I constantly have problems with games, downloads, and everything else under the sun. From what I can tell my problems are because I need to open ports. Now the problem with this is that I do not have a router.
I have AT&T DSL internet and my connection does run through a network switch, but making the connection direct rather than through the switch does not help the issue.
Is there some other way I can open the ports I need or is there something I'm missing that can cause these types of issues? I have heard something about the ISP can be blocking all but a couple of ports which can cause problems but I rightly have no idea what to do there.
The network switch /DSL modem aka cable modem (sometimes called that even if it's DSL) is a router. If you run a command prompt on your PC, type "ipconfig" then the "default gateway" is the address of your router.
Opening ports is usually an issue for inbound connections - someone trying to get data from your PC to theirs, or sometimes things like games if you are hosting a multiplayer session. For downloads or other issues, that probably isn't the problem.
ISPs might block a few outbound ports, but that would probably not cause a huge range of problems.