Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Basics #2: Port Forwarding

  -------------------- Port Forwarding  --------------------
Ok, so now you have a torrent client and you know how to download torrent files; however, when you download them, they go really slow or perhaps don't even download at all. This is most likely due to your router blocking incoming/outgoing traffic associated with the port your torrent client is trying to use. In order to fix this you must setup port forwarding on your router for the port in question.

*****If your torrents work fine without forwarding any ports, don't bother forwarding any ports! If it's not broken don't fix it. Also, I am not to be held liable or responsible if anything is to happen to your computer or router in the process of doing this*****

This is something you should try and remember how to do... It will come up a LOT in your future. Downloading slow torrents is just one example of a problem that can be solved by forwarding ports. Certain games require you to forward ports, a home-made server would likely require port forwarding, etc, etc...
Forwarding your ports requires knowledge of two things:
-which port your program/application is using
-what brand, and possibly model, of router you have

  -------------------- Getting the Information --------------------
To determine which port your application is using, typically just go to Edit->Preferences->Connection or something similar... Once you are there, it should let you know what ports it is currently trying to use(there should also be a button that says "check port" or "test port" which will tell you if that particular port is open or not, i.e if port forwarding is enabled on that port already or not). Find your port number(for most torrent apps I've dealt with the ports used usually fall between 50,000 and 60,000) and write down or remember this port.
Now determine your router brand and possibly your model. Your model number is only needed if you don't remember the user name/password combo for your router (don't worry, it's usually guessable. Also, look underneath your router; sometimes when the default password is even remotely difficult, the username and password may be written on the bottom of the router(this is often the case if you are using a 2-in-1 modem/router from a cable provider such as Verizon). After you figure out your brand, determine the IP addresss of your router from the list below:

Linksys ==
Netgear ==
Belkin ==
MAC Airport == (only accessible through A Mac's Air Ulitity, typically not the browser)
Verizon == (or a different IP which should be printed under router)

When you type that into your browser, you should be greeted with a pop-up box asking you for a user name and password. Try all the default passwords you know, including, but not limited to:
admin/password1 (was verizons probably like 4 years ago)

*****If none of the methods I mentioned above worked for you for any reason, check out this site on how to port forward; it has step-by-step walk-throughs for each and every router brand and model. *****

 --------------------  How to actually forward ports  --------------------
Once you log in, find a section labeled "port forwarding" or maybe just "security" or "manage ongoing and outgoing connections". The router will then ask for your IP, a range of ports to allow, and what type of packets to forward (TCP, UDP, or both).
If you are running a windows machine, go to Run-> and type/choose(depending on version of windows) "cmd". Then type ifconfig all one word and hit enter. Your IP should pop up under eth0 if your usig a wired connection, wlan0 if your running off of WiFi.
Enter That IP as the IP the router is asking for. Then for the port range, just put the same port in both the port fields (so like 51,1337 - 51,1337), and then choose to allow Both UDP and TCP packets through the router on that port. Congratulations, your router is now allowing traffic to flow without any overhead on the port you specified. Torrent away.
Once again, if my instructions did not successfully forward the ports you needed, check out  www.portforward.com for an in depth walk through for port forwarding with Your specific router brand and model... Good luck!!

If you have any questions just leave a comment and I'll answer best as possible, thanks for your patience!


  1. This could really come in handy...

  2. @ myself

    What the F#$k did i just say?

  3. That the tut could come in handy? LoL... and it most definitely can. I'd like to think that we all already understand port forwarding and how its done, but in general Port Forwarding is the step most often left out of other people's tutorials, and they just assume you know how it's done. Which isn't always the case... but ya, with sites like www.portforward.com, this tut is a Little unecessary lol. Thx for the feedback though!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. GREAT tutorial . Thanks.

  6. Torrents are so much better that P2P programs. Good read.

  7. Ah yes.. The art of port forwarding. I remember not knowing about this until I was 14. Shit is so useful. So many dota matches were hosted.

  8. Great guide man, I'm glad that my isp doesn't really care that I do stuff like this however.

  9. nice this really helps with some of the stuff i do especially online gaming. thanks for posting