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

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, which also includes 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 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 set up Port Forwarding

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)

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.

Is port forwarding safe for gaming

Forwarding ports to a gaming console like Xbox or Playstation is absolutely 100% safe and secure. But if you forward ports to a consumer device like an IP camera or a DVR, then the people accessing it are the only risk until you've set up a password on the device.

Benefits of Using PureVPN’s Port Forwarding Add-On

Amplify your online gaming experience with PureVPN’s Port Forwarding add-on. Instantly get around the blocked ports restrictions and save your time by struggling to configure ports on your router manually. More benefits of PureVPN’s Port Forwarding add-on:

    • 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
benefits of using steam port forwarding

FAQs
(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 Safe?

A challenge while setting up port forwarding manually through a router is that your online communications may not remain safe anymore especially if you forward too many ports. When forwarding ports, there are multiple online vulnerabilities that can be exposed when opening more ports than necessary, which is why you need a Port Forwarding VPN to secure your online activities as PureVPN will handle unauthorized access to other ports.

Also, hackers can't access your end devices through forwarded ports. It all depends upon the target's ports or how good is your router's firewall and how secure it is both internally and externally.

Find out the answer to this question: Is Port Forwarding Safe or Not?


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.


What is the difference between port forwarding and port triggering?

As you may know already, some applications and games require certain ports to be opened to function successfully. Port forwarding and port triggering can both be used for allowing devices to access services outside the network. However, their processes are slightly different.

Port forwarding allows external connections for an indefinite period of time, so it’s considered less safe as the ports are left open on the router. Port triggering, however, allows external connections for a specific period of time, thereby making it more secure and flexible than its counterpart.


What is UPnP?

UPnP, also known as Universal Plug and Play, is a protocol that solves some of the security issues raised by port forwarding. It allows apps on your devices to open ports when needed and close them once they’re done. It’s more convenient as it saves you from the hassle of opening and closing ports manually.

Learn more: What is UPnP?