How to Check Your Port Forward

By Jeff Grundy

Port forwarding enables remote servers to communicate with computers behind a router or firewall.
i Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you typically use the Internet to browse websites, send email, engage in chat and perform other common online tasks, your router's default settings should work just fine. However, if you download torrents, are an online gamer or use other applications that require that you grant remote servers access to your computer, you may have to open ports on the router before you can use such programs successfully. After opening a port on your router you can use free websites to verify access to it from remote computers.

Step 1

Press "Window-R," type "cmd" in the "Open" box and press "Enter." If Windows displays a User Account Control message, click "Yes." A Command Prompt window opens.

Step 2

Type "ipconfig /all" and press "Enter." Note the "IP Address" displayed under the "Ethernet Adapter Local Area Connection" heading.

Step 3

Open your Web browser and navigate to a website that enables you to check for open ports on your computer. Websites such as, IPFingerPrints and You Get Signal are all free sites that let you verify if a particular port on your computer is open and listening for incoming connection requests (links in Resources).

Step 4

Enter the IP address from the Command Prompt window in the "IP Address" or similar field if the site does not pre-populate the field with the value automatically.

Step 5

Enter the beginning and ending values for the range of ports you want to check (i.e. ports 80 through 88) in the "Starting Port" and "Ending Port" fields. If you wish to check only one port, enter the same port number in both the "Starting Port" and "Ending Port" fields.

Step 6

Click the "Scan," "Check," "Start" or other similar button. Wait a few seconds for the scanner website to scan the selected ports and determine if its server can communicate with your PC behind your firewall and router. After a few seconds, the site displays the port results. If the report for a given port shows it as being "Open" or "Filtered," the remote server communicated with your PC over the port successfully. If the port shows as being "Closed," it means your router or firewall denied the connection request and that communication with your PC was unsuccessful.