The IoTs
January 25, 2019
Opening Network Address Translation to Port Forward Your PC
How to Set Up Port Forwarding on Your PC
January 31, 2019

How to Set Up Port Forwarding on Your Mac
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How to Set Up Port Forwarding on Your Mac

By: Hannah Fillmore-Patrick

o you experience lags when you play games on your Mac? Do you often get dropped from multiplayer games or prevented from joining lobbies? If so,
your router’s Network Address Translation (NAT) might be interfering with your
gameplay.

NAT is a default router option that hides your secure, private IP address behind an unrelated, public IP address. While NAT makes your private network more secure, it can affect online gaming by slowing down the internet connection and preventing you from connecting easily with other player’s networks.

Luckily, you can solve these issues with port forwarding. Port forwarding opens NAT protocols for your game, so that you can:
Stop getting dropped from games
Prevent lagging
Voice chat with all players (in higher sound quality)
Host your own multiplayer games
Take part in multiplayer games
To set up port forwarding for your Mac, you need to (a) determine your NAT type, (b) get a static IP address for your Mac, (c) determine your game’s
port number and type, and (d) change your router’s NAT type.

Determine your NAT type

To see if your NAT settings are affecting your gaming, first determine your NAT type. Most systems have three NAT types: strict, moderate, and open. Each type provides a different level of network security and affects gaming in a different way.

  • A strict NAT provides maximum anonymity and network security. It limits connectivity with other players, particularly those who also have a strict or moderate NAT on their network.
  • A moderate NAT provides some anonymity and network security. It lets you connect to other players, but limits some functions. You may not be able to join lobbies if you have a moderate NAT.
  • An open NAT doesn’t provide any anonymity or additional network security. With an open NAT, you will be able to connect to any game hosted by anyone and host your own game.
To determine your Mac’s NAT type, we suggest exploring your NAT settings on your router’s setup page:

  1. Access the setup page by entering your router’s IP address into your browser’s address bar. Most routers have the default LAN IP address
    192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1, but here’s a full list of default IP addresses.
  2. Login to access the setup page. The default password is usually “admin,” but here’s a full list of default router passwords.

Give Your Mac a Static IP Address

For port forwarding to stick, your Mac needs a static IP address. A static address ensures that the networking changes you make are permanent, even when you restart your computer. To set a static IP address for your Mac:
1. Open “System Preferences” and select “Network.”

2. Choose your internet connection from the sidebar. If you’re connected to a wireless network, select Wi-Fi. If you’re connect to Ethernet, select Ethernet.

3. Note your current IP address. You’ll use the current address to generate a new address.

4. Click “Advanced.”

5. Select “TCP/IP.” From the “Configure IPv4” menu, select “Manually.”

6. Enter a static IP address in the IPv4 Address field. Enter any unused address that’s outside the DHCP range of your current address. Do this by changing the last number in your address, but keeping the rest of the address identical to your current one. So, for example, if your current IP address is 192.168.1.143 and you have a DHCP of 50, you might choose the static address 192.168.1.3. See this video for more instructions.

7. Click “OK” and, then, “Apply.”

Determining your Game’s Port Number and Type

To change your NAT type from “strict” or “moderate” to “open,” you need to input the port number and type of your game. To find the port number, navigate to your game’s network settings and look for the number listed under “Inbound port.”

How to Change your Router’s NAT type

To change your NAT type from “secure” or “moderate” to “open” with port forwarding, return to your router’s setup page. Make sure you’ve given your Mac a static IP address first.

1. On your router’s setup page, navigate to “port forwarding.” Every router manufacturer arranges the setup page in a slightly different way.
Here’s how to find the port-forwarding panel on a Linksys router.

2. When you make it to the panel, a list of ports should pop up. Enable a new port and give it a name in the “Description” box.

3 Enter the inbound port number of your game and the type of port. See “Determine your port number and type” above.

4. Under “Private port” enter the same number you entered under “Inbound port” i.e. the one indicated in your game’s network settings.

5. Save your settings.

6. Unplug your console for 30 seconds. Then, reboot it. To make sure you successfully set your NAT type to open, return to your router’s setup page.

For manufacturer- and model-specific information about switching between “strict,” “moderate,” and “open” ports, we suggest visiting your router manufacturer’s official website.

Multiple Gaming Consoles: Port Triggering

Do you use other consoles, besides your Mac, to game? If your network supports both a Mac and a PC, a Playstation 4, an Xbox One, or a Nintendo Switch, port forwarding isn’t necessarily your best way to open your NAT.

If you have multiple gaming consoles on the same server, you’ll want to set up port triggering instead of port forwarding. You can set up port triggering by navigating to “port triggering” instead of “port forwarding” from the main menu of your router’s setup page.

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