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> File Transfer Port Fowarding Information, aka "How to speed up file transfers!"
Lord d'Eath
post Jan 7 2007, 04:05 PM
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Very frequently we find threads on this forum asking which ports Messenger users for file transfers. Every time, I make a post explaining that there are no ports to forward and that you need to get UPnP set up instead.

Here, then is a sticky to explain all that!
  • Through this post I will be assuming that you are using a version of Windows XP (I don't think home/pro differ in this regard). I don't know how much of this is relevant for other versions of Windows, but Windows Vista already seems to be set up to properly handle all of this without any changes.
  • I'm also going to be using the term "router" fairly loosely. I basically mean any device/software[3] that performs network address translation (NAT). Please don't lecture me on the specifics; I'm just trying to keep this post basic pp.gif
  • You do not have to do any of this if you're connected directly to the Internet via a PCI/USB modem. If you are getting slow file transfers point your contact to this thread, instead!
The first thing to note is that MSN Messenger has not used standard port forwarding for file transfers since MSN Messenger 5.0. Therefore any list of ports to forward will be in vain.

The second thing to note is that even if you had every port (1 through 65536) forwarded to your machine, file transfers would still not be very fast, because Messenger uses UPnP[1] to determine your external IP address[2] as well as to open ports.

Therefore, to get full-speed file transfers happening in Messenger from behind a router (or any NAT implementation, including Windows' own Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)[4]) you need to have UPnP enabled.

If you're using ICS then everything should be fine already, as ICS already has UPnP support enabled, I believe. If you're using a hardware router, though, you will need to either enable UPnP support on it (the specifics of which are beyond the scope of this post - check your router's website or user manual) or, if your router doesn't support UPnP, buy a new router which does, THEN enable it.

Unfortunately it seems that Netgear - makers of the ever-popular DG814/DG834 family of ADSL modem/routers - and Microsoft disagree on some of UPnP's specifics, and so for Messenger to directly connect to a contact for file transfers through a Netgear router, you need to install some extra components of Windows.

These components can be installed by going into: Start -> Control panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Add/Remove Windows Components...
Attached File  upnp_1.png ( 28.11K ) Number of downloads: 329


... double-clicking on the "Networking" entry...
Attached File  upnp_2.png ( 18.83K ) Number of downloads: 325


... then checking the boxes for "Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control Client" and "UPnP User Interface"...
Attached File  upnp_3.png ( 18.57K ) Number of downloads: 378


After that, just click "OK" to exit the dialog boxes (Windows will spend a few seconds installing the new stuff, but it shouldn't require your Windows CD) and reboot your PC. After rebooting try sending a file again. If you're still having issues make sure that your contact has done the same.


Footnotes:
  1. Universal Plug 'n' Play - essentially Plug 'n' Play [what we've been using for most hardware to avoid us having to have drivers for every basic, generic device, for years] for networked devices, it allows networked devices to find out about each other and open ports and such as they are required.
  2. If your PC is sitting behind a router, as many are in this age of home networks, it will only know its "local" IP address, which it uses to communicate with other devices (computers, routers, games consoles, etc.) in the same building. It communicates to the outside world (the rest of the Internet) through the router, and only the router knows the "external" IP address (the address that the rest of the world sees your network as). With only the internal, local IP address Messenger cannot set up a direct connection between you and your contact if you are both behind such network setups, and maybe even if only one of you is. Therefore it needs to know your external IP address, AND your internal IP address, AND have ports forwarded, which it does automatically.
  3. Most hardware routers are just running a very cut-down version of Linux, when you get right down to it, so where do you draw the line between hardware and software NAT?
  4. Apparently there are problems if the PC you have running ICS is running Windows Server 2003. That should affect very few people reading this, however.
Sources:Other mods/admins: feel free to add/change/remove whatever from this post as you deem fit msn_happy.gif

This post has been edited by Lord d'Eath: Jun 3 2007, 07:38 PM
Reason for edit: Vista-related updates
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darkdude064
post Jan 10 2007, 01:27 AM
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trying not to sound like a noob, but for the sake of my computer i must ask

isn't UPnP have an exploit...http://cc.uoregon.edu/cnews/spring2003/upnp.html

i mean, is it patched? If we do what you suggest will be vulnerable?
can anything be said about this?
am i wrong?

This post has been edited by darkdude064: Jan 10 2007, 01:27 AM
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Lord d'Eath
post Jan 10 2007, 09:24 AM
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That page you linked to is almost four years old, for a start. It mentions a specific exploit (in the form of an external link) which has been patched, but nowhere else on the page does it say why UPnP is a Bad Thing - it just perpetuates this idea of UPnP being "totally inappropriate" while giving no actual reasons for that to be the case.

What they say about RIP being totally unnecessary is entirely true, though, and I got some kind of vague impression from the article that Windows XP's network configuration wizard wanted to set up your network so that Windows itself shared the Internet connection to the rest of the house, while the router was much more suited to the task. That's hardly a problem with UPnP, though - it's just Windows' configuration wizard abusing UPnP to do something stupid - and, for some reason, they put forward the idea that removing UPnP entirely is the best way to solve the problem, which is bizarre as hell.

Also they don't seem to think that it's remotely useful, which may well have been the case in 2003; but we're in 2007 now, and there are a growing number of network devices using UPnP to connect to the rest of the network, not to mention software like MSNM/WLM and various BitTorrent clients (see the attachment for a screenshot of my uTorrent preferences dialog[1]) using UPnP to forward appropriate ports to save you the hassle of having to do it yourself (which, in many cases, involves rebooting the router entirely, dropping any existing connections, and causing unnecessary annoyance).



The Wikipedia article on UPnP mentions some kind of vague "security problem" but fails to elaborate or cite any source to use as further reading.

I don't really think that UPnP is going to cause anyone any security problems, anyway, though I suppose it could be used by malware (trojans etc.) to forward ports on your router so that some remote hacker could more easily connect to and control your computer. I would have thought that most such software would open the connection to the remote hacker (or, more likely, an IRC server somewhere) itself, though, which is why you should always have a software firewall monitoring outgoing connections. At the end of the day, though, if the only security risk you can come up with is "if you get a virus it will be easier for it to run but realistically no easier at all!", then you need to ask yourself why the hell you got that virus in the first place msn_tongue.gif

Edit: I think that this is basically an over-hyped issue. Security exploits make good headlines, especially when they're problems with something that Microsoft is heavily pushing. It reminds me of some research done by the University of Cardiff which the BBC published an article about about an "security vulnerability" in HSBC's online banking site. Essentially the "problem" was: "if the user is 'infected' with a keylogger and then logs into HSBC's website, whoever has access to that keylogger's log will be able to log into HSBC's site under the victim's name!!!!". Apparently I'm the only person on the planet (other than HSBC employees, of which I am not one) who sees how totally stupid this "vulnerability" is. Yes, apparently some banks have some kind of drop-down menu system to prevent the user having to type certain parts of their login details in, but even something like that could be sniffed by a browser plugin or something. If the user's somehow got themselves a keylogger installed they are totally screwed anyway, and if the hacker's got a keylogger on the victim's machine, then surely they can get SOMETHING ELSE installed on that same machine to get the job done if the keylogger fails for whatever reason. As the HSBC spokesperson said, it's totally unrealistic for anyone to worry about that particular "problem". To me it just looks like Cardiff University just wanted more money and/or publicity so they published a report into a security vulnerability which doesn't really exist msn_tongue.gif


[1]I actually forward that port manually, but the option for UPnP still exists.

This post has been edited by Lord d'Eath: Jan 10 2007, 09:32 AM
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Attached File  upnp_4.png ( 15.36K ) Number of downloads: 144
 
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darkdude064
post Jan 11 2007, 02:48 AM
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i'm guessing you foreward the port manually by
netstating and adjusting to each port as it comes?

cuz port forewarding, when done properly is about 5 mins of your time..
i was thinking that if it's only one or two things better to do manual

if you constantly send things it would be better UPnP

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Lord d'Eath
post Jan 11 2007, 09:39 AM
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No, I only forward the ports manually for things that don't change. I was referring specifically to uTorrent, there, which always uses the same port. I have UPnP enabled for Messenger, though.

While, yes, port forwarding doesn't take long, with a lot of routers (mine included) it drops all connections when settings are changed, which affects more than just me so I can't do it on a whim.
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V@no
post May 6 2009, 06:39 AM
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I have UPnP set correctly, upnptest all steps passes successfully. However WLM8.5 still can't detect UPnP.
I've turned on logging and compared logs from WLM on my second computer (there wlm detects UPnP correctly).
What I've found is that it detects a wrong local IP:
QUOTE
[18:23:27.50] Zone_Net CDPNatMpr::Init@0623FF08:108: has CAPS of 0x1a and 0 ports open
[18:23:27.50] Zone_Net CDPNatMpr::Init@0623FF08:122: got local address '127.0.0.1' <------------ wrong IP! suppesed to be '192.168.1.190'
[18:23:27.50] Zone_Net CDPNatMpr::Init@0623FF08:145: Failed to GetRegisterAddresses with hr = 0x8015f0a0
[18:23:27.50] Zone_Net CDPNatMpr::Init@0623FF08:170: returns with hr = 0x8015f0a0
[18:23:27.50] Zone_Net COBNatMpr::Init@0623FEE4:67:
[18:23:27.50] Zone_Net COBNatMpr::Init@0623FEE4:76: UPnPNAT object created
...
[18:23:27.62] Zone_Net COBNatMpr::Init@0623FEE4:100: pSPMs == NULL, but hr = 0x0. There is no UPnP NAT!
[18:23:27.62] Zone_Net CDPNatMpr::ReleaseMapping@0623FF08:272: called with invalid port 0


Does anyone have an idea what could be wrong?


Thank you.
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V@no
post Sep 29 2009, 02:06 PM
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QUOTE
Spam post deleted

It fixed by itself (or perhaps it was after reinstalled network drivers several time). I all forgot about this problem, but now checked and it connected through upnp...
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sizGedsoofs
post Mar 24 2010, 06:51 AM
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Im trying to extract a very large rar file at the moment but it gets about half way through and stops as theres no space left on the disk.

The drive Im trying to extract it to has plenty of space available, about 250gig, but I use a 64gig SSD drive for my OS and Im guessing it cant finish extracting the rar as its the SSD drive thats being used for the pagefile and while its not full theres not much space left on it either.

Is that whats happening? Should I move the pagefile from the SSD to the other drive?
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level42
post Mar 24 2010, 04:31 PM
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QUOTE (sizGedsoofs @ Mar 24 2010, 02:51 AM) *
Im trying to extract a very large rar file at the moment but it gets about half way through and stops as theres no space left on the disk.

The drive Im trying to extract it to has plenty of space available, about 250gig, but I use a 64gig SSD drive for my OS and Im guessing it cant finish extracting the rar as its the SSD drive thats being used for the pagefile and while its not full theres not much space left on it either.

Is that whats happening? Should I move the pagefile from the SSD to the other drive?



I believe when you extract from winrar using the Drag and Drop feature, it will force WinRar to use the main C:/Temp directory while it extracts, then try to move the files to the directory you dragged the files to.

Example.

64GB SSD = C:
250GB = D:
100GB = RAR file.

If you open the 100GB rar file from either C: or D: and drag the file into D: (Which may have enough space) it will extract the entire 100GB file to the C:/Temp directory first, then try to move the data to the folder you draged the files to.

I've noticed that if you use the menu options and manually select where you would like to extract the data, it will skip the temp directory and extract it directly where you would like it to go,

I.E D: to D:

Hope this shed's some light, if you have any further problems please create a new topic in the appropriate forum. Thank you msn_happy.gif

This post has been edited by level42: Mar 24 2010, 04:33 PM
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