A Comprehensive Guide to Port Forwarding and VPN

7 min
port forwarding

Port forwarding is a feature provided by the top-rated VPN services worldwide. Since it’s a technical matter, most users need to understand it. They think it’s unsafe, but that’s not the case as long as you know what it is. 

Port forwarding requires a static Internet Protocol (IP) address and may pose security risks, as some of the services let users practice it on their networks. A VPN with port forwarding is riskier than other secured connections available.

This is why only a handful of VPN service providers allow users to practice port forwarding on their systems. But even those few users that have this permission have customization options and multiple port options designed to make usage easier.

Before using a VPN connection that provides port forwarding options, you should consider the intricate details of the system and its operation.

In this article, we will talk about some of the most important questions that you might ask, such as:

·         What is port forwarding?

·         What does port forwarding do?

·         Is port forwarding dangerous?

·         A lot more

Let’s discuss this.

What Is Port Forwarding?

Port forwarding is a method that lets users access other devices connected to a similar network (internet connection) through a private local area network (LAN).

Port forwarding mainly focuses on allowing users to share data directly across systems connected to the same network.

To help you understand, we will begin with a simple explanation and then get onto more technical aspects of a VPN with port forwarding.

With port forwarding, the users allow the router to send some data directly to a device on your internet connection. The system does this by surpassing most of the security processes. With port forwarding, data sharing across systems connected to the same internet becomes simpler.

Because of its benefits, VPN port forwarding has become popular among users.

Despite its benefits, VPN port forwarding comes with a few threats and a security risk, which is why most VPN services do not support it. They do not encourage their users to rely on port forwarding, so users should double-check the VPN’s compatibility with this process.

What Does Port Forwarding Do? 

With every internet connection, you will find a firewall layer, which filters the traffic that comes out and into your system or on your network.

It acts like a filter, avoiding potential risks and saving your data and devices from security breaches. It’s an essential part of network security, without which hackers could quickly access any connection.

The firewall we mentioned now is also called a NAT, which stands for Network Address Translation firewall.  

It’s a primary network connection feature that supervises which devices can connect to your internet. It shares the same external IP address with the users, making it safe for all connected users.

 The firewalls primarily have three types, depending on the level of security, which includes:

·         Open

·         Moderate

·         Strict

The type of NAT you have determines the security protocols you have on your network. A strict NAT type can make your connections secure but will limit the connectivity of other devices. This limitation can be a severe challenge for users that play multiple games, share files, etc.

The best way to resolve this issue is by opening router ports. The ports are responsible for moving the traffic to the devices and the other way around. These ports operate externally and can easily control the network, traffic, and security protocols.

·         Port Forwarding and NAT

Since port forwarding lets users open and assigns ports manually and manage the network traffic more efficiently, with port forwarding, you can connect devices available externally to your local area network (LAN).

With the port forwarding VPN, you can surpass the limits set by the NAT firewall and improve its speed. With port forwarding, users can enjoy additional features, such as remote desktop access.

Other methods allow you to change and bypass the NAT type within your connection. However, port forwarding is a more popular one preferred by users.

For instance, with the port forwarding option, you can use a UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) which makes your NAT type more flexible, or use a hotspot within the Windows 10 operating system to make the NAT type moderate.

Common Applications of VPN Forwarding

Finding a VPN with port forwarding is helpful for users in most situations. It works best for users that wish to connect to a VPN service that serves as the computer’s router. Therefore, it’s responsible for managing and controlling the traffic from your internet connection.

However, unlike the routers within your home, a VPN with port forwarding doesn’t let users manage their traffic through different ports available. Instead, users have to rely on the options available. Depending on your chosen VPN provider, some VPNs may even offer this option for their clients.

You can use port forwarding for the following tasks:

·         When you want to host a website on your network.

·         Get remote access to your desktop.

·         Run a VPN server through your connected network.

·         Improving the upload and download speeds of your tormenting.

·         Lowering pings, hosting online game sessions, and improving the gaming experience.

Is Port Forwarding Dangerous? 

To understand the risks involved with port forwarding, you have to imagine the ports of the connected router as doors to the primary connection. Most of these doors in the connection are locked and cannot be accessed.

You can still get information from the internet inside, but you’ll need to check it and allow it for the router. However, when a port or a door is unlocked, anyone who tries to access it can enter the system without permission.

In some ways, this is not bad. For instance, port forwarding leads the users to their designated devices. However, this easier access can leave you vulnerable to various online threats and issues.

Why is Port forwarding Dangerous?

For a better understanding, consider a security camera without a password. The camera may be easily accessible but can compromise information for all users.

For instance, a burglar can use a camera and monitor the indoors and outdoors while planning a heist. Similarly, a port that opens directly into your computer system can make it easier for hackers to infect your computer device with malware or ransomware.

Therefore, users should know how to set up strong passwords on their networks to make them impenetrable.

However, there are some cases where the port-forwarding VPN might benefit the users.

Web server hosting for your website can help you get password protection, but it’s actually rarely required. It’s because most pages on the website have to be publically accessible. However, ensuring the safety of these pages and the data is still essential. This way, the information on these pages remains private.

Another issue with the manually configured ports is that these ports stay open and accessible until closed manually. Therefore, it’s easier for perpetrators to abuse and access them while you are traveling or not available.

Know that hackers cannot access a port under usage, but accessing it becomes pretty straightforward for hackers while it is open and not in use. You could argue that the users will close off the ports when done, but that does not always happen, unfortunately.

Can You Port Forward With a VPN? 

Yes, some VPN service providers provide the option of using a free VPN with port forwarding. However, the users should know how to set up this option in order to use it. The exact steps required for this process may vary slightly for each VPN service provider.

However, there’s a general walkthrough for the process of port forwarding on VPN:

Start by logging into your router via the IP or using the address bar’s default gateway. You should be redirected to it directly.

Next, you should see a port forwarding panel with setting options listed. You will see a list of empty ports in this section, which you can choose from.

Once you pick a particular configuration, you can find the port numbers required. Remember you need to enter internal and external port numbers (You can put in any random number, but we recommend staying between 1,000 and 65,000). 

However, the internal and external port numbers can be different if the users know which one to use.

Once the users have set their ports in place, add the IP address, which needs to be different than that of your router. This secondary ID assists since the other router’s job is to hide the IP address of routers with private and public IPs.

Now the router can redirect any request sent to that specific port straight to your device without revealing its private IP address. But what does that request look like?

For instance, a router with an IP address 123.456.789 connecting to a home camera with a password of 5579, the users can send a request to the router to gain direct access. Once you have connected directly to the camera, you can use port forwarding and send it to the IP address. It should look something like this:


It is like a phone number dialed with an extension number assigned.

Do I Need Port Forwarding with VPN? 

You may need port forwarding on a VPN in some cases. To help you understand, let’s consider a situation: imagine you are a user who wants to connect directly to a router while surpassing the security protocols. Note that this option is only for advanced users, but you might be one of them.

In this situation, choosing the right VPN service for your port forwarding needs matters. We recommend installing a dedicated VPN only if you need it multiple times a day. If it is for a few times only, you don’t have to install a dedicated VPN proxy.

Port Forwarding vs. VPN

Port forwarding and VPNs are popular options for internet users wishing to make their internet usage safer and more effective. Various VPN options might offer port forwarding, but users should know the difference between the two before deciding.

For starters, VPN connections let the users encrypt data between two points. Users can access it anytime as long they have a stable connection and require no assistance. You can change your IP address via the VPN connection and make your stay on the Internet safe and anonimous.

On the other hand, port forwarding serves as a dedicated filter on your internet connection. It controls and regulates internet traffic that flows through a firewall in a device.

With the forwarding port, you can “forward” the traffic by redirecting it. Port forwarding is excellent for quicker information sharing and moving the information to the safer side of the firewall.


VPN connections and port forwarding are standard options used by advanced users to change the connectivity and the flow of traffic within their network connection.

There’s a variety of VPN connections users can choose from, but finding a VPN with port forwarding may be slightly more challenging. It’s because these port forwarding connections are pretty risky and can provide hackers with easier access.

Port forwarding gives users manual control over the traffic in and out of the device and network. At the same time, the hackers cannot access these ports while in use; the users have to close off the ports manually.

If the ports are left unattended and open, hackers can compromise the connection and hack all the devices in the network connection.

We recommend getting a good VPN connection for assistance if you want to secure yourself from these risks. A great option is the tuxlerVPN – A free residential VPN that allows users to choose from millions of IP addresses online.

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