Note: if you are using Windows XP Service Pack 2, the firewall settings are slightly different. Please see the WinXP SP2 Firewall Settings page.
Note: if you are playing with version 3.60 or greater, you need to make changes to these settings only if you want to HOST a table. To play as a GUEST, connections are outgoing only, so require no setup.
Windows comes with a "firewall" built-in. A firewall is a piece of hardware or software which isolates your computer in some way from the Internet. Some firewalls keep traffic from coming in or going out, but the firewall in WindowsXP (called Internet Connection Firewall or ICF) simply blocks incoming connection requests. Chances are that if you have WindowsXP, you have ICF blocking attempts to connect to your computer now. The only problem is that to play dominoes on the network, you have to allow in some connection requests. This page describes how to set up ICF so that connection requests from the dominoes games are allowed, while others are blocked. Note that if you have a switch/router, you don't need ICF at all, and can turn it off (uncheck the check box you see below). If you have a switch/router, you need instead to configure it to work with the games.
First, right-click on the desktop icon that says My Network Places, and choose Properties. You should see a window open that has a list of ways that you might connect to the Internet. Right-click on the one that you use and choose Properties. You should see a window that looks like the one to the right.This is a list of different protocols etc. that you have running. The point here is to turn off any firewalls that appear. Don't worry, we'll use Microsoft's built-in firewall instead. In this case, the item called Zero-Knowledge Freedom came installed on my HP PC, and I have turned it off.
Next, click the Advanced tab and you should see a window like the one on the left.Make sure the check box under Internet Connection Firewall is checked, and then click the Settings button. A window will appear showing various services that you can allow in. We need to add the port numbers that the domino games use to this list.
Click the Add button, and a new window similar to this appears. Fill in the fields as shown. Under Description of service, you can enter whatever you like there. We're going to do this a few more times, so I put the port number I'm opening into the description so that it shows up in the other window. For the computer hosting, enter 127.0.0.1 - this is Internet speak for this here computer. Then enter 3632 for the External and Internal port numbers, make sure TCP is selected, and hit OK. Now do this again for the ports numbered 3633, 3635, 3637, and 3638. You can save some work if you don't plan on playing all of the games. Here are the port numbers for each:
I will change Dominoes and Double-9 soon to require only one port number each, and I expect to make them 3634 and 3635, respectively.
After you have them all entered, the Services window should look like this. Hi the OK button(s) to have it accept the changes. Now go back and start a table as a host, then in the Lobby view when you see your table, hit the Test button. If it tells you that it was successful, you're done!