IP Addresses and Ports
Technical Information

IP Address

An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a number that uniquely identifies a computer on a network. Typically these are 32-bit numbers (IP version 4 addresses) represented in a dot format such as #.#.#.# where each of the # segments is a decimal (0 to 255) representation of an 8-bit number. A special "localhost" IP address of 127.0.0.1 is reserved in the system so that a computer can reference itself without needing to know its actual IP address.

Poker Mavens has two IP address settings: Internet IP and Local IP. The Local IP is the address that the server will actually bind to. When you edit this field, you will be presented with a pick list of available IP addresses (typically just 1) plus the special 127.0.0.1 address mentioned above. Select the 127.0.0.1 localhost address only for internal testing as the only computer that can connect to it will be itself. The Internet IP is the address that the outside world will connect to. It is assigned by your Internet service provider and will be different from your Local IP if you are on a local area network and/or behind a router or a DSL modem with a built-in router. When specifying your Internet IP setting on the System tab, click the Lookup button on the input form and Poker Mavens will attempt a connection to the Briggs Softworks web site to see where the connection originated from. If your Internet service provider has assigned a static IP for you then you will only need to do this once. Otherwise you may want to use the Auto Lookup IP option. Then you will not have to manually look up your Internet IP prior to putting your server online each time.

Computers in a local area network (such as computers in your home that are either connected together with CAT5 cable, or via a wired or wireless router) are usually assigned an IP address that starts with 192.168.xxx.xxx or 10.xxx.xxx.xxx or is in the range of 176.16.x.x through 176.31.x.x. This may or may not be a static IP depending on your Windows configuration. To see your current IP address, perform the following steps (Windows XP example):

  1. Click the Windows Start button.
  2. Click "Run..."
  3. Type in "cmd" and click Ok to bring up a popup command window.
  4. Type "ipconfig" and press Enter. Your current IP address is shown (192.168.1.100 in the example below). The Default Gateway IP is the address of your router (192.168.1.1 in the example below).
  5. Type "exit" and press Enter to close the CMD window.

If your local IP address is assigned by a router, your computer may get a different address each time it boots up. You can prevent that by configuring your network settings to specify a static local IP address. Note that this does not give you a static Internet IP. Only your Internet service provider can do that. To configure a static local IP address, perform the following steps (Windows XP example):

  1. Click the Windows Start button.
  2. Click on Control Panel.
  3. Double-click Network Connections.
  4. Right-click your network (usually labeled as "Local Area Connection").
  5. Select Properties from the popup menu.
  6. Double-click "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" in the list.
  7. Select "Use the following IP address" and fill in the same numbers you saw from the "ipconfig" command above. The DNS server IP is usually the same as your default gateway IP.

If your computer is connected directly to the internet (i.e., not through a router) via cable modem or dial-up then your IP Address is assigned by your local Internet Service Provider. This may or may not be a static IP, depending on your service plan.

Ports

A port is a logical connection portal on your computer, represented by a number 0 to 65535. When a client computer connects to a host server computer, the connection is made between a randomly assigned outgoing port on the client computer and a specific incoming port on the host computer. When connecting to a web site like http://www.google.com, you are actually connecting to http://www.google.com:80 with a colon and port number appended to the end. But since 80 is the default port for web servers, it can be left off in this case.

Poker Mavens acts like a web server because it serves a web app to the web browsers of connecting computers. By default, Poker Mavens uses port 8087 as its File Port but you can change that to any available port number, including 80, the standard web server port. Some Internet Service Providers don't allow the use of port 80, however. Poker Mavens also uses a second port to maintain a persistent connection with the client computers for game packet exchange. By default this "Packet Port" is set to 8088. This number can also be changed to any other port as long as it is different from the File Port. More on ports and port forwarding is discussed in the next topic.

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