From Populous Wiki
All players are capable of hosting Populous in the Matchmaker but for some players there's more to it than simply forwarding your 7575 UDP port. Some people must overcome the router firewall, anti-virus firewall, windows defender + firewall, blocked connections, and/or the player's internet service provider. Apnea's comprehensive hosting guide is a great resource for understanding the intricate details of networking, protocols, IP, and firewalls.
Before We Begin
Before we begin, understand what you're about to do is open a door through your router's security so network information may flow freely from the source to your computer. You may need to open other doors through your computer firewall and anti-virus protection to allow a constant and stable connection to your computer. It's possible you might even need a static IP address. The success of your capable hosting depends entirely on you and your hardware. Information about every router, model, anti-virus, and firewall may be difficult to find. It's possible you may need to do some of the work on your own in order to get hosting working efficiently for Populous.
Find Your Router
You need to determine where your internet connection is coming from. If you're connected to the internet by wireless "wifi", it's expected to see an icon in your task bar (at the bottom of your screen) somewhere on the right either on the bar itself or in the "show hidden icons" arrow. If you're connected to a neighbor's wireless internet, it's probable you're not going to get the password information to enable hosting but you can always ask for their login credentials.
For everyone who has their own internet (wireless and/or wired connections), you'll need to find the wires or cable transferring internet service to a box somewhere in your home when your internet service provider first setup your connection. Some people still use phone line, especially in the very rural and underdeveloped regions of the world. People living in cities are likely connected to their ISP via coaxial (tv cable) or fiber optic. No matter what, everyone has a wire/cable running from the wall to a box called "modem". Find it.
The modem is a gateway to enter your home with the gift of internet. Without the modem, your internet probably won't work. Some of you have an all-in-one box where your modem is also serving as a router. If you check the back of your modem and there are multiple (2 or more) ethernet ports (ethernet cables plug into these ports), it's probably a modem/router combo. DO NOT confuse ethernet ports for phone ports! They look similar but phone ports are smaller and ethernet ports do not fit in there, size matters. If you figured out you have a router separate from the modem, you'll need to follow the ethernet line from the modem to the router. All routers should have something resembling an antenna or multiple antenna.
SUPER EASY VERSION: Find wall with wire, follow wire to first box, then follow wire to second box. Second box is router.
Router Login Credentials and Manufacturer Make/Model #
On MOST routers, there's login credentials hidden underneath or on the backside, usually on a sticker with a barcode. These login credentials are the same login credentials you get when your internet service provider first setup your internet connection. IF AT ANY TIME THIS WAS CHANGED, YOU WILL NEED TO FIGURE OUT THE LOGIN CREDENTIALS ON YOUR OWN. In the event that you changed your login credentials, contact your internet service provider or search for the login information in your home. It's possible you may be able to find your router's model in a google search for the standard login credentials. Either way, you need to find the username and password if your router requires this. You will need to create a note in notepad or on paper and write down: manufacturer of router, model number of router, username, and password.
Computer Information - Default Gateway and More
You're done looking over your router and now we're going to shift focus to the computer. Assuming you have Windows, we're going to run a search for "cmd" also known as command prompt. You may press and hold the windows key (on your keyboard) and press R (letting go of both keys). If you did this correctly, the "run program" box should appear. Type "cmd" without the quotations into the run box and press enter. You may also access the "run program" feature by opening your start menu and selecting "run" or simply run a search for "cmd". If all else fails, do a google search.
What you're looking for is "default gateway". The number you're looking for is something like 192.168.1.1 where any combination of these numbers may have up to 3 numbers in each grouping (if you have other information in the default gateway, ignore it). You will also want to write down your IPv4 address, which would look very similar to your default gateway where the last number is different. You may also write down the subnet mask just in case, (this is used later with a static IP address), though most people's subnet mask is "255.255.255.0" without the quotations. Once you have logged into your router, you'll no longer need command prompt.
At this stage, you may also refer to portforward.com and search the list of all routers for your router, then search for your model number, and follow the instructions for navigating around your router and how to forward port 7575 UDP.
In order to access your router, you'll need to open a new tab up top and enter the default gateway into the empty url. My default gateway is 192.168.1.1 and if I enter it exactly like this, I'll be taken to my router login screen. If you didn't reach a login asking for authentication (username and password), you must go back and read everything again -or- follow portforward.com as instructed above. This is the series of instructions for a D-Link DIR890L. D-Link is the manufacturer of my router and DIR890L is the model number.
An IP address comes in 2 forms: internal and external. The Internal IP address is the transfer of information between your router and your computer. Every device, connected to any internet, is assigned an internal IP address. The router will "rent out" or "lease" one of 255 positions to newly connected devices. Active devices tend to maintain their internal IP addresses when a lease expires because another lease is renewed. If multiple leases expire at the same time, new internal IPs will be assigned when these devices reconnect to the router. When you look at the portforward page for your device, it'll recommend setting up a static IP. It is not required to forward your port but what it does is permanently assign an Internal IP to your device. By following those steps, you won't need to forward your port again if your internal IP changes. It's up to you if you want to setup a static IP.
An external IP is the transfer of information between your router, the modem, and out into the world. If you want to know more about it, google it.
It's highly recommended to navigate your router following the appropriate manufacturer and model # of your router on "portforward.com" without quotations. On my D-Link router, I can easily click features and select "port forwarding" to take me where I need to go but most other routers aren't as clear about it. I have another router, a SAGEMCOM 5260, which doesn't even appear on the list of models for the portforward website. Some of you may run into that issue as well but it's safe to use another model from the same manufacturer because they don't typically change and if they do, it's very little.
On your router, you're searching for an "Applications and Gaming" or "Forwarding" or "Port-Forwarding" or "Protocol" feature. The IPv4 number you wrote down earlier is your internal IP address. You will need to create a new "rule" by giving your port a name, assigning your port to 7575 UDP (or if it says Internal/External you assign both to 7575 UDP), and assigning the port to your computer's IPv4 number (from earlier). Once you have this done, with or without a static IP, you're done on the router. If you did this correctly, you won't need to return to your router (Unless there's additional security protocols in place).
- If later you find you still can't host after attempting everything, you may search your router looking for a UPnP option. If you enable this (if it wasn't already enabled) it should allow all programs to open your router's ports automatically, for hosting and playing purposes.
- If nothing works, a very last resort is to enable DMZ (De-militarized-zone) on your computer however, this is very dangerous because it allows ALL PORTS TO OPEN. That means someone who knows what they're doing can access your router and any information passing through. It's not recommended, unless it's a really old computer with none of your information on it and you're not going to use it for any of your personally identifiable information.
SUPER EASY VERSION: Goto Gaming/Apps, create rule for 7575 UDP for your IP Address, PRESS SAVE, done
Windows Defender + Firewall
If you haven't already tested your host (open the matchmaker after the forward is complete), you should do so. In most cases, the built-in Windows Firewall doesn't interfere with the 7575 Port and doesn't typically need to be disabled. Windows Defender isn't removable by normal means and it turns itself back on after awhile of being disabled (which is actually very annoying). In a case where you'll try anything to host, disabling the program would only work temporarily, so it's not really worth disabling at all. The built-in Windows Firewalls before Windows 10 and 8 may have interfered with online Populous games at one point. Disable the older firewalls if you want to try it anyway, but be sure to turn it back on if this doesn't work.
Anti-Virus and Firewall
The majority of players who have anti-virus programs tend to get stumped on this part because it's the hardest part.. every anti-virus is different; They're different in the way they function, how their protocols operate, what they perceive as a threat, and the program will eventually ask you to ALLOW or DENY permissions for programs to run giving human error a chance to interfere. You need to navigate your way into the Anti-Virus program searching for anything in relation to the network and add exclusions for port 7575 UDP, forwarding ports within the anti-virus program. You may also need to certify or "trust" Populous: The Beginning and Populous Reincarnated Matchmaker. Failure to "trust" the Matchmaker and PopTB game can negate everything else you've done so far. This varies depending on your anti-virus program.
I own Kaspersky Total Security and just on this anti-virus program I should look in the settings at: web anti-virus, application control, firewall, network attack blocker, system watcher, network settings, and application manager. The first place I look is my firewall. In the firewall settings I should "configure application rules". This allows me to trust the 6 versions of Populous and the Matchmaker, though they all began as "low restricted", likely because there's so few people using it. I also went into Network Settings and chose "only monitor selected ports" vs monitoring all ports. I also checked my monitored ports to ensure 7575 wasn't being monitored and possibly blocked.
Cheap anti-virus programs or free anti-virus programs will not have the same quality of a paid anti-virus. There's a huge difference between a resource-aware program blocking what needs to be blocked and a program that eats up everything, detects itself as a threat, and tried to remove itself (like AVG has done). You should explore your anti-virus to understand what it's doing for you AND allow access to Populous.
If everything you've done to this point isn't working, consider disabling your anti-virus temporarily. If you know you couldn't host before it's disabled and you can after it's disabled then you know you'll need to keep looking through your anti-virus. Alternatively, you can disable it when you play Populous.
SUPER EASY VERSION: Look through anti-virus and make sure everything lets port 7575 through and the Matchmaker + game are trusted
Run As Admin
Sometimes the simplest fix is running your programs as Admin. The best way to do this is to right click the shortcut icon on your desktop and choose properties. Choose advanced. Check the box "Run as Administrator". You may also go to the security tab in properties and give full control to your usergroup. I don't know if that's made any difference since I've first made the change. Alternatively, right click the icon and select "run as admin" every time you open the matchmaker.