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The goal of this page is to help you work your way through problems caused by your network configuration, including firewalls, routers, and proxies. This page might get kind of long and rambling, so if you don't see your problem answered right up front, please read the whole page with a sense of quiet, but hopeful, desperation.

Also, you might check out the FAQs and the MIX forum.

Super Frequently Asked Questions
MIX Forum

The page is written mainly from the perspective of Well of Souls, but this information should also apply to Arcadia and Rocket Club.


Common Problems:

General Questions:


This page says 'port' a lot, and it might help to know what a port is, more or less. And let's start by explaining the difference between a port and an IP Address.

An IP address is that number that looks like "" (four numbers separated by periods). Is it a big secret?

If the Internet were the US Postal Service, your IP address would be the 'street address' written on the outside of the envelope. And your computer is the 'house' in question. It's all the Internet needs to carry a packet of information from anywhere in the world all the way to the computer with that address.

But, much as your house has many people living in it (have you looked under the stairs lately?), your computer has many programs running on it, all of which might potentially want to receive mail of their own.

A Port is a number (between 0 and 65535) which is like the name of the person to whom the packet is intended. Two programs running at the same time on your computer cannot share the same port number.

So the combination of the IP Address and the Port Number, are what make sure that a particular letter (packet) makes it to its final destination.

Normally, one thinks of each IP address as being the address of a single computer. But you can actually set up a network of computers in your home, which then share the same IP address through a router.

Note: While any port number in the range of 0-65535 is 'legal', many of them have very special meanings (like port 80 is used for a web server program). For games, you usually want to use numbers in the thousands. I like using 8000 for WoS.


A firewall is a computer program which sits between the game and the Internet. It might be built into your ISP, your modem, your router, your computer, or the computer which is hosting your Windows Internet Connection Sharing.

Whenever a packet comes in from the Internet, the firewall looks at it first and may decide to throw it away, rather than pass it along to your computer. It does this to protect you from evil hackers and worm-ridden computers.

The most common firewalls in the WoS community are the one built into Windows XP, and the one provided by your cable modem ISP.

Firewalls are mainly concerned with IP addresses and Ports and know a certain number of ports which should always be allowed (or your computer just won't work) and some that might occasionally be allowed.

But generally the firewall knows nothing about the ports used by your games, and will block them unless you tell itl not to.

The firewall functionality is different from that of a router, since the firewall is only concerned with security and throwing packets away, while the router is concerned with forwarding data to the appropriate computer on the network. What is confusing is that so many products mix the router and firewall functionality into a single box. It's perfectly OK to do this, just adds to the confusion.

Your firewall is probably more concerned with unexpected incoming packets than it is worried about outgoing data. So you may find that your firewall doesn't prevent you from playing a game, but does prevent you from hosting a server for that game.

You can read about opening ports for WoS with the XP Firewall here.


The Internet maintains a giant 'address book' of all the IP addresses in use (this is called the Domain Name Service, or DNS). In general there is only one computer per IP address. (and since there are at most 4 billion unique IP addresses, it means we will run out of them sometime soon... not really... well.. sort of.. but there's a plan..)

Also, you have to pay money for an IP address (your ISP charges you for it), so if you have several computers in your house, you might have opted to save a couple bucks and only buy one IP address which is then shared between your computers. In this case, you must have some sort of router.

A router is a computer which is on the Internet (so it has its own IP address -- the REAL IP address.. the one which is registered in the DNS and the one which other people can send packets to.)

The router then sits between the Internet and your LAN (Local Area Network). The computers on your LAN *think* they have individual IP addresses, but really they have 'fake' (or LOCAL) IP addresses. Only your router knows about these fake IP Addresses.

Fake addresses usually look like this: ""

When a computer on the LAN sends a packet out into the Internet, it travels through the router and the router changes the LOCAL IP address into the REAL IP address. So everyone thinks the packet came from the router, and if they 'reply' to the packet, that reply will go to the router (not the computer on the LAN).

When a packet comes in from the Internet, it comes to the router first and the router has to figure out which computer on the LAN should get it.

In general, the router figures this out based on the port number used. It looks up in a list it has of which computers on the LAN asked to use which port numbers, then it forwards the packet to that computer.

Now, if you only have one computer on your LAN, you can probably tell your router to forward ALL packets to that one computer. This sounds sort of silly (why did you get that router in the first place?) but it may not be completely silly, since your router and your computer might actually be the same box. For example, if you use Windows "Internet Connection Sharing" then ONE of your computers (the one which is actually connected to the Internet) IS the router.

But in my experience, most people with separate routers use one made by LinkSys and I ask you to check out their web site for details on port forwarding.

To give a general example of port forwarding, without going into the details of configuring a particular router, let's say:

  1. You have a a router with REAL ip address
  2. You have a couple of computers on a LAN behind that router
  3. You are running WoS on the computer with LOCAL IP address
  4. You have told WoS to use port 8000
  5. You are running WoS, and have opened port 8000 on your firewall

You need to tell your router, that if it gets any incoming packets on port 8000, it should forward them to the computer at (and keep the port number unchanged).

If you were also running WoS on the second computer behind your firewall, you would need to tell THAT computer to use a DIFFERENT port number, then have your router forward THAT port number to the other local IP address.


In general a Proxy, or Proxy Server, is a computer that you ask to do something on your behalf. In this case what I really mean is a web proxy.

WoS occasionally fetches files from the synthetic-reality web site. And unless you tell it otherwise, it will try to connect directly to the web site.

Your LAN (Local Area Network) may have decided to not let computers on the LAN do that. They might have a good reason, like they want to ensure security and maybe even cache popular web pages locally. Or they may have a bad reason, like they are anal pricks and want to monitor your Internet browsing while at work.

In any case, if your computer has to use a Web Proxy, and you don't tell Wos to use it, then WoS will be unable to fetch the files it needs, and you will be unable to play.

The way a web proxy works is like this:

  1. You type some url into your browser, like ""
  2. Without a proxy, your browser would look up the IP address of and then make a web page fetch request directly to that IP address
  3. With a proxy, your browser sends the request to your proxy server, and it is your proxy server which looks up the IP address and fetches the page, then it returns the page contents back to your browser
  4. Your browser doesn't know if the page really came from the site, or from some old copy of the web page that the proxy had stored on its disk drive.
  5. The proxy keeps a record of every page you fetch, so your boss can see if you are browsing porn sites from work.

In general, I think proxies are a sin against the Internet since at best they slow down the fetch and cache stale copies of pages, and at worst they just plain make things break. So, of course, AOL uses tons of proxies. Which is why it is hard to get the latest game patches when on AOL.

Which is not to say you should be surfing the web while at work (for porn or otherwise) unless for solid work purposes.


TCP and UDP are 'protocols' which just means they are agreed upon methods implemented in a standard way such that any two standards-based computers can use them and achieve the expected result.

These particular protocols are concerned with data from one computer to another.

Data gets lumped together into small packets of a few hundred bytes (think 'characters' if you prefer). And then the packet is sent as a whole from one computer to another via the Internet.

To get from the source computer to the destination computer, your packet will probably have to 'hop' across the network from one computer to another (these in-between computers are generally called 'switches'). You might be, for example, 10 switches away from the destination computer.

In the UDP protocol (Universal Datagram Protocol), each packet is like an envelope which has the complete mailing address of both the sender and the receiving computers. Hence whenever a switch sees such a packet, it knows exactly where it needs to send it, so it moves it along towards its destination. But those addresses are kinda long, and add a bit of overhead to your data, so the packet is somewhat large (and therefore a bit slower to be sent, since bandwidth is limited in some places along its journey.)

Also, if your computer sends two UDP packets in a row, they may not both take the same path across the Internet (there may be more than one series of hops the packet can take to get from the source to the destination, and each switch is allowed to pick the 'best' hop at the time, which can vary with how busy the link is from one switch to another.) So UDP packets are not guaranteed to arrive 'in order' at the destination. In fact, they are not GUARANTEED to arrive at all!

In the TCP Protocol (Terminal Control Protocol), you actually form a 'connection' between the source and destination computers by sending a special packet at the start. As this packet hops from your source computer to the destination, each switch along the way writes down a little note about it. Then subsequent packets don't need the full address info in them, they just need a 'connection number' which the switches can use to route all the packets exactly the same way.

This makes the individual packets somewhat smaller (therefore faster), and the switch's job easier since it doesn't have to think about the best way to send every packet. Plus the packets arrive at the destination in the same order they were sent.

PLUS, the TCP protocol includes some special error detection logic which lets it re-send any packets which it feels might have gotten dropped along the way, so TCP is considered a 'reliable' transport mechanism, in that it guarantees all your data will be delivered... eventually. (unless the computers actually shut down)

So, why would anyone use UDP if its unreliable, un-ordered, and slower?

Well, the bottom line is that you pay some extra expenses for using TCP. The Internet itself is just as unreliable for an individual TCP packet as a UDP one. And if a TCP packet gets lost, there may be a delay of several SECONDS before the other side realizes it needs to re-send it. Hence your stream of data will occasionally pause for SECONDS at a time.

UDP, on the other hand, just passes the data when it gets it, adds no extra thinking to it, and is good for sending rapid periodic data blobs, where you don't really care too much about the missing ones (or where you implement your very own reliability on top of UDP itself)

Also, if something bad happens to a switch, UDP packets can nimbly dance around that switch. But if something bad happens to a switch which is part of your TCP connection, well, your connection is broken unless the switch was smart enough to know it was going to die, and transfer all its smarts to another switch before it explodes. (Switches are pretty darn smart these days).

The original goal of the Internet was to be able to still send data after a nuke took out some portion of the infrastructure. UDP is more true to that goal. But TCP can do the same thing if you are willing to re-connect after the nuke hits :-) "Dang, there goes Houston! Honey, would you reconnect to the MIX server again for me?"


WoS and Arcadia can use several ports at the same time, but you can control which ports those are (mostly). Let's say you want to use the default ports, just to keep everyone's life simple:

  1. Run WoS or Arcadia and get to the "Where Do You Want To Play Today" dialog.
  3. There are two fields in question "UDP PORT" and "TCP PORT"
    (in older versions these are called "UDP SOCKET" and "TELNET LISTEN PORT")
  4. Set them both to 8000
  5. OK the Dialogs
  6. Restart WoS if you made any changes

Now the exceptions. First off, you don't have to use 8000, but I guess I recommend you use that unless you have some compelling reason not to.

One such compelling reason would be if you wanted to run WoS at the same time on two computers which were behind the same router. Those two copies of WoS would need to use different ports, and your router would have to be configured to forward one port to one computer and the other port to the other computer.

The other handwaving is that WoS/Arcadia might need more than one port. If so they will START at the one you defined (8000 here) and then, if that is not available, they will try 8001, 8002, etc.

So in the example of two computers behind the same router, you might want to think in terms of port ranges, rather than individual ports. You might then forward all ports from 8000 to 8999 to one computer and 9000 to 9999 to the other.


Usually you launch your copy of MIX from within the game (by pressing the MAKE NEW SERVER button when looking at the list of available MIX servers.)

This opens a dialog which lets you specify the name and port of that server. If you leave the port number set to 0, a port will be picked at random. If you are behind a firewall or router, that's probably not going to work.

So in that case you need to pick a good port number. What makes a good port number?

  1. It isn't already in use. For example, if you told WoS to use port 8000, then you can't have MIX use that same port.
  2. It isn't some 'special port' (use something over 5000 and you'll probably be ok)
  3. It's a legal value (ok, use something between 5000 and 32767 just to play it safe)
  4. Use 8888 and be like the rest of us. That's the official default port.

Some trial and error may be required, if you run lots of programs at the same time. And if you run more than one copy of MIX on the same PC, be sure to give each one its own port number.

And remember, if you are behind a firewall or router, you need to set them up to handle the MIX ports the same as you would the WoS ports. So pick a number... say 8888... and always use that for MIX, and configure your firewall to let UDP and TCP in/out on that port, and tell your router how to forward that port to the computer which is running MIX.


This is easy. As of this writing, Rocket Club uses port 21000. The Hub uses port 20999. Rocket Club may use TCP or UDP on these ports. You will definitely need to open 21000 through your firewall for both TCP and UDP, and forward it through your router, if you have one.

Chances are you won't need to do anything special for 20999, but if I am wrong, well, just do the same thing that you did for 21000.


I refer you to the Windows documentation on this subject:

For WoS you need to tell WoS which ports to use, then open those ports for both TCP and UDP data.

If you told WoS to use port 8000 for both TCP and UDP, then you should open ports 8000 and 8001 in the firewall for both TCP and UDP. You might only need 8000, but having an extra port gives WoS some leeway and might be mandatory to share skins.

So, for example, you would add the following four 'services' to your XP firewall:

  1. WoS 8000 UDP
    Port: 8000
  2. WoS 8000 TCP
    Port: 8000
  3. WoS 8001 UDP
    Port: 8001
  4. WoS 8001 TCP
    Port: 8001

And if you plan to host a MIX server at the same time, and have told MIX to use port 8888, then add these as well:

  1. MIX 8888 UDP
    Port: 8888
  2. MIX 8888 TCP
    Port: 8888

I do not know. I do not have one.

Please check out the LinkSys website. Or you can read what I wrote about routers in general. This link from the LinkSys site might be useful:

But when you DO forward ports, you will want to remember to forward both TCP and UDP protocols for each port. Which might look something like this:

And you should include both your WoS port and your MIX port if you want to run a MIX server. And remember that if WoS and MIX are running on the same computer, they cannot use the same port. The 'private IP address' is the "Local" IP address of your computer on your local area network.

Also, remember that for skin transfers, WoS might need to use a second port.

Hence, I recommend the following:

  1. Tell WoS to use Port 8000
  2. Tell MIX to use Port 8888
  3. Tell your router to forward the following ports
    TCP 8000
    TCP 8001
    TCP 8888
    UDP 8000
    UDP 8001
    UDP 8888
  4. Tell your firewall to accept that same port list

First you need to know the IP address and port of your proxy server (assuming you have one). I think the easiest way to do that is to ask your copy of Internet Explorer (Example is for a Windows XP machine).

  1. Run a copy of Internet Explorer
  2. Select TOOLS/Internet Options from the MENU BAR
  3. Click on the CONNECTIONS tab
  4. Click on the LAN SETTINGS button.
  5. Look for the section called "Proxy Server" and write down the ADDRESS and PORT values.

If the "Use a Proxy Server" checkbox is not checked, then IE doesn't know about your Proxy server. So either you don't have one... or... you haven't set up IE to use it. Either way, there is no point continuing here.

Now, we need the IP Address of the proxy server. If what you wrote down was four numbers separated by periods (like "") then you're set! But if what you saw as the address was words like "" then you need to translate that into the numeric form. One way to do that is as follows:

  1. Open a 'cmd' window (START button, RUN, then type 'cmd' and press ENTER)
  2. you should get a 'DOS Window'
  3. type "ping" <-- use the actual name you got

If all goes well, that will print some lines that look like this:

Reply from bytes=32 time=16ms TTL=51

And the IP Address you need is the bit just after the "Reply from"

So, at this point you have learned two valuable numbers:

Proxy IP Address: a.b.c.d
Proxy Port Number: p

If not, then there is no point continuing.

So, now, here is how to tell WoS/Arcadia to use that proxy:

  1. Run the game
  2. Get to the "Where do you want to play today" dialog
  4. Press the PROXY SETTINGS button
  5. Check the "Use Proxy Server" checkbox
  6. Fill in the Proxy Server IP Address and Port number with the hard-won values
  7. OK the dialogs, then restart the game.

Note: Do NOT tell the game to use a proxy server, if you don't actually HAVE a proxy server.


You probably think your IP address is a big secret, and that if a hacker finds out your IP address, you will immediately get your hard drive re-formatted.

You are mostly wrong. It's generally a good idea to not tell people your IP address, but it is certainly no secret. So you don't want to depend on secrecy to defend you.

But even if someone knows your IP address, they can't do anything evil to your computer unless:

  • You set up your computer to let people do evil things.
  • They know about some bug in Windows which lets them do some evil things.

Nowadays, it is mostly that second case you need to worry about. This is why you should regularly check the WINDOWS UPDATE site and keep up with the critical updates from Microsoft. You can get to WINDOWS UPDATE via your START button on the desktop.

But you will find, if you watch your firewall logs, that your computer is CONSTANTLY being probed by internet worms who are just trying IP addresses at random, then looking to see if they have not fixed various windows bugs. So stay up to date!


Assuming there is nothing wrong with the Internet, there really are servers up, and you haven't been banned for some reason, there are several reasons why your MIX server list might be empty.

Check out the text shown above the list.

"Getting list of MIX servers from last known mixmaster server"

If you see this message above the empty MIX list, it probably means you are behind a web proxy server, and you need to tell WoS to use the proxy server when fetching web pages.

"Getting list of MIX servers from mixmaster Server"

If you see this message for a long time with no results, it probably means that a firewall is blocking your UDP packets to the Master Server, or your router doesn't know how to forward the UDP responses back to the game.

I See MIX Servers on the List, but it says 'Waiting For Server Ping'

If it just says this for SOME servers on the list, then, well, you are just waiting for a ping response from those particular servers. They may be broken, the Internet between you and them may be broken, or the ping packets might just have been dropped on the floor. They may also not have configured THEIR firewall/router correctly. Just try again later.

But if you see this for ALL the servers on the list, then you probably have a firewall which is blocking UDP packets between you and those servers, or a router which doesn't know how to forward the ping responses back to the game.

I seem to have lost my network connection shortly after connecting

If you see this message in the chat area:

"You seem to have lost your network connection"

Then it means something disconnected you from the MIX server. This could be from just about anything. But if it happens consistently just after you connect to the MIX server (and you haven't been banned from that server by its admin), then it probably means that you have a firewall which is only allowing TCP connections to stay up for a few seconds (acceptable for most web page fetches, but not for most games).

Or the person hosting the server has a firewall or router problem. In that case, however, it would not happen to you on EVERY server you visited.

When I host a MIX server, it never appears on the server list

Assuming you can play the game on someone else's server (if not, please fix that first), then you probably have not told your firewall and/or router about the port you used for MIX.

You need to open your firewall for both UDP and TCP traffic on the MIX port, and tell your router to forward the MIX port to the computer which is running MIX.

If you run several copies of MIX at the same time, you need a separate port for each copy, and must open the firewall and configure the router for each port.

Your copy of MIX will only appear on the MIX Server List if you have enabled it as a PUBLIC MIX SERVER (there is a checkbox for that on the MIX window).

NOTE: You cannot host a MIX server if you have a Web Proxy Server

NOTE: You should also check to make sure you have not gotten banned from your own server! Press the BanIP button and think about who all is on it. You can easily ban yourself if you make two connections to your server from the same IP address and have not specifically allowed that.

When I host a MIX server, no one can ping it or connect to it.

Assuming your server appears in the MIX server list, it sounds like MIX is running on a PC which is protected by a firewall which has not been told to allow UDP access to the port that MIX is working with.

Or UDP Port forwarding has not been enabled in your router.

Or your router is making up a temporary port number which is not being forwarded. Since the release of MIX version 1.22 there is a new checkbox next to the edit box where you enter the port number. It has the highly descriptive label of "!!"

When you set the "!!" checkbox, you are telling the master server to publish the port you entered, as opposed to the temporary port your router made up. You will definitely need to have port-forwarded that port in your router, but this might make a difference for you. Just try it and see if it helps. After changing the state of the "!!" checkbox, it might take 5 minutes or so to take effect, so be patient (or toggle the 'make my server public' checkbox to force your copy of MIX to check in again sooner.)

I can't connect to my own MIX server, but other people can.

If you are 100% positive that other people are seeing your server on the MIX lists, getting a good ping from it, connecting to it, not losing their connections shortly thereafter, and are able to see each other in the game and play, then... ok, you're the only one who can't play on your server. Otherwise, please keep researching the real problem.

But if you are really the only one who can't get there, then the most likely explanation is that you have somehow managed to ban yourself. Rummage around on the MIX interface and you will see it is possible to ban people in the following ways:

  • By IP Address. (Is your IP showing up as maybe 'suspicious packet activity'?)
  • By Serial Number (Is your soul ID on the list?)

You can remove any ban you see, by using the appropriate dialog.

While not banning per se, there are other MIX settings which can have an effect. One of the more common ones is the "Allow Multiple Connections from Same IP" checkbox. If everyone on your LAN is sharing an IP address, you won't be able to have more than one player connected without allowing this option.

I don't like to read, just boss me around a little

OK, I declare that you are using Windows XP Firewall with a Linksys Router and want to run WoS and a single MIX server at the same time.

Do This:

  1. Tell WoS to use port 8000 for TCP and UDP
  2. Tell MIX to use port 8888
  3. Tell your XP Firewall to allow TCP and UDP on ports 8000, 8001, and 8888
  4. Tell your Router to forward UDP and TCP on ports 8000, 8001, and 8888
  5. Make sure you haven't BANNED YOURSELF from your own MIX server
Tell Me More about Routers Making up Temporary Ports

I am making up the following after conversations with people who have routers other than my own, so please don't take it as gospel, though it appears to be true.

In the good old days, port-forwarding was your responsibility, and if you had two LAN computers that wanted to listen on the same port, you had a problem teaching your router to forward correctly. I am guessing this is why some routers added the feature I am about to discuss, but they may have had a different objective.

Anyway, port forwarding aside, what these routers do is modify your port number dynamically. SO, for example, your LAN computer sends a packet from port 1000. This goes through the router who then makes up a new port number (say 2000) and writes a note to itself that should it get a response for port 2000, it should automatically forward it to your PC's port 1000. Sounds sweet!

The problem is that the router has no explicit way (at least not with UDP packets) of knowing when you are done with this port, and it is left holding this little piece of data reminding it to forward 2000 to 1000. That uses up memory and a port number which the router feels it might need for something else, so it implements a timeout. If no other packets are seen using this mapping for 'a while' then it deletes the mapping.

So, if you have a period of little traffic on this connection, the mapping is destroyed. When you then send the next packet, a NEW mapping is made, but now it is using a new port number (say, 2001) since the router doesn't re-use port numbers immediately, but cycles through a long list of them until it wraps back around to the start of the list.

This is fine, I guess, for your new packet, but what about the other players (and MIX servers) who have you written down as using port 2000? That port doesn't work any more. The game comes to an end.

Add to that, some routers use an aggressively short timeout, and you have a recipe for 'no server hosting for YOU'

For this reason, MIX version 1.22 adds a new checkbox, called "!!" and when that checkbox is checked, the master server will publish the port number you personally specified (1000) and not the port number the router made up (2000,2001 in this example). You will definitely need to manually forward that port (1000), but at least it will be a stationary target, instead of one that changes every few minutes.

(Note that the "!!" checkbox takes effect after the next time your MIX server checks in with the master, which it does every few minutes)

And thanks to GuppyMan for suggesting this.



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