Which is to remove all the port forward rules and put the machine you need exposed into the router's DMZ entry.
goal in a nutshell: I'm attempting to help someone (online) to forward a port so they can run a game server.
On the game side of things, I also run a server for this game on my machine (XP Pro with a Linksys E2000), and they can connect to me fine. I mention this to help eliminate questions about problems with the server setup or game itself as we seem to have that process down ok.
The key differences between our setups is they run Win 7, and have a Belkin router (F5D8236-4v3) - both of which I'm not familiar with other than what I've learned over the past couple of days. It could be either, but I suspect the Router settings to be the issue...but Im guessing.
I've been using this page as a visual guide to see what they're looking at as we go; http://screenshots.portforward.com/routers/Belkin/F5D8236-4v3/default.htm , as well as screencaps from them.
The game is called 'Starbound'; http://starbounder.org/Guide:Setting_Up_Multiplayer.
Some of the steps taken so far;
-set up game server essentially as I did on my machine (different in name only)
-set a static IP for their system
-accessed router via browser to open port 21025 (TCP) on their 'virtual servers' page (http://screenshots.portforward.com/routers/Belkin/F5D8236-4v3/Virtual_Servers.htm)
-uninstalled temp version of Norton (which had apparently been controlling firewall)
-set a new rule for the port in Window's firewall (which didn't let me in so...)
-disabled Windows firewall
-disabled router's firewall
-tried changing connection type in router to 'static' (http://screenshots.portforward.com/routers/Belkin/F5D8236-4v3/Connection_Type.htm) - default was dynamic
At this point, they can now run the server successfully, and connect to it via their local machine. Using Portforward's port checker tool as well as online sources, their port still shows as closed though, and no one else can connect. According to the server log, I don't even ping their machine - it's as if no attempt has been made (e.g., if it were a password issue, etc. it would show that I had tried and failed to connect).
So, something is still blocking access and giving at least the appearance of a closed port. There must be some additional steps either with Win 7 or their Belkin router that I'm unaware of, since these steps worked on my machine. It may well be security setting on the router, which I'm not familiar with (my default setting worked find so I never messed with those). Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thx