You have a desire to host a multiplayer session of your favorite game on your PC, but the steps to create it keep giving you an error and other players can’t connect. Do you know that the problem is probably the NAT set up in your router? I’ll explain better: to connect multiple devices to the Internet with a single subscription (and therefore a single IP address), the router uses mechanisms that allow you to direct data to the correct recipient, distinguishing one connected device from another thanks to the combination of IPs private and door.
This mechanism is called NAT, it is active by default on all routers on the market, and it is its initial configuration that prevents other players from connecting to you. This means that, to achieve your goal, you have to manually intervene on these settings and configure the router according to your needs: in other words, you need to learn how to open the NAT .
How do you say? Already the sentence alone scares you? I can guarantee you that there is absolutely no need, because you have come to the right place, at a time that could not have been better: in fact, below I will explain all the procedures necessary to intervene on your router and open the doors, so as to customize the NAT according to your needs. Ready to continue? Perfect, let’s go: I guarantee you that, almost without realizing it, you will succeed in your intent and you will finally be able to host all the games you want!
- Preliminary information
- How to unlock the doors
- Find the IP of the router
- How to open NAT on PS4
- How to open NAT on PS5
- How to open NAT on Xbox One
- How to open NAT on PC and Mac
- Concluding operations
Before picking up the keyboard and working on your router, it is good to give you some hints on what you are going to change. The NAT , or Network Address Translation (which can be translated into Italian with translation network address translation ), is the operation that allows the router to connect more devices to the Internet using a single external IP address .
This result is obtained thanks to some particular “graphics” that the router creates by itself, called routing tables in jargon , capable of autonomously sorting the data, both inbound and outbound, to the various devices connected to the network (computer, smartphone , tablet, etc.): the latter are “recognized” thanks to their internal IP address .
At this point, however, it is necessary to make a clarification: in a “normal” scenario, it is the devices connected to the network that request the servers to receive data (mail server for emails, Web server for Internet browsing and so on. ); consequently, the NAT of the router is configured to freely “let through” the outgoing connections of the various devices, with the ability to send responses to the right device, once received.
In some particular cases, for example to host game sessions or to download at maximum bandwidth from certain programs, it is the device connected to the router that must function as a server and therefore it becomes essential to accept incoming connections on certain listening ports ( that change from program to program): By default, this behavior is blocked in order to preserve the security of the entire network and the device.
Opening NAT , or opening ports or even port forwarding , means just that: allowing external users to connect to your device. Like? I’ll explain it to you right away.
When your device acts as a client, that is, when you surf the Internet, consult e-mails, chat or perform other online operations, it is your program that requests data from the server on the Internet, and it is the latter that enters in the response data the identifier of the request received.
In this way, the router simply has to “just” follow the routing table to correctly sort the received data. When the opposite happens, that is when you act as the server, the router must be able to forward requests from the outside, but without knowing a priori information on where the program is running: each program is identified by one or multiple ports, through which it can receive data.
These ports, at the beginning, are closed to preserve the security of your network and your devices: in order for the program to receive incoming requests, these ports must be opened inside the router, with one of the procedures that I will explain shortly. This operation, as I mentioned a few lines ago, is called port forwarding or port forwarding .
In even simpler terms, what you will do is “communicate” to the router that, when a data destined for a certain port arrives, it must be routed to a specific device (identified by its internal IP address), by opening the associated device listening port characteristic of the program.
So, before proceeding further, find out which ports you need to open in the router for your game (or any other program) and what type of them is (TCP or UDP). This information is easily found in the settings of the program itself or in the guide: for more information, you can try to search on Google for phrases such as doors to open [game title / program name] .
How to unlock the doors
Now that you understand why it is often necessary to open the NAT , let me explain, in practice, how to do it.
Find the IP of the router
The first operation to perform, in absolute terms, is to identify the IP address of the router and the private IP address of the device for which to unlock the doors.
In detail, the first information is essential to access the router management panel; the second, on the other hand, is used to correctly set a manual IP to the console, to the computer or, in general, to the device on which to intervene, thus avoiding any address conflicts.
You can find the IP address of your router and device in different ways, depending on the means you have. Below is a list of the most common strategies.
- Windows: From the Start menu , open the Command Prompt or a PowerShell window , type the command ipconfigand press Enter . The IP of the router is specified under the entry Default gateway , while the private one of the computer is found under the entry IPv4 address .
- macOS: open the Terminal using the menu Go> Utilities of macOS and issue the command netstat -nr | grep default, to see the IP of the router (it is the first numerical sequence that appears next to the word default ). To find the private IP of the Mac, instead, type the command ipconfig getifaddr en1, if you are connected to Wi-Fi, or ipconfig getifaddr en0, if you are using an Ethernet network and press the Enter key on the keyboard, to view the information you are looking for.
- Android: go to the Settings menu > Network and Internet> Wi-Fi of the operating system, touch the gear symbol next to the name of the Wi-Fi network you are using and press the Advanced button . The router IP is located under the Gateway entry .
- iPhone / iPad: open the Settings> Wi-Fi menu of the device, touch the button (i) corresponding to the name of the wireless network you are using and locate the IP address of the router from the panel that appears later.
- PS4: using the pad, go to the Settings> Network> Check Internet connection of the console and choose the option Get IP address , to find the private IP of the console and that of the router (corresponding to the Gateway item ).
- PS5: using the pad, go to the Settings> Network panel and press the Check connection status button : the console’s private IP is located in correspondence with the IPv4 address item , while the Default gateway item indicates the router IP.
- Xbox One / Series: using the controller, go to the Settings> Network> Advanced settings> IP settings menu and take note of the default Gateway address , i.e. the one assigned to the router and the console’s private IPv4 address .
Once you have obtained these two information, you can prepare the device in your possession for opening the NAT, setting a static (and therefore invariable) private address on it.
How to open NAT on PS4
If you have a PlayStation 4 , go to the console’s Settings> Network menu , choose the Set up Internet connection option and indicate whether you intend to use a Wi-Fi network or a LAN cable . Then, choose the Custom item and, if you have chosen to use a wireless network, select it from those available and enter the relevant network key to finalize the connection.
At this point, when you are asked to set the console IP, choose the Manual option and fill in the next form with the requested information.
- IP address: Type the private IP address of the PS4 you recovered earlier (e.g. 192.168.1.54).
- Subnet mask: enter the value 255.255.0 .
- Default gatewayand primary DNS : fill in both fields by entering the IP address of the router (eg 192.168.1.1).
- Secondary DNS: Leave this field blank.
Finally, set the MTU value to automatic, indicate not to use proxy server and confirm on the next screen, in order to apply the settings. Finally, proceed with the actual opening of the doors, as I indicated in the final section of this chapter.
How to open NAT on PS5
If, on the other hand, yours is a PlayStation 5 , go to the Settings> Network menu of the console, choose the Settings item from the left sidebar and press on the Configure Internet connection item , which appears immediately after.
Now, highlight the network to which you are connected (usually indicated under the heading Registered networks ) using the directional arrows of the pad, press the Options button on the latter (the one with the three horizontal lines located to the right of the touchpad area) and choose the item Advanced settings from the menu that appears.
Finally, click on the IP address settings item , choose the Manual option from the menu that appears later and indicate the private IP of the PS5 in the IPv4 address field , enter the value 255.255.255.0 in the Subnet mask field and fill in the Default Gateway and Primary DNS fields by entering the IP address of the router . Leave the Secondary DNS , MTU Settings and Proxy Server fields unchanged and, when you are done, select and press the OK button , in order to apply the changes.
To complete the procedure, all you have to do is continue with the opening of the necessary ports on the router, as explained in this section .
How to open NAT on Xbox One
As for setting the static IP on Xbox One or other Xbox family consoles, proceed as follows: access the console Settings by pressing the appropriate button, open the Network tab and, from there, select the Settings buttons network> Advanced settings .
Now, choose the IP Settings option , in order to directly access the IP change settings: then fill in the IPv4 Address field by entering the private IP address of the console retrieved previously and press the Menu key (the one with the three lines horizontal ) of the controller, to confirm the change.
Next, enter the value 255.255.255.0 in the Subnet mask / Subnet mask field , press the Controller Menu key again and fill in the Gateway field by typing the IP address of the router .
Now, press the Menu button on the controller again and, if you see the IPv4 Address field again , enter the Xbox IP that you should have previously specified. To finish, press the Menu button on your controller.
We are almost there: now select the DNS Settings item , enter the IP address of the router in the Primary IPv4 DNS field and press the Menu button on the controller twice consecutively; to finish, save the changes by pressing the B key on the controller: if everything went well, the console should connect to the Internet with the new address. Finally, proceed with opening the ports on the router, as you find explained here .
How to open NAT on PC and Mac
Setting up a static IP address on your computer is really a breeze. If you are using the Windows operating system , click on the Network symbol , select the Properties item located in correspondence with the network to which you are connected and, when you reach the settings panel, click on the Edit button located in correspondence with the IP Assignment item .
Now, set the drop-down menu that appears on the screen to the Manual option , activate the lever corresponding to the IPv4 item and fill in the form displayed as follows.
- IP address: Enter the private IP address of the computer found earlier.
- Subnet Prefix Length: Enter the value 255.255.0 .
- Gatewayand Preferred DNS : Enter the IP of the router .
Finally, click on the Save button and finish everything by opening the ports on the router, as explained in the last section of this chapter.
If, on the other hand, yours is a Mac , click on the multifunction icon located near the clock (it depicts two switches of opposite color ), then on the name of the network to which you are connected and, subsequently, on the Network Preferences … option , which appears at the bottom of the next menu.
Now, click on the Advanced… button located in the lower right corner of the window that appears, click on the TCP / IP tab and set the Configure IPv4 drop-down menu to the option Manually .
Finally, enter the private IP address to be assigned to the computer in the IPv4 address field , specify the value 255.255.255.0 in the Subnet mask field and fill in the Router field by typing the IP address of the router . Finally, click on the OK and Apply buttons and proceed with the actual opening of the doors, as you find explained here .
Once you have identified the IP address of the router and chosen a private IP to assign to the console or to the computer, the time has finally come to explain, in practice, how to proceed with the actual opening of the ports on the router.
First of all, using whichever device you prefer (which must be connected to the network for which you want to open the ports), you must log in to the router management panel : therefore, type its IP address in the navigation bar of the browser , press Enter and wait for the device login page to appear.
Now, enter the username and password needed to complete the login: if you have never done this before, you can try the admin / admin or admin / password combinations , the most used. If they are incorrect, take a look at the back of the network device and locate the password to use there, or consult my guide on how to see the modem password , in which I have indicated in detail how to find the credentials of which you need.
If you have already customized the access parameters to the router but are no longer able to remember them, you must necessarily reset the device by pressing and holding the appropriate key (which is usually located on the back) with the help of a pointed object, until all the LEDs on the router turn off, and then turn on again a few moments later.
In any case, if you’re having trouble with the entire router login process, take a look at my step-by-step guide to get more details.
Now that you have finally managed to get into your router, you can proceed to open the ports you need. First locate the menu for Port Forwarding (in Italian), Port Mapping or Virtual Server and select the item relating to the creation of a new rule (or a new virtual server ). At this stage the router offers you a creation form with several entries to fill in: you can do it by following the instructions below.
- Server IP address(or destination IP ) – here you must enter the private IP address of the console, of the computer or, in general, of the device for which you want to free the ports (the one you set previously).
- Internal door / External door(or Start door / End door ) – type the number of the door to open in each of these boxes. Please, the entered value must be the same for all fields.
- Protocol(or Type of port ) – in this menu you must specify if the port you are interested in opening is of type TCP, UDP or both.
- Rule Name(or simply Name ) – type here the name you want to give to the forward just configured.
Once you have filled in all the fields, you just have to click on the save button (usually Save / Save or Apply / Apply ) to confirm the changes and, to make sure that the settings are correctly applied, restart your router.
To verify that the doors have been opened successfully, connect to this website , type the number of the open door in the Port Number field and then press the Check button .
Unfortunately, I can’t be very detailed about the precise configuration of each router, as each manufacturer has a management panel with different items and options.
To help you in the task, however, I can provide you with more precise instructions on the most well-known routers in circulation: for example, if you are interested in understanding how to open the Vodafone NAT , log in to the management panel of the Vodafone Station in your possession and use the drop-down menu located at the top right to choose Expert User Mode .
Now, press on items Internet (top) and Port Management (side), find the doors Association and press the button (+) placed in his correspondence: after setting the drop down menu Service of Custom , fill out the form it is proposed to you as I indicated earlier and Apply the settings to save the rule. More info here .
If, on the other hand, you are here because you do not know how to open the Eolo NAT , you must follow the procedure provided for most of the AVM FRITZ! Box routers , generally supplied by the operator: after logging in to the configuration panel , press on the entries Internet and qualifications (side), press the button Add device for qualifications and sets the pulldown menu device to manually enter the IP address .
Now, enter the ‘ IP of the device for which open the doors within the field IPv4 Address , press the button New enablement , affix a check mark next to the entry door Enabling and, after setting the drop down menu Application to Another application , fill out the form that is proposed to you as I explained to you a little while ago. Finally, put the check mark next to the item Activate enabling and press the OK button twice in a row.
As regards, instead, the question of how to open the NAT TIM , do this: after logging in to the device management panel, press on the gear symbol corresponding to the WAN Services box , locate the IPv4 port forwarding table section from the next page and click on the button Add a new IPv4 port mapping .
Finally, fill out the proposed form following the instructions I gave you a little while ago and press the Apply button to save the settings and open the door. More info here .
If you encounter any problems in applying the procedures listed in this chapter, or need more specific information about a specific router model not explicitly mentioned in this section, you can take a look at my guide on how to open the router ports , in which I explained everything to you, in great detail.