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Firewalls: Routers & Ports

Document number: fwfaq.2005
Copyright (c) 2001-2003 1stWorks Corporation. All rights reserved.

What to Do
     Assign a static IP
     Open Ports
     hotComm Startup Options

NATs- Multiple computers with the same external IP
     How do I configure hotComm and a LinkSys router?
     How do I configure hotComm and a Cayman router?
     How do I configure hotComm and a D-Link router?
     How do I configure anything else?

If you connect to the Internet through a router or network, you may need to open ports to allow hotComm connections.

  • hotComm needs to make outgoing TCP connections on any port. Most router-based firewalls are pre-configured to allow this. If you are connecting to a room, outgoing TCP connections are all you need, and your hotComm Online Status will be Online-Proxied.

  • If you are using hotComm in a peer-to-peer (p2p) configuration, you must also allow incoming TCP connections through one port. Most firewalls block this, so you ned to configure it yourself.

    When correctly configured for peer-to-peer with incoming TCP connections, your hotComm Online Status will be Online-Direct and people from the outside will be able to connect to you with the hotComm Java client.

This document describes what to do to allow incoming TCP connections.

What to Do

There are these steps:

  1. Static IP.

    Assign a static internal IP address to your computer, and then restart your computer. (Internal means the IP address assigned by your router or network, not the IP address assigned to your network by your ISP. The IP address from your ISP can be dynamic.)

    Note: a router allows multiple computers to access the Internet through the same external IP address. It then assigns different internal IP addresses to the computers. Usually, these are assigned dynamically, which means they may change. Because you don't want the incoming connections to accidentally go to someone else's computer, you need to assign a static, or unchanging, IP address to your computer.

         How to Assign a Static IP (XP)
         How to Assign a Static IP (98)

  2. Open a Port.

    Configure one port in your router to allow incoming TCP connections and to send those connections to your computer's static IP address.

    Note: check every component of the path between your computer and the outside Internet to make sure that the incoming TCP connection can get through.

    Each router has its own jargon for this. For specific information, see:
         How do I configure hotComm and a LinkSys router?
         How do I configure hotComm and a Cayman router?
         How do I configure hotComm and a D-Link router?
         How do I configure anything else?

  3. hotComm Startup Options.

    Configure hotComm to expect incoming connections through the port you opened. To do this:

    1. Right-click the hotComm startup icon on your desktop, and select Properties.

    2. In the Shortcut tab, find the Target command line. It should look something like this:

        "C:\Program Files\1stWorks\hotComm\BIN\hotComm.exe"

    3. After the double-quote, type a space, and then type these options:   -pw8080    -i1

      except replace 8080 with the port number you opened, and replace -i1 with the code below that indicates that port.

      Example (showing the last part of the command):
      ...\BIN\hotComm.exe" -pw8280  -i3

      Code Protocol HTTP port
      -i1 (default) TCP 80 and 8080
      -i2 TCP 8180
      -i3 TCP 8280
      -in TCP 8080+(n-1)*100
      -i20 TCP 9980
      -in must be in the range of 1-99.

    4. Click OK or Apply.

  4. Test.

    Test the connection.

    1. Start hotComm. When it has connected to the 1stWorks Network, the Online-Status message in the bottom line of your hotComm window should say Online-Direct.

    2. Select Registration. Find the Website: entry in the upper right corner.

    3. On another computer, in an Internet browser, go to, where website is your Registration Website name.

    4. If you get a page that says "Welcome to my private website" with an IM-Live Questions button, click the button, and connect with the IM-Live Java client.

      If your browser can't find the page, that indicates that the configuration is NOT correct.

NATs- Multiple computers with the same external IP

If you access the Internet through a product that performs Network Address Translation (NAT), and therefore have multiple computers sharing the same external IP address:

  1. Open a different port for each computer, such as 8080 for the first computer; 8180 for the second computer, and so on.

    See Ports.

  2. In the command line of the hotComm startup icon on each computer's desktop, add the -i or -pw parameter to specify which port is open for this computer.

    Important! Be sure to specify the correct ports for the correct computer, or you will not be able to receive incoming traffic.

hotComm supports up to 99 computers that share a single external IP.

How do I configure anything else?

Please refer to the documentation and support information provided by the router or firewall vendor. Most of them include information for how to open ports or the equivalent.

You might search on keywords such as: "open ports" or "online game"; or look for frequently asked questions such as: "can't access Internet", "game doesn't work". Many online games require open ports, and your vendor might have information on how to configure for those programs.