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This page has been updated on 2009-12-02 for the release of Shareaza v2.5.1.0.



What is a firewall?

A firewall is a device that people and companies use to protect their networks from hackers and unauthorized access, by filtering the incoming and outgoing traffic with a set of rules. Software firewalls and Routers are the two common instances of firewalls. Both act in a similar way; they restrict connections from and to your PC. Software firewalls are becoming increasingly common and since Windows XP most modern operating systems even have a built-in software firewall. Since either type of firewall may prevent incoming connections to Shareaza, it will reduce your download speed and the number of search results, unless you configure it to allow connections to and from Shareaza. You should also note that two firewalls running at the same time on one operating system tend to produce strange errors that nobody knows the reason of, so if you are using a third-party firewall, it is absolutely necessary to deactivate the build-in firewall of your operating system before continuing to set up that third-party firewall for Shareaza.

What is a router?

A router is a device that allows several computers on a local network to share an Internet connection. It provides a barrier between the internet and a local network. Most routers work using Network Address Translation. Some ISPs will provide you with a router, and a router many be contained within a cable or DSL modem.

Unless the router is specially configured to allow it, it is not possible for a PC behind a router to accept incoming connections. Configuring the router to allow a computer behind to router to communicate with computers on the internet is called "port forwarding". Shareaza is able to do the port forwarding setup itself via "UPnP", in case UPnP is supported and enabled on the router.

If you are using a computer on a local area network (which is commonly the case in an office, school or college dorm) where UPnP is not enabled, then it is likely you will not have administrative access to the router in order to configure it either. In this case, you may wish to talk to the network administrator(s) and ask him (them) to configure it for you. In the likely event of the network administrator declining to open ports for you, perhaps because of policies to limit the amount of P2P traffic on their networks, or for security reasons, there is really nothing further you can try, and you should set the "Can accept incoming connections" drop-down box in the settings under the Shareaza Settings -> Internet -> Connection to "No".

What is Port Forwarding?

See this page for an easy to understand explanation. (External link; You will need to go back using your browser to see this Wiki page again.)

What is Port Triggering?

See this page for an easy to understand explanation. (External link; You will need to go back using your browser to see this Wiki page again.)

What is the Shareaza Connection Test?

The Shareaza Connection Test is an utility hosted on multiple websites to test your connection settings for Shareaza. It is able to tell you whether Shareaza is set up correctly for maximal connectivity. (If you don't pass this test, you will only be able to connect to <60% of the entire network.) Refer to the FirewallGuide page for a list of currently known Connection Tests.

Can I download from a source behind a badly configured firewall/router?

Being firewalled is similar to having a phone only able to start phone calls, but not able to receive phone calls from others. This works as long as at least one of the people who want to talk to each other has a normal phone able to receive connections: Once both have only connection-starting phones at hand, they can't talk any more to each other as nobody is able to receive a phone call started by the other one.

It's just the same for filesharing clients: They are able to communicate as long as at least one of them has full connectivity. Two firwalled clients cannot talk to each other and therefore also not exchange data. However if you're at the end of the connection that is configured as supposed, you can talk to 100% of the network members. See the Shareaza Connection Test page to find out whether you have everything configured as it should be.

How can I tell whether I have a router?

Some people have a router without knowing it. This is because your ISP may provide you a device that you believe to simply be a modem, but sometimes, the device is a modem and a router in one. To tell whether you have a router or not, follow these steps:

  1. First note that all of this is not necessary if you do pass the Shareaza Connection Test and there are no additional problems, because in this case you either have no router or Shareaza manages to configure it automatically.
  2. Open the start menu and select 'Run...', a dialog box will appear.
  3. In that box, enter cmd and click on OK. (On Windows 95, 98 and Me, enter command instead, or winipcfg.)
  4. A Command window will appear. In that box, enter the command ipconfig. Or, if you want the results to be saved in a text file you can more easy peruse from the working directory: ipconfig>IPconfigInfo.txt
  5. Several groups of lines will be printed on the screen, one group for each device capable of using an internet protocol. Find the device you are actively using for the internet. For that device, note the IP-Address, the Subnet Mask and the Standard Gateway. The first one is the IP address of your computer and the third one is the IP address of your gateway. The subnet mask should have have all its numbers the same (if it does, the device you are looking at is not likely the device you are using for the internet).

If you have a router, then your gateway is your router and the gateway's IP is the router's IP. Both of the IPs are likely to start with the same number. Now check if they start either with 10.x.x.x or with 192.168.x.x or with something between 172.16.x.x and 172.31.x.x. If your IPs start with anything that matches those patterns, then you do have a router. If the IP you have do not match any of the patterns, then you probably don't have a router.

  • If you just found out that you do have a router, then write down the computer's IP and the router's as well. You will need those informations for configuring the router.

NOTE: If this procedure tells you that you have a router, but if you are very sure that the device you have is not a router, then there's another possibility: Your ISP may work in a somewhat different way; it has a big NAT router with many customers behind it. Possibly (not necessarily), having an IP in the range 172.16.x.x and 172.31.x.x is a hint for this situation. If this is the case, then you are very unlucky, since you can't configure the ISP's router.

What can I do if I am behind a firewall, and I can't configure it?

Being behind a firewall or router is like having a phone line that can only make outgoing calls - you can call other people, but they cannot call you. So firewalled user can call an unfirewalled user, and upload or download files from each other. If both users are firewalled, then neither can accept a connection, and they will not be able to download from each other. If you correctly configure your firewall or router (by setting up port forwarding), Shareaza will be able to pass through it, and it will no longer interfere with your downloading. You can then experience Shareaza's full performance. Acceptable performance is possible if you are firewalled, particularly with BitTorrent protocol, and often with G2 protocol, but you're not likely to get the best performance with Shareaza, especially searching performance will be worse.

How do I test if my firewall or router has been configured properly?

IMPORTANT: To make a check, follow the instructions found here: Test your router and firewall.

What port do I need to configure on my firewall or my router?

You'll want to forward incoming connections using TCP or UDP protocol on the port Shareaza is listening on. Often this is 6346, but it is important to check the settings.

To find out which port Shareaza is using, open the settings dialog (Menu Tools > Shareaza Settings) and go to the section Internet > Connection. On the right is a field that says 'Port'. This is the port that Shareaza is using. You can change it, if you like, to any number between 2000 and 65535, but there are two things to keep in mind:

  1. Do not use the same port for Shareaza in several computers behind the same Router/Nat, as this can cause conflicts. Please note that in this case, the Shareaza Connection Test may even return a positive result while in fact nothing is working as supposed.
  2. Make sure the port you have chosen does not create a conflict with a port used an other application on your LAN. Basically if the port is not listed Wikipedia Icon.PNG here, there should be no problem.

If you change the port, it is a good idea to restart Shareaza, so that the change can properly take effect. Be sure that the Random checkbox is not checked. You should only use random ports if you don't have any firewall or router. The option "I can accept incoming connections" should be enabled if you can set up your firewall and router to work with Shareaza. If this is not possible, disable this setting.

NOTE: Be very careful when you decide whether or not to grant a connection! If you mistakenly disable the incoming connections setting or tell the Shareaza QuickStart Wizard that you are firewalled you will have problems. Shareaza will operate as if you were actually behind a firewall. This will negatively affect your download speeds. The same thing will happen the other way around: if Shareaza thinks it can accept incoming connections, it will act differently as if it thinks it can't - which will of course generate some internal trouble, with the result of crappy download speeds and bad search results.

How do I configure my firewall to work with Shareaza?

Go to the Shareaza Settings (subsection Internet>Connection) and get the port number used by Shareaza. Then click below for a guide on how to configure the firewall you use:

NOTE: In case your firewall is not listed here, but you know how to configure it, be sure to unblock Shareaza's port for both protocols, TCP and UDP. You can also find some more guides on this page.

How do I configure my router to work with Shareaza?

To correctly set up port forwarding, you will need to know the IP your machine and the IP of your router. To find out those informations, see above in the section "How can I tell whether I have a router?"

IMPORTANT: Remember to configure your PC with a static IP. Port forwarding will often only work if you have configured your computer to have a static IP address. Thus disable DHCP on the computer if it is enabled. See also the Wiki page on static IPs.

If you have got a router and need to configure it to work with Shareaza, please use this list on PortForward.com for guides to (almost) ALL EXISTING ROUTERS. Note that the linked-to page is founded by advertisement, which you may have to skip in order to see the guide you are seeking.

Note: Because we don't have enough contributors and maintainers on our Wiki, we were forced to remove our own router configuration guides, as it was too much of work for those who are still contributing to this project to keep these guides usable and up-to-date. We are sorry for this inconvenience.
If by chance you would like to help us by contributing to this Wiki (or the project in general), plz contact OldDeath. Thanks in advance!

How to configure multiple Routers in the same LAN

Have a look at this troubleshoot page: Troubleshoot.MultipleRouters.

Why there are so many links to portforward.com here?

Simply because there are solved most of problems like "how to set the X hardware to work with Shareaza?" and because that site is very professional, we just want to point you good and easy to use source of knowledge.

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