Sam Kear (skear) 120 Followers
Sam works as a Network Analyst for an algorithmic trading firm. He obtained his Bachelors Degree in Information Technology from UMKC.
MORE BY THIS AUTHOR
In this hub I'll be showing you how to set up port forwarding or NAT on your pfSense router .
Port forwarding is used when you need to allow users outside of your network to access services on your internal network. For example if you have a web server running on a machine inside your network you would need to forward port 80 (HTTP) to the computer running the web server.
If your computer has a public IP address then you won't need to worry about port forwarding. Since most computers use private IP addresses they require port forwarding to expose internal services to the internet.
Other uses for port forwarding
- Hosting public game servers
- Remote Desktop (RDP)
- Bit Torrent
Determine the Port Number and IP Address
Before you can create your NAT rule you will need to know two things, the
port number of the application, and the IP address of the computer running the service.
If you are running a well known service finding the port number is pretty easy to do. Usually you can search Google and find it pretty easily. Another method is to run a packet sniffer such as Wireshark or Tcpdump to find the port number yourself.
There are a number of ways you can find the IP address of a machine on your network. If you are running windows the easiest way to find the IP address is by running ipconfig from a command prompt. On a Linux machine you can run ifconfig to find the IP.
When you are setting up a NAT rule it's best to make sure the computer running the service you want to expose is on a static IP address. If the machine is on DHCP it could obtain a different IP address and the associated NAT rule would no longer work. If you have to use DHCP you can set up a DHCP reservation so it will stay on the same IP address.
Common Ports to Forward