Why You Should Be Familiar With Port Forwarding

This guide will explain how port forwarding works while providing examples of how it can give users more control over their network while adding an extra layer of security, allowing communication with devices outside of the internal network,  and providing more options for collaboration in a remote environment.

What is port forwarding?

Port forwarding, sometimes called port mapping, allows computers or services in private networks to connect over the internet with other public or private computers or services. This creates an association called a map between a router’s wide area network, internet protocol., and a local area network (WAN, IP, and LAN).  

Where port forwarding comes into play to enhance customer experience

  • If you have customers who like to play online games with the need to host a game on a private server; port forwarding would be a great tool - although we’d suggest a warning to only do this with trusted individuals. 
  • Another scenario is if a network administrator needs to triage issues that users are experiencing, and needs remote access to a user's computer or mobile device to troubleshoot further. 
  • If for example, a customer works remotely for a company where data is extremely confidential, they may need to work on a private VPN. This can help shield sensitive data from online predators. 

These examples are for more common use cases, but you may have customers with scenarios beyond what is displayed in this list. 

How to set up port forwarding:

ISP Web Portal 

  1. The connected device must have a reserved IP address in the Vilo network to configure port forwarding. You can go to the DHCP reservations to set a Static IP for the connected device that you want to configure for Port Forwarding. You can read more about DHCP and Static IPs in the Vilo Portal here
  2. Once the reserved IP has been set go to the Port Forwarding page and click the “+Add” button.
  3. The reserved IP and device name automatically appear in the box under “Select a reservation”.
  4. Enter the internal port and external port for the device. 
  5. Click the “Save” button to submit this configuration.  
  6. The configured device will now be displayed on the Port Forwarding page.  
  7. You can edit the configuration by clicking the “Edit” button for the individual device.

Learn more about setting up Port Forwarding in the Vilo ISP Portal in this video

Vilo App

  1. Select the Vilo Network you want to configure for Port Forwarding.
  2. Tap on the Network Settings (the 3 dots in the top right corner).
  3. Select Advanced Settings 
  4. If you haven't already, set a DHCP Reservation before configuring Port Forwarding.
  5. Once you have set a DHCP Reservation select "Port Forwarding" from the Advanced Settings menu. Here you will be able to Configure Port Forwarding. Tap the "+" to get started. 
  6. You will then need to select the device and enter the internal port and external port for the device and click "Ok" to save this configuration. 
  7. The configuration is now complete and can be edited if necessary. 

Reminder: Always make sure you are connecting to the correct IP address, firewall settings and permissions are up to date, and DHCP reservations have not already been set up for the device. 

With port forwarding enabled, the end-user can set up private networks, or perform remote operations with devices outside of their internal network. The option to configure this feature in the portal and the app provides ISPs and end-users more control over the Vilo network.

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