How To Set Up Port Forwarding

What is Port Forwarding?


Port forwarding is an old, arcane method of creating access for OWLR to connect to your IP cameras within your home network.

Can you explain this in confusing networking terms?

  • In a typical residential network, devices in the home network (e.g., computers, IP cameras, AppleTV) obtain Internet access through a DSL or cable modem connected to a router or network address translator (NAT/NAPT). These devices are assigned IP addresses within a certain range (e.g., 192.168.1.X to 192.168.1.Y where X is less than Y).

  • Devices on the home network are connected to an Ethernet switch or communicate via a wireless LAN. 

  • The NAT device's external interface is configured with a public IP address. 

  • Devices behind the router, on the other hand, are invisible to hosts on the Internet as they each communicate only with a private IP address.

Before Configuring Your Router


There are a few things you need to be aware of when you decide on setting up port forwarding.
  • If you’re using DHCP, then each device’s IP has the potential to change in the future, and when it does you’ll need to reconfigure your port forwarding settings.

    For this reason, it’s best to configure your IP Cameras with a static IP address.  Some routers have the ability to “reserve” or “assign” IPs via DHCP that will NOT change in the future, allowing you the best of both worlds, but not all do.

  • When you access your network externally, you will need to know your router’s external IP address. This can be easily found from someone inside the network by visiting http://whatismyip.com

    Unfortunately, your ISP/cable provider might also reassign your external IP address which means your external IP address might change without your permission.  One way to avoid this is to get a domain name redirect.
That being said, if you’re careful and configure things properly, you’ll never have to worry once you’re all set up.

Basic Instructions


Regardless of what software is on your router, you’ll be required to enter the same type of information.
  • First, you’ll see a text field where you can type in the name of the application or service.
  • Next, you’ll see which incoming port your router should watch for.
  • Then, you’ll be able to choose which protocol to watch for.
A little online research should be able to tell you which one, but if you’re not sure you can choose both. You’ll need to choose which IP address is the destination for this port’s requests. Lastly, you’ll be able to choose which port the request should be targeted to on the destination IP.

Many firmwares will allow you to save many rules but selectively enable them as needed. If yours does it, be sure to check the “Enable” column’s boxes for all the rules you want active.

Example

Let us assume that on OWLR, you see that the IP Camera has:
  • an Internal IP address is 192.168.2.100 and 
  • an Internal Port set to 3341
On your router you need to create a new forward rule:  
  • Application Name:  ipcamera1
  • port from :  3341
  • protocol:  both (this means TCP and UDP)
  • IP address: 192.168.2.100 (the Internal IP Address)
  • port to: 3341
Now on the camera in the OWLR app (Camera --> Settings --> Network), you can setup the External IP Address/Port to: 
  • External IP Address: The IP address found at http://whatismyip.com when you are in your home wifi network
  • External Port: 3341 (same as the Internal Port)

Router Brands


Each manufacturer has different software that they use on their routers. We took screenshots of the port forwarding settings from each of the major brands. We’re assuming that you know how to access your router and you know the proper username and password.

If you don’t, check out this link to PortForward.com and find your router brand to learn how to do the configuration.

Cisco/Linksys




You’ll see port forwarding under Applications and Gaming. Under “Single Port Forwarding,” you can add individual ports to specific IPs. Under “Port Range Forwarding,” you can easily forward whole ranges of ports at a time.

D-Link


On DLink’s routers, you’ll find your port forwarding settings in the Advanced section, under the Port Forwarding tab.

Netgear



Netgear’s routers have a side menu. Look under Advanced and click on “Port Forwarding / Port Triggering.” If you use the Smart Wizard, you’ll also get the opportunity to configure port forwarding there.

DD-WRT


DD-WRT and similar third-party router firmwares will usually have port forwarding as a tab under the NAT/Quality of Service section. Remember, clicking “Save” in DD-WRT saves your changes but doesn’t apply them immediately, so be sure to hit “Apply Settings,” too.

Basic Instructions


Regardless of what software is on your router, you’ll be required to enter the same type of information.
  • First, you’ll see a text field where you can type in the name of the application or service. 
  • Next, you’ll see which incoming port your router should watch for. 
  • Then, you’ll be able to choose which protocol to watch for. 
A little online research should be able to tell you which one, but if you’re not sure you can choose both. You’ll need to choose which IP address is the destination for this port’s requests. Lastly, you’ll be able to choose which port the request should be targeted to on the destination IP.

Many firmwares will allow you to save many rules but selectively enable them as needed. If yours does it, be sure to check the “Enable” column’s boxes for all the rules you want active.

Example


Let us assume that your IP Camera's IP address is 192.168.2.100 and it is setup to use Port 3341

On your router you need to create a new forward rule:  
  • Application name:  ipcamera1
  • port from :  3341
  • protocol:  both
  • IP address: 192.168.2.100
  • port to: 3341
Now on your OWLR app, you can setup the external ip/port to 
  • external ip: your home ip network found with (whatismyip.com - make sure you check from your home wifi network)
  • port: 3341

Additional information


Reference documents:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_forwarding
http://www.howtogeek.com/66214/how-to-forward-ports-on-your-router/

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