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How Do I Set Up Port Forwarding?

Port forwarding requires a user to access a router's settings.
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  • Written By: T.S. Adams
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2014
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Port forwarding is the process of opening a range of ports in the firewall of a computer, typically to allow information from a specific program to pass along a network to another specific computer. To configure port forwarding on your own computer, you will need to have your network router's instruction manual handy, as it contains the default password information and access address for your router. Additionally, you will need to know the IP address of the computer you wish to receive the information through the enumerated ports. Port forwarding typically involves simply accessing your router's settings and creating rules to tell it which ports on what computer you want to forward to.

Open an Internet browser on your computer, and enter the IP address of your router into the address bar. This is typically provided either on the router itself or in the instruction manual that came with the router; it varies based on the model, but a typical IP address would be something like 192.168.0.1. Once entered into the browser, press the "Enter" key to load your router's options menu. At this point you will typically need to enter your username and password for the router.

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Once you have accessed the router's options menu, click on the button for "Advanced" options. From there, you should see an option for "Ports" or "Port Forwarding." Again, this can vary by model, so if you are unsure about which option is correct, consult your instruction manual. Once you have accessed the port forwarding menu, click on the button to "Add" a port forwarding rule to the computer. This will provide you with an options box where you can enter the specific information for the ports you wish to forward.

Typically, you will be asked to provide the IP address of the computer to which you wish to forward the information and the range of ports you want to open. This will normally be application-specific; in other words, forwarding ports for Program X will require a different range of opened ports than for Program Y. If you do not know the specific range of ports you wish to forward for a program, consult the documentation on the program's webpage, which usually contains the exact port numbers you will need to open and forward.

Once you have entered the information, press the "save" or "logout" button to save the changes you have made to your router. At this point, it is a good idea to reset all computers on the network, and reestablish the network connection. Once the computers have restarted, the specified ports will be forwarded from that point on.

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