TL;DR: only expose port 11625 on stellar-core.
Stellar Core Port 11625
Port 11625 of stellar-core must be exposed outside your network to allow it to communicate with peers.
The stellar-core configuration file has a KNOWN_PEERS field which specifies the IPs and domains that your stellar-core node will try to connect to. This is how your node will register ...
I ended up scratching everything, recloning, and starting over from the installation guide. I believe my issue was in the configuration file. I tried several edits and reruns and honestly I'm not too sure what change fixed it.
Below is the config I used for a working LIVE instance.
My testnet version is identical except the history urls and ...
After startup, your node should have established connection with your indicated peers. On the go, there's not much to do with after startup. The nodes just exchange data and run consensus algorithm.
In stellar-core.config, there are several fields related to peers discovery (refer to example config here).
NETWORK_PASSPHRASE="Public Global Stellar Network ...
That’s because testnet is highly centralized with the 3 sdf nodes being the only ones that are up all the time. So we end up with all test nodes in the world being connected to them until people decide that they don’t want to run a node anymore. It’s a transient state though so it should resolve by itself given some time.