Is Port Forwarding Safe?

February 23, 2007 at 16:07:50
Specs: XP Pro, N/A
What is the best way I can convince my dad that port forwarding is safe? Can someone please explain how safe this is? I really want to host servers on many of my games.

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February 24, 2007 at 02:14:40
Well you Father is not wrong. Once you start forwarding ports it is opening up holes in your firewall.

Unless you are familiar with all the implications, I can understand you Fathers reluctance to allow ports to be opened all over the place.

That is not a reason not to forward ports but it does weaken the defences and unless precautions are taken, could be dangerous.

Kids have the same problem when they go to University and find they can't play there favourites games on the Unis network because the necessary ports are blocked. They are blocked because it isn't safe.


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February 24, 2007 at 10:58:32
I agree with Stuart. To put it in an easier to undertand context I would explain it like this:

When a user behind a firewall clicks a link on a web page, that request first goes to the router. The request is then forwarded from the router to the web server, so the web server sees the request coming from the router. When the response from the web server comes back, the router knows which computer sent the original request and sends it back to that client computer.

However, port forwarding revolves around when a call comes in from the internet that was not requested from a client computer. If the request comes in on a port that is set in the port forwarding rules, then it will be forwarded on to the appropriate client. Otherwise, the router has no idea where to send the traffic and it will be dropped (unless there is a device int he DMZ).

So, without port forwarding enabled it is very difficult, if not impossible, for someone send traffic to a PC behnd the router without first hacking into the router.

Michael J

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