Forget about speed or FUP, Nepal’s ISPs should allow port forwarding

Port forwarding in Nepal
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Most of us have subscribed to a home plan from a variety of ISPs. And it’s not unusual to register complaints about your internet’s speed to the customer service. But today, we’re talking about something completely different. Here, we are discussing port forwarding and Network Address Translation (or NAT) and their scenario in Nepal. 

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You might have experienced high ping and disconnections if you play online games. We aren’t sure about its cause in other countries, but one of the key reasons is the absence of port forwarding functionality by the internet service providers in Nepal. Other countries’ ISPs permit this functionality, whereas ISPs in Nepal don’t.

Port Forwarding Overview:

What is Port Forwarding?

Before moving forward, let’s understand what port forwarding actually is. It is a method of instructing the network to take a certain route or path. It will allow your network to route data packets on a single path, preventing your connection from roaming around elsewhere.

To put it another way, let’s say we’re going on a journey to Gosainkunda, and we haven’t hired a guide to help us get to our destination. Now, in the middle of the journey, if we keep flipping down the map to find our route, it would take longer. And, if we know our specific path, we can arrive at our destination in far less time.

This is precisely how port forwarding works. In this case, network packets or data follow a predefined path to reach their destination server or computer (final destination).

Where is port forwarding used?

The following aspects should give you a clear understanding of how port forwarding increases efficacy and enhances everyday internet performance.

Backups

There’s something needed to access backups from anywhere with an active internet connection—whether they’re files, servers, or hard drive copies. Port forwarding allows those with sufficient authentication to access even the most difficult-to-reach copies from anywhere.

Virtual desktops

Not all desktop runs in a local environment. Most business offices, banks, and big hospitals store computer desktops in cloud-based environments. Port forwarding allows users to access their virtual desktops from every device on-site.

CCTV and security

It is a router setup setting that requires correct configuration in order to access the security camera system from the internet. Unless you enable port forwarding, you cannot see a video recording from your phone or from a computer at another location. However, after it’s enabled, businesses or individuals can easily access their private security feeds from any location.

Game servers

Port forwarding is used for more than just business. Who says we can’t have any fun? Yes, you read it correctly. Gaming is one of the most popular applications for port forwarding. Therefore, port forwarding is useful for hosting private game servers.

How is it actually used in online games?

Before we get into how it works, you should be familiar with Network Address Translation (NAT). NAT usually distributes private IP addresses to multiple devices within your network so that they can share a single public IP address on the internet. With this, NAT can keep track of outgoing connections, such as a request for the Gadgetbyte website, and ensure that the response returning to your public IP address is routed to the correct computer within your network by keeping track of each connection and its port numbers.

User playing a console game

However, if someone from outside the network attempts to connect to your device, NAT won’t know which one it’s for and will drop the attempted connection. That means, if you and your opponent are playing an online game, both should connect to the game’s servers, which may be a long way away. But, with port forwarding, you can easily tackle it.

With this, anybody attempting to connect to your public IP address on port number X gets to a specific computer in the network. Then, your adversary will bind to your IP directly, bypassing the intermediate node. It’s worth noting that this might work if one side uses port forwarding and the other doesn’t.

The scenario of port forwarding in Nepal and other countries

This brings us to our key topic. There are a total of 65536 ports. However, certain ports can be reserved by ISPs in order to fight viruses and spam. On the contrary, port forwarding is totally blocked by Nepal’s major ISPs, including Worldlink. Other countries, such as India, do not share this view.

When we attempted to play the online game FIFA, we encountered this issue. We got in touch with the Worldlink team asking if there was any way we could do enable port forwarding, and the response was to upgrade our plan. As a result, one can experience disconnections, high ping, and, last but not least, the inability to play a match with mates.

Solutions

As previously said, the ISP’s remedy is to upgrade our plan. Or, the next best option is to get a VPN that supports port forwarding. We must emphasize that these are just immediate remedies. ISPs must have a permanent answer to it.