How To Fix Port Forwarding Not Working

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Check How To Fix Port Forwarding Not Working

If you have a router at home or work, you need to forward ports for outside traffic to enter your network. Think of your router as a massive electrical fence or wall with a few gates or openings. This electric fence or wall acts as a barrier and security blanket between you and the terrifying outside world of the Internet. Your router is configured with some of those doors (or ports) open to allow you to connect to the Internet, but the others are closed nicely. So, to host a mail server, game server, or remotely access your computer, you’ll need to open an extra door or two on your router to let in outside traffic.

Why is port forwarding not working?

Sometimes things might not work the way you expected, and you might be scratching your head to figure out why port forwarding isn’t working and how you can fix it. There are many reasons why port forwarding isn’t working in your environment, and you can’t pinpoint a specific reason and say that’s why it’s not working until you fix the problem. To fix the problem, you’ll need to take a step-by-step approach from source to destination.

Sometimes the problem can be on the source or destination side, it can also be on the configuration side, where you have not configured port forwarding correctly. but you never know until you start investigating and solving more problems. Based on my experience with port forwarding, there are a few possible scenarios where port forwarding may not work well. Let’s see some of them below. Hopefully by following this you should be able to figure out what’s going on and fix the problem.

Check the port forwarding settings.

If you’ve followed my guide on how you can set up port forwarding, I’m sure port forwarding will work, however, there are times when we humans make mistakes in setup, so before we dive into troubleshooting, first you need to make sure your setup looks perfect. Once you’ve made sure everything looks perfect in terms of setup, you should be ready to go ahead and continue troubleshooting.

Check the connectivity on the source side.

The first step is to verify that the source side has access to the Internet and can reach the destination. Initially when I used to work on issues with port forwarding, after doing all the troubleshooting I found that the source machine does not have internet access. So it’s best to start pinging external public IP addresses other than the one you’re trying to allow on your WAN side and make sure the user can access the internet.

For example, in our lab topology, we have enabled port forwarding on the WAN interface of the Firewall. It has the IP address, so instead of pinging the IP, we can try to ping the IP address of the DNS server on the Internet, such as or, from the machine. source. If it doesn’t work, you know that the internet connectivity is down and you need to troubleshoot the internet connectivity issue. If it is responding to the PING, then the problem could be something else. You can also ask the source user to check the firewall and see if the destination port is allowed on the source side. The port may have been blocked by the firewall.

Check the connectivity at the destination.

We mentioned the connectivity problem on the source side, and everything may be fine on the source side, the problem could also be on the destination. So just like we test internet access on the source side, you can also test it on the destination side. If the destination cannot access the Internet, there is no way for port forwarding to work well.

When you have a dual ISP setup, it is possible that the primary ISP where you set up port forwarding has gone down and users complain that port forwarding is not working. Basically, you can’t blame the users, because from their perspective they have access to the Internet (with a second ISP) and one of the services they used to use is no longer working. So check the status of your ISP and make sure it is online.

Make sure the services work locally.

When working with port forwarding, the first important step you need to take is whether or not the services work locally. If the services are not responding locally, you know that the problem could be with the local servers. You can check the following on local servers.

  • Check services are running or not?
  • Validate the port number. You may have changed the port number and you may not remember it. As we did in our previous setup, you can validate the port number using the telnet command. telnet if it is a web server access the web page locally.
  • Has the IP address on the local server changed?

The chances of the IP address being changed on the local server are very limited. However, it is better to validate that as well. You never know where the problem is when it comes to troubleshooting.

Check the WAN hit count of the firewall.

The WAN side of your firewall should receive the packet when someone outside tries to access the server configured for port forwarding. After making sure the services are running internally, you can now start looking at the WAN side of the firewall to see if you’re getting any results. That is, if the packet comes from the source to the destination, which is our WAN link. So you can go into the firewall logs and see if you are getting the traffic.

Final words: How To Fix Port Forwarding Not Working

I hope you understand this article, How To Fix Port Forwarding Not Working. If your answer is no, you can ask anything via the contact forum section related to this article. And if your answer is yes, please share this article with your friends and family to give us your support.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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