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Author Topic: Port forwarding keeps being killed by erratic windows firewall  (Read 51272 times)

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Offline ArchPrime

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Hi, I have been banging my head on the wall trying to identify the cause of intermittent port forwarding behaviour

I am trying to run a spare PC as a server (running Graphisoft BIMserver for ArchiCAD) for the duration of a project where there is just myself connecting from my local network and one other remote user.  I just need to forward TCP ports 19000 and 19001 to the server for the purpose


I can confirm the following:


My Router is a Zytel VMG8324-B10A

There is only one port forwarding rule set up on the router - no conflicts.

Port forwarding does work to intended server PC with current router setting, sometimes.

Port forwarding to another PC on same local network works fine, with no issues observed, even with firewall on, and no specific application exceptions set up for the required ports in firewall on that pc.

There is only one router between the server PC and the internet, as verified with the PCWintach 'Detect Multiple Routers' tool.

Server PC is an I7 CPU based laptop, running windows 10, with plenty of free ram & SSD HD space for server software

The server PC is indeed always on the nominated local network IP address, and is left running 24/7

Server PC network card has power management disabled, so should be always on & not reliant on wake on LAN capability
 
One other windows 10 PC on local network successfully accesses the server PC via its external address (while port forwarding is working), so am guessing that reverse NAT is working on the router.

The router external IP address is indeed the one allocated by the ISP, and does not change over time - verified with http://www.pcwintech.com/myip

The router DHCP allocation range has been set with range outside the fixed local IP address of server PC.

Windows fire wall on the server PC has an exception set up for the forwarded port range.

There are no windows firewall problems, other firewalls or remnants of firewalls detected by the PCWintech 'Repair WMI & Windows Firewall' and 'detect possible firewalls' tools.  That said, I found by trial and error that toggling off then on again the windows firewall seems to (temporarily, at least) clear the problem.

I have run the full Tweaking.com 'Windows Repair tool' v3.9.2 using the author's  recommended procedure, with no improvement in reliability.

What could be causing this instability?  How do I overcome the problem?  The server is supposed to be left unattended and remain accessible while I am not around to reset the windows firewall at random intervals

Any help would be greatly appreciated!



« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 08:39:58 AM by ArchPrime »

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Offline trpted

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Re: Port forwarding keeps being killed by errratic windows firewall
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2016, 12:13:33 PM »
Found an answer.

From source: DSLR (dslreports.com) -> Forums -> Software and Operating Systems -> Security -> Need to turn off and back on the Windows Firewall at random intervals.

I believe that DSLR user HELLFIRE ( profile ID # 1691829) is recommending instead of by port/port range, setting an exception for the app/program.

DSLR  user norwegian (profile ID #1159554) is in agreement with them.

[Another EDIT] First replier (HELLFIRE), also said more info. Like...

a) leaving the firewall disabled (if that is desired).

b) If it a "secure" box (meaning SOX / HIPPA environment), then turning off and leaving off the firewall is not recommended.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 09:35:45 AM by trpted »
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Offline ArchPrime

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Re: Port forwarding keeps being killed by errratic windows firewall
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2016, 09:37:32 PM »
Thank you very much  - will give that a try

Offline ArchPrime

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Re: Port forwarding keeps being killed by errratic windows firewall
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2016, 07:58:45 AM »
Hi further to this - unfortunately, even after adding the app as an exception to my windows firewall, port forwarding again failed after a few days.

As a test, I changed the rule on the router to forward a larger range of ports, and while the two ports required for my BIMserver app still then showed as 'in use', the ports above and below show as forwarding correctly.

As another test, I then redirected those same ports to another PC with fixed IP on same local network - and from that PC  all ports are showing as forwarding fine, even with no exceptions set up in that PC windows firewall.
When I set the rule back to forward to the first PC with firewall off, suddenly they were all forwarding correctly again... but as soon as I re enable windows firewall, the important two ports stop working again, while ones either side continue to work.

Is this a clue as to what is going wrong?

If some other app or maybe windows service is trying to use the two ports I need open, whatever that is seems to be deactivated when windows firewall is deactivated.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 04:00:08 PM by ArchPrime »

Offline ArchPrime

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Re: Port forwarding keeps being killed by erratic windows firewall
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2016, 06:50:47 AM »
Further again to this. as an experiment I left windows firewall off, and STILL port forwarding failed.  This time after just one day.
I then tried editing the port forwarding rule in the router to direct ports to another pc, then immediately edited it back - and then everything was working again
If I turn firewall back on, port forwarding stops again

So it seems a COMBINATION of factors is involved.

Somehow the rule set up in in the router 'goes stale' and needs to be toggled to refresh it,  AND windows firewall on this particular PC interferes even if the router rule is working.

Any help or suggestions to finally achieve stability?

Offline trpted

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Re: Port forwarding keeps being killed by erratic windows firewall
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2016, 04:59:02 PM »
Is the software firewall setup for the correct zone?
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Offline ArchPrime

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Re: Port forwarding keeps being killed by erratic windows firewall
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2016, 05:14:02 PM »
Hi - if by 'Zone' you mean public vs private networks, when firewall is running,  the app and exceptions all have their 'private' network boxes ticked.  Is that correct, or should the public network boxes be ticked as well?

Offline trpted

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Re: Port forwarding keeps being killed by erratic windows firewall
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2016, 04:33:38 AM »
While I meant the software firewall is setup correctly for the zone that you are in, yes I believe you can do that too.
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Offline ArchPrime

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Re: Port forwarding keeps being killed by erratic windows firewall
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2016, 02:52:30 PM »
While I meant the software firewall is setup correctly for the zone that you are in, yes I believe you can do that too.
Hi, I have found no improvement after enabling app as an exception  for both public and private networks. Have not been able to find any reference or settings for  zones in Windows firewall - where should I be looking for this, and how do I know which zone I am In? 

Cheers

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Re: Port forwarding keeps being killed by erratic windows firewall
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2016, 02:52:30 PM »

 

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