On Sat, 15 Nov 2008 23:42:11 +0000 (GMT)
Markus Hahn <markushahnma at yahoo.de> wrote:


Sorry if I explain things that you know already, but I don't know what your 
general competence level is, so I'll assume you know very little, just in case 
(and it may be useful for someone else, too)

> I am able to reach and open some of the sites I want to, but frequently I get 
> the message that a site seems to be unreachable, sometimes concerning a site 
> that opens some minutes later.

This is expected on a newly estabilshed node. The first thing to do to get a 
new node to work better is to set the max store size and max memory usage (both 
in your config page at http://localhost:8888/config).

But first lets talk about uptime quickly: Freenet needs to sun as much as 
possible. The optimal would be to let it run 24/7, but morning to night every 
day is also fairly good. What you DON'T want to do is 'start freenet -  visit 
freesite - shut down freenet'. It won't work. Freesites will take ages to load 
(when they do) and you'll be damaging the netwrotk. Let freenet run as much as 
your computer runs, and if you don't have an always-up box, consider letting 
your computer run just for the sake of freenet. the more Freenet stays up, the 
better your node will work, and themore it will help the network.

Back to configuration; as we said, you should set store size and max memory 
usage to higher values than the defaults.
You may have done that when you went through the Freenet First.time Wizard, but 
if you kept the defaults your store size and memory usage are very low because 
the defaults must work for everyone including users running on a junkware boxes 
in countries where they don't consider 700MhZ and 256MB RAM a low-end machine.

The values are different according to your box and the usage you make of it, 
but the rule of is 'the more the better'. See how much HDD space you can 
dedicate to Freenet and set your store size to that; some have dedicated 
Freenet disks 500GB or 1TB in size, others have 250+ GB freenet stores, but 
50GB is already fairly good. Remember than the bigger the store the better your 
node will work, because more stuff will be cached (encrypted) locally and will 
be fetched way more quickly when request it.

As for max memory usage, you can set this even higher than can afford in 
theory, becuse freenet won't allocate all the memory you give to it. High max 
mem values are needed in my experience because mem usage will peak sometimes 
and if it tries to use more memory than it's allowed to use, the node may crash.
Those who operate machnes with 3 or more GB of RAM are known to set max memory 
usage up to 2GB.
My node runs on box that only has 1GB of RAM, Freenet is set to use max 770MB 
of it, and the node works pretty well.

I used to run nodes on virtual machines with max memory usage set to 256MB and 
they worked pretty well as long as I didn't queue too many or too large files 
for download/upload; therefore, if you are limited by the physical memory 
installed on your box, (for instance you can't set max mem. usage to anything 
higher than 256 or even 128MB) you will have to run few downloads/uploads at a 
time (wait for them to complete, then add more). Remember it's not the number 
of files, it's the total size.

Bandwidth usage settings are kind of relative. If you have a good connection 
(10MB+ high upload BW) you can set your bandwidth usage as high as your total 
bandwidth and freenet will never use but a fraction of that, but if your 
connection is medium-low, you'll need to limit freenet BW usage. In my 
experience trying to help new users get started, I've seen that the difference 
between upload and download bandwidth may be a problem. ISP' tout "high speed 
connections" without ever mentioning anything about upload bandwidth.

As an example, a connection that the ISP refers to as '12Mbit/s' never does 
what the ISP says it should: first of all 12MB/s (1.5MB/s) is a nominal value, 
the actual bandwidth rarely exceeds 2/3 of the nominal value stated by ISP 
(more often half of it), and most importnat, the higghly publicized 12Mbit/s is 
only the download bandwidth. They never say anything about upload speed. If 
you're lucky you have 2Mbit/s but ,more often 1Mbit/s fot 'high speed' 
connections and 512 or 256 Kbit/s for medium range connections.

So, the point is, find out what your -upload- stream in KB/s is (find out what 
your ISP say your upstream is, then divide by 8 to get bytes; ISP's always talk 
about bits). Decide how much bandwidth you can afford to give freenet in upload 
and set that value under max bandwidth usage in config page. As for download 
bandwidth you may want to keep the defult -1, meaning 4x the upstream. If you 
are one of the few lucky that have high upload bandwidths (as high as 
download), you may want to set the same value for both upload and download.

> I am totally new in this subject and all my real-world-friends are no-techies 
> and no-nerds, so I still have no "firends" in the sense of trustworthy nodes 
> to connect with or in the sense of darknet-members. Might this be the reason 
> why some sites are closed for me?

No. If you don't know anyone who runs Freenet, you just run Opennet (strangers) 
without adding anyone to your Daknet (friends). Freenet will work just as fine.

> Should I try to manipulate the router in order to "forward" 

Yes you should. You can already access the router's web interface; now the 
point is how to configure a forward.
Interfaces are different for different routers but they're all pretty 
straightforward if you know what you need to do, and in your case what you need 
to do is:

FORWARD: <darknet port> FROM: <router IP, external> TO: <your box IP, LAN> FOR 
PROTOCOL: udp only
FORWARD: <opennet port> FROM: <router IP, external> TO: <your box IP, LAN> FOR 
PROTOCOL: udp only

yes, it's two ports, one for darknet (friends) and one for opennet (strangers). 
The port numbers of the ports you have to forwards are listed at the bottom of 
your Friends page, under 'ports used by the node', marked 'you may want to 
forward this port'.

>or should I turn off the firewall?

If for firewall you mean one of those annoying software firewalls that are so 
popular among windows users, that ask you whether to allow a program to connect 
and/or recieve connections, you want to allow Freenet to both connect to the 
internet and receive connections from the internet (some fiorewalls call the 
latter "act as a server")

Observe that at least on some firewalls, you'll need to allow Java to 
make/recieve connections and not Freenet itself. (I think the executable that 
needs the permissions is javaw.exe but I'm not 100% sure, you may want to 
double check that)

If you use the kind of firewall that simply open closes ports, you want to:
ALLOW <darnet port>,<poennet port> DIRECTION: both PROTOCOL: udp

> Or is freenet running properly and the seemingly closed doors seem so due to 
> the restrictions a newbie in darknet with a fresh node has to come around 
> with?

Freenet seems to be running fine. It should work even without port forwarding 
nut it would be -MUCH- better if you do configure the port forwarding. 

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