How can I open or forward a port on my router?

With some games and applications it may be necessary to open one or more ports or setup port forwarding on your home router. Below are the steps required with most routers and additional help and suggestions with troubleshooting issues that may be encountered.

Warning: Ports are often closed on a router to help prevent unauthorized access to your home network. Opening any additional ports on your router may decrease the overall security of your network.

Note: If you want to open ports to give access to a game or other application like bittorrent make sure it's absolutely necessary. In some situations it may be a firewall on your computer or router that's blocking access. Try temporarily disabling your firewall to make sure this is not the cause of your problems.

  1. To use port forwarding first determine the local IP address of the computer you're forwarding the port to.
  2. Open your router configuration.
  3. Once in the router configuration locate the port forwarding settings, often in a section such as Applications & Gaming or Port forwarding. If you're having trouble finding this spot we suggest trying the Portforward site for exact steps on your router or refer to your routers documentation.
  4. Once at the port forwarding screen you'll see a screen similar to one of the example picture belows.

Single port forwarding

As can be seen in the picture below, in single port forwarding you have different fields that need to be completed. First, the Application Name is the name given to describe what the ports you're opening are. In our example below you can see this router has drop down menus and empty boxes. If you're opening a common port such as FTP, selecting that option enables that port. However, for many users you'll type in the name of the application you're opening ports for. For example, typing in the name of the game. Next is the Externet Port and Internet Port enter the port you want to open in both of these fields, for example if you were opening port 88 you'd enter 88 in both boxes. Next is the Protocol, which is often able to be either Both, TCP, or UDP, if you're uncertain of the exact protocol needed use both. If you don't have a both option then create two open ports for both TCP and UDP. Next is the To IP address, which is the IP address of the computer or networking device this port is being forwarded to. Finally, once all these values have been configured check the Enabled box and click the Save Changes button.

Linksys single port forwarding setup

Port Range Forwarding

If your application or game requires a range of ports, such as 6112-6119 instead of individually assigning each port your router should have a Port Range forwarding section like the one shown below. In this section you'd follow the same steps as those mentioned above, however, instead of putting an individual port you'd enter the starting and ending port address. So if for example you were given instructions to open port 6112-6119, you'd enter 6112 as your starting port and 6119 as your ending port.

Linksys port range forward setup

DMZ

Finally, if after enabling port forwarding you're still encountering issues with another computer or application seeing your computer it may be necessary to enable DMZ. Often this setting is in the same area and can be changed from disabled to enabled.

Testing if an outside network can see the new port

There are several services that can test if your new opened port can be seen. We suggest trying Canyouseeme and the port checker tool from Portforward.

Additional information