I'm a network administrator at a small residential college. Right now our firewall is set to have all network ports open by default, with a few exceptions. Unfortunately, bittorrent traffic has grown to the point where it kills our gateway server and I have no choice but to block it (I really would prefer not to). The only way to block bittorrent is to have ports closed by default.

Before I do this, I want to make sure that I don't take down xbox live, steam, playstation network, and games like call of duty, etc as collateral damange. This will end up leaving enough ports open that some bittorrent traffic still works - if you're really determined to get that latest black eyed peas song you'll be fine, but if you want to download (and share) every hip hop album or major software release in the last six months you'll have trouble. But it should restrict it enough that it no longer causes stability problems for the gateway, and of course also allow games.

I can handle other network service ports well enough, but I don't want to spend the rest of my career maintaining a list of network ports used for gaming. So where I can find a good, maintained list of these ports, preferably with an rss feed for changes, additions, etc?

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    One comment, I could easily download and share every hip hop album or major software release in the last six months on a popular gaming port. The idea is honourable, but I'm not sure if it's effective. – user56 Sep 28 '10 at 16:06
  • @Arda - I know this, but most of the students won't. I'll have a few that figure it out, but I'll be able to deal with those few directly,. My hope is to just get it down to the level where a non-technical solution for the remaining violations is possible. My worry is that once a few figure it out, they'll spread it around. – Joel Coehoorn Sep 28 '10 at 16:14
  • Isn't this more of a bandwidth issue, Joel? Torrent users have bandwidth profiles that are quite distinct from almost all other users... none of the other apps you mention would ever require more than 2 or 3kbs of upstream bandwidth, for example. And only a Netflix addict would approach the constant downloading most torrent users conduct. – Drew Sep 28 '10 at 21:54
  • @Shad - No, it's not just bandwidth. It's also the number of concurrent connections. A traditional download only requires our server to process your request for the file once and then can just pass the rest of the traffic. A torrent download requires the server to process each individual portion - a single 100Mb download might require the server to make several hundred or even more than a thousand additional checks. We also have skype, facetime, and gaming users on the network, but even the last group doesn't cause the same problems. – Joel Coehoorn Sep 29 '10 at 1:04
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    Why not just put in a bandwidth cap? No more than 10 or 20 GB each day and if they pass they get blocked for 2 days or something. That way They will behave =) – Anders Sep 29 '10 at 1:43

Without a doubt, PortForward.com maintains the most exhaustive list of such ports:


Hope that helps!

  • There is some good information in here, but there is a lot of bad information mixed in. I think he wants a comprehensive list of just games so he doesn't have to vet it and ask himself: is X a game or a program – tzenes Sep 28 '10 at 16:59
  • Fair enough. I've never seen anything quite like that unfortunately. PortForward.com seems to also be the most frequently updated in my experience. I've never seen any other site that was even remotely as up to date and complete. – Morinar Sep 28 '10 at 21:51

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