Port forwarding enables users to remotely connect to devices on the LAN side of the router for remote monitoring and management.
Before you even consider configuring the port forwarding settings there are some basic that need to be considered.
- You will first of all need to be able to remotely connect to the router over the internet. In order to do this you will need to know the WAN IP address of the router.
- If attempting to use DYNDNS then your service provider will need to issue you with a PUBLIC IP Address – In many cases normal mobile data contracts will issue PRIVATE IP addresses which will mean that DYNDNS will not work (as far as we are aware the only UK service providers to offer PUBLIC IP addresses are 3mobile and Orange and only when the correct APN’s are used – there are currently no PUBLIC IP addresses issued for any 4G services unless using a 4G Fixed IP SIM Card).
In most cases, professional users will have acquired a Fixed IP SIM Card which provides the router with an internet connection with a static/fixed IP address. There are two types of Fixed IP SIM card service.
1. Public Fixed IP Address SIM Card.
This type of Fixed IP SIM provides the user with a publicly accessible IP address, so when used with a Proroute router, all that is required to remotely connect to the router is open up a web browser connected to the internet and enter the IP address into the browser address bar. This is one of the most popular types of Fixed IP service because it is very easy to set up and hassle free.
2. Private / VPN Fixed IP Address SIM Card.
This type of fixed IP SIM card provides the user with a Fixed IP address for the SIM card, but the IP address is a Private IP address on the service providers network and cannot simply be accessed by anybody on the internet. In order to connect to this type of Fixed IP SIM card you will first need to create a VPN between your PC and your service providers network. Once you have established this VPN link you will then be able to communicate with the router, but only on the PC that has the VPN link. You will need to create a new VPN link for every PC that you wish to provide access to the router.
If you are not using a Fixed IP SIM card and are going to rely on using DYNDNS then you will first of all need to choose a mobile phone network that supports Dynamic DNS. This service can only be supported when the mobile provider allocates a PUBLIC IP address to the SIM card connection. As far as we are aware, Three and Orange are the only networks in the UK that offer this service and in order to get a PUBLIC IP address you need to use different APN settings.
If you are going to use DynDNS then you will need to check your public facing IP address, so with a computer connected to the Proroute router you will need to visit a website like www.showmyip.co.uk and this will show you what your public IP address is. This should match the WAN IP address in the router status page. You should also be able to connect to the router by entering this IP address into the address bar of your browser. If you can connect using the IP address from www.showmyip.co.uk then congratulations you can use DynDNS, if not then your service provider has allocated the SIM card a PRIVATE IP address on their own network so you will NEVER be able to remotely connect to the router or use port forwarding to connect to the devices on the LAN. We also recommend checking this from a PC on a different internet service to ensure that it is available.
Don’t forget that the mobile networks may change their mind about offering Public IP addresses for their connections at any time, without notification, or their allocation of public IP addresses may be used up by other users so sometimes you may not even get a Public IP address.
Once you have established that you can remotely connect to the Proroute Router using one of the above methods then you are ready to start configuring your port forwarding.
Configuring Port Forwarding
This is the easy part. All we are doing is telling the ROUTER which way to route traffic using identifiers called PORTS.
All you need to do is say which External Port to look for connections on, and re-route this traffic to an IP address on the LAN and also the internal port address used by the device. Don’t forget, the internal port can be different to the external port so you could use 555 as your external port and deliver traffic to an internal IP address (eg. 192.168.8.100) and use port 80 (maybe the device is a web server).
This means that you can have several devices connected to the LAN that all deliver information on port 80, but you would use different external pots to identify and connect to each device individually
For example – lets say you have 2 devices on the LAN 192.168.8.100 and 192.168.8.201, both are web servers and both use port 80.
You could set up port forwarding in the following way
EXTERNAL PORT : 555
IP ADDRESS : 192.168.8.100
INTERNAL PORT : 80
EXTERNAL PORT : 556
IP ADDRESS : 192.168.8.100
INTERNAL PORT : 80
So if the IP address of the router was 188.8.131.52 then to connect to Device 1 you would enter 184.108.40.206:555 into your browser address bar and if you wanted to connect to Device 2 then you would enter 220.127.116.11:556 into your browser address bar.
Port forwarding really is that simple.
Some of the most common problems that users find with port forwarding are caused by not having access to the router across the Internet (as detailed above) and the second is that the devices connected on the LAN have not been configured correctly. The most common problem with device configuration is that users forget to set the default gateway of the device which needs to be set as the Proroute Router LAN IP address. If the default gateway is not set then the device will not know how to get back out to the internet and your port forwarding will not work. This inbound request will correctly be send to the LAN device, but because the default gateway is not set the device will be unable to respond.
If you want to port forward using external port 80 then you will need to change the admin port of the router otherwise you will be unable to connect to the web configuration pages of the router because this uses port 80.