Port forwarding

When enabled, port forwarding lets the outside world (the internet) pass through a firewall to a specific device on your home network. Don’t worry: this only happens when you turn it on and only with a device of your choosing.

Port forwarding is like an open door in your Wi-Fi’s firewall that lets the internet reach a specific device without needing to knock.

Learn more about when you need port forwarding and NAT loopback.

How do I set up port forwarding?

Note: Before setting up port forwarding to a device, you must first give that device a static IP. Learn how.

1. Open the Google Wifi app.

2. Tap the tab, then Network & general.

3. In the ‘Network’ section, tap Advanced networking.

4. Tap Port forwarding.

5. Tap the add button in the lower-right corner, and choose a device.
Note: To set port forwarding to a device, it first must have a static IP.

6. Enter the external ports and the internal ports.

Note: Some devices will suggest what ports to use, while others let you choose. If you don’t know which ports to forward, contact the manufacturer of the device or check their manual.

7. Choose either TCP, UDP, or TCP and UDP. These are different protocols used to send data over the internet.

8. Tap Save.

When do I need port forwarding?

Typically, a router protects your network from the outside world by limiting external access to your internal network. (External access is very limited -- just enough to let you use the internet.)

But some devices and programs like IP cameras and online games need a connection from the outside Internet that’s unimpeded by a firewall. In most cases, port forwarding is configured automatically between your Wifi point(s) and your devices using UPnP. Read on if you want to manually configure ports.

But you don’t want all your devices to have an open connection, because that’s not secure. The solution is port forwarding. Port forwarding tells a router: When a connection request comes through a specific port (that you specify), send that connection to a specific device (of your choosing). Your other devices will remain unaffected by this rule. Learn how to set up port forwarding.

NAT Loopback

NAT loopback lets devices on your private Wi-Fi (like a laptop or IP camera) communicate with a public network (WAN). This lets them “share” a connection with each other. This means you’ll be able to see your port forwarded devices from inside your home Wi-Fi.

To use NAT Loopback, just set the appropriate port forwarding rules for the desired device and you’re all set.

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