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OrbitNet 4.0  Frequently Asked Questions


OrbitNet Computer



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 connections that require a second Network Interface Card, the modem has to be connected directly to that card, and not to the hub on your network

Is 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 automatically?
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 web site.

-- 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 preferences.

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?
See our 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 ( to check the security. Shields Up! will test your network connection for openings in your firewall.

How do I purchase OrbitNet?
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
Yes. Follow these steps:

Close OrbitNet
Close DirecPC Navigator
Install DirecWay
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
Open DirecWay
Open OrbitNet

You're done!


OrbitNet Computer

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.

Client Computers

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 assign an 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.

OrbitNet complains that I only have a single IP address. What does this mean, and what do I do about it?
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 page.

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.  What happened?
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 & 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 OrbitNet.
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 settings.

OrbitNet does not hang up when I exit my browser, even when I check the option 'disconnect on exit'.
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.

OrbitNet doesnt 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 Support site.

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 settings.  When you ping, 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 our 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 comprehensive 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 things
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 configured correctly.
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 cant 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 OrbitNet?
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 Support Database.

Can a client computer connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or NetMeeting through OrbitNet?
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 this time.


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