Is Port Forwarding Safe?

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Port Forward Staff
July 18, 2017 (Last Updated: ) | Reading Time: 4 minutes

Setting up a port forward in your router sounds scary at first and a lot of people want to know if it's safe or not. You can safely forward ports by using a firewall, having a strong password on the device that you are forwarding ports to, and only forwarding ports for trustworthy applications.

How Safe is Port Forwarding?

The security risks for port forwarding depend on the type of device that you are forwarding ports to.

Is it Safe to Port Forward to a Gaming Console?

Gaming consoles are designed from the ground up to be connected directly to the Internet. There are virtually zero security exploits discovered in them, and when they are discovered they are closed almost immediately by system updates. There is no way to break into a gaming console and access your home network. Forwarding a port to a gaming console is totally risk-free.

YES! It's totally safe to forward a port to a gaming console.

Is it Safe to Port Forward to a DVR or Security Camera?

You should not be worried about forwarding a port to a security camera, DVR, or other consumer devices. Like gaming consoles, these devices are designed to be connected directly to the Internet. It is not possible to use a DVR or security camera to access your home network. When you connect your DVR or security camera to the Internet through a port forward the only thing that you are putting at risk is the data provided by that device. Worst case scenario is that people will be able to see your video feed. As long as you set up a password in the device then you are secure even with a port forward. Make sure that you change your password from the default password that comes with the device.

YES! It's totally safe to forward a port to a DVR or security camera, assuming the device is safe and trustworthy.

Is it Safe to Port Forward to a Computer?

This is where it starts to get a little risky and where all the rumors of danger come from. While it's true that it used to be dangerous to forward a port to a computer, almost all modern operating systems come with a very competent firewall out of the box. If you have Windows 10 or Windows 11 installed then you have a solid firewall in place and can safely forward a port to that computer, as long as you know exactly which application you are forwarding a port to and you trust that application completely.

With OS X you may have to enable the firewall. While OS X ships with a great firewall it is usually disabled by default. Once you enable the firewall in OS X you should be good to go.

Usually. If you have a modern operating system and your firewall is turned on, and you trust the application that you are forwarding a port to.

Some applications that it is safe to forward ports to include:

  • Torrent applications
  • Popular game servers, such as Minecraft
  • Well known chat servers like TeamSpeak
  • Common media servers such as Plex

Some applications that are riskier and you better know what you are doing are:

  • FTP servers
  • Email servers
  • Web servers
  • Software DVRs

Is Software for Forwarding a Port Safe?

We sell software on this site that is designed to set up port forwarding in your router. Our software is called PFConfig and it's a part of the Port Forward Network Utilities software package. As long as you download the software from this site then it is safe. Do not download our software from torrent sites or sites that offer "free downloads". These sites usually wrap other people's software in ads, malware, and other unwanted stuff.

You can safely download our software through this link, Network Utilities download instructions.

When in doubt you can always use the excellent online virus scanner called VirusTotal to scan software before you install it. We encourage you to scan all software before installing it, ours included.

YES! As long as you download it from us.

Is Legit?

Yes, we're in this business for the long run. If you have any doubt just look around the various forums out there that reference us. We have literally 1,000's of great link-ins. You don't get 1,000's of great links without having a good business ethic.

A lot of people are worried about using our software because they are afraid we are some kind of scam. That couldn't be further from the truth. We have gone to great lengths to make sure our software is virus, worm, and malware free. We have been in business for quite some time and want to remain in the port forwarding business long term. We also realize that the internet can be dangerous and there are a lot of scams out there. We are not one of them.

YES! We are in this business for the long run.

If you have paid for our software and are having trouble then you can get technical support from our Support Team. We have a very high success rate at getting ports forwarded for people.

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