How to open NAT
You have the desire to host a multiplayer session of your favorite game on the PC, but the procedure to create it continues to give you error and the other players are unable to connect. Do you know that the problem is probably the NAT set in your router? Let me explain: to connect multiple devices to the Internet with a single subscription (and therefore only one IP address), the router uses mechanisms that allow you to address data to the correct recipient, distinguishing one device connected by another thanks to the combination of IP private and listening port (or simply brings).
This mechanism takes the name of NAT, or Network Address Translation, is active by default on all routers on the market, and it is its initial configuration to prevent other players from connecting to you. This means that, to achieve your goal, you have to manually intervene on these settings and configure the router according to your needs: in other words, you need to learn to How to open NAT.
How do you say? Already the only sentence scares you? I can guarantee you that there is absolutely no need, because you have come to the right place, at a time that could not be better: in the following I will explain to you all the procedures necessary to intervene on your router and open the doors, so customize NAT according to your needs. Ready to continue? Perfect: sit at the desk, take a few minutes of your free time and follow my instructions carefully. I can guarantee you that, almost without realizing it, you will succeed in your intent and you can finally host all the matches you want!
How to open NAT – What does NAT mean
How to open NAT
Before taking the keyboard and taking action on your router, it is good to give you some hints about what you are going to change. NAT, or Network Address Translation (which you can translate into Italian with translation of network addresses), is the operation that allows the router to connect multiple devices to the Internet using only one external IP address. This result is obtained thanks to the particular “graphs” that the router creates by itself, called in routing routing tables, able to independently sort the data, both incoming and outgoing, to the various devices connected to the network (computer, smartphone , tablet, etc.): these are “recognized” thanks to their internal IP address.
At this point, however, it is right to make a clarification: in a “normal” scenario, are devices connected to the network to request the servers to receive data (mail server for emails, Web server for surfing the Internet, and so Street); consequently, the NAT of the router is configured to “freely” pass the outgoing connections of the various devices, with the ability to send the answers to the right device, once received.
In some particular cases, for example to host gaming sessions or to download at most bandwidth from programs like eMule or uTorrent, it is the device connected to the router that has to work as a server, and therefore it becomes essential to accept incoming connections on certain ports listening (changing from program to program): by default, this behavior is blocked in order to preserve the security of the entire network and device. Opening NAT, or opening ports or still port forwarding, means just that: allowing external users to connect to your device.
How to open NAT – Why open the doors
Now that you know why you have to open NAT, the time has come to specify the role of doors in all this. As I explained to you earlier, the internal IP address allows the router to recognize the device to which the data must go. In your case, however, your device is a server and the router needs another information on the data to be delivered: the program to which this data must go. Because? I’ll explain it to you right away.
When your device acts as a client, that is when you surf the Internet, consult e-mail, chat, or perform other online operations, it is your program that requests data from the server on the Internet, and it is the latter that enters the response data the identification of the request received. In this way, the router simply has to “limit itself” to following the routing table to correctly sort the received data. When the opposite happens, that is when you are acting as a server, the router must be able to forward requests coming from outside, but without knowing a priori information about where the program is running: each program is identified by one or more ports, through which it can receive data.
How to open NAT
These ports are initially closed to preserve the security of your network and your devices: in order for the program to receive incoming requests, these ports must be opened within the router, with one of the procedures that I will explain to you shortly. This operation, as I mentioned a few lines ago, is called port forwarding or port forwarding.
Said in even simpler terms, what you do is “communicate” to the router that, when a data destined to a certain port arrives, it must be sent to a specific device (identified by its internal IP address), opening the associated device listening port characteristic of the program. So, before proceeding further, inform yourself on which ports you need to open in the router for your game (or for any other program), and what type of them (TCP or UDP). This information can be easily found between the settings of the program itself or within the guide.
How to open NAT – Log in to the router
In order to perform the operations I told you about a while ago, the first thing you need to do is to find out your router’s IP address and get your username and password to access it. You can get the address in different ways, depending on the operating system you are using. For example, if you are on Windows, click on the Start button located at the bottom left and, in the search field (or in the bar at the top right of the Start Screen, for Windows 8.1), type Command Prompt, click on icon that appears on the screen, then enter the ipconfig command and press the Enter key. You can find the IP address of the router corresponding to the default Gateway entry.
How to open NAT
For macOS, click on the System Preferences icon on the Dock, then on Network, select the name of the connection you are using (eg Wi-Fi) from the left sidebar and then click on the button Advanced and then on the TCP / IP tab: the IP address you are looking for is specified next to the Router entry.
How to open NAT
If your operating system is Linux, click on the network icon in the top right, select the entry for your connection type (eg Wi-Fi connected), then the Network settings item, and click on ⚙ at the network you are connected to.
In the new window that appears, select the Details tab: you can find the IP address of your router at the heading Default routing. When you have finished, you can exit the window by clicking on the Cancel button located at the top left.
If you can not access the network settings, open the program list of your operating system (or the App View if you are using a system based on the GNOME desktop) and start the Terminal application. Then, enter the route -n command followed by Enter: the IP you are looking for appears under the heading Gateway.
How to open NAT
Now, all you have to do is type the IP of the router so retrieved in the address bar of the browser and, where required, enter the username and password for access: if you’ve never had access to the router, you can try the combinations admin / admin or admin / password. How do you say? Are they wrong? Do not worry, I have a dedicated guide for you that tells you how to find the default password.
If this solution does not work, I advise you to reset the router and try to access: to do so, press the appropriate button (which is typically on the back) and hold it down for a few seconds until the router lights go out then re-ignite a few moments later. This is usually a re-enter key, so you may need a toothpick or other sharp objects to reach it. I also remind you that if you have problems with the whole process of access to the router, you can refer to my tutorial step-by-step to get more details.
How to open NAT – Open the NAT
Now that you’ve finally managed to get into your router, you can proceed to open the ports you need. First of all, locate the Port Forwarding menu, Port Mapping or Virtual Server, and select the entry for creating a new rule (or a new virtual server). At this stage the router offers you a creation module with several entries to fill out: you can do it by following the instructions below.
- IP Address Server (or destination IP) – here you must enter the internal IP address of the computer on which you intend to host your gaming session or, in general, on which you must open the NAT. If you do not know it, you can consult my guide on how to view IP address to find it.
- Internal Port / External Port (or Initial Port / End Port) – Type the port number to open in each of these boxes. I recommend, the value entered must be the same for all fields.
- Protocol (or Port type) – in this menu you must specify if the port you are interested in opening is TCP or UDP (some routers allow you to set the TCP / UDP entry to accept both types of connection id).
- Rule Name (or simply Name) – type here the name you wish to give to the newly configured relay, for example CS: GO Server.
Once all the fields have been completed, all you have to do is click on the save button (usually Save / Save or Apply / Apply) to confirm the changes and, to ensure that the settings are correctly applied, restart your router. To verify that the opening of the doors is successful, connected to this website, type in the Port Number field the number of the open door and then presses the Check button.
Unfortunately, I can not be very detailed about the precise configuration of each router, as each manufacturer has a management panel with different voices and options. To help you with the task, however, I can give you more precise instructions on the most known routers around.
How to open NAT – Router Netgear
How to open NAT
To open the ports in a Netgear router, click on the Advanced tab found in the management panel and, from the left sidebar, select the items Advanced >configuration Forwarding / Activating ports. Click the Add custom service button and, when the form appears, fill it in the way I show you below.
- Service name – give a name that can help you remember the rule.
- Door / Home Door Home / Door – enter the number of the door to open in all the fields.
- Internal IP Address – Type the local IP address of the computer on which you want to open the port.
Once this is done, click on the Apply button to confirm the changes made immediately. If you are not clear at all, I invite you to consult my Netgear router configuration guide to learn more.
Did you see? Opening the router’s NAT is not a complicated operation: I bet you know exactly how to proceed at this point. As I have already mentioned, it is essential that you know the door necessary for the proper functioning of the program that interests you: if you have not already done so, I suggest you stick your nose between the settings to find it. You can find two examples of this in my guides on how to open uTorrent ports and how to open eMule ports.
How to open NAT