Connecting to FSHost is becoming a bit of a grind when a router is involved. The problem is that there are many different routers around now and the all invariable contain firewalls by default.
What has changed over the last two years or so is that routers/firewalls are no longer supplied open by default(out of the box) but are now supplied locked up and you have to start opening ports etc.....
Great for the layman who doesn't know what he is doing because it means he is secure simply out of the box. However, invariably, it's the layman that needs to start opening ports to allow traffic to pass through.
Not gonna get into too much detail here I just have a couple of suggestions that may help anyone having problems with FS.
First suggestion is this.
If you have a router/firewall make sure your Windows XP firewall is disabled. I don't mean switched off, I mean make sure the service is stopped and disabled.
To do this right click on my computer and select manage. Then expand the services tab in the left pane. Locate your Firewall service and double click on it. Click 'stop' to stop the service and then change the startup type from automatic to disabled.
Having two firewalls running is certain to cause conflict somewhere.
Also, in addition to this, Do the same with all of your Norton Security suite services too. If you are running norton that is.
Second suggestion ( Still with XP firewall disabled)
Check if your router supports UPNP. If it does, then enable it and remove any port forwarding you have set within. Without getting too techy, UPNP will dynamically open ports as and when needed. This should allow FS to connect, only when you ask it to, IE; When you try to connect to FSHost.
Third suggestion (XP service pack 2 users only)
Check on your routers website to see how to run your router NoNat. Once you hav figured out how to do it then enable it as NONat. ( 99% of routers will run No Nat but you may have to dig deep in the documentation to find out how to do it) If you have a router inbetween your PC and physical gateway then remove the router. Your Physical gatweay will be running NoNat already.
Once you have done that then enable your Win XP firewall. Once enabled, go into control panel and double click the Firewall icon. Then go to the exceptions tab and you will notice that you have a couple of options. Select the 'add program' option and browse to your fs9.exe file to enable that program. Make sure its ticked and then reboot your PC.
I tell ya guys, I have been playing around with winXP SP2 Firewall and it's as good as any I have seen, better in some respect because you don't need to know the exact port a program uses if you use the 'add program' option. The firewall just seems to work it out.
This option is only reccomended if you have taken your external router/firewall out of the equation.
All in all, configuring routers/firewalls is becoming a very complex task as more and more vendors are adding more and more security features into their hardware. I have been working with routers and firewalls for quite some time now and I have found that the best rule of thumb is don't over-complicate the issue. Very often, the problem is a single configuration change but many over-complicate by thinking that this and that should be done also. Very often it's not the case. Always reboot your router also when configuration changes have been made.
Try to break down the problem by using the 'process of elimination' process. More often than not, people are trying to configure their router with no success when the problem in fact, is something else that is not related to the router but more the operating system or the software in question.
That's enough from me for now, just thought I would make a few 'SUGGESTIONS' to maybe help one or two of you out because I see more and more people having problems connecting of late.