Port Forwarding allows remote devices and servers on the internet to access devices within the private local-area network (LAN). Direct remote access to the local devices is allowed by port forwarding. The VPN port forwarding enables users to route inbound traffic on their specified router port or VPN server to a device on the internal network. It allows external network devices to connect to LAN devices to increase connection speed and performance improvement of activities. The activities like torrenting, gaming, and other P2P file sharing.  

This article answers what is VPN Port forwarding and its related questions. Security of VPN Port Forwarding, setting up VPN Port Forwarding, best VPN services for Port Forwarding, and possible FAQs. Let’s give a close look to understand what is VPN port forwarding and how does it work.

How does VPN enable port forwarding work?


This section of the article what is VPN port forwarding explains the working criteria of VPN port. Connecting to a virtual network makes an interaction of your device with the VPN server the same as it does with a router. Instead of an actual NAT route, all internet traffic is routed by the server through various ports on your network.

To avoid security challenges, a VPN service does not allow to choose ports to forward the traffic. VPN port forwarding does not need to take additional safety measures like using dynamic port forwarding. Once the feature of port forwarding is enabled in the VPN app, a port will open that is randomly assigned. Sometimes, the client dashboard activates port forwarding.

For instance, a user of TorGuard will place a request for a port forward in the client area. You are able to skip the process of approval by getting a paid dedicated static IP address from the provider.

Another example is for ExpressVPN, the entire process takes place through their user interface router. For income connections, user is able to manually open any specific port. Thing to consider here is VPN protection would not be useful for these forwarded ports.

What Is VPN Port Forwarding: Key Uses

In a quick summary of this article what is VPN port forwarding, the key usage of VPN port forwarding includes;

  • Multiplayer gaming
  • P2P activities
  • Remote access to desktop
  • Website hosting

After connecting to a VPN service, it works like your computer’s router. That is just like any router which transfers your ports’ traffic. However, not like a home router, the ability for traffic forward to specific ports is not provided by most VPN services. To choose a specific port, you are required to buy a VPN with the feature to select a port.

The reasons for port forwarding by connecting a VPN are almost same as for port forwarding without a VPN:

Multiplayer gaming

Among the most popular reasons for port forwarding is described in this article about what is VPN port forwarding, that is gaming, especially for gaming VPN users. It is because port forwarding enables you to bypass the security software on local network or on your VPN.

If there is by default a strict NAT in your VPN then P2P connections are likely to not function properly. So using a VPN with a strict firewall would not allow you to host a game server with a chance of extra ping or lag experience. Thus, in these cases, P2P-hosted online games may not function properly.

To fix these problems, using the static IP address for port forwarding would enable to bypass VPN firewall or router.

P2P activities

By default, incoming connections to the P2P application are rejected by the VPN service which can slow the file-sharing process. The file-sharing process slows down for VPN services rejecting P2P connection, a key example is creating difficulty to seed torrents.

Here, port forwarding enables you to receive required data packets directly and connect to other torrenting users to seed torrents. Resultantly, there is a significant impact of port forwarding on the performance of torrenting. Thus, the port forwarding on torrenting VPNs helps not only for torrenting but also for P2P connections in video games.

Remote access to desktop

You might face an interruption in accessing the remote desktop while using VPN services. Port forwarding enables establishing a direct connection between the remote and local devices. That the user is operating and wants to access, without any interruption from VPN’s firewall.

Access a remote desktop when when you are fully confident about the remote device. Because there is the possibility of direct access to your computer by malicious actors.

Website hosting

A port forwarding is required when you want to host a website but are connected to a VPN, this is another important aspect of this article what is VPN port forwarding. It helps in sending direct internet traffic to a specific port in a local client, running the web server software. Users cannot access the outside website from the local network without a port forward. For this, you need to configure your VPN IP address as a public domain name.

What is VPN Port Forwarding: Is It Safe?

You get help from the NAT Firewall for preventing your device from malicious actors on the wider internet. It identified the devices which are able to access and communicate your local network with your device. Security vulnerabilities are caused as the port forwarding bypasses the security firewall with or without VPN.   

There is also the possibility of IP leaks with port forwarding when torrenting. Therefore, you need to check for data leaks for both security and privacy risk measures before linking to any publicly available torrents.

How to set up port forwarding on a VPN?

The process of port forwarding is discussed in this article what is VPN port forwarding, it differentiates more than routers in VPN services. So If there are all ports on your VPN by default, it enables you to open all ports or use dynamic port forwarding. Here, you would not need to configure anything else. This information is available on your VPN service website. Setting up a Port Forwarding on the VPN requires following the steps mentioned below;

Step 1

In the VPN app’ setting menu, enable port forwarding. The process varies for different VPNs. So it might require you to contact your VPN provider to know the process of enabling port forwarding on your VPN.

Step 2

Enter the required ports from the available options on your VPN. But in case there is one option, note down the port number.

Step 3

The application requires port forwarding where you need to change port list to the number identified in step 2.

Best VPNs with port forwarding for 2023

Indeed, port forwarding is risky, it compromises security by enabling other users to access your device. The possibility to make it safe is to use it with firewall systems on and an antivirus active. After testing VPNs for Port Forwarding, the following are the best five VPN services;


Private VPN - What is VPN Port Forwarding

A highly recommended VPN option because of its strong emphasis on privacy and security. The VPN offers exceptional performance with a user-friendly port forwarding functionality for both internet privacy prioritizing and casual users.

The VPN helps in enhancing speed on streaming sites like Netflix. And most important part that is important for almost every user is the affordability of PrivateVPN.

Private Internet Access (PIA)

It is a robust VPN, offering support for port forwarding in terms of accessing port forwarding to navigate with the PIA app’s setting tab. The easy configuration is another plus point that once configured, the specified port will automatically connect with the VPN. The extensive server network provides high speed and the feature of connecting up to 10 devices at the same time.

The VPN supports protocols with strong encryption like OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols with AES-256-bit encryption. PIA offers full support to all activities of P2P, applications for all key platforms; macOS, Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android.

ExpressVPN Review


This VPN service is secure, fast, and most importantly has an extensive service network. Users can connect to servers located in 94 countries and a total number of 3000+ servers. There is a fairly user-friendly interface for ExpressVPN’s route. After choosing a device on the local network, input the required port, and a protocol (TCP/UDP), and the port will open.

It is also safe as comes with leak protection and is applicable for all key platforms; macOS, Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android.


A Hong Kong-based VPN provider with a huge server network, good connection speed, and strong security options. Since 2018, it is a no-log certified VPN that makes it safer for the user in terms of preventing malicious actors to access their activity records and devices.

PureVPN is also applicable for all key platforms; macOS, Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android. PureVPN is also applicable for all key platforms; macOS, Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android.


The best VPN for torrent seeders and leechers who are looking for fast download and upload speed. There is P2P traffic sharing prioritization that makes it rare. It provides forwarding support for more than 2048 ports and requires OpenVPN only.

The challenging part is to set up the port on this VPN, particularly for those who are looking for their first VPN.

Frequent Asked Questions

How to find the local IP address for your device?

First, you need to know the local IP address for your device to set up port forwards. The process is different for devices but straightforward.

How to use port forwarding safely?

You can follow these tips to use Port Forwarding Safely:
·       Setting a strong password with the latest security updates
·       Take required precautions for computer security
·       Ensure that the security firewall is on
·       Selecting a secure VPN service

VPN vs. Port Forwarding: which is safe and should be priorities?

The priority to choose VPN over Port Forwarding or vice versa depends on the situation. Further, in comparison to VPN, Port Forwarding has limited benefits which do not balance the two against each other. Port Forwarding cannot deal with the security risk that a premium VPN service ensures at almost all levels.
VPN does not require Port Forwarding to speed up your internet by shielding your activities of browsing from internet service providers. If you want to access remote servers and devices on the internet within the private local-area network (LAN) than prefer port forwarding . On the contrary, if your priority is security and speed then VPN is a good choice.
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