The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
I don't have a router so I thought that I didn't need to port forward, but I did a test on canyouseeme.org and it said connection refused (I added an exception to my firewall). I called my cable company and they said that I could only port forward if I have a router. Does this mean I need to shell out $20-$30 for a router in order to host a server?
If it helps, I'm using Windows XP 32 bit, although I might make a partition to install Mine OS to.
Most cable modems are simple bridge devices, although they can perform very basic routing functions too. If you put a router behind the modem you'll have control over inbound/outbound traffic, and will most likely be able to port forward.
So with direct connect, the player would enter my IP then click direct connect to play? And should I put port 25565 under my firewall's exceptions?
I meant directly connecting your cable modem to your PC, if it's not already. The cable modem should then give your PC a public IP address, which you can give to your friends (after opening that firewall port exception).