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On the subject of ports. I am not a computer technician. I have taken no formal
classes in computing, but I am an avid devotee of the machines, and have played
around on the Napster, OpenNap and SlavaNap networks a fair bit, and ask a lot
of questions, read a lot of forums, and generally make a nuisance of myself.
My answers should not be taken as gospel, but they shouldn't be too far off,
Ports 8888, 7777, etc. are common SERVER connection ports; the ports on which
these servers listen for your connection. These are not the common ports for
CLIENTS. More common for clients are ports in the 6600 - 6800 range (don't
shoot me for not knowing exactly. I see many which default to 6699, and some
users set theirs to highly unusual numbers, but unless they conflict with another
running process, any port in a storm....) Many users have more than one client,
and they may try to share the same port number. This is not a good thing, but
it happens. Server staff who are paying attention, or who have automated scripts
can react to server notices (reacting to your client sending a quiet message
that it has attempted to obtain a file from a remote user with a misconfigured
data port) and change that user's (or in a reverse case, *your*) data port,
usually in an increment of two port numbers. This is a feature of the Napster
server protocol, and a useful function of server staff. Just today I noticed
some Xnap user who had several hundred shared files, yet his uploads were 0
and his downloads were about 75. I rightly guessed that he wasn't really a
leech, and was in fact unaware of his port settings, and was behind a firewall.
I reset his data port to 0, and immediately was able to download a file from
him. Most server operators aren't that concientious; they're tired of leeches,
and would just /kill or /ban the user as a leech.
Clients which operate from behind a firewall are immune to remote clients attempting
to "pull" files from them, so a technique was developed for users behind a firewall
to set their client so that it could react to a file request by "pushing" it
outward, instead. This technique has a simple interface for the user: You
set your local dataport to 0. My best guess is that this is what a Firewall
Checkbox is used for; configuring your client for Napster server protocol compliance
on this point.
Why have a spectrum of dataports? Because of the multiple connections which
will be established between your machine and the other users' machines to send
and receive files, or establish DCC chats. Your client's listening port for
the server is really only suited for communicating with the server. If a P2P
file connection has been established, even if you disconnect from the server,
the file transfer will normally continue. Hence, peer to peer.
If someone with more server savvy than I can help clarify any points I've muddled,
please step right in and help!
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