Fixing Networking Problems

This section details steps to diagnose and fix problems connecting to buddies over the internet.

Steps to Fix Networking Problems
Connection Tests
UPnP
Proxies
Firewalls
Router Configuration
Buddy Connect

Steps to Fix Networking Problems

BuddyBackup does a lot of work to try and deal with restrictive firewalls and routers. However, there occasionally may be cases where you're having problems connecting to a buddy.

If you are having problems connecting to buddies, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that you are connected to the internet - e.g. by opening a browser and seeing if you can visit a website.
  2. Run the BuddyBackup connection test and follow the instructions for the tests which fail (see Connection Tests).
  3. If you can get the Incoming Connection Test working then this will give you the best connectivity. Advanced users should take a look at Router Configuration.
  4. If you can't connect to a buddy, the problem might actually be at their end. Get your buddy(s) to follow these instructions too.

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Connection Tests

BuddyBackup can run a connection test to give you an indication of your network status.

To run the connection test:

  1. Open the BuddyBackup control panel (see here)
  2. Click Tools, Check Connection
  3. Click Go

The tests are described here, along with possible actions in failure cases:

Test

Description

Action if test failed

UPnP router found

Whether a UPnP compatible router was found (see UPnP)

  • Nothing - UPnP isn't necessarily required. See UPnP

UPnP port mapping created

Whether UPnP could be used to setup your router

  • Nothing - UPnP isn't necessarily required. See UPnP

BuddyBackup server connection test

Whether BuddyBackup can connect to the central buddybackup.com server

  • Are you behind a Web Proxy? See Proxies
  • Is your router set up to allow outgoing connections? See Router
  • Do you need to setup your software firewall? See Firewalls

Incoming connection test

Whether it appears that incoming connections are possible

  • Is your router set up to allow incoming connections? See Router
  • Do you need to setup your software firewall? See Firewalls
  • See the note below

Incoming connection test

If the Incoming connection test fails, it doesn't necessarily mean that buddies won't be able to connect to you.

BuddyBackup will try a number of other ways of allowing connections to occur which involve using outgoing connections instead. So, you might find that even if this test fails, you can still connect to some or all buddies. The best way to check is to see if you can connect to buddies!

On the other hand, if this test passes then you'll be very likely to connect to all buddies.

If you are an advanced user, and want to have the best possible experience, then you might want to manually set up port forwarding as described here, even if this test passes.

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UPnP

UPnP is a technology to allow applications to discover and configure devices on a network.

BuddyBackup uses UPnP to try and find a local router and, if it finds one, to configure it to allow incoming connections to BuddyBackup.

Use of UPnP is turned on by default.

Some home routers have UPnP turned on by default but others do not. Some older routers may not even support UPnP.

Please read your routers' instructions for how to turn on UPnP.

Note

UPnP is not necessarily required for BuddyBackup to work - it might just make things work a bit better.

To configure UPnP in BuddyBackup:

  1. Open the BuddyBackup control panel (see here)
  2. Click Tools, Options
  3. Click Network
  4. Click Network Settings
  5. Tick or un-tick Use UPnP to turn on/off UPnP
  6. The text next to UPnP Status whether UPnP is working. The More details link will give more detailed information.

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Proxy

A Proxy is something on your network which sits between you and the internet. This is often installed at office/corporate networks.

In this case, everything which wants to use the internet has to first go through via the proxy.

BuddyBackup only supports HTTP proxies (this is the most common type of proxy). If you're behind a proxy, you'll need to ask your network administrator for the address and port of the proxy.

To setup BuddyBackup to use a proxy:

  1. Open the BuddyBackup control panel (see here)
  2. Click Tools, Options
  3. Click Network
  4. Click Network Settings
  5. In the Proxy section, click the box next to Use HTTP Proxy
  6. Enter the proxy address in the first box
  7. Enter the proxy port in the second box
  8. Press OK

Advanced Information

BuddyBackup only supports HTTP proxies which have the HTTP CONNECT feature enabled.

Furthermore, the CONNECT must be allowed to forward connections to ports in the range 6600-6700 in addition to HTTPS (port 443).

If either of these is not possible, then BuddyBackup may not be able to connect to peers.

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Software Firewalls

A Software Firewall is a piece of software which runs on your computer to protect it from unwanted attacks.

BuddyBackup will automatically configure the built-in Windows firewall.

If you have a third party software firewall (such as Norton 360, Comodo etc.), you might need to configure it to work with BuddyBackup. Please refer to the documentation which came with the software.

Often, software firewalls will automatically prompt you to decide whether to allow or deny an application from using your network. In order for BuddyBackup to work you must allow it full access to your network, for both outgoing and incoming connections.

Your software firewall might ask you which "port" to unlock. Here are the ports BuddyBackup requires:

  • TCP:
    • 6600 - 6700 (Outgoing and incoming)
    • 443 (Outgoing)
    • 80 (Outgoing)
  • UDP:
    • 6600 - 6700 (Outgoing and incoming)

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Router Configuration (Advanced)

A router is a device (or sometimes another computer) which manages a home or office network. This may be a box which is connected to your phone line or cable provider. They might also be referred to as "Hub", "Access Point" or "Modem".

If you are having problems connecting, it is usually possible for advanced users to setup your router to fix the problem.

Outgoing Connections

Your router must allow outgoing connections to the following ports:

  • TCP:
    • 6600 - 6700
    • 443
    • 80
  • UDP:
    • 66600 - 6700

You should not restrict outgoing IP addresses or DNS names (your buddies might be on dynamic IP addresses).

Please refer to your router documentation for how to achieve this.

Note that, routers by default often allow most outgoing traffic, so you may not need to change anything here.

Incoming Connections

You can manually try and set up Port Forwarding to improve connectivity. Port Forwarding tells your router to allow incoming connections to you. You can read all about port forwarding here: http://portforward.com/help/pfprogression.htm.

To set up port forwarding:

1. Open the BuddyBackup control panel (see 7.1)

2. Click Tools, Options

3. Click Network

4. Click Network Settings

5. Write down the value in the TCP Port box (default is 6600)

6. Configure your router to forward ports to your IP address and the port you wrote down. For more instructions please read your router configuration or visit http://portforward.com/

Advanced: Multiple BuddyBackup users on same network

Port forwarding only allows you to forward a single port to a single local IP address.

If you have more than 1 user using BuddyBackup on your local network you will need to do the following:

1. Ensure each BuddyBackup copy using a unique port number in the range 6600-6700.

2. This is set in Tools, Options, Network, Network Settings, TCP port

3. Setup port forwarding rules using each unique port for each unique user

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Buddy Connect

Buddy Connect is a feature which helps your buddies to connect to each other even if they are behind firewalls and other restrictive networks.

It works by allowing your copy of BuddyBackup to work as a "middle-man" passing data between them.

All the passed through data is encrypted which means that the middle-man can't read or interfere with the data passed along.

This is only used as a last resort, once all other avenues of connection are attempted.

In order to be able to provide this for your buddies, you must have incoming connections working (you can verify this using the connection tests described in Connection Tests).

You can configure this to only use a small portion of your bandwidth, so you won't notice the difference. You can also impose monthly limits.

If you are feeling particularly charitable, you can even allow any BuddyBackup user to use this, even if they're not one of your buddies. This helps the BuddyBackup community to backup to each other.

The BuddyBackup servers help buddies choose which third party to use, and this is done in a fair manner to ensure that buddies share the load.

To configure Buddy Connect:

  1. Open the BuddyBackup control panel (see 7.1)
  2. Click Tools, Options
  3. Click Buddies
  4. Click Buddy Connect
  5. Change Help people connect as follows:
    1. a. No - turns off Buddy Connect
    2. b. Just my Buddies - turns on only for your buddies
    3. c. Anyone using BuddyBackup - turns on for any user
  6. Change Limit internet usage to alter how much bandwidth to allow. You want to set this to a value smaller than your internet upload speed. At the time of writing, typical upload speed of broadband is 256-2000 kilobits/second. See for example http://www.speedtest.net to test your speed.
  7. Change Limit monthly usage to set a per calendar month limit of how much data to forward. After this limit is reached, no more will be forwarded until the start of the next calendar month.
  8. Usage this month shows you how much has been forwarded this calendar month.

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BuddyBackup's intuitive interface and ground breaking feature set make this one of the most important pieces of free software to grace our desks for a long time.

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