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How To Setup And Configure Port Forwarding

How do I setup and configure port forwarding on my router? What is port forwarding? Port forwarding is a procedure that your router uses to direct network data to the right port. Routers and your computer use ports to organize network data. Different sets of data, such as websites, file downloads, and games, are each given port numbers to communicate with each other. By using port forwarding, the router sends the correct data set to the correct computer on the network. For example if your kids wanted to play an online game with there computer you would open up port 5500 and configure the router to send all data to the kids computer, while at the same time you could tell the router to send all remote desktop protocol requests to your computer using port 3389. Why would I use remote desktop protocol? If you are at work and forgot important documents you could login to your home computer and retrieve the documents in seconds. How do we setup and configure port forwarding?

In order to setup and configure port forwarding do the following:

  • Login to your router. How do I login to my router? While holding down the Windows Logo Key press R on your keyboard. In the run box type in cmd and then click Ok. In the DOS box type in ipconfig /all. Scroll down the box until you find the line that says Default Gateway write this number down, it will look something like 192.168.1.1. You also want to look for your IP address and write that number down. It will be almost the same as the default gateway, something like 192.168.1.3.
  • Next, Launch your favorite Internet browser and in the address bar type in the number you just retrieved for the default gateway by using the ipconfig command. You should now see a login screen asking you for a username and password for your router. If you can’t remember your login credentials view router default usernames and passwords.
  • Now that you are logged into your router look for a link titled something like Port Forwarding or Virtual Server or Applications and Gaming as illustrated below.

virtual  servers

  • Next, click the Virtual Server link, you should now see a screen like the one illustrated below.

port  forwarding

  • Next, place a checkmark in the first box labeled enable under description type in RDP which is short for remote desktop protocol. Under inbound port type in 3389 if your router is asking for a range type in from 3389 to 3389. Next, under Type type in TCP and UDP or just TCP if it lets you. Next, under IP address type in your IP address that you retrieved earlier by using ipconfig. Click on Apply.
  • That is it, all that is left is the testing process.

In order to test your configuration make sure the computer you want to login to has the following options enabled. RDP is enabled and your computer must have a username and password setup. You can learn how to setup and configure remote desktop here. Note you must be using XP Professional or Vista Ultimate and Vista Business for remote desktop to function. View the Vista comparison chart for further details.