Direct Connect Tutorial


The directions below are at best a few years old, and are most likely outdated, but the hub is still up, so come on over: loveline.redirectme.net.

This tutorial will explain how to connect to a Loveline Direct Connect hub. Direct Connect is a way for users to gather, share files, and chat on a private network.
If you are already proficient at using DC - skip the tutorial and join us in the hub hosted by FlyinACE - address: loveline.redirectme.net


The first step in using Direct Connect is getting some Direct Connect software. You can get an easy-to-use program called DC++ from the DC++ website. There are other DC program out there, but this tutorial is only relevant to DC++.



Settings:

After installing the program, run the executable "DCPlusPlus.exe"

The Settings menu should appear automatically; if it doesn't, open it under "File" > "Settings..." and make sure "General" is selected on the left.

1. Under "Personal Information" fill in the following:

  • "Nick" - put your desired Nickname here.
  • "E-Mail" - This is optional, place an email address here only if you would like other hub users to have it.
  • "Description" - Also optional, consider writing a description of what you are sharing here.
  • "Connection Type" - Set this to reflect your connection speed.

2. Under "Connection Settings" you need to choose "Active" or "Passive", dependant on how you are connected to the Internet, this is very important... because it will effect who you can and cannot connect to once in the hub.

  • If you are directly connected to the Internet (meaning no router and no firewall) choose "Active" and leave the fields blank.

  • If you are behind a software firewall or a hardware router, and have the ability to allow port access (forward ports), you may also choose "Active", but you will need to fill in the fields "IP" and "Port". Information on port forwarding can usually be found in the instruction book of a router or on the manufacturer's website, and a good overall resource on the topic can be found here: http://www.portforward.com/.

    "IP" should be filled in with your external IP (if you don't know what it is, visit this handy website: http://checkip.dyndns.org/).

  • "Port" should be filled in with a port number which is not currently in use, and that you have allowed access through your firewall or forwarded on your router.

  • If you are behind a software firewall or a hardware router and do not have the ability to allow port access, or for any other reason cannot allow DC++ to use an open port, choose "Passive".

  • One last possible way to connect actively is to use UPnP, found in the more recent versions of DC++ (0.4034).

    At least one hub user has successfully connected actively using this option -
    Go to "File" > "Settings" and click on the advanced tab. Scroll down to the bottom and check off the "Use UPnP Control" option. Click OK. Go back to "File" > "Settings". Under "Connection Settings" you should be Active with the IP filled in for you automatically. If not, restart the program. Fill in a random port number (something in the thousands works fine), then restart the program and re-enter the hub.

    After doing all this, you should have a working active connection in the hub, if not you may have to use passive.


  • If you aren't sure what any of the previous points meant, there is an easy way to figure out whether "Active" or "Passive" is right for you - I suggest reading ahead in the tutorial until you understand how to connect to the hub, and then coming back to this section to read the following:

    First, connect to the hub using "Active", then attempt to download a few user's file lists. If you try a variety of different users but have no luck, then switch your connection to "Passive", reconnect to the hub, and try again (at this point you should be able to get lists and files from "Active" users).

    If you connect with "Active" and experience no problems downloading, then you shouldn't have to change anything.

    Basically, if you join the hub and downloading is not working, then it is VERY likely that you MUST choose Passive or successfully forward a port.

3. Now choose "Sharing" on the left. If you have any files to share with the hub, add them to your "shared directories" with the "Add folder" button. Also a good idea at this time is to set an appropriate number of upload and download slots for your connection type.

At this point the other options in "Settings" are not required, but you may want to take a glance at them and change a few things.




Active vs. Passive:

If you are in "Active" mode you will be able to connect to and download from any other users in the hub.
If you are in "Passive" mode you will only be able to connect to people in "Active" mode, so try your hardest to get an active connection working.




Hub Specifics:

Now in order to connect, you need to place the hub in the "Favorites" list. This is done easily by choosing "View" > "Favorite Hubs", and then clicking the "New..." button.

You now need to specify the properties of your new favorite:

  • "Name" - put "FlyinACE's hub", or whatever you would like this hub to be labeled in your favorites list.
  • "Address" - put the hub address which is: loveline.redirectme.net
  • "Description" - not necessary, but if you are so inclined, put a description of the hub.
  • "Chat only" - leave as "false"
  • "Name", "Password", & "Description" - leave all 3 of these blank, unless you would like them to be different than what you previously put in "Settings".

At this point you should have the hub all set up & the basics configured, and you can now join by selecting the hub in the favorites list, and clicking "Connect", or double clicking it.

If for whatever reason the connection fails at this point, try adding the port 411 onto the address, like this: "loveline.redirectme.net:411".




Chat:

In order to chat with the other users in the hub, you use the very simple chat interface. On the bottom is a downloads/uploads status window, on the right is a list of users and their information, on the left is a large window where hub messages are displayed, and just below that large window is a text field (Similar to most "chatroom" styles).
Type your desired message into that text field and hit "Enter" to send your message, and it will appear, along with other people's messages, in the large window.
It is also possible to send a private message to any user in the hub by right clicking on their username in the users list and choosing "Send private message".

Note: Many DC users leave their computer connected to the server even if they aren't at their computer, so oftentimes people will not immediately respond to your questions or comments. The hub is traditionally most active at night, and often has a discussion going during the show.




Downloads:

Now that you are connected to the hub, and you know how to chat, you probably want to get some files. The users list window on the right hand side of the program shows all of the users connected to the hub. Each user has an icon next to their name, these icons can be explained by this info, found in the DC++ Readme file:

  • Green = Normal icon
  • Blue = DC++ user (identified on 1st direct connection to this user)
  • With Bricks = User is in passive mode
  • With Key = User is an Operator

Keeping in mind that two passive users cannot download from each other (this includes file lists), you can see what a particular user has to offer by right clicking their name and selecting "Get File List" - when the list is downloaded it will automatically pop up.
Downloading one of their files is as simple as double clicking on it in their file list, and if they have an open upload slot, you will begin receiving the file and it will be saved to the directory specified in "Settings" > "Downloads".




Search:

To remove the hassle of downloading and checking multiple people's file lists in order to find the file you want, there is the "Search" function - it will search through each users file list and show you if there are any users with files containing your search parameters. You can access the search function through the magnifying glass icon in the tool bar, or by pressing
Ctrl-S.

Tip: When searching for a particular date, try multiple naming schemes, such as "YYYYMMDD", "YYYY-MM-DD", "MM-DD-YYYY", etc.




Summary:

Beyond that, the other options are non-essential and hopefully you can figure them out as needed. If you can't figure out a particular step in this tutorial, or anything else about the program - then feel free to email me (Webmaster (at) LovelineFan (dot) Com), or join the hub and ask for help.

If you have extra bandwidth to spare, please consider staying connected to the hub even when you aren't chatting and/or downloading, thanks. Hope to see you there!