Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use OrbitNet with Cable, DSL, and other connections?
Yes, OrbitNet will work with almost any type of connection to the internet.
DIRECPC/DiRECWAY 2 way , Starband 2 Way , T-1, T-3, Cable, DSL, PPPoE, PPPoA, ISDN, and Dial-Up
accounts can all be shared and protected by OrbitNet. With
require a second Network Interface Card, the modem has to be connected
directly to that card, and not to the hub on your network
OrbitNet compatible with Windows XP?
OrbitNet 4.0 is already compatible with Windows XP. If you are upgrading
your Operating System to XP we recommend uninstalling OrbitNet first. Then
reinstall OrbitNet after you have XP up & running.
When you install OrbitNet on XP you will be warned by
Windows that the Deterministic Network Enhancer driver has not been 'certified'
by Microsoft. You will have to click 'Yes' to approve the installation of these
drivers. You'll be prompted to do this more than once. We have tested OrbitNet
on Windows XP Professional & have not had any problems.
If you need to uninstall OrbitNet & want to save your
settings this can be done quite easily. Use Windows Explorer to find the files
in your Program Files\OrbitNet 4.0 folder. All files with a .dat file extension
should be saved to another location. After installing OrbitNet just paste these
files back into the OrbitNet 4.0 folder.
Is there a way to get OrbitNet to start
I keep forgetting to start it when the system is rebooted.)
Sure. Set it to run in the taskbar (in Win95/98) or to run as a service (in
WinNT or 2000). That option is on the General tab (under Settings) in OrbitNet.
Once its set to run in the taskbar, it will start automatically whenever the
system is started or rebooted. OrbitNet will appear as a white mask icon in the
taskbar, and you can open the main window by double-clicking on the icon.
There are some variations in how to run OrbitNet as a service under NT; it can
be run as a hidden service, or run as a visible service similar to the taskbar
icon in Win95/98. There are some descriptions of the various options in the
OrbitNet manual on the Tech Support
section of our website.
Can I play
internet-enabled games through OrbitNet from a client computer?
Yes, in most cases you can. Many games, such as Everquest, Halflife, Quake
3, Roger Wilco and Unreal Tournament will connect to game servers without any
changes to their default settings as long as Transparent Proxy is enabled and
properly configured. Though there are still some games that wont work,
were proud of our position as a leader in online gaming compatibility.
How do I upgrade?
-- from version 2.1 to 3.0
First, download the newest version of OrbitNet 3.0 from our web site. You
may uninstall version 2.1 if you like; you dont have to, but you might avoid
confusion by doing it. The installer will ask you to reboot, and when you
do youll be running version 3.0. Upgrade pricing is available on our
-- from version 3.0 to 3.0 with more users
You dont have to reinstall anything! When you purchase an upgrade to a
larger version of OrbitNet, you will be given a new serial number. Just go
to the File menu inside your current version of OrbitNet and choose Set new
serial number and fill in your new number. Thats all there is to it.
You keep your current installation, preferences, settings and all other
What does 'three
users' mean, exactly?
OrbitNet will allow simultaneous connections from three different computers. If
you have several applications running at the same time on a single computer, it
still counts as one connection. The OrbitNet computer itself is a special case.
The applications on this computer will only count against the limit if they are
configured to go through the proxy; if they are left to go straight out they
will not count against the limit. This configuration will allow a total of four
computers to access the internet simultaneously, though you give up the
convenience of having a single program handle the dialing when you do so.
How does the
upgrade protection work?
Orbit's Software Upgrade Policy
How can I check if
my network is secure?
Once you've installed OrbitNet, visit the Gibson Research web site (http://www.grc.com)
to check the security. Shields Up! will test your network connection for
openings in your firewall.
How do I purchase
The fastest and easiest way is to purchase it online on our website. It's a
secure transaction, and you will receive a serial number by return page and via
a confirmatory email so you can use your new serial number right away. You can
also purchase with a phone call to our sales office, though shipping charges
will apply. If you have a situation that makes these methods inconvenient,
contact our sales office via
email, phone, or fax for details on other payment methods.
Does OrbitNet work
with the new DIRECWAY 2 Way System Release 22.214.171.124?
Yes. Follow these steps:
Close DirecPC Navigator
Install DirecWay 126.96.36.199
After installation DirecWay said there was a problem with my configuration
Close DirecWay satellite diagnostics
Use Windows Explorer to open c:\Program Files\OrbitNet 4.0\
Find DPCfix.exe & double click it
Do I need to run OrbitNet on all the machines on my network,
or only on the computer connected to the Internet?
You only run OrbitNet on the computer that is connected to the Internet.
Then doesn't the
OrbitNet computer have to be a Server?
OrbitNet will run on just about any computer. OrbitNet is a proxy server, but in
this context 'server' describes OrbitNet's relation to other software on the
network, not the type of computer that it runs on.
What else do I
need on my computer to run OrbitNet?
OrbitNet will need two network connections - an external connection (to the
internet) and an internal connection to rest of your local network, usually via
a network card. The external connection can be either a second network
card or the Dial-Up Adapter already on your computer. Both of these connections
will need to be
configured to use the TCP/IP protocol.
When do I need a
second Network Card?
If your computer connects to the internet through a network card, then you will
need a second card to connect to your local network. For example, most DSL
and Cable modems connect to your computer through a network card. You
would need one card for the modem and one for the rest of the network. You
cannot connect the modem to a hub; if you do, you lose your firewall and all
sorts of other things break.
What do I need on my client computers?
No special client software is required. Each of the computers on your
local network will need to have the TCP/IP protocol installed so that their
Internet applications can communicate with OrbitNet. This protocol is a
part of every Windows operating system. As long as your local network is
configured properly, most applications will work through the Transparent Proxy
with no changes to their settings. The
client computer network card settings can be found at our Tech Support site.
Do my client
computers have to be running Microsoft Windows?
No, they dont. Any computer that is capable of using the TCP/IP protocol
can be a client. This includes Macs, OS/2, Unix, Linux, and just about any
other you can think of. The rule is: if it can connect to the Internet
without OrbitNet, it can also work as a client.
How do I know what
my external IP address is? Don't I need to configure that somewhere?
If you already have an Internet connection, this address is already configured.
There are two main categories for external addresses, static and dynamic. A
static address is given to you - generally by your ISP - and it never varies. If
you have a static address, you probably already know that you do and you know
what it is. A dynamic address is assigned by a computer at the time of
connection, and is taken from a pool of numbers. This is the type you almost
always have if you dial in with a standard modem. If you have a static IP
address, you'll need to configure your external connection with that number but
you don't need to put it directly into OrbitNet. You cannot set IP addresses
within OrbitNet; you can only set them within the operating system. OrbitNet
will identify all of the IP addresses in the computer, and allow you to assign
them as internal or external addresses.
How do I know what
my internal IP address is? Don't I need to configure that somewhere?
Yes, you do need to configure that. Go in through Control Panel/Network and
IP address to your network card. We recommend numbers that are not routable
for your internal network - details can be found within the directions on our
Tech Support page. The only hard and
fast rule is that you cannot use the same network group for your internal
address as that assigned to your external address.
OrbitNet wont let
me set the IP address.
You cannot set any IP addresses from within OrbitNet. The
application gets its information from the operating system. IP addressing
must be changed from within Windows, not OrbitNet. When OrbitNet starts
up, it asks the operating system for its list of IP addresses.
that I only have a single IP address. What does this mean, and what do I do
It depends on your connection type. OrbitNet wants to find at least two.
1. If you are using a dial-up connection and are not currently connected, then
OrbitNet wont complain. It recognizes that the single IP address is for
your internal network and that it will get a second one when you dial up.
2. If you ARE connected, then the address OrbitNet found is the dynamically
assigned address on your external connection. There should be another IP
address, the internal address, but only one address was found.
3. If you have two or more network cards and are not using a dial-up connection,
then OrbitNet should never find just one IP address.
If your case is like either #2 or #3 above, inspect your network cards and
drivers in the system and make sure they are functioning properly. Details of
some tests (like using ping)
can be found on our Tech Support
After I install
OrbitNet, my computer no longer recognizes one or both of the network cards.
The most common reason for this problem is old network card drivers. Often
the attempt to share an Internet connection and add a firewall is the first time
you push the envelope of your networks capabilities, and it is after you install
OrbitNet that you discover you need newer drivers for your network cards.
Most manufacturers maintain a web site with technical support where you can
download the newest driver for your network card.
Accessing the Internet
I have OrbitNet 4.0 &
it worked fine for months. All of a sudden I can only access a few
different web pages. I get a lot of error 430 or Page Cannot Be Displayed.
Recently one of the default DNS servers in OrbitNet
has failed. To solve this open OrbitNet & click File -> Settings ->
Protocols Tab -> DNS Setup. Highlight the DNS servers listed on the right
& click Remove. Do this for all of them one by one. In the field on
the left type in 188.8.131.52 & click Add. This is a DirecPC 2 way DNS
server. Click OK & OK.
Version 2.1 worked
great, but 3.0 doesnt.
If you have an existing installation of OrbitNet 2.1, all of your current
configurations will continue to work, but in order to take advantage of the new
features in version 3.0, you will have to make a few changes to your network.
Please refer to our FAQ for upgrades.
Each client computer must have a Gateway set up in the operating systems
TCP/IP configuration. When accessing the Transparent Proxy, the client
computer will ask its gateway whenever it needs something from the Internet.
Make sure the clients gateway is the IP address of the computer running
Modem hooked into a hub:
If you plug your modem into a hub, you will have no firewall. Each client
computer (also connected to the hub) will have a direct route through the modem.
If they can access the Internet at all, they can bypass OrbitNets security
OrbitNet does not
hang up when I exit my browser, even when I check the option 'disconnect on
That option is there to force OrbitNet to hang up the modem connection when you
exit from OrbitNet, not when you exit from a browser. OrbitNet cannot know when
your browser is running, and in any case that scenario would break down with
more than one user behind OrbitNet. The only way that OrbitNet can know when to
hang up is to wait for a designated period of no network activity.
establish a connection for a browser on the main machine.
When configured to go directly to the internet, a browser on the main machine
will bypass OrbitNets application level and go straight out to the Internet, and
it will not trigger the dialing command (nor will it pass through the anti-virus
filter or site filter). The connection still passes through OrbitNets
driver level firewall, so the computer is secure. If you wish to have
OrbitNet dial for the browser on the main machine, you must configure the
browser to use a proxy. Specific
settings can be found at our Tech
OrbitNet hangs up
even when actively browsing from the main machine.
The answer here is pretty much the same as for the issue above. Since a
browser set to use a direct connection, OrbitNet does not see the activity and
it times out. Setting the browser
to use a proxy will fix the problem.<
I cant ping from
the client machines.
There are two factors that commonly disable
pinging: Gateway and DNS
When you ping www.yahoo.com, the first step is to use DNS to look up the IP
address associated with yahoo. The second step is to try to contact that
IP address. If your DNS settings are incorrect, you will get a message
like unknown host. If your gateway is misconfigured, you will see that the name
is translated into an IP address, but you get either destination unreachable or
timed out. Instructions for setting both DNS and gateways are available at
Technical Support web site.
I cant seem to get
e-mail to work.
There are too many ifs to address e-mail here. Please see our
E-mail Troubleshooting Guide.
My web browser
keeps reporting that the page cannot be displayed.
Page can not be displayed from a client computer usually means one of five
1. OrbitNet is closed, i.e. is not running on the system it was installed on.
2. If using a dial-up connection, it failed to connect.
3. The browser is not
4. A gateway address was assigned to the internal network card of the OrbitNet
computer. The default gateway should be left blank on the internal network
card of the OrbitNet computer.
5. The internal network is not configured properly. The client computer
ping the OrbitNet computer.
Can I use chat
programs through OrbitNet (ICQ, AIM, Yahoo Messenger, etc.)?
Yes. Most of these programs will work through the Transparent Proxy with
no changes to their default settings. Please refer to our
Technical Support web site for help configuring Transparent Proxy.
Can I use AOL with
Yes, mostly. If you connect to the Internet through an ISP other than AOL,
you will be able to log on to AOL using the LAN connection option from any
computer on your network and have full functionality. If you use AOL as
your Internet service provider, there are several qualifications. OrbitNet
cannot initiate a dial-up connection if you are using AOL version 5.0 or higher.
We can dial for you if you are using version 3 or 4. Client computers will
be able to browse the Internet, but they will not be able to access AOL specific
content. Please see discussions of AOL in our
Can a client
computer connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or NetMeeting through
Yes. Outgoing VPN and NetMeeting connections can be established by any
client computer through the Transparent Proxy. Client computers can create
multiple outgoing connections, as long as they are connecting to different
servers. Connections initiated by external computers are not supported at