A client's son has ports mapped in their linksys router for world of warcraft. Are they needed?

Working on a client's home network, she showed me on her linksys router how her son mapped some inbound ports to forward to different computers in the house. and gave the entries the name warcraft.

He plays way to much as far as I am concerned, but they let him.

But to play, does he need to open the inbound ports?  With those, he's asking as a server for others?  Besides annoying their ISP, what's the downside of that?  Can we close those ports and he can still play?  

are those inbound ports a requirement to play or just to help the community by acting as another server?
babaganooshAsked:
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dhoffman_98Connect With a Mentor Commented:
You can close the ports and he can still play.

Adding the ports allows his workstation to participate in sharing updates and patches on a peer to peer network. This does have some people concerned, but the only files that can be shared have to be located in the base directory where the patches get copied to, so the only files that could "theoretically" be retrieved by other people are those.

Playing the game does not require special ports to be opened.
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☠ MASQ ☠Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Sorry, I'm going to disagree and confuse things :(
It depends a lot on how he plays - if he has friends 'round for LAN parties and they all want to play via the router there will need to be multiple ports open. The normal arrangement for World of Warcraft is open 3724 TCP and 6112 TCP which allows normal gameplay and patchnig of the game (which is forced by the server - can't patch - can't play) 6881-6999 TCP need to be open for multiple clients behind the same router. As a minimum for normal play you should look at forwarding 3724 and 6112. The Blizzard updater is peer-to-peer based but the client has an option to switch this off and use a straight download from the server (which is consequently slower).

Bear in mind these are ports for World of Warcraft which is client/Server - there are other Warcraft games that this entry could relate to so if the port numbers don't match post the ports that have been opened and we can check.

Most of the other Warcraft games can be locally hosted and played LAN without needing Internet access - unless there are remote players who are going to join or host.
 
Perhaps the other issue is to password protect router access?? :)
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babaganooshAuthor Commented:
yes, we changed the router password now : ).

the question is though, should we leave the port routing in there or not.

he has port 6112 going to 1 machine
6113 to another
6114 to a 3rd machine.

(and they are set to forward both UTP & TCP)

i think that's all I saw
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☠ MASQ ☠Connect With a Mentor Commented:
These are settings for Blizzard's battle.net server allowing each machine on the LAN to play separately.
My guess is this is for playing with friends in the house.
 
It's not a particular security risk (although it means the router can be seen on the Internet)
The options are:
- Remove all the port settings - add them when they are required (might risk someone trying to tunnel out - after all they can configure a router)
- Remove the settings for the additional machines  (add them back in if there's a LAN party etc)
- Leave alone.
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dhoffman_98Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I'll have to disagree with your disagreeing...

I have had 7 people at the same time at my house all playing WoW and had no issues at all. I keep my network VERY secure, and know exactly what is open and what is not.

The only reason for leaving ports open to the outside world are if something is going to be running a listener service on a machine inside your network that needs to be connected to from outside. Aside from that, most routers support Network Address Translation (NAT) and stateful packet inspection, which allows the connection to be initiated from the client and opens a temporary connection through your firewall for that session.

My suggestion would be to simply shut the ports down, and let him try playing. If he doesn't have a problem, then there's your answer.
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intake360Commented:
 Opening ports for Warcraft (Not WoW) is just for hosting game servers. He can still play without any problem. For WoW that's sort of another story. But i'm not going into it.
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