Why use port forwarding in gaming?

Discussion in 'Computer Networking and Servers' started by finsfree, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. finsfree

    finsfree Member

    Messages:
    206
    I have opened some ports on my router for things like Remote Desktop and FTP to transfer files, but what is the advantage to opening a port for gaming?

    I am not a gamer but just curious as to what would be the need to do this?

    Lets say I am playing Call of Duty (whatever the latest version is) online with some friends. If I were to point a port number to that gaming console's IP address does the gaming experience just explode into this awesome thing or what? Does it become faster or better and how? I mean it is already connected to the WIFI or Ethernet (wired).

    Thanks,

    P.S. Sorry for being old!!! LOL!
     
  2. beers

    beers Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,116
    A lot of newer gaming leverages peer to peer hosting instead of dedicated hosted servers. A component of that is allowing inbound connections from other Internet hosts on those ports. Since the vast majority of people are behind NAT then port forwarding becomes a dependency (which can also be facilitated via upnp).
     
  3. finsfree

    finsfree Member

    Messages:
    206
    Ok, so the ports need to be opened on both ends of the user for this to work? So, now you would have a dedicated connection.
     
  4. beers

    beers Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,116
    The connection would be the same either way, just the only way to originate connections from the Internet through your router is to port forward. Otherwise once the packet arrives, the router has no idea which internal host to send the traffic to. For traffic that originates within your LAN it allocates an outbound port for any return traffic back to that host, but you don't have that established session for new connections inbound. Adding a port forward rule tells the router that any ports inbound on a specific port will go to a specific internal host in order to successfully forward the packet inside. Otherwise it simply drops the packet.
     
  5. Geoff

    Geoff VIP Member

    Messages:
    37,462
    It's either going to work or it's not going to work. I haven't had to manually forward ports for popular gaming titles to work online in almost a decade. If you have trouble connecting to game servers, then that's when you want to look into manually forwarding ports.
     
  6. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    You would only want to forward ports if you are hosting a game. Just playing you don't have to. Besides, opening ports is an attacker invitation. Especially UPnP (Universal Plug and Prey).
     

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