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Author Topic: Routers/Firewalls and FSX  (Read 13277 times)

vir19

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Routers/Firewalls and FSX
« on: July 31, 2007, 09:33:49 AM »

I know it's an old subject but I need simple instructions!!

I've recently started flying on-line with bunch of old friends who use FSHost, Teamspeak and FSX for multiplayer sessions.

The sessions are regularly punctuated with cries of "Can everyone make sure their firewalls are OFF, people are getting disconnected". This fills me with alarm and I can't believe it's necessary so I'm posting here to get some simple instructions on how we should all set up our PCs so that no-one gets disconnected and no-one's opening themselves up to hacking.

I guess I'm a good example of the pilots in those sessions: I use a Netgear WPN824 Router with the Windows firewall switched on. I connect to the server using FSHostClient which tells me the port is 23456 and I've already told my Windows Firewall to allow traffic on TCP and UDP ports 23456.

Is there anything else I should do? The documentation for my router implies that I should set up Port Forwarding if I'm hosting the session, which I'm not, but this could simply be bad documentation.

So I guess my questions are these:-

1. Given that I'm not hosting the sessions should I still set up Port Forwarding on my Netgear WPN824 router?
2. If so what IP address do I list against that port, mine or the FSHost server's?
3. Given that FSHostClient lists 23456 as the port in it's Connection dialog is that the only one I need to set or are there others I don't know about?
4. If people are being randomly disconnected is there any way to debug what's causing it? For example does it mean that they're wrongly configured or that someone else is, and they just happen to be suffering the fall-out?

Once again sorry to go over what's certain to be old ground but the youngsters today seem to have an intuition that escapes me!!

Thanks for any help,

All the best

Ian

« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 09:57:11 AM by Russell Gilbert »
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Russell Gilbert

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Re: Routers/Firewalls and FSX
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2007, 08:20:41 AM »

Hi Ian,

Quote
1. Given that I'm not hosting the sessions should I still set up Port Forwarding on my Netgear WPN824 router?

Yes.  Both the host and all players connecting to the session need to forward all the same ports.  This is because of the way the Flight Simulators send data to each other.

Quote
2. If so what IP address do I list against that port, mine or the FSHost server's?

Yours.  What you're doing is essentially telling the router, "Whenever you receive data on this port, send it to the computer running Flight Simulator, and it'll handle it."  Most likely your computer will have both an internal and external IP address, and you want to use the internal one when forwarding the port.  Usually it will begin with 192.168, but some networks are different.  You can find this IP address by opening a DOS/Command window and typing "ipconfig".

Quote
3. Given that FSHostClient lists 23456 as the port in it's Connection dialog is that the only one I need to set or are there others I don't know about?

Here are the ports that need to be forwarded on both the hosting and connecting sides, depending on which version of Flight Simulator you're using:

FS2002:
TCP 47624
UDP 2300 to 2400

FS2004, and FSHostClient for FSX:
UDP 23456
UDP 6073
UDP 2302 to 2400 (not necessary if also forwarding 2300 to 2400 for FS2002)

If you need help with forwarding ports in your particular router, you might take a look at www.portforward.com and then click on "Port Forwarding".  Select your router from the list, and then select one of the "Flight Simulator" versions.  The instructions there only tell you to forward one or two ports, but be sure to follow the same steps to forward all of the ports listed above, depending on which version of Flight Simulator you're using.

Quote
4. If people are being randomly disconnected is there any way to debug what's causing it? For example does it mean that they're wrongly configured or that someone else is, and they just happen to be suffering the fall-out?

That's a tough one to answer, because of the complexities in the way Flight Simulator sends data to everyone in the session.  Sometimes it even depends on the order in which people are connecting.  But if someone connects, and then everyone gets disconnected, you can usually guess that it was the new guy that didn't have things configured properly.  It's not a sure thing, but it's a place to start when trying to figure it out.  One thing you'll see sometimes when connecting is the error saying "unable to connect to all players".  Usually that's a sign that someone in the session doesn't have things forwarded properly, because when you tried to connect to them, your data never reached their FS, and was probably blocked by the router.  Unfortunately there's not an easy way to figure out who it is, other than trial and error, and just asking everyone.  It's been my experience that if you have the ports forwarded correctly in the router, you might not need to do anything with the Windows firewall, and you can leave it enabled.  But of course you could try some tests both ways and see for sure.  The only way to know for sure is to try some tests with another person, where you're both connecting to the same server while nobody else is on it, etc.

Hope this helps,

Russell
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 09:57:19 AM by Russell Gilbert »
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vir19

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Re: Routers/Firewalls and FSX
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2007, 09:17:05 AM »

Wow, thanks for all that Russell - if it's ok with you I'll copy and paste it into our group's forum for new people to use as a guide,

All the best

Ian
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 09:57:25 AM by Russell Gilbert »
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Russell Gilbert

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Re: Routers/Firewalls and FSX
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2007, 09:35:05 AM »

Yep, that'd be great, thanks.  Or you can point them to this topic, if that's easier.  I've now made it a sticky, so it'll appear at the top of this forum.  This would be the link:

http://www.chocolatesoftware.com/forum/index.php?topic=693

Russell
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 09:57:32 AM by Russell Gilbert »
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