When you first set up your router, usually the firmware will come with a decent firewall protecting your network from the big bad internet. The only issue is that there are times when we may need to disable this firewall and open some ports so that certain applications can communicate through these ports and for our computers to be able to exchange data between each other via these ports. This is where port forwarding comes in.
When you enable port forwarding on your router, the firewall that was protecting your network will be disabled and all packets sent to these open ports will be redirected to the local IP address of the computer which requested for the packets to be forwarded through them. This means that any time you enable port forwarding, you also disable your network’s security for that particular moment.
As with any new technology you encounter, there are always some issues popping up that need to be solved. Unluckily for us network lovers, port forwarding is no exception. Therefore, in this article, we will touch on some of the most common port forwarding issues and give you our best solutions for these problems to get your port forwarded application working just fine.
The Firewall on my Router is Blocking the Ports
This is one of the most common ports forwarding issues and can be solved by simply creating a rule in your router’s firewall that will allow packets destined for the application’s required ports to be sent directly to your local IP address, bypassing all other rules as well as disabling any other firewall features you may have activated such as SPI. You can easily do this by following these steps:
Login to your router using either an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi connection and look for the page that contains information about services and applications currently running on your network. Find a list of applications with specific port numbers listed beside them. If you find a matching application then you are done already, if not then continue with this step The next step is to find the entry for your computer’s local IP address by looking at the computers currently connected to your router via either Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi. You should enable port forwarding for all outgoing packets destined to the application’s required ports and disable any other features you may have activated, such as SPI. Finally, make sure you save settings and do a quick restart for good measure.
Port Forwarding Only Works for One Computer
This is another rather common issue, fortunately, this one has an easy fix. If you notice the Eero port failing to work for one computer but not for another, then chances are the port forwarding rule has been applied to only one specific network interface. For example, if your laptop uses both Wi-Fi and Ethernet cables to connect to the router, you will need separate rules for each connection type. To fix this issue, all you have to do is ensure that all computers on your network, which are running the application behind the forwarded port, are configured to use the router’s IP address as their only DNS server. This will cause every computer on your local network to appear like they’re coming from the same source and should fix any port forwarding issues involving multiple computers.
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A Specific Port Number was Not Forwarded
Unfortunately, this is an issue that does not have a nice and easy fix like the one mentioned in the last section. This problem occurs when you enabled port forwarding for a specific application such as Skype but noticed that your router’s support webpage does not list any specific port numbers beside it. It may be possible to manually enter port forwarding rules for this application by looking at the Port Forwarding Table and finding similar software, or by simply creating a rule which will work with most applications requiring access through these ports.
However, if you are using a modern operating system such as Windows 10 or macOS this will likely not work because these platforms come with Network Address Translation (NAT) enabled by default. This means that your computer will automatically choose which port number to send packets through, making it impossible for you to accurately forward ports for specific applications manually.
To fix this problem, there is only one effective solution. You will need to install a third-party application that helps you set up NAT traversal rules. These can easily be found via Google searches and once installed, the application should allow you to select appropriate NAT traversal rules so that any applications which require access through ports listed in your router’s Port Forwarding Table should function properly again.
Port Forwarding Stopped Working
This is a very common problem and one which you have probably encountered at least once. This issue happens when you update your router’s firmware with either a new version or the same version but one which was released some time ago due to reasons such as compatibility with newer operating systems. Unfortunately, this means that you will have to re-configure port forwarding rules after the update has been completed.
To fix this issue, start by resetting your router by holding down its reset button for about ten seconds until it restarts itself automatically. Then login in again via either an Ethernet cable like before or using Wi-Fi and go through all of your router settings carefully and note any changes made since the last stable version. This will help ensure you do not accidentally miss any important changes that may have been implemented by the firmware update. Then re-configure port forwarding rules for your applications and save settings before restarting your router again to fix this issue for good.
My Router Doesn’t Support Port Forwarding
Unfortunately, many routers manufactured in the last five years or so do not come with manual port forwarding support. This might be for business reasons, including security concerns surrounding manual port forwarding, but it can still be a problem for users who demand complete control over their network.
If you are one of these people then you most likely have already replaced your router with an advanced model which allows manual port forwarding configuration. However, there is another solution that does not require replacing your current router. You will need to use either the services of an advanced virtual private network (VPN) service instead or simply purchase a pre-configured VPN router from companies such as FlashRouters. Installing VPN software on your computer before connecting to public Wi-Fi networks is also a good idea if you are concerned about your privacy being compromised when on public networks.
If you are having problems with setting up port forwarding rules on your router, or if you have simply lost access to certain ports due to updating your router, this guide will hopefully help you solve the problem once and for all.
However, port forwarding issues can also be caused by several other factors as well, such as incorrectly installed software or even hardware conflicts. If you are unsure what is causing port forwarding issues on your router, you should refer back to your router’s interface documentation and diagnostic tools to help you identify the problem.