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Windows Firewall notes

These are some older notes about opening network ports under Windows. For most people and situations, it is sufficient to simply allow the NetVSTHost program through the Windows Firewall.

Opening network port(s) on your PC

This is the miserable part. In order to accept incoming network connections, you have to tell Windows to allow them through the Windows Firewall.

Quickest possible solution (caveat: it probably won't be adequate)

If you only intend to run on a single PC, you can skip this step entirely. Use only the loopback ( adapter, and you can use whichever ports you like. (Except those that are already in use by other Windows programs and services. In a Command window, type netstat -aon to see what ports are in use—see here for details.)

Next-quickest solution (if you are using a separate network adapter)

If you have a separate network adapter which is dedicated for NetVST use only, you can simply disable the firewall for this adapter (which effectively opens all ports). See here for details.

The full torture (thanks, Microsoft)

If you prefer not to disable the firewall (e.g. if you have to use the same adapter which also provides your internet connection), you need to create a new firewall “rule” to allow incoming TCP/IP connections on whichever port number(s) you wish to use for NetVST. The default port number is 27016, but you can choose a different one, and optionally open a range of port numbers.

Private vs. Public networks in Windows

The trickiest step in the sequence below is step 6. Windows classifies networks a either Public or Private, and you have to know which type your network is.

  • Open the Windows Network and Sharing Center by right-clicking the network icon in the Windows Taskbar Notification Area at the very bottom right of your screen, and selecting it from the pop-up menu.
  • You'll see a list under the heading “View your active networks” (which might only contain one item).
  • Each item in the list represents one of the network adapters on your PC.
  • Under each network's name you will see either “Private network” or “Public network”.
  • In older Windows versions, it was straightforward to change from Public to Private, but recent versions make this nearly impossible.
  • If you can't change the network to Private, just make sure to check the “Public” checkbox everywhere you see one, in the steps below.

The steps to open one or a range of ports in Windows Firewall

  1. On the Start menu, click Run, type wf.msc and then click OK to run the Windows Firewall With Advanced Security setup utility.
  2. In the left pane, click Inbound Rules, then click New Rule… in the Action pane on the right.
  3. In the Rule Type dialog, select Port, then click Next.
  4. In the Protocols and Ports dialog, select TCP at the top and Specific local ports below. Enter the number of the port you want (e.g. 27016 for one port, or e.g. 27016-27048 for a range) in the edit area beside Specific local ports, then click Next.
  5. In the Action dialog, select Allow the connection, then click Next.
  6. In the Profile dialog, make sure at least the Private checkbox is checked, then click Next.
  7. In the Name dialog, type a name for your new inbound rule, e.g. “NetVST”, and click Finish.
  8. Close the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security window by clicking the red X at the top.
appendices/windows_firewall_notes.txt · Last modified: 2017/12/12 20:38 by shane