What is Port Forwarding

Port Forwarding, also known as port mapping, is the process of diverting traffic, which was previously bound due to certain combinations of ports.

Port Forwarding is used to communicate with devices on the external network. It does so by configuring your devices’ ports to match with the external host.

what is port forwarding

Why Port Forwarding Required

Forwarding ports is an excellent way to preserve your public IP addresses. It is used to keep unwanted traffic off networks, protect servers and clients from unwanted access without permission, "restrict" the services and servers available on a network, and limit access to devices connected to and from a network. Also, it allows using one IP address for all the external communication on the internet while dedicating multiple servers with different IP addresses.

What is port forwarding used for?

Port forwarding is a technique that is widely used to redirect computer traffic through selected ports between LAN computers (your local network) and remote computers (the internet).

In short, it is a process that allows you to receive network traffic through a port number of your choice and by making it accessible for others on the local network or the internet.

Usually, a VPN or proxy program is used to make this redirection. Still, it can also be done via hardware components such as a router, proxy server, or a firewall.

Learn about What is a Port Number?

How Does Port Forwarding Work

To communicate over the Internet, packets of data are created and sent over the Internet. These packets contain the details of your request, including the destination of your computer or device.

When a receiving host receives the request, a port number is usually appended to it (for example, 123.45.67.89:3195, where 123.45.67.89 is the IP address and 3195 is the port). Unless 3195 is open at the router that is hitting 123.45.67.89, that traffic cannot go anywhere.

You can either open the port as previously stated, or use a VPN.

In port forwarding with a VPN, the intercepting application isn’t your router this time. It’s your VPN client. If you have a port forwarding addon with your VPN, you’re the only recipient of the traffic, and no further heavy lifting needs to be done.

You can learn more about how it works via the video below:

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How to Forward Ports on Router

Finding and opening ports on your router is easy. Follow the steps:

  1. Locate your router's IP address.
  2. Head over to your router's settings.
  3. Enter your credentials (username and password).
  4. Look around for the Port Forwarding tab.
  5. Open your preferred port. For example, type 8840 to open port 8840. If you want to open two ports, type 8840, 8820, or 8810-8815 to open ports from 8810 to 8815.
  6. Save your settings.
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Use Cases

Our Port Forwarding feature comes in pretty handy in lots of stuff that we do at home or at work. The following are some important use cases:

  • Accessing your security cameras when you are away
  • Forwarding ports to both Xbox and PlayStation consoles
  • Setting up a server at your home, such as Minecraft or Teamviewer
  • Speeding up downloads
  • Enhance resistance against DDoS Attacks by filtering traffic away from unneeded ports
  • Connecting with hosting servers through a firewall at datacenter level from anywhere
  • Connecting with Fantasy Grounds from various routers
  • Accessing private networked applications behind NAT for remote access
  • Accessing your PC, laptop or server from anywhere in the world
  • Sharing access to your website/FTP or any other service
  • Playing an online game with your friends by allowing your friends to join your gaming server
  • Email clients in a secure manner.
  • Using Remote Access (RDP)

Is Port Forwarding Safe?

When it comes to port forwarding your router, it’s natural to have doubts. The entire process might seem scary, and you may think that port forwarding could wreck your router. However, that’s not the case.

Forwarding ports is not at all dangerous, and it’s safe to port forward your device. Essentially, the safety depends on how good your router’s firewall is and how well it is protected, both internally and externally. Learn more about whether port forwarding is safe.

If you’re port forwarding a gaming console like the Xbox or PlayStation, you’ve got nothing to worry about. When it comes to port forwarding a device like a security camera, the only risk associated with port forwarding is the password you’ve set for your device. Be sure to keep a strong password for optimal online security.

What is UPnP?

Universal Plug and Play, better known as UPnP, is a networking protocol. UPnP allows internet-enabled devices such as your desktop or laptop devices, Wi-Fi routers, smart devices, printers, and numerous other devices to find each other and create successful connections for sharing data.

UPnP is configured by default and doesn’t require any configuration settings. However, your device might have UPnP turned off. With UPnP enabled, devices can quickly search and enter your network, locate other devices, and start communicating with them.

Port Forwarding vs. Port Triggering

Port Forwarding is the process of redirecting internet traffic via a port from the Wide Area Network (WAN) to another port in your Local Area Network (LAN). Port forwarding is common among online gamers who forward ports to enjoy uninterrupted online gameplay.

On the other hand, port triggering is the process where you wish to port forward several devices and computers instead of a single port using a dynamic IP address. Learn more about port forwarding vs. port triggering.

Both port forwarding and port triggering are safe as long as you keep your system updated, secured with a strong password, and have a strict firewall in place to ensure that only the ports you need open are the ones that remain open.

Types Of Port Forwarding

Port Mapping, exists in several forms. The most commonly used forms are mentioned below:

Local Port Forwarding

It is the most commonly used compared to the other types. It is usually employed to send data from a different client application on the same system. With Local Port Forwarding, you can connect from your local computer to another server easily. You can also get around firewalls that are blocking certain web pages.

Remote Port Forwarding

It enables applications that are on the server-side of Secure Shell (SSH) connection to access services on the SSH’s client-side. There are other proprietary tunneling schemes as well that utilize remote port forwarding for the same general purpose.In simple words, it lets you connect from the server-side of a tunnel to a remote network service which is located at the tunnel’s client-side.

Dynamic Port Forwarding

It lets you traverse through a firewall or NAT by using firewall pinholes. The goal of this method is to allow clients to connect securely with a trusted server which is acting as an intermediary for sending/receiving data to one or many destination servers.

Does Port Forwarding Work with a VPN?

Yes, port forwarding works smoothly with a VPN. Not all VPN services provide port forwarding. PureVPN’s port forwarding VPN is highly regarded in the community for its exceptional service. Learn more about PureVPN’s Port Forwarding VPN.

    • Gain instant access to your home or office devices from anywhere
    • Improved P2P upload and download speeds
    • Swiftly open TCP and UDP ports on your device
    • Avoid CGNAT (Carrier-grade NAT)
    • Use Port Forwarding while connected to a VPN
what is port forwarding

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I Check if My Port is Open?

You can check if your port is open or not through port checking services like CanYouSeeMe.org and ismyportopen.com.

Is Port Forwarding the same as opening a port?

They are quite the same. "Opening a port" is a technical process of allowing traffic to pass on that port, whereas "Port Forwarding" is a process of forwarding traffic received by one device on a given port to another device.

Does port forwarding reduce ping?

In some instances, it may reduce your ping. However, for some users, ping might escalate drastically. It all depends upon the server you're connecting to and how far is that server located from your physical location.