, and say "I need a P.O.T.S. filter", and he should know what you are talking about.

6. Notes on Dialup ISP's

The best option for dialup is to pay for a real dialup ISP. You can find cheap ISP's that range from 5.95-9.95 a month.

If you have broadband internet, you could have free monthly hours that come with your DSL/Cable package. Check your Broadband ISP's website, or call the customer support line to see if you have free dialup with your broadband internet service. Earthlink offers a limited amount of free dialup hours per month, and SBC offers unlimited dialup access with their DSL service.

It is possible to use a Free Dialup ISP. Some work is involved to find a working ISP. This method is not recommended to get online regularly, since many Free ISP's accounts have poor connections or get dropped after a few months. However, for many people this is their only option. You should not base the success/failure of taking your DC online for the first time when using a Free ISP, because some ISP's restrict internet access to just websurfing. You might be doing everything correct when configuring your Dreamcast, but the Free ISP may be incompatible.

NOTE: America Online's dialup service will not work with the Dreamcast.

7. Setting up your Dreamcast for POP3 email, and Sega Swirl

People tend to use a Free POP3 account, and are able to receive email, but are unable to send. They assume that the POP3 account is not compatible with the Dreamcast. This is not true. ISP's generally block off port 25, forcing you to use their own specific SMTP server. To use a POP3 email account on your Dreamcast you must enter the POP3 address supplied by your email provider, and your ISP's SMTP address.

If you are using a Free ISP, odds are that you will not be able to find the proper SMTP server.

Setting up your POP3 email account properly is required in order to play Sega Swirl online.
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