Port Forwarding

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Port Forwarding information and router configuration.

IP address Port Forwarding

Port forwarding is useful for many situations, such as gaming, hosting a web server, or accessing a home security network from somewhere other than home. Most Internet users never access their home network from an external device. For those that wish to connect to their home network or LAN via the Internet, some basic knowledge of port forwarding can be necessary. Port forwarding is handled by an Internet router. Therefore, users that access the Internet directly by a modem and do not have a router will hot be able to port forward on their home network. More importantly, before attempting to forward ports on your router, you should know how to find your IP address. This article outlines the basics of port forwarding, common uses, and a brief tutorial on how to configure your router to forward incoming requests to specific ports.

What is Port Forwarding?

Every request you make from your computer to the Internet goes through your router. You can think of your router as an avenue for data transfer between each electronic device on your network and the Internet. All requests to the web from inside the network go through the router. All data sent from the web also goes through the router. The router is responsible for sending information to a specific IP address on a specific port.

When you enter a URL into your Internet browser, your computer requests data from some IP address on port 80. This is because most web pages use HTTP. The default port for the HTTP protocol communication is port 80. Your computer sends information about which port it will be listening on for the response to the request it sent.

However, what happens if a request is sent to your router from outside your network on port 80. Usually, by default, your router will think this is a malicious request and block it. Alternatively, the request may simply be ignored. However, if you are running a web server from home, you don’t want your router to block or ignore the request. You want the router to know that all incoming requests on port 80 should be forwarded to your web server.

How to Forward Ports on Your Router

The following guide should help you configure your router to port forward for nearly any purpose. If you want to host a web server on your home network, you want to forward port 80 to the IP address of the web server. If you want to host an FTP server, you want to use port 21.

Step 1: Connect to Your Router’s GUI

Most modern routers come standard with a Graphical User Interface, or GUI. This makes it possible for users to connect to the router by using a web browser. To view the router’s GUI, type in the IP address of your router into the browser. If you don’t know the IP address of your router, use the table below to find some common default IP addresses for major router manufacturers.

Router Manufacturers Default IP Addresses
3Com 192.168.1.1
Apple 10.0.1.1
Asus 192.168.1.1, 192.168.1.220
Belkin 192.168.2.1, 10.1.1.1
Buffalo 192.168.11.1
Dell 192.168.1.1
D-Link 192.168.0.1, 0.30, 0.50, 1.1, 10.1.1.1
Linksys 192.168.0.1, 1.1
Microsoft 192.168.2.1
Motorola 192.168.10.1, 20.1, 30.1, 62.1, 100.1, 102.1, 1.254
MSI 192.168.1.254
Netgear 192.168.0.1, 0.227
Senao 192.168.0.1
SpeedTouch 10.0.0.138, 192.168.1.254
Trendnet 192.168.0.1, 1.1, 2.1, 10.1,
U.S. Robotics 192.168.1.1, 2.1, 123.254
Zyxel 192.168.1.1, 2.1, 4.1, 10.1, 1.254, 10.0.0.2, 0.138

If your router is password protected, you may see a pop-up window that asks you to enter your username and password. By default, Cisco Linksys routers use admin for the username and password. Netgear routers use admin for the username and password for the password by default.

Step 2: Find the Port Forwarding Tab

For Cisco Linksys routers, the port forwarding tab is under the main tab Applications & Gaming. If your router is made by a different manufacturer or has third-party router firmware installed, you may have to look under the advanced or advanced settings tab.

Step 3: Set the IP address and Port to Forward

Once you get to the port forwarding options in your router, now you can enter the settings for the port you wish to forward. You must know the IP address of the device you wish to forward the port to. Then you can enter the port to be forwarded. If there’s an option to enter a port range, you can use the same port for both or you can specify any small range that include the port you want to forward. The best thing to do is to just use the same number for both. This will ensure that you’re only forwarding ports that you want.

Be sure to save your settings once you’ve entered the IP addresses and ports. That’s it!