What Is Port Forwarding?

Back port of internet router

Port forwarding can be a complex process, but it’s well worth the effort. It will allow you to do things like host your game server at home and access your computer remotely while traveling.

This guide will take you through the steps involved in setting up port forwarding for popular services such as torrenting and remote desktop. We’ll also discuss the best practices for keeping your network safe while using port forwarding!

What Is Port Forwarding?

Port forwarding is the process of mapping the address and port number on the internet of a requested resource to an internal IP address and port number.

For example, when you connect to your home network while away from home, you will most likely have to go through some type of port forwarding in order to access your computer inside of your house.

Port forwarding is necessary because computers and other devices on the LAN (Local Area Network) do not have a public IP address; they only have an internal (private) IP address. This means that the “outside world” can’t access devices on your network without port forwarding.

What Are Ports?

Ports are connections used by applications to access network services. Each port number represents a specific service on your computer. For example, web servers typically use port 80, while game servers often use port 27015.

How to Set up Port Forwarding

The easiest way to find the port forwarding settings is to search your router model on Google. The steps involved in setting up a port forward will depend on the router manufacturer and model, but they generally follow a similar pattern. You will have to enter your router’s IP address into your browser (e.g., 192.168.1.1) and be redirected to the router’s control panel.

From here, you will need to find your router’s port forwarding settings and add a new port forward for each port that you want to use. This will require your local IP address and port number.

Your router will then forward the specified port to your internal IP address whenever that port is requested from anywhere on the internet.

Alternative Method

Use VPN

VPN’s make it relatively easy to host your home game server. You can either pay for a VPN service or use the free version of OpenVPN; however, paid VPN’s tend to be more reliable and easier to set up and configure than free versions.

What Is Port Forwarding Used For?

Unifi switch back port

Torrenting

Torrenting is common usage for port forwarding. In fact, some ISPs prevent customers from torrenting because of how much bandwidth it requires.

If you want to use your home computer as a seedbox, then port forwarding will allow you to do so and still connect with the outside network. This wouldn’t be possible with a standard connection.

Hosting Game Server

As mentioned above, one of the most common uses for port forwarding is to host a game server such as Minecraft. Some games require multiple ports to be open, which means that you will need to forward more than one port; however, this is relatively easy to set up.

Remote Desktop

Remote desktop capabilities are another frequently used feature of port forwarding. If you want to access your computer at work while you’re on holiday, for example, then this is an easy way to do so. It does require some extra set up, though; however, it can make working from home or traveling significantly easier if done correctly.

Is Port Forwarding Safe?

Port forwarding is generally safe; however, it does offer open access to your home network. This means that it is more open to attack than a standard network. For the best protection, you should use your router’s firewall (most routers have built-in firewalls) and only allow specific IP addresses to access port forwards.

Port Forwarding vs. Port Triggering

Although port forwarding and port triggering are both related to the management of ports, they are not the same thing.

Port forwarding refers to the process in which you open a specific port on your router and also specify where that port should be forwarded to (e.g., your computer). On the other hand, port triggering is a service that enables a specific port to be forwarded when a program accesses it.

This means that the port is only open for as long as that one process is running. Once you close the program, then the port will close again.

In short: Port Forwarding is setting up your router so that any device on the internet can access one of your devices by forwarding the port to it. Port Triggering is similar but only enables connections when an application wants to use it rather than all the time.

Conclusion

Port forwarding is a common practice in the gaming world, but it also has many other uses. It can be used to host game servers on your home computer, remote desktop connections, and torrenting. It does have security risks associated with it, but these can be minimized by using your router’s firewall.

Although port forwarding does make your network more susceptible to attacks, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks in most cases. Now that you know what port forwarding is and how it works, you are well on your way to setting up your own server!

© Copyright 2021 Tech Review Advisor

Tech Review Advisor
Logo