Vuze 101 – How To Configure IP Address, NAT & Port Forwarding With Vuze

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If you’re new to torrenting or using Vuze for the first time you may be surprised to learn that getting set-up isn’t completely turnkey. There are some additional configurations that need t be implemented first. This process isn’t unique to Vuze and is part of set-up with nearly all torrent clients, as well as many other applications and services. However, if you’re new it can seem daunting.

So, before you get started with torrents and using Vuze you’ll want to configure and confirm a few backend items. This will provide you and others with a smooth experience. Because everyone has different operating systems, hardware and set-ups you’ll want to refer to this post as a general guide, not a customized how to tailored for each user. Links to resources for information related to specific equipment are included to assist you with the configuration process.

There are three different configuration areas that we’ll review in this post. Keep in mind that Vuze Bittorrent Client has many, many more, but today’s focus will be on three in particular. As you read along you’ll see how all of these elements fit together. Let’s learn how to configure:

  1. IP Address
  2. Network Address Translation (NAT)
  3. Port Forwarding

What is an IP address and why is it important with Vuze Bittorrent Client?

An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique string dotted-decimal numbers that identifies your device or computer. Just like a street address for your home tells people where to deliver packages an IP routes information from the Internet to your computer. A sample IP address sequence might look like this:  192.168.1.1.

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Now that we’ve defined what an IP address is there are a few different components to cover:

  • Do you have a dynamic or static IP address?
  • Where do you find your IP address?

First, determine if you have a static (it never changes) or dynamic (updates each time you logon) IP address. Easiest way to do this for PC or Mac is by typing “What’s my IP address” into Google. The search engine will show your IP address at the top of the SERPs. Make a note of the number (sample: 192.168.1.1).

Next, shutdown your browser, disconnect your computer from the Internet and restart your router. Wait a moment and then reconnect and restart. Open your browser and repeat the step above to find your IP address using Google. If you the number matches the previous that you wrote down then you probably have a static IP address. If it is different then you have a dynamic IP address.

In order to utilize Vuze you will need to have a static IP address.

For users with dynamic IP addresses use a service that can provide you with a static IP address that auto-updates as your IP changes so that you can host torrents regardless of the change.

NOTE: If you use a service to obtain a static IP for your dynamic IP, you may need to configure your PC or Mac with your new static IP address. This isn’t true in every instance, but it may be an additional step in your configuration process if you find that you’re unable to open your ports.

Now that we’ve figured out whether we have a static or dynamic IP we’ll want to identify the IP addresses associated with our network and computer. You can do this through many different sites and services, however, you want to pay attention to the IP address that you’re being presented with when you do this.

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For example, if your PC is connected to a network it will have an IP address, but if it’s also connected to the Internet then it will have an internal IP address (location on the network) and an external IP address (address of your internet connection).

Find your internal IP address

PC

If you’re on a PC, you can find your internal IP address by following these steps:

  • Press Windows + R (press Windows + X key if you’re using Windows 8) keys to open the “Run” dialogue window
  • Enter “cmd” (no quote marks) into the command prompt
  • From new Window type “ipconfig” and press enter
  • Your network connection information will appear in a list
  • Scroll and look for “IPv4”
  • The decimal sequence of numbers next to “IPv4” is your internal IP address
  • Sample: 192.168.1.1

Alternative method for PC

  • Open the “Start” menu
  • Go to “Programs”, look for “Network”
  • Right-click “Network” and choose “Properties” from the pop-up menu
  • In your “Active Networks” look for “Local Area Connection” or “Wireless Network Connection” and click
  • In the pop-up window, click the “Details” button
  • Your internal IPv4 address will be shown

Mac

  • Open the “Settings” app
  • Click on “Network”
  • Select your Wi-Fi connection or router from the list
  • Your IP address will be shown above the “Network Name” drop-down button
  • Sample: “Wi-Fi is connected to 2WIRE687 and has the IP address 192.168.1.1”

Find your external IP address

The external IP address is easier to find. You’ve actually already learned how to find your external address when you used Google (in the above steps) to confirm whether your IP address was static or dynamic. Just enter “What’s my IP address” and make a note of the number. That will be your external IP address.

At this point you should have an internal IP address, an external IP address and a burning desire to get Vuze configured. For the first part of our configuration we’ll add your external IP to Vuze.

  • Open your Vuze client
  • Vuze > Tools > “Options”
  • Click “Tracker” and then select “Server” in the sub-menu
  • In the “Tracker: Server” window fill in the “Tracker external IP address” with your address

Done with the first part, but there’s still some work to do. Read on to learn more.

What is NAT and how does it work with Vuze?

NAT is a process that enables each device on your network to have its own IP address. Although each device does have its own IP address (your smartphone, your computer, your tablet, etc.) it appears externally as if all requests are coming from a single IP address, or the IP that has been provided to you via your ISP (Internet Service Provider), like AT&T Uverse, Comcast, Cox, NetZero or other ISP. In short, NAT allows private network addresses to be managed separately from public Internet addresses.

Pretty simple so far, right? Now let’s put it in context. A new movie just opened in your local theater and you want to find showtimes and purchase tickets so you use your web browser on your computer to search and end up clicking on the Fandango.com in the SERPs. That click doesn’t burst out on the web, instead it’s funneled through your router. Your router tracks the device that is being used to make the request (or in this case, the click) and then it shares it and waits for the Fandango.com server to respond. When that response is received your router matches it to the device that made the original request.

For the most part this process is the same when it’s flip-flopped. So, if a computer on the Internet needs to communicate with your IP address your router will understand how to fulfill the request. This is a bare bones explanation of how NAT works.

NAT works with Vuze by making it look like it’s running on your router with some port forwarding help. Within your Vuze client there is a test function to see if your ports are accepting incoming connections. Let’s run a test to see if your ports are open:

  • Vuze > Help > “NAT/Firewall Test”
  • Next to “Incoming TCP Listen Port” click “Test”
  • If you receive “OK!” your port is open. Success!
  • If you receive “Error” or other there is a problem.
  • Now click “Test” next to “Incoming UDP Listen Port”
  • Similar to the above, look for an “OK!”, but you may see an “Error”

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Depending upon the results of your test you may or may not have to continue with configuring. If you passed each test with an OK then you’re solid and good to go. For those that saw an error message or something different we’ll need to do complete a few extra steps to open your ports.

What is port forwarding and why do I need it with Vuze Bittorrent Client?

Most users access their Vuze client from a computer that’s behind a router. Port forwarding is used to allow remote computers (computers on the Internet) access to your computer on your network. Like extensions to an office phone system, ports are virtual pathways that enable information to be sent to and from computers.

Ports are used for just about anything you can think of, VOIP, POP3 email, FTP, hosting game servers and peer-to-peer (P2P) downloading, or Vuze. You can set up forwarding rules so that email requests coming to or from a port and IP address — port 110 to 111.111.9.999, for example — are forwarded to port 80 instead.

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To use Vuze and allow users to contact and share torrents you’ll need to configure port forwarding options. Again, there isn’t a universal port forwarding protocol walk-through that applies to everyone. As we shared above, hardware, operating systems and set-up will impact the exact method to configure. To help push new users in the right direction and simplify this process here are some fantastic resources to connect with.

Port Forward has just about everything you’ll need to understand and configure things. They have a comprehensive list of routers and models, as well as a large list of programs and how to configure them with your specific router and model. Happy to report that Vuze is on that list – just search alphabetically.

For manual port forwarding more users can easily follow the instructions that Port Forward provides. There are very straightforward and simple to use. A short list of things to gather and steps that you’ll follow in tandem with Port Forward’s online instructions:

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Once you’ve configured your router and opened your ports you can do a quick test on Canyouseeme.org to confirm that your port is open. Also, return to the Vuze client and re-run the NAT/Firewall Test to see confirm that ports are open.

There was quite a bit to cover, but we hope it’s given a simple overview that can make set-up and configuration easier to tackle. Once you’ve got the above in place you’ll be able to customize and tailor the Vuze client even more. If you have questions or would like additional assistance, please visit our Vuze Forums or our Vuze Wiki.

Keep your eyes open for our next Vuze 101 post in our ongoing how to series. Enjoy!

We have no commercial relationships with any of the vendors discussed in this blog, and disclaim responsibility for them and their goods and services.

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Sarah Hartshorn is a marketing, public relations and social media professional with Vuze. She blogs about content, torrents, social media and a number of other tech topics. Sarah has been involved with traditional and digital marketing since 1998.