Before we dive into the concept of “VPN Port Forwarding,” let’s first understand what Port Forwarding is?.
Majority of the people who use port forwarding integrate this tech in:
- WiFi routers
To put it simply, Port Forwarding is meant to give you remote access to devices that are in your home while you are traveling. Also, it makes torrents fast.
What is Port Forwarding? In Detail
The purpose of port forwarding is to route the incoming connections from the internet to reach their destination (remote devices) and software programs on a private network.
What will this private network be made of? It can be made of various devices connected to the same WiFi router. Or, all of the devices/users can be connected to one virtual private network or a VPN for short.
For instance, a NAT firewall is in place. Some other computer from somewhere in the world tries to make connections with your device. The NAT firewall will block that connection request and discard it with curiosity.
The Network Address Translation (NAT) firewall operates on routers, and its function is to protect private networks. The NAT firewall only processes requests of those devices and their internet traffic already connected to that private network. Not only this, the NAT firewall masks the IP addresses of all the devices connected to that private network.
Almost all of the WiFi routers and VPNs have built-in NAT firewalls. Devices connected to those WiFi routers or VPN products all have a public IP address. However, there is a unique private IP address of every device.
The incoming connections initially go through your router or VPN server using the public IP address of your device. Then those connections are forwarded to individual devices following their relative port numbers and the assigned local IP addresses.
If we look at the outgoing requests, port numbers are attached to those specific requests. Once they get a response, that response is sent to the respective device using that port number. Since unknown requests don’t have any port numbers attached to them, all the requests get discarded. This is what we call a NAT firewall.
However, port forwarding gives you the ability to make a hole in the NAT firewall. This is done to provide a pass to the incoming coming connections, which have a tag of specified ports. Then those connections are delivered or forwarded to those devices for which you have made a specific setup.
Advantages of Port Forwarding
Torrenters mainly use VPN Port Forwarding. In particular, BitTorrent connects you to a group of those users who are in the process of downloading and uploading the same file with which you are working. If port forwarding is not present, the NAT firewalls will block those connections, thus lowering downloading speeds and discarding your requests to upload files altogether.
Port Forwarding does not allow the NAT firewall to interrupt your seeding and leeching. It helps you bypass the limitations set by NAT.
Should you get Port Forwarding?
Well, there is a straightforward answer to your question. You don’t need a port forwarding feature if you are not looking to contribute to the uploading rate on these torrent websites or uploading files in general.
VPNs that do not allow P2P traffic cannot be used for torrenting. Some torrenting platforms have this limitation set that you cannot download files entirely if you do not contribute to the upload rate. If you are one of those people who face these kinds of issues, then you might need to get port forwarding for your router or at least in a VPN.
Torrent clients need active nodes to communicate all the time for functioning correctly. These active nodes are the publicly accessible ports of at least one user who continuously corresponds with the torrent applications. Port forwarding allows you to increase your torrent’s download and upload speed as it makes your connection an active node & the torrent client keeps on communicating with your port.
To be more precise, if your connection is not an open port, then your torrent client will have to restart connections at every new request with other clients. If you have port forwarding opened up, other clients will have to find you, and eventually, you’ll get more connections resulting in more incredible speeds.
Risks Attached to Port Forwarding
Undoubtedly port forwarding comes with a lot of risks. However, these risks can be tackled easily if you desperately need port forwarding and cannot function without the port forwarding feature.
Establishing Port Forwarding on your router means allowing uninvited connections to reach your device instantly, i.e., no NAT firewall. This can enable hackers to remotely access your machine by taking absolute control of your device.
These risks can be lessened if you determine and specify with clients, software, programs, and devices that can access the open ports.
Once you have clients and programs listed for access via open ports, then the chances of getting hacked are minor. Also, you will need to enable the firewalls of your operating system and establish a password if some uninvited party is trying to access your system via those open ports.
There is a term called “port fail,” which can occur in a VPN port forwarding feature, which can expose your actual IP address to other users, thus making you vulnerable. A VPN may try to disrupt this attack by setting various incoming and outgoing IP addresses on its vast collection of servers, but the episodes are so quick that a VPN might not get the time to protect you from those attacks.
So, beware when getting a VPN that allows port forwarding. Read the literature on their website about port forwarding and how it helps protect against “port fails.”
VPN Port Forwarding - Step-By-Step Guide
To set up a VPN port forwarding feature on your device, first, you need to check whether you bought a VPN that offers a port forwarding option or not. If yes, then check if your VPN has a built-in NAT firewall. If your VPN does not have this firewall, you wouldn’t need to port forward as no inbound connections will get blocked.
Moreover, the VPN creates an encrypted tunnel to bypass the NAT firewall in general, so any changes to the WiFi router won’t be a necessity.
Every VPN service provider has various processes of setting up port forwarding on their VPN products. You can check out the official site of your respective VPN to get the guide for your port forwarding query or contact their customer support services for guidance. However, generally, this is how to port forward a VPN:
- Go to your VPN’s dashboard and enable the feature of VPN port forwarding.
- Specify the ports for which you want to open ports for your VPN.
- The program that requires port forwarding changes the listening port to the same number you previously placed in the step.
- Now, disable UPnP & NAT-PMP in your program settings.
WiFi Router Port Forwarding - Step-By-Step Guide
To set up port forwarding on your WiFi router, you need to visit the website of your router and see what steps they have enlisted as the setting up of port forwarding varies from router to router. However, the general setup process is as follows:
- Go to your browser and type 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 in your URL bar to navigate to your router’s admin panel.
- Enter the required details in the username and password section of your admin panel.
- Go to settings and locate the port forwarding section.
- Now add the port forwarding rule for that device you want to enable the port forwarding feature.
- Add the local IP address and the port numbers you wish to utilize.
- Lastly, all of your changed settings.
PrivateVPN - Best VPN for Port Forwarding
App Available on
Several VPNs are available in the market that offers port forwarding features, but PrivateVPN stands alone in the best port forwarding VPN in the VPN industry.
It delivers excellent privacy and security features, along with a user-friendly interface to navigate and make manual configurations. It maintains high performance during the delivery of internet privacy and security.
PrivateVPN comes with unlimited bandwidth. You can connect to a server as you do in activating an average VPN. From there, you’ll see that there is a small port number written over the disconnect button.
You can manually change the port number to whatever port you want, and your port forwarding will be activated. In addition to this port forwarding, the PrivateVPN’s security and privacy features will provide excellent online protection while you perform your port forwarding activity.
Moreover, PrivateVPN keeps no logs. It does not collect, maintain, or store users’ online data like browsing history or surfing activities. This means that there is no data to be shared, to begin with, and thus you are protected in the data-sharing situation.
The torrenting support offered by PrivateVPN is also state of the art. The downloading and uploading speeds are incredible, stable, and reliable. You can also use that fast pace of PrivateVPN for your streaming activities on websites like Netflix, Disney Plus, etc. It has 200+ servers spread across 43 countries globally, which means that it can unblock and give you access to several restricted websites and region-locked content.
PrivateVPN’s all applications come integrated with IPv6 and DNS leak protection. If you know about VPN protocols, you might know that this leak protection reduces the threat of port fail attacks by a significant number.
Features like a “stealth blocker” hide from your local ISP (internet service provider) that you are using a VPN for online browsing, streaming, and gaming activities.
We all share files online, and this file-sharing is a massive part of the internet experience. Yet! As per the online security threats, port forwarding may cause some issues concerning hacking attacks. That’s why the majority of the VPNs do not come with port forwarding.
However, port forwarding is a necessity for some applications, and one cannot just stay away from using those applications. That’s why you need to go for a VPN that openly supports P2P traffic, fast, reliable connections, easy configurations, a kill switch feature, and leak protection.