This error means Parsec couldn't negotiate a peer-to-peer connection between the two devices, be it because of NAT issues, firewall issues, improper/non-existent port forwarding, or even if your ISP has been blocking the UDP connections. Here's are some potential solutions and troubleshooting steps;
Sometimes, simply restarting everything fixes this error. Do this on both the host and client having issues.
Both the host and client should make sure that Parsec is allowed on the firewall. On Windows:
- Press Windows key + R, paste control firewall.cpl and press Enter
- Select "Allow an app or feature...." in the sidebar
- Click Change settings, search for Parsec and enable the checkboxes, then click OK
If you want to be absolutely sure your firewall isn't the culprit, you can also disable it temporarily by selecting "Turn Windows Defender on or off" in the sidebar instead of "Allow an app or feature....", and disabling everything. Make sure to re-enable once you find out that's not it, though, or your PC will be more vulnerable to security issues.
If, for example, you purchased your own router and plugged it directly into your internet provider's router to improve the Wi-Fi signal in your house, that can prevent Parsec from making the connection.
If the host or client's home has multiple routers, make sure to connect your device directly to the router that provides internet, most likely the router given by your internet provider that plugs into the wall outlet (either cable, fibre, or DSL). If you cannot do that, you can alternatively search online how to change the other router's settings into something called either access point or bridge mode.
A carrier-grade NAT is a part of your internet provider's (carrier's) infrastructure. If both the host and client have it, a connection can't be made at all.
If you're behind a carrier-grade NAT, you can request a public static IP from your internet provider. It's often free or inexpensive to get, and if you want to use Parsec often, it's the way to go.
If both people are behind a carrier-grade NAT, and you can't solve it with your internet providers, you'll need to use the P2P VPN provided at the end of this article.
How to check if I'm behind a carrier-grade NAT?
You can contact your internet provider and ask about it. Alternatively, you can check with the steps below:
- Press Windows key + R
- Paste this onto the new window:
cmd /k tracert 126.96.36.199
- Press Enter. A new black window will show up
- Wait for a while until it shows 'Trace complete.' You'll see a list of IPs in the window
- Check if any of the IPs in the black window (except the first) are in the following list provided. If that IP's first three numbers don't match the first IP shown in the black window, you're behind a carrier grade NAT
- 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255
- 10.0.0.0 to 10.255.255.255
- 172.16.0.0 to 172.31.255.255
- 100.64.0.0 to 100.127.255.255
If you ensured you don't have any of the issues listed beforehand, you can try configuring your router below.
If you're trying to connect, but you use pfSense or OPNsense at home as your gateway/firewall, you might need to set Hybrid NAT rules, with a rule pointing to your local IP (having a static DHCP lease helps here).
In case all else fails, look into using a P2P VPN solution like ZeroTier.
This is not a guaranteed fix, and you may have issues with it even if it works, but it's the only option left if everything else has failed to resolve the error.