Peer to peer or P2P network programs allow easier file sharing among people with shared interests. Most P2P networking programs need a certain number of network ports to be open to operate at its peak performance. Most of the ports in the host computer can be opened by the software but if the computer is connected to a router to access the internet, these same ports have to be opened manually on the router. This is a task often give to the end user or to the network administrator for larger networks.
For a more basic configuration of P2P network routers, read on.
- Using the router’s owner manual, locate the default IP address, user name and passwords for said router.
- IP addresses are commonly a numeric address like “http://198.178.0…” In your default web browser window, key in the IP address of the router. Click “Go” in the browser.
- Enter both user name and the password in the boxes provided. Most routers use “Admin” as a default for user name. We suggest you follow this as it leaves no doubt on which user has administrator rights.
- Locate the section in the router configuration interface entitled “Port Forwarding.” Each router places the settings in different locations; some place it under “Applications” others may put it in “Gaming.” It’s best you consult your router user’s manual to know where yours has been placed.
- Insert your computer’s IP address with the P2P software in the field labeled “IP Address.” Windows machines typically place the IP address in the Support tab in the Local Area Connection box. To access this, select “Start” then access “Settings” then “Control Panel.” From the Control Panel, go to “Network Connections.” Right click on the Network Connections icon for the Ethernet card entitled “Local Area Connection” from there select “Status.” The IP Address should be found in the “Support” tab.
- Refer to the P2P software which ports needs to be opened. You can type the port number needed to be opened in the “Port” tab.
- Select the networking protocol to be used by the port. That information is found in the P2P software.
- This is pretty much the end of the configuration. Save the changes and depending on your kind of router you may need to reboot it.
Now that you’ve configured your P2P network you should take precautions to protect your system against viruses that could erase data in your computer. Download or purchase the most up-to-date and advanced anti-viruses as you are leaving your computer open to unwanted viruses and strange users. Its best you set up firewalls to protect your data.
Make sure you read and understand the instructions and information in your router user’s manual as it is essential that you input the correct information to configure your P2P network properly. Be careful as you’re inputting info and when opening ports if you open the wrong port or leave too may open you leave your system vulnerable to viruses and hackers.