Would someone please verify that they have been successful in using a direct connection with RU version 126.96.36.199.
As a support person, I can only confirm that there was not a single complaint that direct connection in RU 188.8.131.52 wasn't working. We have plenty of customers/users who use direct connection in RU, both on a LAN and WAN, and they would immediately let us know about the issue. Version 184.108.40.206 has been around for a week already.
Did you try to set up Host on another
computer in the same network. Preferably a computer without BitDefender installed. Antivirus software nowadays is extremely intrusive and always tries to decide for the user what they can and cannot run, even if they explicitly allow something or turn off the a/v application.