Friday, March 16, 2007

How Port Forwarding Works

Port forwarding is one area where people get confused the most. The reason, in my opinion, is that each router manufacturer has their own different way of doing it. Port forwarding is used if you have a router in your home or workplace. What it does is opens up a specific port to a specific computer. The port usually requires opening for a certain software applications. The most common for businesses is remote access.

Here is a generalized step by step guide to port forwarding:

1. Open up a web browser and type in the IP address of your router. If you don't know it, here is a trick to finding it out. Click "start" -> then "run" -> type in CMD -> in the DOS window that opens up type in IPCONFIG. Now below will list your IP Address for your computer, the subnet mask and the default gateway. The default gateway is usually your router's IP address.

2. Now you will be brought to the log in screen of your router. If you never changed the default (which most people don't) here are the common default user name and passwords:

admin, password
administrator, password
admin, admin
"blank", admin

3. Once your are logged in you need to navigate to the port forwarding settings. This is where each manufacturer does it their own way. Basically you are looking for menu setting "applications and gaming" or "firewall"

4. Once you are there, you will need to enter in the port start & finish range, whether it is a TCP or UDP port, the name you want to give this setting and the IP address of the computer you are forwarding the port to. Make sure any apply check boxes are checked. Click save and that should do it.

For exact instructions on your particular router please check with your manufacturer. Below are some common ports for certain applications (All are TCP unless stated otherwise):

VPN 1723
Remote Desktop 3389
VNC 5900
FTP 21 This is only if you are running your own FTP server
PCAnywhere TCP 5631 UDP 5632

Please also keep in mind any game in which you want to play over the Internet will have its specific port that will need to be opened up. Another note is if you are using any kind of download program, like Bittorent, and your downloads are really slow the most likely cause is the port is being blocked.

For more information please visit: PC Tech Solutions - Computer Repair, Sales And Networking

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