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Network Connection & Settings


Is the agent continuously connected to the internet?
No. The agent connects to the internet when it finishes a work unit to upload the results as well as download a new work unit. This should take 2-3 minutes on a broadband connection and 10-15 minutes with a modem.
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How do I set the software to close the internet connection after downloading a work unit?
The software does not attempt to control your Internet connection. Establishing and closing the connection is done by the operating system.
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Why did my firewall just log an attempt to access my device right after I visited the World Community Grid website?
Some users have noticed, via their software firewall, that trace-route scans apparently coming from IBM domains occur after communicating with the World Community Grid server. These are in fact normal and not someone trying to break into your machine. These are used to measure which of several paths through the Internet give the best communication performance to your machine. The servers are located in a massive hosting center, which regularly optimizes traffic between users and the servers by shifting communications among several Internet providers, depending on the destination and trace-route measurements.
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My Internet Service Provider charges me based on the amount of bandwidth I use. How can I control how much bandwidth is used for World Community Grid?
The most recent version of the World Community Grid/BOINC Software allows you to control how much data is transferred between your computer and our servers. You can set this by doing the following:

  • Go to 'My Grid'.
  • Go to 'Device Manager'.
  • Look for the device that you want to limit, and then click on the selected profile for that device.
  • On the screen that is presented, select 'Custom Profile'.
  • Scroll down to the section that says 'Network Usage' and find the item labeled: Transfer at most: X Mbytes every Y days.

    You can use this to say that you only want World Community Grid to use at most 500MBytes of bandwidth every 7 days (which would then limit you to 2GBytes/month). Or you could put 1024MBytes every 31 days which would limit you to 1GB per month.
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    What ports do I have to open on my firewall to let the software connect to the server?
    Open ports 80, 443 and 31416 outbound.
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    What should I do if I receive a pop-up from an Anti-spy programs and/or pop-up blockers
    There are normally no pop-ups to block. Any anti-spy program which acts like an outgoing firewall would have to be configured in a manner similar to the fiewall settings
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    How will World Community Grid software affect people who use a VPN for telecommuting?
    The software will not have any effect. The software communicates without problems with, or without, VPN Client Software. Our server site is an external internet address. The bandwidth usage is minimal and equivalent to visiting a few web pages once a week or every few days on more powerful computers.
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    Why does my firewall keep asking me if I want to contact World Community Grid. Isn't it safe?
    Firewalls are not familiar with World Community Grid. Even though World Community Grid is safe, firewalls are designed to ask you to make the decision. Most firewalls will allow you to set your firewall to allow communications with World Community Grid BOINC client. Although firewalls differ, you should be able to click on your firewall icon in your system tray and set permissions to allow communications.

    Also please note, when firewall software is updated by the manufacturer, you may be required to update your permissions for World Community Grid BOINC client communications. The same is true if the World Community Grid software is updated.

    If you have a Zone Labs firewall, just click on "Yes" to continue. You may save yourself some time in the future by optionally check-marking the message "Always allow this program to access the internet" and/or check-marking the message "Remember this answer the next time I use this program."

    If you have Symantec Client Firewall, you can select "Permit Always" if/when an alert comes up so that you won't be prompted again when the World Community Grid BOINC client tries to communicate with the World Community Grid servers.

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    Does the World Community Grid software work with Zone Labs and how do I configure the Firewall?
    Yes. The software initiates only outgoing connections on ports 80, 443 and 31416 to www.worldcommunitygrid.org and secure.worldcommunitygrid.org. This could be preconfigured as a safe zone. Alternatively, the boinc.exe and boincmgr.exe executables in the BOINC install directory could be configured to be permitted to perform this communication. However, if and when we update the agent software, it could need to be configured again.

    1. Double click on the Zone Labs icon in the system tray at the lower right.
    2. Click on "Firewall" at the left.
    3. Click on the "Zones" folder tab in the upper right area.
    4. Click on "Add >>" in the lower right.
    5. Choose "Host/Site".
    6. Select "Trusted" for the Zone field.
    7. Enter "secure.worldcommunitygrid.org" for the Host Name field.
    8. Enter "World Community Grid Secure" for the Description field.
    9. Click the Lookup button.
    10. Click OK.
    11. Repeat the adding of a "Host/Site" using "www.worldcommunitygrid.org" for the Host Name, and "World Community Grid WWW" for the Description.
    12. Click Apply in the lower right.
    13. Then close the window with the X in the upper right.

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    Does the World Community Grid software work with Symantec Client Firewall and how do I configure the Firewall?
    Yes. The software initiates only outgoing connections on ports 80, 443 and 31416 to www.worldcommunitygrid.org and secure.worldcommunitygrid.org. This could be preconfigured as a safe zone. Alternatively, the boinc.exe and boincmgr.exe executables in the BOINC install directory could be configured to be permitted to perform this communication. However, if and when we update the agent software, it could need to be configured again.

    Configuring the Symantec Client Firewall:
    1. Double click on the Symantec Client Firewall icon in the system tray at the lower right.
    2. With "Status & Settings" selected, click on "Client Firewall".
    3. Click on the Configure button.
    4. Click on the Programs tab.
    5. Under "Manual Program Control", scroll down to "BOINC client".
    6. Click on the arrow next to whatever is currently displayed under "Internet Access" and select Permit All.
    7. Repeat the previous step, this time for "World Community Grid" under the Programs list.
    8. Click the OK button, and close the Symantec Client Firewall using the X in the upper right.
    If "BOINC Client" or "World Community Grid" are not listed as a Program under "Manual Program Control" you can add it by clicking the Add button, and adding 2 programs. Both programs are in the location where the World Community Grid BOINC client was installed (usually C:\Program Files\BOINC). First select "boinc.exe". Then click Add again and pick "boincmgr.exe".

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    How do I determine why I cannot connect to the World Community Grid servers?
    To determine why you are not receiving or sending workunits to World Community Grid, make sure you are using the latest version of the BOINC software and check your client firewall to ensure that the 'BOINC client' software reflects "permit all" or similar verbiage that your firewall software uses to reflect an approved program.

    If you are on the latest version and your firewall is set to allow the BOINC client to communicate, then please double click on the World Community Grid or BOINC icon in your system tray. Select messages and see if you have any entries like the following:

    09/10/2007 14.30.14|World Community Grid|[file_xfer] Started upload of file li349_00025_8_0
    09/10/2007 14.30.15|World Community Grid|[file_xfer] Temporarily failed upload of li349_00025_8_0: http error

    or

    05/03/2008 11.55.14|World Community Grid|Sending scheduler request: Project initialization. Requesting 1 seconds of work, reporting 0 completed tasks
    05/03/2008 11.55.19|World Community Grid|Scheduler request failed: Failure when receiving data from the peer

    If you do, then you may need to set your proxy. Here is the FAQ that describes how to set your proxy. If you do not know your proxy information here is the FAQ that will help you obtain your proxy information.
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    How do I find out my proxy information?
    Your proxy settings are available in your Web browser. In Internet Explorer, these are under [Tools][Internet Options...][Connections] then choose either [LAN Settings] or [Settings] for your dial-up options. If "Use Proxy" is checked, click on the [Advanced...] button to see your proxy settings.

    You will need to take these settings and enter into the BOINC version of the World Community Grid software. Instructions for doing this are found in this FAQ
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    How do I configure the software to use a proxy?
    The software can be configured to use a proxy in the following way:
    • Double click on the World Community Grid or BOINC icon in the system tray
    • When it opens, if you see some text that says select 'Advanced View', then click on it
    • From the options on the top of the screen select 'Advanced' -> 'Options'
    The dialogue that opens has tabs that allow you to enter in your HTTP or SOCKS proxy information.

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    I entered in my proxy information but I still cannot get work. How do I get it to work?
    If after you enter your proxy information and you still see messages such as those displayed in the FAQ "How do I determine why I cannot connect to the World Community Grid servers?" above, then you will need to take the following additional steps:

    Make sure you are on the latest version of the World Community Grid agent by following the directions in this FAQ.

    If this doesn't resolve the issue, then you will need to determine what type of proxy authentication you are using. To determine your proxy authentication please refer to this FAQ.

    Once you have determined your proxy authentication, open windows explorer and go to C:\Program Files\BOINC . In this directory you will see a file called cc_config.xml . Assuming you are using windows, right mouse click on the this file and select 'Open With' and select 'Notepad'.

    This will open a new window that will be populated with the contents of your cc_config.xml file. It will look something like the following:

    <cc_config>
     <log_flags>
      <file_xfer_debug>1</file_xfer_debug>
      <http_debug>1</http_debug>
      <http_xfer_debug>1</http_xfer_debug>
      <proxy_debug>1</proxy_debug>
     </log_flags>
    </cc_config>

    You want to replace this with additional settings for your 'ntlm' or 'basic' proxy.

    <cc_config>
     <log_flags>
      <file_xfer_debug>1</file_xfer_debug>
      <http_debug>1</http_debug>
      <http_xfer_debug>1</http_xfer_debug>
      <proxy_debug>1</proxy_debug>
     </log_flags>
     <options>
      <force_auth>xxxxx</force_auth>
     </options>
    </cc_config>

    Replace the above 'xxxxx' with either ntlm, basic or gss-negotiate based on what type of authentication you are using and save the file.

    In order to make the software re-read the file do the following:
    • Double click on the World Community Grid icon in the system tray
    • When it opens, if you see some text that says 'Advanced View', then click on it
    • From the options on the top of the screen select 'Advanced' -> 'Read config file'
    Finally, in order to check that you are able to download work, please do the following:
    • Select the 'projects' tab
    • Select World Community Grid from the list
    • Click on the 'Update' button.
    • Go to the messages tab
    If all is working correctly, then you will see that you are downloading work and you will start processing it. If this has not helped you, then you can seek further help in the forums or by contacting us through the contact us feature on our website.

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    How do I figure out what type of proxy authentication I am using?
    First, make sure you are using the latest version of the software. Instructions on how to do this are available in this FAQ

    Second, there are some types of proxies that need additional settings to work with World Community Grid. The first thing you need to do is to enable some additional logging for the client. You can do this by downloading this file and placing it into your BOINC installation directory (on Windows this is usually C:\Program Files\BOINC). You now need to double click on the World Community Grid icon in your system tray (bottom right hand corner of your computer screen, by the date and time), select "Advanced View", then on the menu across the top of page select "Advanced", and then "Read config". Now more information will be logged.

    In the Advanced View of the agent, go to the 'Projects' tab, click on World Community Grid, and then select 'update'. Next go to the "Messages" tab. You will see messages going by. The critical one to look for is the line that includes "Proxy-Authenticate" like the ones shown below. There will be one or more of these in a row. You are interested in the first one.

    07/04/2008 18:18:09||[http_debug] [ID#0] Received header from server: Proxy-Authenticate: Negotiate
    03/25/2008 12:24:54||[http_debug] [ID#0] Received header from server: Proxy-Authenticate: NTLM
    03/25/2008 12.24.54||[http_debug] [ID#0] Received header from server: Proxy-Authenticate: Basic realm="realmname"

    Take note of the following:
    • If the first line contains "Negotiate" then you are using gss-negotiate authentication
    • If the first line contains "NTLM" then you are using ntlm authentication
    • If the first line contains "Basic" then you are using basic authentication

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