Connection Problems

Answers to players most frequently asked questions

Connection Problems

Postby Unicron » Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:12 pm

I can't seem to connect to the online portion of the game.

If you can not connect to our game, first verify that you are connected to the internet. If you are not connected to the internet, you will not be able to play on-line. Many different things can affect your ability to make a connection with our servers. The most obvious would be problems with your Internet Service Provider such as scheduled maintenance, line problems in your area, or any number of other technical issues. If you suspect this to be the problem, contact your ISP and ask them when they expect the problem to be solved. Also make sure if you use dial-up or DSL, that your phone cord is in good shape and is tightly connected both to the modem and your phone outlet.

If, when trying to connect, the server connect display screen cycles through "server 1, 2, 3, 4" and then asks you to verify your connected to the internet, our program is being blocked from connecting to our server. This is due to a Firewall or other connection block on your computer. Firewalls and proxy servers are designed to block your internet connection in order to minimize the chances that your computer will be accessed (or hacked!) by "unwanted visitors." They also have the unfortunate side-effect, on occasion, of blocking some of the things you might want to do on-line, like playing your favorite Hardwood game with other people. These activities depend on your computer making an unimpeded connection to other computers or servers. Therefore, if you are using a firewall or proxy, the game may not be able to connect to our servers or you might not be able to download and install all of the files that you need in order to play the game(s) on-line.

Connecting to different places on-line requires access through "ports" in your computers internet connection settings. Firewalls and proxies will close certain ports for your protection as it deems necessary. This is not always necessary, but you as the firewall/proxy owner are the only one who can open those ports. We can't do it for you, as much as we would like to, but we can give you some tips on how to configure your firewall / proxy to allow the game to work properly. If your not used to making adjustments to these types of settings, we suggest you contact the manufacturer of the Firewall or other blocking software and explain to them you need instructions on how to allow your on-line game to connect to its necessary servers.

First off for the uninitiated, what is a firewall, proxy, or blocking program?

Firewalls and proxies are software programs or pieces of hardware designed to protect your computer or network from internet intruders. Some examples are:

* Norton Internet Security
* Tiny Personal Firewall
* Zonealarm
* Sygate (proxy)
* Wingate (proxy)
* Internet Connection Sharing aka ICS - provided by Windows 98SE and higher (proxy)
* Linksys Routers (hardware firewall)
* D-Link Routers (hardware firewall)
* Cisco Routers (hardware firewall)

Working Around a Firewall , Proxy, or Blocking Program:

If you are behind a firewall, proxy, or other blocking program and are capable or able to change or adjust it's settings, our games needs the following TCP ports open in order to connect to our servers:

Spades: spades.silvercrk.com and Port # 4000
Euchre: euchre.silvercrk.com and Port # 4001
Hearts: hearts.silvercrk.com and Port # 4002
Backgammon: backgammon.silvercrk.com and Port # 4004

University and Work Related Internet Connections : Universities and Work Locations usually protect their networks with firewalls. In most cases these cannot be opened by you, the end user. You will need to consult a technician at your University or Work Location to see if a workaround is possible.

We do not recommend disabling your firewall all together, but if you have no other choice and want to try this you can. If disabling the firewall doesn't work, consider this fact. Unfortunately, in some cases, firewalls/proxies cannot simply be disabled in order to allow you to use your Hardwood game. Sometimes disabling the firewall / proxy will not open the necessary ports. It will simply shut down the firewall/proxy and leave the ports closed.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a list of recommended ports to open to help facilitate a trouble free connection to our game servers. It does not necessarily mean that your particular firewall or blockage will be easy to configure. Please consult your firewall/proxy/blocking software manufacturer for specific and detailed instructions. In reality, getting our games to work on certain restrictive networks may be a little harder than opening these ports and could require the help of a trained network associate from your firewall/blocking software's support team.
Last edited by Unicron on Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Unicron » Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:13 pm

Why do I get disconnected from games?

There are a lot of different things that can effect your connection to the server and cause boots and or high ping. The most obvious would be problems with your Internet Service Provider such as scheduled maintenance, line or cable problems in your area, or any number of other technical issues. If you suspect this to be the problem, contact your ISP and ask them when they expect the problem to be solved.

Another cause of slow connections and disconnects are having other programs running that access's the internet while your running the game. Examples include software such as Instant Messengers (AOL, Yahoo, MSN, etc.), web browsers, e-mail browsers, and Windows updates. Also, make sure that you have new telephone or Ethernet cables, and are using the latest drivers and settings for your modem. You can contact your modem's manufacturer or visit their web site for information on how to get updates. You should also shorten the length of your phone/Ethernet cables between your PC and the wall as much as possible. All this will increase your connection speed.

If the previous basic troubleshooting is not solving your problem, here are some more advanced options to try;

Opening the access ports in your computers firewall, proxy, and or TCP/IP settings can greatly improve your connection. Here is a list of the ports to be opened to allow our games to connect without impediment;

Spades: spades.silvercrk.com and Port # 4000
Euchre: euchre.silvercrk.com and Port # 4001
Hearts: hearts.silvercrk.com and Port # 4002
Backgammon: backgammon.silvercrk.com and Port # 4004

Also doing the following internet and computer maintenance can greatly increase not only you connection, but your computers response speed and performance in general. For Windows, running Scan Disk and Disk Defragmenting your hard drive will help a lot. Go into "My Computer" and right click on your "C" or "Local Disk" drive and choose tools. Scan Disk and Disk Defragmenting tools can be located here. For all users, regularly clearing out your temporary internet files and cookies will also improve performance greatly.

If your still encountering problems, unfortunately, sporadic connection problems can just be part of the Internet. If you are getting disconnected often, your Internet Service Provider is usually at fault. Contact them, and they may be able to help you further.
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