Port forwarding is a way of making your computer at home or at work accessible to different computers across the Internet even if they are hidden behind a router. It’s a function that is most commonly encountered in gaming or video streaming. Forwarding a port allows you to bypass certain router blocks that stifle Internet connectivity and speed. Opening specific ports allows games (Diablo, Call of Duty,etc.) or torrent downloading programs like UTorrent or BitTorrent to work through any security walls that prohibit them. Think of ports as doors” you are opening a door in order to let things through.
An un-forwarded port is considered a closed port. A forwarded port is referred to as an open port.
How to access your Router on Windows
- Firstly make sure you are connected to the Internet. You can connect via Wireless or via Ethernet Cable. An Ethernet cable comes pre-packaged with your router. It allows for faster and more stable speeds.
- Navigate to open Settings.
Click on the gear-shaped icon and that will open your computer settings window.
- Navigate to Network & Internet.
- Click on the View your network propertiestab and a link near the bottom of the window will appear.
- Locate Wi-Fi.
It is located to the right of the page.
- Locate the Default Gateway section.
It is located at the very bottom, below the Wi-Fi option. It will be shown as an IP address (ex. 192.168.0.0).
- Open the Router Webpage.
You can do so by copying the IP address into the search bar on your browser. We recommend using Chrome as it is very Cookie and Privacy friendly. A pop-up will appear requesting that you input your Username and Password.
- Enter your Username and Password.
There is a chance that if this is the first times you access this page, you will not know the user or password information. If it is the first time the router is being installed the credentials will be set to the default value. The default value for most common routers is: admin & password.
Forwarding your Ports
Depending on your router type and brand, finding the port forwarding section could prove slightly challenging. Router webpages are usually built by the companies who manufactured them so they are the ones who choose the layout. It might be easier if you have the manual on hand for you to make a sneak peek into it. Otherwise you could call the router helpline and ask them for the exact location.
Common menu labels where your port forwarding section might be are: ‘Port Forwarding’, Advanced Settings’, and ‘Firewall’.
- Choosing a pre-set port forwarding template.
Most modern routers and modems offer a pre-set template for the most commonly sued software. Some of these programs are: Photoshop, Minecraft, League of Legends, Dota 2, Winamp, Google Maps, Google Earth, Bing, Domino’s Pizza, etc. You can choose one of these programs from a drop down menu. After you’ve selected the program you will be shown the IP and port number that will be changed. All you need to do now is save the changes and quit away from the menu.
- Creating a Custom Port Forwarding template.
If your program is not among the pre-set list you can manually input the port that you want to allocate for it. This is called creating a custom entry. You will need to input this information:
- Name: Enter the name of the service. If you are creating a port for Photoshop you can go ahead and name the port ‘Photoshop’. This helps keep things neat and tidy if you ever need to go back and make modifications. It also helps keep things organized should you ever need to create multiple ports for different programs.
- Service Type: There are two types of ports TCP and UDP.
TCPstands for Transmission Control Protocol and is the most common type of port. UDPstands for User Datagram Protocol and deals with more complicated programs or by advanced users. If you are not sure which port you need, we advise you select the optionBOTH. This will not harm your program or stifle the Internet connection that will go through to it.
- Inbound or Start: This is your first port number. Make sure you input a port number that hasn’t already been taken by another program. This opens the port for forwarding
- Private or End: Retype your port number here. If you are opening port number 23, type in the number 23. This will tell the program to only open port number 23. If you want to open several ports at the same time in the Inbound and Start section, type in 23 and in the Private and Endsection type in 30. This will open ports 23 through 30.
- Insert IP address
You will need to insert the IP address of your computer here. To find the IP address on Windows XP or older type ipconfig into the CMDpanel.
To find the IP address on Windows 8 and above you will need to navigate to Control Panelfrom the Start Menu, open Network and Sharing Center, click on Change adapter settings, and then click on Details. Once you click on the Detailssection you will be shown a list of configurations. Your IPaddress and MACaddress are towards the bottom.
- Save and Quit.