How to Change NAT Type on PC
Network Address Translation (NAT) is a part of your router that enables you to communicate with the internet. Its stealthy operation might underscore its importance, but it’s an integral part of modern web communication.
The technology has breathed life into the currently-used Internet Protocol, but more on this later. First, you need to understand why NAT is so important and how to change your NAT type for a better online experience.
What is NAT?
The easiest way to understand NAT is by thinking of it as a register that sits in your router. It notes the request each device is making and notes the associated IP address. It looks up the register when the request returns fulfilled and lets the router know which device on the network asked for it, such as opening a webpage.
NAT is required because the IP address assigned to your device by the router is different than the one it uses to communicate on the internet. There is one IP address that works as a proxy for all the devices on your network. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) uses this IP address to let you talk to access the internet. Similarly, there are millions of such networks using their respective ISP to access the internet.
The need for NAT arose from the fact that Internet Protocol 4 (IPv4) – the current internet protocol in use – has almost exhausted the number of unique IP addresses it can generate. IPv4 is a 32-bit address, and that means it can generate roughly 32 billion unique IP addresses. Some of those IP addresses are reserved, and the rest are up for grabs by service providers.
IPv6 – its successor – which delivers roughly 340 trillion IP addresses is now in the adoption phase, but it will be quite a long time before it’s mainstream.
Port Forwarding Explained
Ports are virtual gateways that applications use to communicate with web servers. The NAT table also includes the port number with the IP address of the device. You can initiate a request to send data outside of your network, but it’s not so easy for the data on the return trip. For security reasons, the NAT firewall will not allow external traffic to request the opening of ports.
You may not have heard of port forwarding before, but it’s quite useful for certain applications. Before there were IoT devices, gamers were using port forwarding to improve the online gaming experiences. Games typically categorize ‘NAT Type’ into Open and Strict. An Open NAT type means that game servers can communicate with your system and activities like matchmaking and voice chat are smooth.
So, in order to for external traffic to flow through effortless to your device, you need to set a rule at your end for the ports in use. There are a couple of ways to achieve it.
How to Change NAT Type
There are three ways you change NAT Type on PC.
Manual Port Forwarding
The first method requires that you manually enter the ports in your router for the PC that you are using. A static has to be set for the device so that DHCP does not dynamically assign a different IP address when the PC reconnects. For port forwarding to work, it needs to be made certain that the PC receives the application’s traffic by setting a static IP address for the device.
- Click on the Start button and run CMD.
- Type ipconfig and hit Enter. Note down the default gateway and IP address.
- Now, right-click on the internet icon in the icon tray and launch Open Network & Internet settings. Click on Properties under the connected network. Note down the MAC address.
- Use a web browser and type in the default gateway. Hit Enter.
- Log in to the admin panel. The credentials should be on the router’s back or in the manual.
- Since each router’s interface is different, you need to find the option to reserve IP address.
- Add a new device. Type the IP address and MAC address. And save the settings.
- Now go to Port Forwarding in the router. You can find specific port forwarding guides for your specific model here. But the general idea is that you need to enter the IP address, select the protocol (TCP/UDP), and enter the ports the application requires. For example, Call of Duty: Warzone requires the following TCP and UDP ports to be open:
- TCP: 3074, 27014-27050
- UDP: 3074, 3075, 3076, 3077, 3078, 3079
- Save the settings and restart the router.
UPnP stands for Universal Plug and Play. It is a feature that allows applications to open ports automatically. It saves you the hassle of manually inputting each port in the router. But it also opens the doors to malicious programs to communicate with the internet. A malware sitting in your PC can request to open ports and enable remote attacks.
You can enable it in the router easily. However, for security purposes, UPnP is not recommended.
Set PC in DMZ
Demilitarized Zone means that your PC will sit outside of the firewall and be exposed to the internet. You can find the DMZ menu in the router and enter the device’s static IP address (discussed in the first method).
While it may change your NAT Type on PC, it is potentially dangerous. The firewall exists for a reason and should not be bypassed.
Security First – Always
Online gaming is fun and lets you challenge players from around the world. But, fun and accessibility from gaming shouldn’t come at the cost of security. It’s why we encourage a VPN for gaming. For example, there is nothing wrong with enjoying public Wi-Fi while you stroll at the mall or enjoy a cup of coffee at a cafe, but you need to understand the risks of using such unsecure networks first. It is why we recommend using iProVPN to encrypt communication so that bad actors on the same network cannot intercept your communication.
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