We will take you through the process of port forwarding your router in detailed steps. By the end of this guide, you will know what ports are, what port forwarding is, preparing your router for port forwarding, simple solutions to forward ports, and much more.
My dear reader! Let’s explore this fantastic technology together.
What is a port?
Ports are like a digital door that enables communication between your device and the vast internet. It helps different applications send and receive information smoothly, ensuring data flows to the right place and the suitable activity. So, the next time you hear “port,” think of it as a door connecting your device to the digital world around you.
Learn more: What is Port Forwarding?
How does port forwarding work?
I will not get into the technical terms of port forwarding; instead, I will explain in simpler terms. When someone tries to access a service on your network, like a game server or a web camera feed, their request arrives at your router. With port forwarding in place, your router knows which device or service should receive that request, and it redirects the incoming data to the right door (port) on the suitable device. This is how port forwarding works.
Why do you need port forwarding?
Port forwarding enhances gaming experiences by reducing lag and improving response times. It ensures that game server traffic directly reaches your gaming console or computer, bypassing unnecessary detours.
- Live camera feeds can be accessed securely from anywhere in the world through port forwarding. You can monitor your home or loved ones in real time, whether on vacation or at work, without barriers.
- VoIP calls benefit from port forwarding, ensuring clear and uninterrupted voice communication. Port forwarding helps maintain the quality and reliability of your conversations, whether chatting with friends or conducting virtual business meetings.
- Port forwarding enables file sharing by allowing direct access to your shared files or hosted servers. Whether sharing files with friends and family or streaming media to a broad audience, port forwarding ensures a smooth and uninterrupted experience.
- Remote access to your home or office network becomes seamless with port forwarding. Whether you’re a remote worker needing secure access to company resources or an enthusiast wanting to control devices remotely, port forwarding bridges the gap between your private network and the internet.
- Port forwarding plays a crucial role in accessing home automation systems. From controlling smart devices to monitoring security cameras, port forwarding ensures that you can interact with your home automation network from anywhere, anytime.
- Online applications and services that rely on specific ports, such as video conferencing platforms or online gaming servers, greatly benefit from port forwarding. It optimizes the connections, minimizes delays, and enhances the overall performance of these applications.
- Port forwarding empowers you to take control of your network, enabling a more seamless and secure networking experience. It transforms your router into a traffic director, ensuring that incoming data reaches its intended destination, unlocking the full potential of your network.
Things to consider before manual router configuration
To let some applications work properly there are certain ports which need to be forwarded. For that you must know the port prior to forwarding them.
If you have understood the process by now and know port forwarding, there are a few things you should consider before configuring your router:
1. Assigning a Static IP address to your device
First, it is essential to know that your port forwarding rules would not apply if you assign them to devices which use dynamic IPs. Why? Because if you create a port forwarding rule saying your game server is on a particular IP address, and then your router gives it a new IP, other players cannot connect to it.
To avoid that, you must assign a static IP address to every device you’re trying to port forward to. This can be done through the router’s settings, but if you feel the process might be tiring, you can always subscribe to PureVPN’s Dedicated IP add-on.
2. Know your Public IP address
Now, you know your static IP, it’s now time to know your public Ip address. It can be found in the IP Lookup Tool when connected to the network.
3. Review local Firewall settings
Now your port forwarding is set through the router by using a VPN, the next important thing to consider is looking at your computer’s firewall settings. Mind you, we encountered many frustrated users asking about port forwarding not working for them while writing this article.
For their solution we have carefully crafted the guide covering all the problems commonly faced while forwarding ports.
How to PortForward your router in simple steps
Now your device is assigned with a static IP address and you know your public IP address. You can access your router and set up port forwarding. The process will vary slightly depending on the brand of router you’re using.
- Locate your router’s IP address (default gateway address).
- Head over to your router’s settings.
- Enter your credentials (device username and password).
- Look around for the Port Forwarding tab.
- On the Port Forwarding tab, enter your device’s name and open your preferred port—for example, type 8080 to open port 8080.
- Save your settings.
How to open ports on your router using a VPN
The problem with most of us is that we are too lazy to perform such manual processes, also some of us are non-techy and do not understand simple configurations. Is there a solution?
The Port forwarding add-on by PureVPN is the answer. Opening ports become simple even for a common Internet presence like you and me.Eeither it could be PC, Xbox, PS5, or anything else for any purpose you can port forward in just 3 easy steps:
- Sign up for PureVPN’s Port Forwarding.
- Enter your details.
- Next, go to your PureVPN account dashboard.
- Navigate to the Port Forwarding section.
- Open the ports you like.
Port forwarding different routers
Different routers may have varying configurations, but they function the same way. You can find detailed guides about most of the routers here. Some of the routers are port forwarded through cascading. Here’s how you port forward cascading routers:
- Connect your computer or device to the primary router in your cascading network. This router is usually connected to your modem and is the main access point.
- Open a web browser and enter the router’s IP address in the address bar. Press Enter to access the router’s settings page.
- Look for “Port Forwarding” in the router’s settings. This section may vary depending on the router’s brand and model.
- Add a new port forwarding rule by providing these details
- Service name
- Internal IP Address
- Internal Port/External Port
- Save the settings
- The same would be repeated for all routers connected. Ensure that you forward the ports to the correct local IP address of the device connected to each router.
- Test the port forwarding: After configuring port forwarding on all the routers, you can test if it’s working correctly by accessing the forwarded port from an external network or using online port testing tools.
How to port forward Google Nest WiFi
To port forward on Google Nest WiFi, connect an additional router to your main Nest WiFi router. Access the settings of the other router by entering its IP address in a web browser.
Look for the port forwarding section and create a new rule, providing the name, internal IP address of the device to which you want to forward the ports, and the specific port or range. Save the settings, and you’re done! Remember, the additional router handles the port forwarding, not the Nest WiFi itself.
Not sure about the manual way? Check this guide.
How to port forward Apple routers
Apple routers such as AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule have different processes to configure ports. You can find the detailed guide here.
- How to port forward Apple Airport base station
- How to port forward Apple Share
- How to port forward Airport Extreme
Do I need dedicated IP for Port Forwarding routers?
You need a dedicated IP to host servers on your network, allow incoming requests from your friends or co-workers, or get your IP allowed to an external server. You can only open ports on multiple routers with our add-on without getting a dedicated IP.
How does UPnP help in port forwarding?
UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) is a networking protocol that helps devices on a local network automatically discover and configure themselves. When we talk about port forwarding, UPnP allows better port forwarding compatibility without much manual effort. Here’s why:
- Device discovery: Your gaming consoles, media servers, and other devices are connected through UPnP to communicate with the router. With UPnP, it becomes easy to communicate and send messages.
- Port forwarding request: If you are hosting a gaming server or video conference and need connections through specific ports, you will send a request to the router through UPnP. By having a UPnP in your device, the process is simplified.
- Router configuration: The router, equipped with UPnP support, receives the port forwarding request and checks if it complies with its security settings. If approved, the router automatically creates a port forwarding rule, associating the requested port with the IP address of the device making the request.
- Incoming traffic routing: Certain incoming connections are often stopped if the device is UPnP disabled. So, any incoming traffic on the specified port that needs to be directed to UPnP made forwarding ports automated.
What do you get with UPnP on your device?
- UPnP eliminates the need for manual port forwarding configuration by enabling devices to communicate with the router
- request the necessary port forwarding settings automatically
- simplifies the process for you, especially when dealing with multiple devices that require incoming connections, such as gaming consoles or media streaming devices.
What is DMZ and its purpose in port forwarding?
DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) is a feature in routers that allows you to designate a specific device on your network to be exposed directly to the internet. In port forwarding, DMZ routes incoming traffic on particular ports directly to the selected device without the need for manual port forwarding configurations. Here’s how:
- DMZ acts as a separate network area for a device you need unrestricted access for any reason, such as hosting games, VoIP, and others.
- It automatically directs the traffic to that device without the individual needing to port forward. This means you will not create a different rule for forwarding ports in that device.
- The purpose of using DMZ with port forwarding is to allow external traffic to reach a particular device without the usual firewall restrictions that protect the rest of your network. It can be helpful for hosting services, gaming consoles, or any application that requires direct inbound connections.
It is important to note that placing a device in the DMZ exposes it directly to the internet, bypassing the protective measures of your router’s firewall. This increases the device’s vulnerability to potential security risks, so it’s crucial to ensure the device has its security measures in place, such as updated software and strong passwords, and, most importantly, a reliable VPN.
Does Port Forwarding resolve the problems of port triggering?
Port forwarding and port triggering are two different concepts. Both are used to address the same problems but in other vicinity. While port starting dynamically opens ports based on outbound traffic, port forwarding sets up static rules to permanently open specific ports. Port forwarding resolves certain limitations of port beginning in the following ways:
- Persistence: Port forwarding offers a persistent solution. The ports remain open until closed by their own will,and the data flows uninterruptedly. While in port triggering, the port is shut dynamically, causing problems if you are on some crucial task.
- Specificity: Port forwarding allows you to define precise rules. In this way, you get complete control of what you need to open instead of the ports selected by outbound traffic flow.
- Service hosting: Port forwarding is commonly used when hosting services, such as web servers, file sharing, or remote access. This makes it possible for you to serve your purpose of forwarding ports. With port triggering, you can not do that but will have to wait for outbound traffic triggers.
How to port forward routers without exposing to security risks
Port forwarding is your solution to many problems but can expose you to certain risks such as cyber threats, including DDoS attacks, and phishing. Also, you are vulnerable to many malicious threats when opening ports. Here are some of the tips to follow to keep risks at side.
- Understand the risks: Being known to risks is always the first step to prevention. If you know about the probability of being at risk, you will be cautious while opening ports.
- Update router firmware: Manufactures release updates about router’s firmware to ensure that vulnerabilities are addressed. You must be proactive in updating your router.
- Disable unnecessary services: Enable only port forwarding on your router, to avoid risks.
- Choose strong login credentials: The best practice to be secure is to choose passwords that are strong and difficult to guess.
- Enable encryption: Use strong encryption, such as WPA2 or WPA3, for your WiFi network to prevent unauthorized access to your local network.
- Configure a static IP address: Assign a static IP address to the device you want to forward ports to. This ensures that the IP address doesn’t change, making the port forwarding rule more reliable.
- Research port numbers: Research well for the port number you want to forward. Also, avoid opening unnecessary ports.
- Use a firewall: Enable the firewall on your router and configure it to restrict inbound traffic to only the necessary ports. Block any suspicious or unnecessary traffic.
- Consider VPN access: Opening ports manually is a door to welcome threats, as you might be unaware of the risks. Using an AES 256-bit encryption VPN will help you access the ports through a safety layer, so that your sensitive information is not leaked and your exposure to risks gets minimal.
Port forwarding your router can be an excellent choice to explore fast gaming experience, better video calls, easy remote access and much more. So, if you have not experienced the technique yet, you should once, and there will be no coming back. It is also very important to be cautious while forwarding ports and use the best security tools as a backup.
Frequently Asked Questions
Port forwarding typically requires a router’s access for it to work. But if you want to do it automatically, one easy way is to use PureVPN, which allows you to port forward without your router’s setup page. Here’s how:
Launch the PureVPN app.
Choose the Port Forwarding option.
Select which ports to enable.
Enter the ports that you wish to open.
Click the Apply button.
Here’ how you can port forward on Windows network connections:
Open the Windows Start menu and search for “Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security.” Open the application.
In the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security window, click on “Inbound Rules” in the left pane.
Click on “New Rule” in the right pane to create a new inbound rule.
Select “Port” as the rule type and click “Next.”
Choose whether to apply the rule to TCP or UDP traffic and specify the specific port number(s) you want to forward. Click “Next.”
Select “Allow the connection” and click “Next.”
Choose when the rule should apply (domain, private, public networks). You can typically select all options for port forwarding purposes. Click “Next.”
Provide a name and optional description for the rule, then click “Finish” to create the rule.
Repeat the process for any additional ports or protocols you want to forward.
The process is the same as mentioned above in the guide. However, for a hassle -free process , use PureVPN.
To set up port forwarding on your Asus router, all you have to do is follow the steps mentioned in this guide on how to port forward on Asus.
If you want to set up port forwarding on your Belkin router, follow the steps mentioned in this guide on how to port forward on Belkin.
To set up port forwarding on your TP-Link router, all you have to do is follow the steps mentioned in this guide on how to port forward on TP-Link.
To set up port forwarding on the Netgear router, follow the steps mentioned in this guide to port forward on Netgear.