Firebind Is An Internet-Based Path Scanner

Martin Brinkmann
May 14, 2012
Updated • Dec 11, 2012

Once in a while I stumble upon a computer game that is giving me headaches ports-wise. Most of the time this is the case when I try to play a multiplayer game with my buddies for the first time, and we notice that we either can't connect to each other, or to the game server. The majority of times this happens, it is a port related issue. The game requires some obscure ports to be opened, and refuses to communicate otherwise.

This can even happen when you start playing popular games, like World of Warcraft, Xbox Live or League of Legends, or when you try to connect to Steam. The same is true for applications that require ports to be open to function correctly. And while it is less likely that you will run into issues with programs like Apple Bonjour, VNC or Apple Facetime, there is still the chance that something is not working correctly.

When that happens, you go port hunting. Since games do not come with manuals anymore, you need to find your answer on the Internet. Which ports does it require? Are those UDP or TCP ports? Even worse, testing may take an extended amount of time, as you need to enable the ports, restart the application or game, and see if it resolved the issue. If it did not, you verify the ports again to make sure you did not make an error, and then go port hunting again to see if you missed a port.

Firebind Port Checker

steam port checker

Enter Firebind, a free (mostly) Java-based path scanner that you can run right in your favorite web browser. What I particularly like about the service is that it is listing tests and apps right on its pages. Instead of having to find out by yourself which ports Steam or Heroes of Newerth, or the SSH protocol require, you simply click on the test link, and start testing. These templates work out of the box.

How does it work?

Since virtually all firewalls will leave TCP port 80 (HTTP) open, Firebind uses that port to talk to its server and create a "listener" on the port the user is interested in. For example, if you are trying to test whether port 5190 is open for AOL Instant Messenger, Firebind will tell its own server to listen on port 5190, and will send traffic back and forth from your machine to our server on that port. If the traffic is successfully sent and received, it's highly likely that the Internet provider is not blocking the use of your application. If the test traffic fails you'll know immediately that the Internet provider is more than likely blocking the application.

Path scanning [,,] is about validating that your IP device's "path" to the Internet is free from being blocked for the specific application(s) you'd like to run. Firebind doesn't ever send IP traffic to a third party IP address. We only send traffic from our Firebind Client on your IP device to our Internet-Hosted Firebind Server.

A click on Apps on the Firebind website opens the available applications and protocols that you can test right away with two clicks of the mouse. The developers have made available clients for Android and iOS (soon), as well as a generic web client, that you can make use of to test custom ports. Here you need to enter a port or port-range, select whether you want TCP or UDP tested, and wait until the program reports its findings directly to you.

Free users of the service are limited to 100 ports per test run, while registered users (also free) can test an unlimited amount. The main Firebind service relies on Java, but there is a web scanner available which you can use to test TCP ports with that does not require the Java Runtime Environment. While limited in functionality, it may be good enough for users who do not want Java on their systems.

Closing words

If you have troubles getting games or apps to work properly on your computer, you may want to use Firebind for the port testing. This is especially useful if a program requires more than one open port, as Firebind will tell you exactly which port is being blocked on the system. And since it is Java and web-based, users can connect to the service from a wide variety of operating systems and web browsers.

Please note that while Firebind helps you find the blocked ports, it won't tell you how to resolve the situation. That's still something that you need to do on your own. Great service, nevertheless.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL:

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

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