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Thread: Why Port Forwarding in Games Pisses me off

  1. #1
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Why Port Forwarding in Games Pisses me off

    My main issue: My experience gives me reason to question why you need port forwarding.

    Here's why I don't understand: Just to see if not including the port forwarding ports instructed in the manuals for a game really prevents me from playing online. I tried to play a game of Command and Conquer Generals with my buddy and it worked. Mind you, I had to go in and out of the "join game" screen about 5 times. This could have been explained by a few things, my friend has a finicky connection plus I find online gaming in general just has flaws in terms of disconnects. To prove my point, look at the general number of disconnects you see on people's profiles online. Anyway...

    What pisses me off about games and routers: Aside from the issue that I can't figure out when I need (and when I don't need) to enter the port forwarding info into the router configuration to make the game work....is the fact that games ask you to forward about 5 ports and then the router configuration gives you 10 different lines to do it. That's room to play about 2 games online without having to re-do the router configuration.

    Please let me know what I'm missing here. Here's a few questions.
    1. Do you even bother using the port forwarding stuff to get your online games working?
    2. Do you honestly go into your port forwarding and totally revamp it if you want to play more than 2 games (eg. each game asks for about 5 discontinuous port ranges) and there are 10 lines
    3. Do you run direct to internet while playing online games (no router)? Do you use windows firewall or other firewall software to keep your machine secure?
    4. If you needed ports 443, 13500, 28700-28799 (all TCP) and 3658 (UDP) to avoid using 4 separate lines would you take a shortcut like use a 1 liner specifying ports 443-28799 (TCP and UDP enabled). Kinda seems to me like you may as well unplug your router if you are opening 40% of your ports anyway.
    5. Why the hell don't the router configuration screens come with like 100 lines to make this manageable.

    I really feel like I'm missing something, give me a bit of help please.

  2. #2
    Ft. Couch! morbidpete's Avatar
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    well im not a pc gammer but i did pay C&C for a while and never opened any ports..

    also. my linksys router lets me save my setup and it only takes like 10 seconds to reload the settings. so why not create like "profiles" witht he configuraation files for 2 games per file?

  3. #3
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    1) I've not played any online games which require me, playing as a client, to open/forward any ports. The games I play online are FPS type games, since broadband and routers came out, this will include Quake 2, Quake 3, Quake 4, Unreal, Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2003/2004, Doom 3, Battlefield 1942/Vietnam/2, Call of Duty, MOHAA, Half Life, Half Life 2, Star Wars Battlefront, Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator and another version or so, uhm.......can't think of more at the moment..but none...NONE of those have required any port forwarding for me to play out on the internet as a client. Generally, with most games, you only have to do the port forwarding if you wish to run a game server behind your router/firewall...and allow someone from across the internet to log into your server.

    2) N/A, because of #1

    3) Never...I'd have to format my machine if I did that for more than 5 seconds.

    4) No, I'd simply add the 4 lines in the port forwarding section..the only range I'd do is the ..700-..799

    5) It's generally not needed to have that many.
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  4. #4
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    The 3 games I play now are Warcraft 3, Command and Conquer Generals and as of today NHL 2006.

    All of them require in some way for 1 guy to be the guy that sets up the game and the other guy joins. I think in this case that the guy setting up the game needs the port forwarding in each case.

    I'll have to look into this saving these different profiles on the router thing. I've got a the sold basic Linksys router, maybe not fancy enough to do that stuff. BEFSR41 or something like that is the model number.

  5. #5
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purecomedy
    All of them require in some way for 1 guy to be the guy that sets up the game and the other guy joins. I think in this case that the guy setting up the game needs the port forwarding in each case.
    Yes the guy hosting the game would usually have to open/forward ports...since he's being a server.
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  6. #6
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat
    Yes the guy hosting the game would usually have to open/forward ports...since he's being a server.
    Alright so here's all I'm asking, instead of the ports being like this:
    443, 13500, 28700-28799 (all TCP) and 3658 (UDP) = 4 lines out of 10 available in port forwarding.

    Why not consolidate TCP ports into 1 range 28698-28799 (28698 instead of 443, 28699 instead of 13500, 28700-28799 the same). One port is the same as another right?

  7. #7
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purecomedy
    Alright so here's all I'm asking, instead of the ports being like this:
    443, 13500, 28700-28799 (all TCP) and 3658 (UDP) = 4 lines out of 10 available in port forwarding.

    Why not consolidate TCP ports into 1 range 28698-28799 (28698 instead of 443, 28699 instead of 13500, 28700-28799 the same). One port is the same as another right?

    Dunno, but if you're just joining games then you dont need to forward ports.

  8. #8
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purecomedy
    Alright so here's all I'm asking, instead of the ports being like this:
    443, 13500, 28700-28799 (all TCP) and 3658 (UDP) = 4 lines out of 10 available in port forwarding.

    Why not consolidate TCP ports into 1 range 28698-28799 (28698 instead of 443, 28699 instead of 13500, 28700-28799 the same). One port is the same as another right?
    It's not that easy, there are some standards, some functions run on certain ports, you'll see similarities in some ports throughout games.

    Port 443 for example, that's the port for https...SSL...this was chosen way before games exploaded over broadband, and routers. Blame Netscape, they chose it.

    Some other games may require DirectX/DirectPlay ports to run on...and those have already been chosen by Microsoft.

    Other games may require GameSpy ports for master server heartbeats, or other uses of GameSpy. GameSpy setup the ports, if the game wishes to use them, well...gotta follow the rules.
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  9. #9
    Regular Member SteelersFANinMA's Avatar
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    If you have a Linksys WRT54G/S, you could try a 3rd party firmware like Hyperwrt. It provides more fields for Port Forwarding than the Linksys firmware. Hyperwrt also supports Port Triggering which is like Forwarding except that the forwarded ports stay closed until packets are sent out of the triggered port and then close after a set time when there are no more packets going through. Also, Hyperwrt includes UPnP, (Universal Plug and Play). With this feature enabled, you can forget all the forwarding and triggering as UPnP will allow programs to open and close ports as needed.

  10. #10
    Ft. Couch! morbidpete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purecomedy
    The 3 games I play now are Warcraft 3, Command and Conquer Generals and as of today NHL 2006.

    All of them require in some way for 1 guy to be the guy that sets up the game and the other guy joins. I think in this case that the guy setting up the game needs the port forwarding in each case.

    I'll have to look into this saving these different profiles on the router thing. I've got a the sold basic Linksys router, maybe not fancy enough to do that stuff. BEFSR41 or something like that is the model number.
    i had the same one. it has the option to save the config

  11. #11
    SG Enthusiast horsemen_'s Avatar
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    mmm i play Command and Conquer Generals every night and never had to mess withte router ea has its own server for that game i been playing cod2 on line the past week and in the past i have played nascar nba live nhl and other games online and again i never have to mess with the router if you have the firewall on during game play yes this will stop some games from connecting to play head to head in Command and Conquer if they have a custom map they will not beable to send it to you seeing how it has to give you a file and the firewall could stop the write to the hd. i think its the firewall giving you fits not the router

  12. #12
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by horsemen_
    mmm i play Command and Conquer Generals every night and never had to mess withte router ea has its own server for that game i been playing cod2 on line the past week and in the past i have played nascar nba live nhl and other games online and again i never have to mess with the router if you have the firewall on during game play yes this will stop some games from connecting to play head to head in Command and Conquer if they have a custom map they will not beable to send it to you seeing how it has to give you a file and the firewall could stop the write to the hd. i think its the firewall giving you fits not the router
    I use Zonealarm as opposed to Windows Firewall. I tend to turn Zonealarm off when playing just because I know it could lead to complications in connecting.

    Now I'm even a little more confused. Everyone here is saying I don't need the ports open on the router, I've seen it myself if I try to connect about 5 times I usually don't need the ports open either.....yet if you go to the support section of the website for most games it will tell you about 4 port ranges you need to open.

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