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Torrents and Port Forwarding Guide

Well, I found this guide on a forum, felt like sharing it with you all. So here is a really useful guide for port forwarding and setting up utorrent. So here it is:

--------copied from the guide (original author not known)-------


In the TCP/IP world, computers recognize each other by means of the IP address. This is true in case of internet (public network) or intranet (private network). But to actually pass signals from one computer to another, ports come into picture. This is not much different that real life ports (seaports or airports).

In a computer there are 65536 ports in total. These are from 0 to 65535. Some of the ports are reserved for special purposes (Port 0 to Port 1023), e.g.,

Port 20 = FTP

Port 23 = Telnet

Port 80 = Web server pages (http)

Some games use specific ports. For example, the game Battlefield Vietnam uses the port 14567.

Port Security

On real life ports, there are guards (immigration and customs) who protect what comes in or goes out to/from the country. Similarly in case of computers, ports are protected by some hardware or software – these are called firewalls. When we connect to the internet, the firewall protects our computers from external attacks:



DMZ stands for De-Militarized Zone. The term comes from the geographic buffer zone that was set up between North Korea and South Korea following the UN "police action" in the early 1950s. It is also known as the 38th parallel.

In computer networks, a DMZ (demilitarized zone) is a computer host or small network inserted as a "neutral zone" between a company's private network and the outside public network. It prevents outside users from getting direct access to a server that has company data. A DMZ is an optional and more secure approach to a firewall and effectively acts as a proxy server as well.

Users of the public network outside the company can access only the DMZ host. The DMZ may typically also have the company's Web pages so these could be served to the outside world. However, the DMZ provides access to no other company data. In the event that an outside user penetrated the DMZ host's security, the Web pages might be corrupted but no other company information would be exposed.

The following diagram explains a typical DMZ.


How torrents work

In a typical web service, our PCs are clients whereas the URL that we type is a server. We request something from a server such as a web page, information or a complete file. Sometimes we also send information to the server to be processed. This is a typical client-server environment. Torrent downloads are completely different. When we are downloading from torrents, this is not a typical client-server environment. There is no central server that is attending and serving the download requests.

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In a torrent (or peer-to-peer) network, all connected computers share files. Some computers are uploading (seeding) while others are downloading (leeching). A file is made up of many blocks and the file is downloaded or uploaded, block by block. When someone starts a fresh download, that client starts with zero. It finds other computers in the P2P network that have the file to share (seeds). The download (leeching) starts block by block. When the download completes, the same computer is now ready to share. Now the leech becomes the seed.

Some points to be noted:

–        A file may be seeded by 10 peers. When someone is downloading, the file blocks are downloaded from any seed and not necessarily from the same peer.

–        A leech becomes a 100% seed at the end of the file download. However, as soon as you have some blocks downloaded, you are ready to seed (share) them

–        So even while downloading (leeching), uploading (seeding) is also going on

Why port forward?

As explained above, a firewall protects our computers from the outside world. The firewall allows only such traffic that is a request or reply to a request that is originated from the computer inside the private network. Even then, if the firewall feels that such requests/replies are a potential threat to the security, they are denied.

In a P2P network, your computer must be able to communicate directly with other computers. For this direct communication to be as fast as possible, ports must be opened. Torrent downloads and Online gaming is via P2P networks. Many online games have dedicated ports. Torrent clients allow ports to be selected.

Which ports to use for Torrent Clients?

The port numbers are divided into three ranges: the Well Known Ports, the Registered Ports, and the Dynamic and/or Private Ports.

The Well Known Ports are those from 0 through 1023. Well Known ports SHOULD NEVER be used.

The Registered Ports are those from 1024 through 49151. Many applications and games use the ports in this range. The application an port number should be registered with Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). The IANA is responsible for the global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources. DCCP Registered ports SHOULD NOT be used without IANA registration.

The Dynamic and/or Private Ports are those from 49152 through 65535. These are available. So use any port from 49152 to 65535. These are still quite a large number. After all you need only one.

Where is port forwarding done?

Port forwarding is always done on the router. If the router is configured as a bridge, then there is no need to port forward as all ports are forwarded by default.

How to port forward?

This is extensively covered by the excellent site –

What information is required for port forwarding?

You basically require the following information:

a)     Private IP Address

b)     Port Numbers (to forward).

Sometimes, other information such as Application name is also required.


On the top is a (home) network with a single router.

When this router connects to the internet, it gets a public or external IP address, e.g. This router also has an internal IP address The Network Address Translation (NAT) service inside the router translates the external address to the internal address and vice versa.

This router may have one or more networked devices attached to it via USB or Ethernet. There networked devices could be computers, printers, scanners, etc. or just about anything that can be networked.

Each networked device will get a private or internal IP address. This internal IP address is assigned by the DHCP server inside the router. All these networked devices will have the same default gateway, viz., the router. Hence the default gateway address is

Now consider the picture on the right. It is a picture of a (home) network with two routers. The second router could be a wireless router also.

In this scenario there is one more NAT layer as defined by the second router. Thus there are two private networks in this case.

In the first case (LHS picture), the IP address to be used in port forwarding is the private IP address of the computer, viz.,

Implications: Port forwarding in available on only. If there are more computers in the network, these will also need to be configured separately, if port forwarding is needed on those.

In the second case (RHS picture), the PC is the second private network. Here port forwarding become tricky and depends upon which router is configured in PPPoE mode.

Assume that the first router (internal IP address = is configured in PPPoE mode, while the second router (internal IP address = is configured in bridge mode. In this case port forwarding is to be done on the first router (because in bridge mode all ports are forwarded automatically). Since the port forwarding in to be configured on the first router, the IP address to be used is external IP address of the second router, viz.,

Implications: Port forwarding in done on all computers in the second private network.

Now assume that the first router (internal IP address = is configured in bridge mode, while the second router (internal IP address = is configured in PPPoE mode. In this case port forwarding is to be done on the second router. Since the port forwarding in to be configured on the second router, the IP address to be used is internal IP address of the PC, viz.,

Implications: Port forwarding in available on only. If there are more computers in the network, these will also need to be configured separately, if port forwarding is needed on those.

Note to readers:

For any clarifications or help, please visit :

  • India Broadband Forum
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Mrinal Saha from Jaipur,India on July 19, 2013:

thanks for the post , I read the post,, but can you please explain me port forwarding using simple example,, sorry I am noob at port forwarding and didn't get what actually is port forwarding..


Alamgir Talukdar on October 04, 2011:

Good documents...very informatics.

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