In this post I’m going to give a guide on how to set up your own Mumble server. There’s already a guide on their official wiki here, but I’m going to try and make this step-by-step and easier to follow, even for a non-technical user.
If you don’t already know, Mumble is an open-source and free VoIP program which has several features that means I prefer it to the most popular choice – Skype. Not that there’s anything wrong with Skype.
Anyway, whereas with Skype you are using a P2P connection to chat, with Mumble you can host your own server on your local PC, and have other users connect to you. Either method is effective, and that’s not the reason I prefer Mumble. I prefer Mumble because it has voice-activation detection (so the mic will automatically pick up noise above a certain level) whereas Skype is always-on. It also has a much wider range of settings to play with. Finally, it also has a nicer overlay, but that’s just a little thing.
Anyway, to set up a Mumble server, you first need to download it from here and then install it. When you install it, make sure you choose to install Murmur too, which is the server component and is required to host your own server.
Okay, first thing’s first – you need to configure your router to open up a port. You probably also want to assign yourself a static IP address (see this blog post on how).
Set up your static IP first. Remember to set it outside of your router’s DHCP range, or it might be assigned to another PC first!
Unfortunately opening ports on a router depends on the firmware used on the router, which in turn depends on the make/model. I’m using a Huawei EchoLife HG532 (it’s provided with TalkTalk Fibre Optic broadband and does a decent job, so haven’t felt the need to replace it), so that’s what my screenshots are from. Have a look in similarly named parts of your router’s interface and I’m sure you can figure it out – such as NAT, Port Forwarding etc.
Some of the fields in the screenshot below may differ from yours, but you should be able to work it out.
You can see that the port you need to open is 64738 – make sure you set it as TCP/UDP protocol. Using one or the other won’t work. It should be both your internal and external port. This is the default port for Murmur – you can change it to another if you prefer in the configuration file (which I’ll touch on later).
The internal host is the internal static IP you have set for your PC – in my case it’s 192.168.1.150. I’ve given the rule a self-explanatory name of “Murmur”. That’s pretty much it. The remote host field isn’t needed. You can check if you’ve done it correctly using a site such as http://www.canyouseeme.org/, although don’t take the results for this as gospel, as it’s not always accurate. The best way to check is to try and have someone connect.
OK, so we’ve opened the required port. If you go to your Mumble installation directory (default at C:\Program Files (x86)\Mumble) then you will find a file called “murmur.ini”, which is the configuration file. Open it using a text editor, such as Notepad (or even better, Notepad++). In this you can change the settings for you server.
You can leave most of it as it is – things you might want to set are a server password, limit the number of users who can connect simultaneously, change the port it uses and change the welcome message. To do so, find the relevant lines in the file and uncomment them (delete the #) and set it to what you want. So for example, to change the server password, find and change to the following:
# Password to join server
Once you’ve made any changes you want, save and close the file. Run the “murmur.exe” file in the same folder as the configuration file to start your server (it will start minimized and running in the taskbar) – double click it to show it and you can check the text logs. Now this is running, people should be able to connect to your server.
Connect to your own server by running Mumble – your server will appear under the LAN group, and will have 0 ping (as it’s your own PC).
For your friends to connect, you’ll need to provide them with server details. These can be a bit confusing if you haven’t set up a more user-friendly host name (coming in another post!).
They’ll need to click the ‘Add New…’ button which can be seen in the previous screenshot, at which point they’ll be shown the following.
The Label field is just whatever they want to name the server (e.g. CSF90’s Server). The address field defines the server they’re connecting to – they’ll need either your external IP address or your host name. You can find your external IP by Googling “my IP” or “what is my IP” or something like that, and Google will helpfully tell you. There’s a small security risk about giving out your external IP address, which is why setting up a host name is preferred. The Port field will be the port you specified in the configuration/opened on your router (shown as the default), and the Username is what they want their name to appear as when connected.
That’s it – assuming it’s set up correctly, they’ll be able to connect!