Beginners guide to port forwarding for PS4
You’ve just gotten a new PS4 game, you are all hyped up sitting with your controller ready to start playing, however it soon becomes apparent that you can’t connect to the gaming servers, or you might be connected but your game is constantly lagging.
There’s a simple trick that’s known as port forwarding, meaning you can adjust the settings on your router, boost your speed and enjoy your console!
Both computers and servers communicate with each other using IP addresses. What is amazing is that there are around 4.3 billion IPV4 addresses all together, this number won’t change until IPV6 is fully deployed.
It may seem like 4.3 billion is a lot, but with a growing number of internet users, it’s simply not enough.
NAT (network address translation) guarantees that users won’t find themselves in a difficult situation where there are absolutely no IP addresses available!
It will allow a router to act as an intermediary between both the internet and your private network. You can have only one public IP address in order to communicate with the internet, and multiple private IP addresses assigned for different devices on your network. This means that one IP address can cover the entire network.
NAT will convert public IP addresses into private ones and vice versa. If we want data to reach the correct recipient in computer networking we use ports. Each individual port corresponds to a different application. When you receive data packets to your device, your operating system will then discover a port number, meaning it knows the final destination.
This doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to assign ports for every application all the time, the VPN automatically does that for you.
Altogether there are 3 different NAT types which are designed specifically for gaming consoles.
- NAT type 1 (open)
- NAT type 2 (moderate)
- NAT type 3 (strict)
NAT type 1 - Your PS4 is automatically connected to the internet (there will be no NAT configured on your router) be careful and aware as your connection might be insecure, this is because there is no firewall to protect it. This particular type is known for high gaming latency. You are able to chat with other people and also host multiple PS4 games, however any skilled hacker could get into your local area network, it doesn’t take much effort for them at all!
If you like to play a lot of fortnite, PUBG or over watch, having a higher latency is paramount for keeping on top of your performance.
NAT 1 does give you the most flexibility however you shouldn’t ignore the drawbacks. Basically your entire network can become infected.
TYPE 2 is the most commonly used in PS4. What it does is it connects your PS4 to the internet via a router. It can forward packets and use predefined ports, this most definitely makes it the more secure option, even more so than type 1!
This enables your console to support multiplayer games and chats, the downside though is that you most probably won’t be able to act as host in the games. It’s still a great option for those of you who are looking for a positive gaming experience as well as enhanced security too! If you enjoy playing Minecraft peacefully a safely then this definitely the port you will be using the most!
Obviously the word strict means that with this particular Nat type you will have very limited connectivity with other players! You will still be able to play multiplayer games and only chat with with users who have type 1!
Type 3 enables additional firewall settings, this provides the most secure connection. Unfortunately you won’t be able to enjoy gaming as much as those who have either type 1 or 2. Your connectivity will definitely be poor, believe it or not you can even be kicked out of the game lobbies!
If your using type 3 it also means that your PlayStation works behind a router and doesn’t have network ports forwarded to it.
There are certain steps that you need to take in order to enable port forwarding on your PS4. These steps might slightly vary depending on the brand of your router, nevertheless the basic principle is still the same.
Firstly go fo settings.
You then want to select network - view connection status.
Note down your IP address and MAC address of your PS4, as you will need this information later.
Log into your router, normally it will have a sticker on it explaining how to do it.
Next you want to manually assign a static IP address to your router using the data that you earlier noted from your PS4.
Find the port forwarding rules.
Add the rules for the following :
UDP 3478, 3479
- Lastly reboot your router in order for the changes to be applied.
A VPN could be combined with port forwarding however some VPN’s don’t support this. I know that it’s definitely not encouraged to browse online with open ports, it’s just not a sensible thing to do really! The security risks are just way too high, the last thing you want is to end up with malware, so be cautious!
It’s always best to take caution and listen to the experts when it comes to doing anything online, especially if it has been recommended you don’t do it!
No matter what your doing online always be cautious and use a trusted VPN, do your research and stay safe at all times! It’s important!