1 2 3 Previous Next 51 Replies Latest reply: Dec 21, 2010 2:30 PM by lgnd-shiz RSS

    Router Testing - Getting an Open NAT

      Although I don't expect anyone to go out and purchase a new router just to play Black Ops, I did want to take a few minutes and share some test results.

      Some users have reported that Black Ops will report something differently than MW2 with regards to NAT type. Some have reported that if they load MW2 first, then load Black Ops, the NAT will go from moderate to open.

      This really got my attention because it would imply that Black Ops is not opening the proper game ports if your router is UPnP enabled (and many are, especially those from 3rd parties instead of the white label OEM versions that comes with your Cable, ISDN, or Fiber package).

      So, I started to look into this.

      At first, I could not reproduce the issue with my LinkSystem E3000 (a very common, and relative newish router). My NAT would always be moderate and the XMB would tell me that UPnP was "Not Available" even though UPnP was enabled on the router. So, I upgraded the firmware from 1.0.02 to 1.0.03.

      After doing so, the XMB would report that UPnP was "Available." However, if I booted straight into MP with "Load MP by Default" option, the game would still report Moderate. If I turned that option off and went through the Campaign/SP menu, the game would report the NAT as OPEN, as it should.

      We put Wireshark (packet sniffer, network logger) on the line. Sure enough, the request to open the necessary ports was being sent by Black Ops, however the reply was coming back during HDD read access and getting dropped by the PS3. This is a minor timing bug and can be fixed with more aggressive re-try attempts.

      This also explains why some people could load MW2 and then load Black Ops. Your router was creating the same port mappings Black Ops wants to use. I was able to repro this after the firmware upgrade.

      This solution won't open your NAT unless you have a UPnP router and the same timing issue I have. However, I was able to repro the problem, and the workaround (disabling the Load MP by Default) on a Netgear Range Max Wireless N 150 as well as my Linksys E3000.  I have a feeling I could repro and work around on more routers.

      Moving on.

      Today I experimented with the following:

      -Linksys E3000
      -Linksys E2000
      -Belkin F7D8302v1
      -Belkin F7D301v1
      -Netgear Router Manager Wireless G WGR614v10 (with Wireless disabled)
      -Netgear Range Max Wireless N150 Router WPN824N

      Out of the box, ever single one of these routers has UPnP enabled and without fail, Black Ops would report as OPEN Nat when connected to them and the XMB would report that UPnP was Enabled.

      In fact, I turned off UPnP on all of them so I could get more moderate Nats in my test case. Only the Linksys routers worked as I expected they would and turn Black Ops back to Moderate NAT if UPnP was disabled.

      Both Belkins and both Netgears would report that UPnP was not available in the XMB, but Black Ops would report the NAT as open. I suspect this is because they cache the port mappings. I have them powered off over night, and will look again at them tomorrow morning.


      To be super clear. I am not using wireless in any of these tests and have the radios turned off on the routers entirely. I do not recommend wireless for internet intensive gaming. It's just one more thing that can go wrong.


      Having an open NAT (or a UPnP router) won't solve all party, matchmaking, connectivity, or other issues you may be experiencing. It will help, and certainly won't hurt.

      Be sure the firmware on your router is up to date.

      See if XBM says that UPnP is allowed. If it is not allowed, you should have realistic expectations. At this point, you are at the mercy of the other clients to send you information.

      Check in the party lobby or the MP -> Options -> <Select button> what the NAT type is.

      Last but not least. A solid UPnP router is just one way to get an OPEN NAT. Port fowarding and/or a DMZ are other viable options, but getting into those are outside the scope of this already massively long post.

      David 'Vahn' Vonderhaar
        • 1. Re: Router Testing - Getting an Open NAT
          Xuhybrid
          Id like to provide my own feedback.

          I have a Netgear DG834Gv5 and when i set up my PS3 connection, it was telling me UPnP was Unavailable. My UPnP was enabled on the router however. I did read your previous message which said you had updated your firmware, so i followed suit with my own router. During the next set up of my PS3 connection, UPnP was reported as Available. I logged into Black Ops and my NAT type had changed from Moderate/Strict to Open and has stayed that way. After this i had a little more success, but not much, with a small party of just me and a friend. This did not solve any of the other connection problems common amongst most players. I still get locked out during the game loading screen and i get a lot of Game lobby closed messages. Still, i always enjoy updating things, so that is one upside

          Please figure out a way to fix it without us having to **** around with our hardware!
          • 2. Re: Router Testing - Getting an Open NAT
            Does anyone know if having UPnP enabled is better for playing Black Ops or not? I have mine disabled, but I have a static IP for my PS3 with ports UDP/TCP 0-65545 all open(to mimic DMZ). I've tried enabling UPnP in the past before the current patch, and it took a LONG time to find games and stay connected to them.

            Even with having all of my ports open, the new patch and hotfix have not solved staying connected to games, constant freezing(I never froze before the patch), and the frame rate of the game is still terrible.

            A note about the framerate: there are 2 entirely separate problems going on with the framerate. The first one is when you are host, the game just gets choppy and stutters all over the place. When I'm not a host however, the game is smoother, but the game is still choppy when in certain maps(Firing Range, Summit, Jungle, etc), and it just seems like there isn't enough being optimized. Vahn, if you read this, can you please tell us if the framerate issue is being addressed? Also, is it really true that the PS3 version of Black Ops is only using 256mb of the PS3's RAM?

            Either way; all of the previous Call of Duty games for the PS3 had great frames per second...and aside from the more current problems, I really hope this particular issue gets addressed. Thank you for your time.
            • 3. Re: Router Testing - Getting an Open NAT
              Xuhybrid
              Oh and i should add, im using Wireless for my PS3, i put it as the DMZ and its using OpenDNS as the DNS servers.
              • 4. Re: Router Testing - Getting an Open NAT
                page 3 bump for those who haven't read yet.
                • 5. Re: Router Testing - Getting an Open NAT
                  StewboaT
                  BUMP.  Very insightful.  In saying that, I briefly achieved and open nat, wirelessly, by disabling UPnP.  Very strange indeed.
                  • 6. Re: Router Testing - Getting an Open NAT
                    dungbeetle
                    David.

                    Thanks for latching onto this issue and giving us your thoughts and feedback via the forums.

                    It's very much appreciated.
                    • 7. Re: Router Testing - Getting an Open NAT

                      x_SniperWolf_x wrote:

                       

                      Does anyone know if having UPnP enabled is better for playing Black Ops or not? I have mine disabled, but I have a static IP for my PS3 with ports UDP/TCP 0-65545 all open(to mimic DMZ). I've tried enabling UPnP in the past before the current patch, and it took a LONG time to find games and stay connected to them.

                      Even with having all of my ports open, the new patch and hotfix have not solved staying connected to games, constant freezing(I never froze before the patch), and the frame rate of the game is still terrible.

                      A note about the framerate: there are 2 entirely separate problems going on with the framerate. The first one is when you are host, the game just gets choppy and stutters all over the place. When I'm not a host however, the game is smoother, but the game is still choppy when in certain maps(Firing Range, Summit, Jungle, etc), and it just seems like there isn't enough being optimized. Vahn, if you read this, can you please tell us if the framerate issue is being addressed? Also, is it really true that the PS3 version of Black Ops is only using 256mb of the PS3's RAM?

                      Either way; all of the previous Call of Duty games for the PS3 had great frames per second...and aside from the more current problems, I really hope this particular issue gets addressed. Thank you for your time.



                      I'm more inclined to say to have a static forward setup or a DMZ (mimic'd or not) if you do not want to be bothered by different forwarding requirements and/or potential UPnP timing issues that some games can give. Black Ops is certainly not alone in that aspect.

                      I think the problem you and most of us encountered shortly after the release of the 1.04 patch were due to two factors, lack of addtional optimization server side and the servers being hammered by oodles of eager Black Ops gamers. Things are slowly settingling down again and in fairness one has to say it looks good so far.

                      The host FPS issue is still present even after latest patch and server side updates but I think that was to be expected since it isn't network/load related. I do sincerely hope they will have a patch for it though because it almost makes me choke my upstream on my router just to prevent becoming host.

                      Peace,
                      forks

                      ps. David, do I understand you are going to be implementing a more aggresive UPnP  timing to work around some of the compatibility issues?
                      • 8. Re: Router Testing - Getting an Open NAT
                        dungbeetle

                        x_SniperWolf_x wrote:

                         

                        A note about the framerate: there are 2 entirely separate problems going on with the framerate. The first one is when you are host, the game just gets choppy and stutters all over the place. When I'm not a host however, the game is smoother, but the game is still choppy when in certain maps(Firing Range, Summit, Jungle, etc), ...



                        Yes. This sums up my framerate issues pretty well.

                        Hopefully framerates are also on Treyarch's todo list.
                        • 9. Re: Router Testing - Getting an Open NAT

                          x_SniperWolf_x wrote:

                           

                          Does anyone know if having UPnP enabled is better for playing Black Ops or not? I have mine disabled, but I have a static IP for my PS3 with ports UDP/TCP 0-65545 all open(to mimic DMZ). I've tried enabling UPnP in the past before the current patch, and it took a LONG time to find games and stay connected to them.

                          Even with having all of my ports open, the new patch and hotfix have not solved staying connected to games, constant freezing(I never froze before the patch), and the frame rate of the game is still terrible.

                          A note about the framerate: there are 2 entirely separate problems going on with the framerate. The first one is when you are host, the game just gets choppy and stutters all over the place. When I'm not a host however, the game is smoother, but the game is still choppy when in certain maps(Firing Range, Summit, Jungle, etc), and it just seems like there isn't enough being optimized. Vahn, if you read this, can you please tell us if the framerate issue is being addressed? Also, is it really true that the PS3 version of Black Ops is only using 256mb of the PS3's RAM?

                          Either way; all of the previous Call of Duty games for the PS3 had great frames per second...and aside from the more current problems, I really hope this particular issue gets addressed. Thank you for your time.



                          Hi, I always have UPnP disabled with a static ip address and ports forworded and my NAT has always been OPEN.
                          Forwording the right ports is the first thing i do in every new game i buy.
                          Anyway i got connection issues only with Black ops.
                          I add that my ISP is not so fast so i'm usually not the host and usually my PS3 never freezes.
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