What is Network Address Translation (NAT)?
Network Address Translation (NAT) is a networking technology used to allow multiple devices on a private network to share a single public IP address. NAT works by modifying the source and/or destination IP addresses of data packets as they are transmitted across a network. You can have one public IP address to communicate with the internet and multiple private IP addresses assigned for different devices on your network. This way, one IP address can cover the entire network.
NAT converts public IP addresses into private, and private into public. However, if we want data to reach the right recipient, in computer networking we use ports. Each port corresponds to a different application. When data packets arrive to your device, your operating system discovers a port number and thus knows the final destination. It doesn’t mean that you have to assign ports for every application all the time, as the UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) protocol can do that automatically.
There are three NAT types designed for gaming consoles:
- Open (Type 1)
- Moderate (Type 2)
- Strict (Type 3)
NAT Type 1 (Open)
With NAT Type 1, your PS4 is directly connected to the internet (no NAT is configured on your router). However, your connection might be insecure, as there is no firewall to protect it. This type is known for low gaming latency. You can also chat with other people and host multiple PS4 games, but any hacker could get into your local area network without much effort. If you play a lot of PUBG Lite, Fortnite, or Overwatch, having a lower latency is paramount for keeping on top of your performance.
While NAT Type 1 gives you the most flexibility, the drawbacks shouldn’t be ignored, as you can end up having your whole network infected. If the infection reaches your gaming device and you can’t remove it manually, follow our guide on how to factory reset a PS4 to get your console back into shape.
NAT Type 2 (Moderate)
NAT Type 2 is the most commonly used type in PS4. It works by connecting your PS4 to the internet through a router. Type 2 can forward packets and use predefined ports, making it a more secure option than Type 1.
Your gaming console will be able to support multiplayer games and chats, but you probably won’t be able to act as a host in games. Anyhow, it’s a good option for those looking for a positive gaming experience combined with enhanced security. If you’re looking to play Minecraft safely and peacefully, this is the port you will probably be using most.
NAT Type 3 (Strict)
With a strict NAT type, you will have limited connectivity with other players. You will be able to play multiplayer games and chat only with users who have Type 1. NAT Type 3 enables additional firewall settings, providing the most secure connection. However, you won’t be able to enjoy gaming as much as the people with Types 1 or 2. Your connectivity will be poor, and you can even be kicked from game lobbies.
NAT Type 3 also means that your PlayStation works behind a router and doesn’t have network ports forwarded to it.
How to port forward PS4
The steps you need to take to enable port forwarding on your PS4 might slightly vary depending on the brand of your router. However, the basic principle is the same.
Let’s start with your PS4:
- Go to Settings.
- Select Network > View Connection Status.
- Note your IP and MAC addresses of your PS4. You will need them later.
Now you can open ports on your router for PS4:
- Log in to your router. Here’s a tutorial on how to find router’s IP address.
- Manually assign a static IP address to your router using the data you have noted from your PS4.
- Find port forwarding rules.
- Add rules for TCP 80, 443, 3478, 3479, 3480 and UDP 3478, 3479.
- Reboot your router for changes to take place.
Does port forwarding work with a VPN?
Yes, port forwarding can work with a VPN, but the specific configuration will depend on the type of VPN and the VPN provider. NordVPN doesn’t support it. We care about our users and don’t encourage them to browse online with open ports. The security risks are too high, and we don’t want you to end up with malware. That’s why with our Meshnet feature you don’t need to worry about open ports anymore and can securely connect your devices for a safer multiplayer gaming experience.
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