- VPNs can help you protect your network and online identity in a wide variety of ways, but it can also impose certain restrictions. For your own sake, of course.
- If you need to forward ports on your network while using a VPN, few are the services that offer this kind of feature to their customers.
- Check out the best VPNs for Windows PCs that can keep your online identity secure.
- Visit our VPN Hub to learn more about the benefits of using a VPN whenever you go online.
VPNs are largely useful when it comes to securing your digital presence, regarding both security and privacy. However, these VPNs are also becoming less and less comfortable for whoever wants them out of the picture.
As a result, some ISPs got more creative so as to block VPN access in more effective ways, and the major players in the VPN industry retaliated.
Take torrenting, for instance. This type of activity, along with P2P file sharing, is somewhat frowned upon, even when the context is right. That’s definitely one of the reasons torrenting (even legally) is heavily regulated by ISPs, and often times even throttled or blocked.
As a response to this situation, VPNs started to implement port forwarding capabilities within their services. If you need a VPN with open ports, make sure you don’t miss this article. We’ll try to keep it short and informative.
Why would you need a VPN with open ports?
Open ports are quite an invitation even for low-level hackers. Just to paint a pretty picture, know that your Windows PC has a total of 65,535 TCP ports and the same number of UDP ports. Long story short, there’s a lot of them.
Naturally, you’d want these ports to be closed, as many of them as possible. However, running a tight ship might also mean that certain services will be affected, so you’ll need to reach a compromise.
Using a VPN that allows port forwarding seems to be the safest way to go about that. Here are the top reasons you may need to open ports:
- Optimizing P2P downloads and uploads
- Access personal devices such as your PC or router from anywhere
- Host game servers that your friends can connect to
As you can see, there’s plenty enough reason for you to need a port-forwarding capable VPN in your daily routine.
How to open ports on VPN
Opening ports on your VPN, also referred to as port forwarding, may sound pompous but it’s not really hard to achieve. We’ll show you how to enable port forwarding on Private Internet Access.
- Get a PIA subscription
- Download and install PIA on your Windows PC
- Launch the PIA VPN client, but don’t connect to any server yet
- Click the More button (it looks like three dots stacked vertically)
- Access the Settings window
- Head over to the Network category
- Make sure to enable Request Port Forwarding
- Close the Settings window
- Connect to the server of your choice
Note that enabling the port forwarding feature might make some servers unavailable. PIA, for instance, has port forwarding compatible with most of its non-US servers.
As a side-note, servers that don’t support port forwarding will be greyed-out, and thus not accessible to you.
What are the best VPNs with open ports?
1. Private Internet Access
PIA, short for Private Internet Access, is a great VPN service offered by Kape Technologies. It lets you use port forwarding, but also provides you with a huge variety of security/privacy features and helps you circumvent geoblocking.
Private Internet Access
Need a VPN that supports port forwarding? Why not give Private Internet Access a try?
It has approximately 12,000 servers in 96 locations in 75 countries. Additionally, note that PIA uses bare-metal servers, all of which support the popular WireGuard protocol.
Here’s a list of PIA’s main features:
- Helps you encrypt traffic on public Wi-Fi networks
- Supports P2P and torrenting activities
- Comes with OpenVPN, WireGuard, PPTP, and L2TP/IPsec support
- Lets you connect up to 10 devices on the same account
- Has embedded protection against ads, malware, and trackers (PIA MACE)
- Internet killswitch
- Zero-logging policy
- Comes with several VPN gateways
- Includes SOCKS5 proxy
PureVPN is a VPN service owned by GZ Systems Ltd, a Hong Kong-based company that was founded in 2007. This VPN lets you open ports that are normally not available on your Windows computer or router, a feature that can conveniently be used in other places, as well.
Looking for a VPN with port forwarding capabilities? PureVPN might be just what you need.
Additionally, you can choose from various categories of servers to connect to, including Internet Freedom, Stream, File Sharing, Dedicated IP, and Security/Privacy.
To enable the Port Forwarding feature on PureVPN, just head to its Preferences section, navigate to the Port Forwarding category, and flick the switch to the On position.
PureVPN’s main features include:
- Internet killswitch to protect you against accidental VPN disconnections
- Multi-port (lets you connect through another port)
- Network type selector (automatic, non-NAT, NAT)
- Built-in ping test
- IPv6 leak protection
- Proprietary PureVPN DNS servers
- More than 2,000 servers in over 180 locations across more than 140 countries
- No-logging policy
PrivateVPN is yet another VPN service that supports port forwarding. However, configuring this service seems to be a tad simpler, as the port forwarding feature is enabled by default.
In order to benefit from this VPN‘s open ports feature, just click the Advanced button to expand the app, then look after the Port forwarding section in the Dashboard category.
Write down that port, and you can use it to clear the way on your connection, whether you’re using it for gaming purposes, or want to optimize your torrenting download/upload speed values.
PrivateVPN’s main features:
- Strong encryption protocols that can keep you secure and anonymous
- Zero-logging policies to ensure even greater privacy
- Bypass geoblocking without restrictions
- OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, IKEv2 protocols supported
- Servers in 60 countries
Final thoughts on VPNs with open ports
To wrap it up, whether you need a VPN with open ports for gaming, torrenting, or accessing devices back home remotely, some services offer port forwarding, and it’s quite easy to set up, as well.
Although port forwarding is a quite popular operation among gamers, please note that opening ports on your devices might subject you to a broad variety of risks. Naturally, using a VPN hile forwarding ports will significantly reduce these risks.