Working Around ISP Port Blocks


This document explains how users who find they are unable to operate WinMX correctly due to ISP restrictions may be able to circumvent the blocks to an extent. It’s quite common for an ISP to place blocks or restrictions on service ports that use high amounts of network bandwidth, such as the WinMX application. WinMX uses the TCP 6699 and UDP 6257 ports by default to establish connections with other users on the WinMX Peer Network, sometimes though an ISP will place a filter or complete block on these 6699 and 6257 ports to prevent or lesson the amount of users using the WinMX application. This can have a number of ill effects, such as failure or difficulty connecting into the WinMX network, slowed or restricted uploading of the shared files list to the network, poor search result retrieval, sometimes restricting results to just a handful where normally hundreds would be returned, another aspect of this filtering/blocking is that uploading can become difficult or impossible due to the blocks or restrictions.

The trick here is to change the ports WinMX uses to establish connections, this helps to get around any potential ISP block that may be operating on the commonly used 6699 and 6257 ports. Another benefit to changing these ports is that you’ll also help bypass any other users ISP restrictions operating on the same 6699 and 6257 ports, that may otherwise restrict your own connection to and from the user on the affected network.

Ideally everyone should make this change, whether your own ISP is filtering or blocking the 6699/6257 ports or not, as it benefits you and everyone else who uses WinMX. If every user did this, then a 6699/6257 block by any ISP would be a waste of time, it’d have no effect on the users of WinMX running on non-standard ports.

Please bare in mind that any ISP that does restrict or block the TCP 6699 and UDP 6257 ports used by WinMX is doing so for a reason, and it’s likely the reason is because the application is so popular that users uploading files are placing heavy loads onto the network. Domestic accounts very often do not permit the operating of servers, and that’s exactly what WinMX is doing when uploading files to users, it's serving files, so be aware that technically most users have no right to operate file servers and the ISP is fully within their rights to implement these filters and restrictions if they consider it in their best interest.

O.K. lets get with the program, here are the instructions step-by-step...



For WinMX v2.6 users   (Top)

1... Click 'Settings'
2... Click 'Firewall / Network Settings'
3... Outgoing Connections area > Tick 'Connect Directly'.
4... Incoming TCP Connections and UDP Packets > Set 'Listen on port' to 16699
* for incoming TCP connections.
5... Incoming TCP Connections and UDP Packets > tick 'Listen on port' and enter 16257
* for the incoming UDP packets.
6... Click OK.
7... Click OK.
8... Close the WinMX program and restart it. (Firewalled users read the note below).




For WinMX v3.2 Users   (Top)

1... Click 'Settings'
2... Click 'Internet Connection', then 'Incoming TCP connection settings'.
3... Tick 'Listen on port' and enter 16699
* for incoming TCP connections.
4... Click In/Out UDP Packets.
5... Tick 'Send and receive UDP datagrams on port'... and enter 16257
6... Click Close.
7... Close the WinMX program and restart it. (Firewalled users read the note below).




Important note

If you have a firewall installed then you might need to allow WinMX to use the new 16699* and 16257* ports you’ve specified. Also, if you use a Router then you may also need to forward the 16699* and 16257* ports to your computer.

Configuring a Firewall here.

Configuring a Router here.

* The port numbers chosen here (16699 and 16257) can be substituted for other numbers if needed, these 2 port numbers have been chosen to keep the process simpler (just add ‘1’). Pretty much any number can be used instead of these, but try to avoid using numbers less than 5001, as these are generally used by the operating system and other common services. The range of available ports that should be used are between 5001 - 65535.


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