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DMZ or Bust

Published March 10, 2004
How many times have you tried connecting your game to the internet? Webcam to someone accross the seas? AIM file transfer? and it failed, right? This is often caused by your firewall (or router). This device runs something called Network Address Translation (NAT) that allows multiple people on a network to use one public IP address. However, there are downsides. If you are using special ports (those used in games or special software) the other side might not find it's way back through your network. To combat this problem, you can specifically open ports to map to your machine on the network. That doesn't always work because the program could use ports you are not aware of or just random ports. That is where DMZ comes in handy. DMZ stands for De-Militarized Zone. A zone in which you are not publicly on the internet nor exclusively on your local network. It is in between. Basically, the router will forward all traffic to you if the router doesn't have rules for those packets. Check your router settings for more infomation on configuring DMZ. DMZ is also good for detecting whether an issue is port-related or due to something else. Simply turn your machine on for DMZ and retry the problem. If it works, then it is most probably a port. Look through the manual to find which ports you should open. IRC, Web Cams, Games, VPNs, you name it. DMZ is the quick way to get things working. Watch out!! This exposes anything running on your machine to the internet. It almost totally bypasses the router.
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Ronnie Schwartz is the CTO and founder of RustyBrick, an agile web & mobile development firm that creates effective applications and focuses on finding the right balance between time to production and software quality to get clients in front of their customers quickly and effectively. Ronnie brings over twenty years of innovative design, programming and management expertise to the table.

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