Everything you need to know about internet ports
What is a port?
A port is the ‘path’ that your modem uses to send and receive data to the various devices and applications on your Wi-Fi home network. (A ‘port’ in this case is not a socket at the back of your modem; although physical sockets like those sometimes get called ports.)
What happens if a port is ‘blocked’?
Normally, your modem can automatically find the ports for the devices and applications connected to your Wi-Fi network.
For example, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari automatically communicate with the internet via Port 80 or Port 443.
But sometimes the port is ‘blocked’ by your network’s firewall and the modem can’t find it. When this happens the device or application won’t work.
Which devices usually get blocked ports?
- Gaming consoles like Sony Playstation or Wii
- CCTV cameras
- Smart Home devices like cameras and motion sensors
- Wireless printers
What is port forwarding?
It’s a way to fix a blocked port. Port forwarding involves manually assigning different ports to your devices. Your network firewall will recognise these new ports and allow your modem to access them.
How do I perform port forwarding?
Port Forwarding is a fairly technical process and not recommended if you’re a tech novice. It can disrupt your phone lines and internet services if not done correctly, and there are charges to re-establish these services.
Before you start
- You’ll need to give your device or gaming console a static IP address. You can find out more about how to set up a static IP address here.
- Find out the correct WAN and LAN port numbers and whether they need TCP, UDP or protocol. You can get this info from the manufacturer or developer’s support page, in their instruction manual or on their online forums.
To manually choose a port:
NOTE: The following steps are for changing a port on Telstra Smart Modems and Telstra Frontier Gateway modems. The IP addresses used to access other modems and devices may differ. If you’re unsure, please consult the manufacturer.
- Open a web browser and type 10.0.0.138 into the address bar
- Select the ‘Advanced’ tab at the top
- Select 'WAN services'
- Select ‘Add new port mapping’. Then fill in the following fields:
- Name: Type in a unique name. eg If you’re assigning a port for Call of Duty you could call it ‘COD’
- Protocol: Select TCP, UDP or TCP/UDP. Check with the manufacturer or developer which one
- WAN Port: Get this from the developer or manufacturer. Type the numbers exactly as they provide them
- LAN Port: In most cases, it’s the same as the WAN port
- Destination IP: This is the static IP address you created earlier
- Reboot the device and the modem, then test the connection. NOTE: if the manufacturer or developer has multiple ports, you will need to perform multiple mappings.
Good to know
Opening ports numbered between 0 and 2000 may bypass your modem’s security settings and leave you vulnerable to viruses and data theft. We suggest you don’t use these ports.