So you wanna learn how to port forward, do ya?

This may be what you're looking for. You don't need any special software from shady websites and you won't need to browse through any shady advertisements.

You may need...

But first, a brief explanation of what port forwarding is

To port forward means to simply allow an incoming connection to reach a machine on your network, over a particular port. By default, routers typically block all incoming connections. (Outgoing connections and incoming responses are allowed though.)

Port forwarding does not open your whole network to attacks. Port forwarding alone does not open anything for attack.

It is the responsibility of programs listening on a port to not be vulnerable. Most video games are safe. Generally open-source software is safe due to individuals being able to inspect the networking functionality and determine if any vulnerabilities are present. Ask a search engine or community if a piece of software is safe. You may also be worried about opening ports below 1024. Notably port 20 and 21 should be handled carefully.

First, gather your router's login details

If you have physical access to your router, try the following.

Look over your router for a label that has written a login name or user name and a password or pass-phrase. This information is typically left by your internet provider, if you were issued a router along with your internet service.

If you cannot find the above information, try consulting RouterPasswords--which is a collection of default router passwords submitted by individuals.

Copy this information to something handy and return to your computer.

Now find IPv4 addresses

An IPv4 address looks like (the numbers may be different).

On Windows...

Run cmd.exe Enter into the prompt route print | more Look for "IPv4 Route Table", below should be "Active Routes". Under the "Network Destination" column find the "" entry. The default gateway address and your IPv4 address are under the "Gateway" and "Interface" columns. If you can't find this information, you may need to view the next page by pressing the space bar.

On Mac OS...

Navigate to your "Applications" directory and then "Utilities". Open the "Terminal" app. Enter into the prompt route get default Look for "gateway", next to that text is the default gateway address. Look for "interface", next to that text is the interface name for your connection. Now enter ifconfig and look for your interface name. Below should be a line with "inet" in the first column. The next column should contain your IPv4 address.

On linux...

Open a terminal and enter ip route | grep default Next to "default via" is the default gateway address. Further into the line, next to "src" is your IPv4 address.

Keep the default gateway address and IPv4 address handy.

Now time to port forward!

Remember that every router is different. These steps may not describe even the basic process for every router. Use some imagination when navigating the router configuration web pages.

Open a web browser and go to your default gateway address. At any point you may need to enter login information. You have it.

If your login information does not succeed, it may have been changed. If you don't recall changing it or lost any record of it, you may consider resetting your router. On most routers, there is a pinhole on the backside of your router labeled as a reset function. Try pressing and holding it for a few seconds. If you cannot find such a pinhole or that action does not work, you may need to consult your router's manual.

Remember that if you reset your router, your Wi-Fi password may likely change. Previously forwarded ports may be reset as well.

Navigate to a firewall, port, port forwarding, port configuration, application configuration, or similarly named page. You may need to navigate through several pages or tabs.

If given a list of computers, select the computer with the same address as your own. You will need to add a new rule, configuration, entry, etc.

If given a selection of presets, select a general option. Select a protocol--TCP or UDP. Enter a port range. If given external and internal port range options, fill both identically. If given an external IP address option, select an "any" option ("" may work too). If given an internal IP address option, enter your IPv4 address. Apply changes as many times as necessary.

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