Firewalls and Routers
Technical Information

Firewalls

The biggest obstacle to getting your poker server online is preventing blockage by local firewall software or the hardware firewall in a router. When putting your poker server online for the first time, you will likely get a warning from your firewall software asking for permission. You should of course select "allow" or "unblock" and also make that a permanent setting if possible so that you aren't asked that each time. If you did not select allow or if you are being blocked but was never asked then you may need to go into the firewall settings and specifically whitelist the Poker Mavens PMServer.exe program file. Do this in Windows under Start | Control Panel | System and Security | Windows Firewall | Allow a program through Windows Firewall.

If you find that other computers in your local area network cannot connect to your server then you may need to specifically whitelist your local IP address in your firewall software. Firewall software like ZoneAlarm has the ability to whitelist a range of IP addresses so you can put (for example) 192.168.1.0 to 192.168.1.255 in the "Trusted Zone" to cover all possible computers in your local network.

Routers

Poker Mavens uses two ports, one as a standard HTTP port (defaults to 8087) to serve the HTML and media files to the player's web browser and a packet port (defaults to 8088) for sending game packets back and forth in a persistent WebSocket connection. If you have a router (or a DSL modem with a built-in router) in between your server and the Internet then you must implement port forwarding in your router's setup so that the outside world can connect to your server. Steps for doing that vary by router model but there's a convenient site located at PortForward.com with instructions for dozens of models.

Here are sample instructions for port forwarding in the widely popular LinkSys WRT54G router:

  1. Open your web browser and set the address to 192.168.1.1 to invoke the LinkSys configuration program, after being prompted for your router password (factory default is "admin"). If that IP address does not activate your router's setup program then run ipconfig from a command prompt and see what your default gateway IP address is.

  2. Click "Applications and Gaming" on the LinkSys main menu.

  3. Use the first blank row and enter the following values:

  4. Click the "Save Settings" button.

Note: keeping your file and packet ports in back-to-back sequence allows you to create a single entry using the range. If your ports aren't together then you will have to make two separate port forward entries.

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