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United States Clementine
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:07 am 
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What This Guide Contains:
  • What is Port Forwarding?
  • Why Forward My Ports?
  • How to Forward My Ports

This guide is to help you to set up basic Port forwards on your internet, and to familiarize you with being able to have users connect to your computer, whether it be for a hosting a game, or in some cases, playing a game online.

What is Port Forwarding?

Port Forwarding is a way to open you computer up to the world, which can be dangerous depending on how you use it. Port forwarding is achieved usually through a modem connected to a router, which is in turn connected to the internet. You may not of realized it, but if you ever got together with your buddies who were all connected to your internet via a LAN cable, then you had already forwarded your ports to their computer. Obviously it would be hard for your friend living down the street to connect to your computer this way, so that's why you can also forward your ports using a router, which allows you to connect to the internet without being physically plugged into the modem, or "Wireless".

The way port forwarding works is you open up a channel on your router, which allows incoming broadcasts from other computers on that channel to access your computer, but don't worry, it's not in a malicious way. For example, if you forward your ports to host a Minecraft server, you would have to forward the starting ports and ending ports to 25565. The channel 25565 allows anyone with Minecraft to log into your server via the channel 25565. With port forwarding, you can host servers, which can be run right off the computer you are on now, or a separate computer you own. Port forwarding is used in the very same way on the server box we use to connect to the Gmod servers we currently have running. To be honest, it is very hard to cause your computer harm by forwarding ports, so no need to be paranoid, just go out there and have fun!


Why Forward My Ports?

Port Forwarding is not a process needed to simply connect to the internet, but you may need to forward your ports if you...

  • Want to play a game which no longer has servers to play off of.
  • Want to host a game yourself that people connect to.
  • Want to play a game online, and are having troubles doing so (such as Magicka, from personal experience)
  • Want to have other miscellaneous interactions with other devices over the internet.

Doing so will open you computer to many possibilities. Another method of doing this is using a program called Hamachi, which can be used to connect as if using a LAN cable, but this form of port forwarding is a little more complex then general port forwarding. Using these methods can make that game you always wanted to play online work, or allowing you and a couple of friends to have fun together on a game.

How to Forward Your Ports:

Alright, now that we have the basics out of the way, let's get started, but first, we need to cover some important notes.

What I need to forward my ports:

  • A reason (Minecraft server, TF2 CSS Gmod server, hosting a game online, ect.) and corresponding port numbers.
  • A computer to use/host off of.
  • A working Internet Connection.
  • Access to your router.

Let's do this! You have everything ready to go, computer warmed up, Internet streaming, drinks at hand, let's make some magic happen. First I'd like to make it noted that I am doing this from a Window's perspective, and I am not sure if it is different with Mac's or Linux, but the general components behind this are the same. Also, I personally use a Netgear router, and there are so many different routers with so many different ways of getting to the port forwarding page, but with a little patience and effort you should be able to be on the same page with me.

    So, our first step is to log into our routers and make sure we can access them. The general way of doing so is to type "192.168.1.1" into your internet address bar. If done correctly, a box should appear like below (all internet browsers work, chrome is just my preference).

Spoiler: Toggle


What's that? you don't know your router info? Don't fret, most people never set up a username or password. If you don't remember setting up one, the default username and password are both "admin" for most routers. If not, your last resort would be to Google your router brand, and to find what the default information is. Assuming everything is alright, let's log in.

Spoiler: Toggle


Alright, you made it in! If this is your first time logging in, take a second to navigate the page and get warm and cozy with your routers habitat, with that done, let's get down to business. As you can see on the picture above, this is the page I get once logged in, with a bunch of useless mumbo jumbo around, but we are looking for the highlighted yellow box or something like it, keep searching!

I have tried to forward the ports of my friend who happened to own a Belkin, and from experience, it was a pain to get to the page, but keep looking till you get a page like the one below, notice I already have ports open to some of the games I play, don't give up! Once you make it to the page, you will notice a couple of key things on this page, which should be...

  • Name Slot
  • Start Port Slot
  • End Port Slot
  • IP Address Slot

This page displays the list of current ports you have forwarded, but in order to make those ports, we are going to need to create one, to do this, we need to click on "Add Custom Service", which is highlighted with a yellow box.

Spoiler: Toggle


Ok, time to make some ports, as you can see from the picture below, we have some boxes to fill. For this demonstration, I will be forwarding my ports for the Hip, Smokin' new game from Sammyservers, and need to forward my ports in order to host a server for my friends to get on. First I will need to make a name for me to recognize this port, which will be named "Sammyservers". Also, depending on what type of game you are hosting, will need either TCP, UDP, or both selected, so make sure you find out which one, but most of the time, the answer is both. Next, I need to forward the start and end ports to allow the server to work. The numbers for this game happen to be 12345, so that's what I am placing in the box (Note: not all start and end ports are the same number, some may be two different numbers). Finally, I need to input the IP Address my computer is using to connect with the internet, but wait! I don't know the IP Address! Don't worry, let's find out how to find our IP Address.

To find our IP Address, first we go to Start, and in the search bar type in "cmd". The program should be named "Command Prompt", open this. If you did it right, your window should look like the first picture below. Next we type in "ipconfig" and hit enter. If done properly, a bunch of white numbers and letters should appear. Now it's time for a little hunt and pecking, scroll down until you see a line named "Wireless LAN adapter Wireless Network Connection", like shown in the second picture, and find the line that looks like the line highlighted in the picture, we have found your IP Address!

Spoiler: Toggle


Now we have the number, let's return to the router page. Fill in the final box with the number we just got from the Command Prompt, and if your page looks something like mine below, then we are Golden! Congratulations on forwarding your first port! If you have forwarded before, well done as well! Test if your friends can get on, and play on!

Spoiler: Toggle


Bonus Help:

Not sure what to give your friend to log onto your server? Don't worry, there are a couple of things you can try. For a more accurate way to find what your friends have to put in to connect, Google is your friend. Here are some suggestions...

They may just need you MAC Address, which is a number used for people to connect to your computer itself, which can be easily found by going to http://www.whatsmyip.org/, in turn, you may also need to put the port number on the end, for example, to connect to my Minecraft server, my friends need to type in the address 37.13.209.130:25565. Also, if they are actually connected to your internet wirelessly, all they need to do is type in the IP Address they are using to connect.

And finally some helpful tips and facts.

  • Forwarded ports are not permanent, and can be changed at any time.
  • Forwarded will in no way effect your internet if done improperly.
  • You will need to edit your forwarded ports every time you power on/off the device being used or reconnect to the internet to reflect your IP Address Changes, unless you have a Static IP Address.
  • Only people connected to your internet connection directly can log into your router.
  • You may need to disable your Firewall, or allow the program through in order for this to work

Hopefully this guide was helpful, for now you have the power to go out there, and connect yourself to the internet in ways never before, and to become the envy of all your friend's, being the "Cool Kid" with all the servers. Leave a message if you found this guide helpful, have any problems, questions, or anything to discuss. Happy Gaming!


Last edited by Frost on Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:41 am, edited 8 times in total.


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United Kingdom Cherry
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Nice guide. I'm sure a lot of people here already know most, if not all of this, but should be helpful for some newbies.

One thing about detailing port forwarding, is that it differs for every router, or router manufacturer. For instance, my router gateway is 192.168.0.1. When people bug me, I usually just forward them to http://portforward.com . I've heard good things about that site, and it lists pretty much every router configuration you'll find.


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United States Hat
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:44 pm 
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Maybe you could add what ports to forward for certain games, i.e. Garrys Mod, CSS, so people can join your server?



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United States dobes23
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:48 pm 
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Port Forwarding? Honestly, I never thought anyone would do this, but as Cherry said, each company is diffrent, for instance, that looks nothing like what mine is, because i dont use Linkins. Im pretty sure I use NetGear. But nice job, very discriptive.



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United States Battlefield1113
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:00 pm 
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My verizon modem is utter shit and doesn't seem to open ports after I tell it too. I have an Actiontec Modem as the core modem but the services and the modem itself are different then an actiontec router. It's a GT704WG Rev. B AKA GT704WGB. I make the exceptions and add the rules to my router but when I use a port checker it claims it's not open. I was thinking if it was my McAfee firewall/McAfee program that was causing the problems? I'm a complete noob when it comes to ports so help would be great. Do you guys have any idea?



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United Kingdom Cherry
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:05 pm 
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A port checker will say the port is closed, unless you've got something actively running on it. Ports don't stay open. They're only open when they're in use. (McAfee sucks though, so that could be a cause.)

You really don't need to open ports unless you plan to host services from your computer. 99% of things nowadays will use uPnP networking, or natpnp to automatically configure your connection as needed.

Oh and Clem:
"To be honest, it is very hard to cause your computer harm by forwarding ports, so no need to be paranoid, just go out there and have fun!"

Not exactly true there bud, but yeah. ;)


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United States Clementine
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:47 pm 
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Cherry wrote:
Oh and Clem:
"To be honest, it is very hard to cause your computer harm by forwarding ports, so no need to be paranoid, just go out there and have fun!"

Not exactly true there bud, but yeah. ;)


Well if you are giving your MAC address out to the super 1337 cyber hackers on the interwebs, then you're pretty much done for, but if you keep it within a few close friends, you should be fine. Also I was surprised by how many people i saw that didn't know how to forward their ports. I was asked alot inside and outside the internet on how to forward ports for this game or that, its a very common process that comes easy, but most people will never have to do it in their lives.

Hat Cat Scat wrote:
Maybe you could add what ports to forward for certain games, i.e. Garrys Mod, CSS, so people can join your server?


This is achievable, but for some cases getting a server to run is not just forwarding you ports, for example, to run a game that uses the source engine, you will have to get some programs off of steam in order to run the right clients. Out of boredom, i tried at setting up a TF2 server, and used this guide to do so, which can be applied for Gmod, CSS, or any source engine game. As for minecraft servers, all you need to do really is download the files, forward your ports much like I did (i use the ports 25565, it might be different depending on a number of factors)

Battlefield wrote:
I was thinking if it was my McAfee firewall/McAfee program that was causing the problems? I'm a complete noob when it comes to ports so help would be great. Do you guys have any idea?


From my experiences, McAfee is a bitch when it comes to anything internet, although i never attempted to forward my ports while i had McAfee. The first time i did attempt to forward my ports was trying to be able to host games on Warcraft 3, and had tons of trouble getting past my firewall, so i would check there first, and keep trying to get the program through it on every level you can. You could even try disabling your firewall all together while trying to host the game, and try to isolate whats causing the problem.


Last edited by Clementine on Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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United States Gunz
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:58 pm 
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I just used this guide so I could play Killing Floor with my roommate without using a direct LAN.

True story.

This has been an endorsement by Gunz



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