Is Port Forwarding Safe

Is Port Forwarding Safe to Use in 2023?

Published on: September 2, 2022
Last Updated: January 7, 2023
Are you wondering, ‘Is Port Forwarding Safe?’ in this article, we will discuss about it and related questions, so keep reading.
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Are you wondering, ‘Is Port Forwarding Safe?’ in this article, we will discuss about it and related questions, so keep reading.

It is essential to use a strong VPN while using the internet, especially while using public WIFI or traveling outside your country.

A good VPN can protect you from many online threats like malware, viruses, spying eyes of your ISP, online ads, trackers, etc.

VPN can be extremely helpful to support your torrenting activities, but sadly not many VPNs allow port forwarding features due to security reasons.

There are certain risks associated with adding port forwarding to the VPN.

Especially when the main goal of a VPN is to protect you and your device from incoming attacks from hackers, malicious websites, etc.

Is Port Forwarding Safe?

While port forwarding is a great feature, the question that comes to your mind will be about the security associated with the feature.

The first thing you should search for in a VPN while choosing one is its countermeasures against port fail attacks.

Since the VPN hides your IP during torrenting, attacks through the ports will be aiming to expose your IP and identity.

If your VPN is weak in protecting your IP during a cyber-attack, then criminals can easily locate your details.

Also, it puts you at a risk where a hacker can get into your system and control your device for criminal activities. Hence using a good VPN is crucial if you are a frequent torrent user. 

The best VPNs that we discussed in the article can prevent cyber-attacks by continuously rotating IP addresses with the help of servers and controlling both outgoing and incoming activities on your device.

Some articles mention torrent client usage to minimize port attacks.

It is considered a better method compared to direct torrenting from your PC or other devices.

However, our research found that torrent clients are also vulnerable to various hacking techniques like DDoS attacks.

Here the usual firewall and password setups may not be enough to block the intruders from capturing your valuable data.

If you are using a good VPN on your device, you can reduce such attacks.

The VPNs mentioned in this article are the best choices for you during P2P torrenting.  

Best VPNs that Make Port Forwarding Safe in 2023

In this article, we are discussing the features and importance of following VPNs, whether they support port forwarding, etc.

  1. NordVPN – 🏆 Winner!
  2. Surfshark
  3. Atlas VPN
  4. Private Internet Access

1. NordVPN

NordVPN

While discussing the reasons why NordVPN is the best VPN in the world, we would like to specifically mention that NordVPN doesn’t support port forwarding.

NordVPN doesn’t allow anything that disturbs a safe environment for you. Port forwarding is a risky feature that can compromise whatever security a VPN can provide.

Being the best VPN in the world, NordVPN has kept port forwarding out of its feature list for so long.

If you are asking whether port forwarding is safe or not, you can find plenty of articles related to it on NordVPN’s official blog site.

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NordVPN is our number one choice for a VPN since it comes with a 5000+ server fleet worldwide. It can hide your IP from spying authorities, online marketing tricks, trackers, and hackers. 

According to professionals in the VPN market, NordVPN handles all security concerns single-handedly with the help of its top AES 256-bit CBC encryption setup.

The threat protection feature ensures your identity protection without a doubt.

Along with that, it offers around 23 security features including an automatic kill switch, double VPN, and split tunneling, which are highly sought after.

The dedicated IP address scheme is an add-on feature in the VPN to provide you easy access to restricted sites in certain geographical locations.

It can easily open the doors of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, DAZN, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and many other streaming sites wherever you are. NordVPN still believes that it cannot make port forwarding safe.

NordVPN offers a money-back guarantee for 30 days for you if you want to test its credibility and security features.

You can protect up to 6 devices at the same time with NordVPN and enjoy its unlimited bandwidth without adjusting to any internet speed limits.

It supports static IP and works on WireGuard, and OpenVPN protocols to provide you speed and security simultaneously.

2. Surfshark

Surfshark

Just like NordVPN, Surfshark also believes that port forwarding may create a hole in user security by allowing access to user devices.

They point out a “Port Fail” vulnerability that was disclosed in 2015.

Similarly, there will be many other defects that may endanger user privacy and security by leaking real IP addresses online.

Surfshark is not ready to take chances to favor a few users‘ interests in port forwarding as it may jeopardize the total security setup of the VPN.

Surfshark doesn’t believe that a VPN can make port forwarding safe.

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  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iOS, Linux, FireFox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and more

Surfshark offers many features like Bypasser, CleanWeb, Private DNS, Camouflage mode, NoBorders mode, etc.

If you cannot cover all your devices using NordVPN, you can try Surfshark since it allows unlimited device support simultaneously.

It binds your IP behind AES-256-GCM encryption, which cannot be bypassed by current technologies.

Along with these features, Surfshark is providing 24/7 customer support that comprises live chat, talk with an expert, and email support for you.

We tested the customer support and verified responsiveness.

Surfshark has undergone an independent audit with good results and offers a strict no-log policy.

Surfshark also provides an antivirus scan as an inbuilt feature along with the rest of the other intelligent security features.

3. Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN is one of the few good VPNs in the market that does offer a port forwarding feature.

It is a difficult combination for a VPN to allow port forwarding since it is the same as putting a hole in an inflated balloon and covering it up with a temporary tape.

However, Atlas VPN, with a small server count of 750 in 27 countries, allows port forwarding as a feature.

It also allows unlimited devices in a single connection with unlimited bandwidth for premium customers.

Atlas VPN is highly dependable for online streaming, browsing, and gaming since it is powered by IKEv2 and WireGuard protocols.

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It can easily provide access to all major streaming sites like BBC iPlayer, Netflix from the US, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

We are also satisfied with its advanced security features like a data breach monitor, SafeSwap, private DNS, split tunneling, multihop, automatic kill switch, etc.

Even though the VPN is situated in the US, it ensures a strict no-log policy, and we haven’t come across any case where user privacy is breached.

Atlas VPN is compatible with all platforms like Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, etc. You can also try the free Atlas VPN version that comes with limited servers and features.

If you are a beginner, you can start with the free version to learn about VPN work. However, the port forwarding feature is supported on the premium version only.

4. Private Internet Access (PIA) 

Private Internet Access

PIA is a giant in the VPN industry, with almost 30,000 servers located in 80 countries worldwide.

PIA allows port forwarding as a feature in macOS, Windows, Linux, and Android. PIA has 128-bit and 256-bit encryptions from which you can choose the required one.

All servers in the PIA except the US servers support port forwarding. You can activate the port forwarding feature from the settings section of the app.

Once activated, the VPN will display the list of servers that support the feature. PIA source code is open to all. Public availability of source code is good to reduce vulnerabilities.

PIA supports most online streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Hulu, HBO, etc.

Most importantly, it can access Netflix from Australia, the US, Australia, Canada, etc. And the streaming quality is satisfactory for all these locations.

PIA has many security features like an automatic kill switch, WireGuard protocol, advanced split tunneling, dedicated IP, ad, malware blocking, etc.

We analyzed its DNS leak protection and found that no DNS requests are redirected to the ISP.

PIA allows 10 devices to connect at the same time using a single subscription.

You can always cancel Private Internet Access and utilize the 30-day money-back offer to analyze the VPNs premium features and port forwarding setup.

How to Configure Port Forwarding

If you are looking for various methods to activate port forwarding, we shall provide you with some guidelines.

However, please remember that the port forwarding configuration may change from router to router.

And applying these changes may not promise to achieve port forwarding safe.

Here are the most common steps you can consider while activating port forwarding:

  1. Using your credentials, check into the router dashboard.
  2. Search for settings and open the port forwarding section.
  3. While checking the port configurations listed, you can see empty configurations.
  4. Now choose one of the empty port configurations from the list—input internal and external port numbers to the selected empty port configuration. Please save the numbers, as it must be the same for both devices.
  5. Find the local IP address of your device to which the port connection must be established in your network. 
  6. The router’s public IP address is not the same as your local IP. Once you established the connection, the router will guide any requests on the port to your chosen device. The private IP address of the local machine will not be revealed in the process.

Is Port Forwarding Safe with a VPN?

Port forwarding can be used with a VPN if VPN has specifically allowed it.

But if you are asking whether port forwarding is safe to use with a VPN, then the answer is complicated.

But one thing is it can cause a threat to security even with an active VPN.

If you are using a VPN that supports port forwarding, follow the general steps mentioned below.

But these are not the exact steps to set up port forwarding since the procedure can be different for each VPN.

  1. Log in to your VPN and enable the port forwarding feature. Some VPNs provide this on their dashboard itself.
  2. The next step is to choose the port. Check for the open ports and choose the right one for you.
  3. Now check the app (torrent client) and open the port settings.
  4. Connect and access the port in the app. Also, change the listening port.
  5. It is better to deactivate NAT-PMP and UPnP from the app
  6. You can test VPN port forwarding with the help of the CanYouSeeMeNow.org tool. The success message will ensure the procedure is rightly performed.

These steps are common to all VPNs that support port forwarding.

But the feature names in the settings may differ.

You can contact 24/7 customer support to get connection assistance if needed.

FAQs

What is UPnP?

UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) is a feature that opens the router ports.

The apps on your device access the ports using UPnP.

Once the app completes the process, UPnP closes the port.

However, UPnP cannot identify whether a device in your network is affected by any malware or viruses during the port operations.

If a device is compromised and the UPnP proceeds to connect it with another device, it can spread the virus to all devices on your network.

Hence it is better to turn off the UPnP for better security.

What Is the Difference Between Static and Dynamic Port Forwarding?

There are two options for port forwarding with a VPN.

As the name suggests, Static port forwarding refers to ports that are fixed, and dynamic port forwarding changes ports for every new connection.

So, are both types of port forwarding safe?

Static port forwarding is easy to maintain as you don’t have to repeat the connection process repeatedly during new connections.

However, dynamic port forwarding is supported by many VPNs since it can utilize all empty ports.

Dynamic port forwarding is better if the firewall blocks specific ports based on experience.

Is Port Forwarding Safe for Torrenting?

Port forwarding is a good choice to share large files with other devices, especially for torrenting.

However, port forwarding opens ports and established connections with unknown private parties during the process.

Even if you are in a secure network, port forwarding can invite unwanted cyber threats to your device and your home network.

This is the most important reason why VPNs deny the port forwarding feature.  

In Summary, the best VPNs in 2023 are;

Conclusion

We hope you got an answer to the question after reading this article.

Our research and testing show that port forwarding safe options are very rare to find. Most VPNs in the market are still skeptical about port forwarding safety.

However, Atlas VPN discussed in this article provides port forwarding.

The features with Atlas VPN are easy to install and work without any errors.

Atlas VPN also delivers security features that can protect your identity from third-party trackers.

Port forwarding generally puts your devices at risk of getting hacked by intruders and may result in exposing your IP.

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Written by Trevor Cooke

The only safe internet is a private internet. You’ll see me at parties talking about cybersecurity, privacy, and VPNs. Yes, I’m that guy.
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Secure your digital life with NordVPN

Last Updated: January 7, 2023
Are you wondering, ‘Is Port Forwarding Safe?’ in this article, we will discuss about it and related questions, so keep reading.
Is Port Forwarding Safe
EarthWeb is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Stay on top of the latest technology trends — delivered directly to your inbox, free!

Subscription Form Posts

Don't worry, we don't spam

Written by Trevor Cooke

The only safe internet is a private internet. You’ll see me at parties talking about cybersecurity, privacy, and VPNs. Yes, I’m that guy.

Latest Stories

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