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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 your Settings page.
  • 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. Many firewalls will ask you to allow the World Community Grid software to communicate with the World Community Grid servers soon after the software is installed.  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, sometimes when firewall software is updated by the manufacturer, you may be required to re-approve your permissions for the World Community Grid software to communicate with the World Community Grid servers. The same is true if you install a new version of the World Community Grid software.

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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 World Community Grid software and check your client firewall to ensure that the 'World Community Grid' 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, contact your IT help desk.

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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 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 and you have checked and made sure that you are on the latest version of the World Community Grid software, then you will need to take the following additional steps:

    You 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 files'

    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. 

    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 as follows:

    • 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
    • Select 'Options' → 'Event Log Options'
    • In the window that opens, make sure that the following are checked (don't change any of the others):
      • file_xfer_debug
      • http_debug
      • http_xfer_debug
      • proxy_debug
    • Click 'Apply'
    • Click 'Save'

    You now have the additional logging enable.  Next, we need to check to see what this logging is showing us:

    • In the Advanced View of the agent, go to the 'Projects' tab, click on World Community Grid, and then select 'update'. 
    • Select Tools → Event Log.  

    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"

    Use these messagess to determine the type of proxy that you are using:

    • 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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