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What is port forwarding ?

Port forwarding is the procedure that your firewall or router uses to sort the right type of network data to the right port. Computers and routers use ports as a way to systematize network data. Different types of data, such as file download, web sites, and online games, have their own port number assignment. With the use of port forwarding, the firewall or router sends the right data to the correct place.

A firewall prevents your computer from receiving unauthorized information. If a firewall blocked all the outgoing as well as incoming data, the computer would not be able to access the internet. You can use port forwarding if you want a certain data to come in your computer and set the location where you want it to be directed. Port forwarding provides the firewall information about the types of data allowed and the location set for each of them.

Internet information is associated with a port. Web pages, for example, are normally assigned to port 80. File transfer protocol (FTP), mostly for uploading and downloading files, normally uses port 23. Online games may use several port numbers, but commonly choose numbers in the thousands.

If you have several computers on your network, chances are that they don’t need all the data in the network. Port forwarding enables you to send the applicable data to the computer that will use it. If you have a web site hosted by web server, ant the second hosts a computer game, port forwarding will make sure that each computer get just the needed data, without being interfered by the data intended for the other computer.

In these circumstances, you would use port forwarding to direct your router as to which data belongs to the computer. Port forwarding also protects your computer where people outside your network can only get access to the firewall or router and the forwarding controls will filter all the data before reaching your computer.

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