How to Check Your Port Forward
By Jeff Grundy
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.
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.
Type "ipconfig /all" and press "Enter." Note the "IP Address" displayed under the "Ethernet Adapter Local Area Connection" heading.
Open your Web browser and navigate to a website that enables you to check for open ports on your computer. Websites such as CanYouSeeMy.org, 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).
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.
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.
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.
- If the port scanning site reports the site as "Closed," verify the port-forwarding settings on your router and in Windows Firewall.
- To check your port-forwarding settings on the router, first open your Web browser and log in to your router's control panel. To get to the router login page, you must enter the IP address for the device into the browser address bar and press "Enter." After logging in to the router control panel or Web-based configurator, click "Applications," "Gaming, " "Port Forwarding" or some other similar tab or link to display all of the application-specific ports open on the router. If the port you need to forward does not appear in the list, click "Add" or another similar option button, enter the port number to forward and click "Add" or "Save."
- When installing an application in Windows that requires an open port, the setup utility should add an exception for the port to the Windows Firewall automatically. However, if the application installer does not add the exception to the Windows Firewall successfully, the remote server cannot communicate with your computer even if the port is open on the router. Therefore, if the port is open on the router, but the application cannot communicate with your computer, verify the status of the port in Windows Firewall.
- To verify or add a port/application exception in Windows Firewall, first open Control Panel and select "Windows Firewall." Click "Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall" and then review the list of applications allowed to communicate with the remote servers over the Internet. If the application you want to use does not appear in the list, click "Change Settings" and then "Allow another app." Follow the prompts to add the application and port to add in Windows Firewall and save the settings.
- If you don’t know the IP address for your router, refer to the device user guide. For many routers, the default IP address is "192.168.0.1," "192.168.1.100" or something similar. Nevertheless, the IP address for your router may be different.
Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.