Hi. Yesterday, I tried to create a Minecraft server for me and my friends. It was a vanilla server, and I downloaded the file from minecraft. net.
I got the server running for the localhost, and I could join it, but when I tried to port forward it via my router portal, I was not able to. I looked up a few tutorials, and (i think) I followed the instructions properly, but when anyone else tried to join, they got an error saying the connection timed out. Please help. (Also, please try to use understandable terms, as I am no expert at networking.)
The general idea is always the same, but without knowing what the UI for your router looks like, it's going to be pretty difficult to walk you through this.
I have no idea what your knowledge of computers and basic networking is, so forgive me if I over simplify things, or don't simplify them enough.
A few tips:
First, assign a static IP to the PC hosting the server, if it doesn't have one already. You can set up your port forward properly, but then end up getting a different IP next time you turn on your PC, and now your port forward is forwarding traffic to the wrong IP.
When doing this, you also want to make sure that it's an IP address that is outside the range of IPs that your router hands out to your network, so that it doesn't try to assign your PC's IP address to another device in the house. IP conflicts can cause all kinds of havoc.
So somewhere in the router's interface, you should see something about DHCP. This is the service that hands IPs out to devices on your network. You're looking for the IP range, pool, scope... different routers will call it different things. What you're looking for is somewhere that you can tell it which IP addresses you want it to give out. So if it's using 192.168.0.whatever, tell it you want it to hand out IP addresses between 192.168.0.100 and 192.168.0.200. This may or may not require you to restart the router.
Then go into your network adapter settings on your PC, and give it something like 192.168.0.50. This will ensure that the router doesn't create IP conflicts.
Then go into your router and tell it to forward all traffic over port 25565, to 192.168.0.50.
After this, depending on how smart your router is, you may have to poke around in the firewall settings and make sure that it's allowing traffic in over port 25565.
Next, make sure the firewall on your PC allows traffic in over port 25565. It might be using the standard Windows firewall (assuming you're using Windows), or your antivirus may be using it's own firewall. If it's the standard Windows firewall, it does a fairly good job of walking you through it.
When all this is done, open up a browser and go to https://www.whatismyip.com. The IPv4 IP address you see there is the one you give to your friends.