How to Open Ports on Router
By Nick Anderson 9 minutes
An internet connection is nothing without good speeds. Whether you share files, play games, or enjoy live streaming, everything you do online needs a faster connection.
Port forwarding is a way to make data transfer quicker and more efficient. It helps to modify your router, and it doesn’t take too long to open ports on the router.
In this blog, I will show you the easiest way to open ports on your router. I will also explain the benefits of opening ports on the router. However, just before getting to that, let’s first figure out how a router works with the network.
How does a Router Operate on the Network?
Your requested data travels through the router as the gateway. Next, the router forwards the data request to the website server. The website server will send back the requested data to the router. Now, once again, the router will send the data to the device that you are using to open the website.
Now, you must be wondering where did these ports come from? Ports serve as the channels through which your router sends and receives data. You can use almost 65000 ports on your router for doing multiple tasks simultaneously.
Let’s assume that you are browsing a web page and listening to Spotify at the same time, your router will be in touch with two different servers simultaneously, and for that reason, it will use two separate ports.
There are specific programs and applications designed to use specific ports only. For example, HTML requests will only be sent and received by port 80 on the router. Similarly, your email data will only use port 110.
You don’t always have to understand this entire thing. It is a backend process, but it helps to modify your router ports.
What are Ports?
Ports refer to the virtual places of an operating system that serves as the starting and ending point of network connections. Ports help computers in sorting the received network traffic.
Each port is assigned for a specific process. They help computers identify different traffic sources. For instance, emails travel through different ports, and web pages go to different ports. However, both reach the computer over the same network.
What is Port Forwarding
Port forwarding is also known as port mapping, and it enables the private network’s computers and services to connect with other public or private computers or services over the Internet.
How do you set a static IP address?
Setting static IP addresses helps avoid network conflicts that cause certain devices to stop working appropriately. To set a static IP address, simply head to the router’s configuration page and enter your router’s IP address into the browser.
Next, add your username and password to log in. Your router provider should give login details. After accessing the configuration page, head to Settings > Static IP address > DHCP Reservations > Servers and Devices.
Under the Servers and Devices list, select your preferred device or server that you want to port forward and set the IP address to static.
How to Open Ports on the Router
Once you set a static IP address on the device you’re forwarding to, you can easily open the port now.
Note: The listed steps below may vary, depending on your router type. Settings and configuration steps are specific to each brand and router design/model. However, most routers share a general functionality layout.
- Type in your router’s IP address in the browser’s search field
- Head to the router’s settings portal
- Search for the Port Forwarding tab
- Type in the port number that you want to Forward
- Enter the static IP address of the assigned device
- Now, click to save settings.
- Port Forwarding is necessary to allow external traffic on your internal network.
- The device’s statistic IP address and the router’s IP address are required to open a port
- Opening a Port on the router is risky and removes the network protection layer in the form of a NAT firewall.
Why Do We Need Port Forwarding?
Port Forwarding allows legitimate inbound traffic to pass through a network’s firewall easily. It’s not a problem for data to travel out, but incoming traffic is put through scrutiny by firewall security before it’s deemed safe.
It also helps network administrators to set up a multitude of servers with different IPs and ports for other internal tasks.
Home network users can leverage the port forwarding feature to create a gaming or web server.
A network administrator can easily hide internal network activities by setting up a single public IP address for all the tasks. If a packet that’s not a part of the internal connection arrives on the external surface, it will be rejected automatically by the router.
But if forwarding is set up for the port, the packet will be automatically delivered to the desired destination/internal machine.
Remember that port forwarding gets you many benefits, but opening a router’s port without a firewall will be unsafe for your network.
Example of Port Forwarding
To better understand the concept of port forwarding, let’s take an example of an FTP server. File transfers across the internet take place via FTP servers. When you use FTP for file transfer, files are uploaded or downloaded to the File Transfer Protocol server and accessed on your computer.
FTP servers respond to incoming requests via port 21. When you enable it, then other outside traffic cannot connect to the router’s port 21 to transfer further requests on your computer. The connected computer and the router will manage the entire data flow through open port 21.
In short, this dedicated port will transfer files via a router to an outside FTP client that is communicating with the network.
How do I Check Port Forwarding is Active?
There are various methods to check if your port forwarding is working. However, here is a relatively straightforward one.
For this method, you need your internet IP address (Note: Internet IP address is not the same as your computer IP address). If you don’t know your public IP address, then find it here. Also, make sure to know the port number that you want to open exactly. Now, you can browse any of these sites:
Enter your correct port number in the respective field and IP address if needed. This method will help you test a single port only.
How to Open Ports with a VPN?
Opening ports on your router provides speed benefits but also leaves your device vulnerable and prone to malicious attacks. When you open your router ports to browse the internet, your router’s additional security layer gets removed. Therefore, FastestVPN doesn’t offer port forwarding functionality in its app.
However, Port forwarding can be enabled with a VPN app or by using the VPN dashboard account. You first have to decide which ports you want to open on the VPN, then change the listening port number and disable UPnP and NAT-PMP in the program settings.
FAQS- How to Open Ports on the Router
What does Port Forwarding do?
Port Forwarding sets up different public services over a network, including web servers, e-mail servers, FTP servers, or other specialized Internet applications. So, when anyone sends a request on your network using the internet, the router automatically forwards such requests to a suitable computer.
Do I Need Port Forwarding?
Port forwarding is required only when one machine on the internet is needed to launch a connection with another machine that is covered with a NAT router or a firewall.
What Are the Dangers of Port Forwarding?
Some risks are also associated with Port Forwarding. Open Ports make you more vulnerable to malware and hacking attacks. However, you can keep your network secure by connecting to the FastestVPN while opening ports.
What is Port Forwarding for Gaming?
Port Forwarding for gaming is a process that allows your gaming console to connect with other PCs or gaming consoles via the internet. This process is very useful in improving the overall connection speed for the host.
Should I turn off Port Forwarding?
Turning on Port Forwarding may risk your network security. You should also disable it completely if it is possible. Moreover, you should also follow manual port forwarding rules only for trusted apps and services.
Is Port Forwarding Safe for Gaming?
Port Forwarding for gaming is safe only when your device is malware free. Remember that once you open a port, it will remain open regardless of whether you’re playing or not. There are routers with a more advanced approach that only open ports while gaming.
What Ports Do Hackers Use?
There are certain ports that are quite vulnerable and may end up being attacked by hackers. Some of these ports include but are not limited to SSH (22), HTTP, FTP (20, 21), DNS (53), SMTP (25), and SMTP (25).
Does Port Forwarding make the internet faster?
Setting up the right Port Forwarding program can actually help you make the internet faster. Programming your Port Forwards will significantly reduce downloading time of larger P2P torrent files.
What is my IP Port Forwarding?
To get your IP Port Forwarding, simply log into your router and head to the Port Forwarding section. Now, insert your device’s IP address and port numbers. Select forwarding protocol and click to save changes. In case there is no port forwarding option, consider upgrading your router settings.
Is it safe to open ports on my router?
Open ports are not dangerous. However, the thing that matters is what ports are open and what apps and services have accessed using the ports. Overall, it is better to go with fewer open ports as they prevent attack surfaces.
Opening the router’s port lets you access various internet services on your internal network. However, it has potential downsides too. When you enable port forwarding on your router, it eradicates a security layer and exposes your device to various external threats.It is advised not to open ports regularly on your router and always use FastestVPN with your router for encrypting network traffic.