If you’re working within a private local area network (LAN), and you want to allow other, remote computers to connect, you’ll do so by using a process called port forwarding.

Put simply, this service remaps the destination address and port number of an external host to one on a protected network, by applying Network Access Translation, or NAT.

You may need this service, for instance, while playing video games, to allow outside computers to pass through your router, and hook into your network.

So how does this process work with your Netgear router? Let’s take a look!

Step 1: Pick Your Internal Computer

To begin, determine which computer on your internal network you’ll be working with. This will be your “server computer.”

Step 2: Reserve Your IP Address

Then, find your server computer’s IP address. Once you’ve got that number down, you’ll need to assign it a reserved IP address — a number that will never change.

This is a relatively short process. Just follow these steps:

  • Open a browser window on your server computer
  • Enter http://www.routerlogin.net.
  • At the login window, enter the username and password associated with your router
  • Once you’re on the Home Page, select ADVANCED, then Setup, then LAN Setup
  • Select “Address Reservation” on the LAN page, and then click “Add”
  • You’ll then see an IP address field. Choosing from the computer’s LAN subnet, select an IP address to assign to the computer (If you’re working within a home network, this number should start with 192.168.)
  • Enter your computer’s MAC address, copied from the Attached Devices page
  • Select “Apply” to enter the reserved IP address and close the window

Step 3: Enable Port Forwarding

Once you’re back on the Home Page of your router login, select ADVANCED, then Advanced Setup, then Port Forwarding/Port Triggering. Make sure that of the two options, “Port Forwarding” is selected.

At this point, if you know the name of the service you want to connect, select its name from the Service Name menu, then enter the computer’s IP address, then click Add.

If you need to add custom port forwarding, there are a few more steps.

First, you’ll need to know the application’s port number or number range. From there, follow the basic steps you just took, but once you’re on the Advanced Setup, follow these instructions:

  • Click “Add Custom Service”
  • A box will appear asking for details on the customs service, including its name, service type, external and internal starting and ending port numbers, and internal IP address.
  • Enter this data as known, keeping in mind that
    • If you’re not sure which service type you’re working with, leave it on the default TCP/UDP.
    • Starting and ending port numbers will be the same for single-port applications
    • The external and internal port ranges can be the same, and if this is the case, leave the box checked that confirms this
  • Press “Apply”

You’ll then have the option to add the custom service.

Moving Forward: Making the Most of Your Netgear Investment

If you’ve got a Netgear router, you need expert advice on how to set it up, configure it, and get started. We’re your one-stop-shop on everything you need to know about using your Netgear router.

Feel free to browse our articles, including our login FAQ and guides, and then contact us or leave a comment below if you have any questions. Let’s get started today!