What are the risks of opening up a port?

Dracindo

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Me and my girlfriend want to put up our own private ARK server (a videogame) so we can play together, without having to worry about strangers popping in and ruining our world. We managed to make our own server and play on it via a LAN connection or Dedicated server. However, in order to play together when we're on different locations, we either need to pay for a host or open up a port.

Back in the days, I didn't feel like paying for a host, because the cheapest host costs 1 dollar per player slot every month (for 2 players, $2/month is nothing), but you had (and still have) to pay for a minimum of 10 slots, meaning $10/month.

Now, opening up a port to host the server seemed to be a solution, but according to my girlfriend's dad, opening up a port is really unsafe. Something with making it easy for hackers to steal your internet or hack your computer? I don't know what it was. But is it really dangerous to open up a port? What are the risks?
 

Rodney Olson

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When your girlfriend connected to your port, did it require a password to access to your server? If not, it can be accessed by anyone that you didn't want to connect to.
 

Dracindo

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Dracindo
Well, we haven't tried to actually open up a port yet, because of these rumors. Better safe than sorry, especially when my PC cost me a bit more than €1300,00 and is only 2 years old. I intend to use this PC for at least 5 years, up to 10, so I rather not risk opening up a port and having a hacker do some stuff on my PC and then delete System32 if he finds out there's nothing of interest on my PC.

But thanks for the tip: Make sure there's a password, and not an easy one.
 

Dracindo

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Feel free to reply on this topic, I'm still curious about all the dangers and profits of opening a port. I'd just like to inform that in my current situation, me and girl played the entire weekend on a non-dedicated server at my place, and in the last evening when she was back home, we tried doing the same thing and were able to play together.

We didn't open up a port (not manually, and I don't think this goes automatically) and were able to play together no problem. There's still the internal problem with ARK where when you run a non-dedicated server session, the other players can't stray to far from the host player. I'm guessing that's why we didn't play this way and we were just looking for different options, but this works, so I guess we just have to stick together.
 
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