How to configure port forwarding on a router

Configure Port Forwarding

There are many ways to configure port forwarding in a router, but the concept is the same from brand-to-brand, knowing how to set up port forwarding in one router will teach you to configure in almost all routers.

The most common need of port forwarding is for online gaming, but there also other circumstance where you’ll want to forward ports. For example, when you need to be able to connect from the internet to your FTP server or just to connect to your VPN server to remote access your home computer.

Often times if you try to connect, for instance an FTP server the router will block the transfer of data. The solution is to open the corresponding port in the router for the data to pass through. Depending on the application you will need to open, or forward, specific port(s) in order for them to work.

How to configure port forwarding on a router

  1. Connect your router web page interface, normally you can get there by typing in the address bar or, and use your username and password.

    Quick Tip: If neither of the default IP addresses worked to access your router’s web interface. Check in your computer for the Default Gateway, which is going to be the IP address of your router. To do this go Start, type cmd and in the Command Prompt type: ipconfig/all
  2. For the next step you are going to need the port number for the application you want to allow external access. However, this will depend upon the application requirements. Once logged in to the router look for a tab named something similar to: Port Forwarding, Applications and Gaming, or NAT/QOS (on a DD-WRT router).

  3. Under the Application name type a descriptive name. Then if you are only forwarding one port in the External Port (or Port from) and Internal Port (or Port to) field type the same port number. In the Protocol field choose between Both, TCP or UDP — if you don’t know which option you need use the Both option.

    Quick Tip: If you’re choosing a random port number to forward, avoid using the well-known ports — port range 0-1023 –. Check the list of TCP and UDP port numbers entry in Wikipedia to learn more.

    Cisco Linksys - Port Forwarding

    Enter the IP address of the computer with the application that needs the external access. An easy way to find your computer IP address is by launching the Command Prompt and type: ipconfig and under the Wireless LAN adapter Wireless Network Connection or Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection look for the IPv4 Address, which will be the IP address of your machine.

    Windows - Command Prompt (CMD) ipconfig

  4. Check the Enable box and click Save Settings to finish.

  5. Try the configuration to make sure that the new settings works. 

As I mentioned before knowing how to configure Port Forwarding in one router will help you to configure almost every home router you can encounter. The user interface and section names may be slightly different but the configuration is the same.


  • Double check when you type the IP address.
  • Every time your router is turned off or on, the computer may get assigned a new IP address, in which case you need to go to the router’s Port Forwarding page again and change the IP address to the new one.
  • One way to avoid the router from assigning a new IP address by setting a static IP address to your computer.
  • Always have the router’s manual nearby, you could need it for more details on how to access your router and other settings.
  • Make sure that the application with the port forwarded is not being blocked by your computer’s Firewall. Check How to allow programs to communicate through Windows Firewall.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].