"opening a port" on a wireless router

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by Grinderswitch, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. Have a Linksys wireless rouuter. Son keeps telling me to "open a port" to
    improve download speed.
    Is this safe? Any links to how I can do it? Thanks.
    Grinderswitch, Apr 8, 2007
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  2. Grinderswitch

    Jon Guest

    declared for all the world to hear...
    Not really, its' like sitting on top of a stepladder in no-mans land,
    smoking endless cigars through an luminous balaclava.
    Your routers configuration pages.
    Jon, Apr 8, 2007
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  3. ah, right. sounds like not a good idea. presumably it means that with a
    'port open' the pc/network is open to unwelcome visitors?
    Grinderswitch, Apr 8, 2007
  4. Grinderswitch

    Alex Fraser Guest

    If the application the port is opened for is not vulnerable, yes.
    The details depend on the application and the router. See:

    Alex Fraser, Apr 8, 2007
  5. Grinderswitch

    Tx2 Guest

    Not really. You specify which port to open, and to which PC it is to be
    directed to. If you also have a software firewall in place (like Comodo)
    then you can specify a rule in that which will only allow the program
    you specify through to that port.

    In a nutshell.
    Tx2, Apr 8, 2007
  6. Grinderswitch

    stephen Guest

    if something works already, then opening a port is unlikely to improve the

    Once a connection is made it will ramp up to run at whatever speed at the
    lower of:
    the offered data rate.
    the speed it can get thru the set of bottlenecks between your PC and the
    other end of the connection, given the loss rate over that path.

    none of those things are likely to change whether a port is open or not.
    stephen, Apr 9, 2007
  7. Grinderswitch

    Alex Fraser Guest

    Probably (potentially) untrue with P2P applications, because allowing
    incoming connections (by opening a port) increases the potential number of
    clients with which a connection could be established to include those behind
    a NAT router and/or firewall that cannot accept incoming connections.

    Alex Fraser, Apr 9, 2007
  8. It's only safe if whatever is listening on the port in question is secure.

    Did he specify which port and why it would improve download speed? Is he
    running some P2P application?

    Regards, Ian
    Ian Northeast, Apr 9, 2007
  9. haven't a clue which port (or whatthat means!); he's running u-torrent (or
    mu-torrent, to give it its correct translation from the Greek)
    Grinderswitch, Apr 9, 2007
  10. Grinderswitch

    Jon Guest

    declared for all the world to hear...
    I use that program, and you can specify any port you like to open. I've
    found it makes little difference (if any) to download speeds.
    Jon, Apr 9, 2007
  11. Grinderswitch

    Conor Guest

    He's talking bollocks. Programs only open the ports they need and
    they'll run full chat. Opening additional ones makes no difference.
    Conor, Apr 9, 2007
  12. Ports have numbers. If he wants one opened, he'll have to tell you the
    number. The router's configuration panel will have an entry for it.

    But as Jon states that opening a port does not noticeably improve download
    speeds, I would not do so. Having the port open *may* be secure if the
    application behaves itself, but not having it open is much surer. Don't
    open ports unless you need to.

    Having a port open enables a remote machine to initiate a connection to
    you. If you don't have any open, you have to initiate all connections.
    This is safer.

    Regards, Ian
    Ian Northeast, Apr 9, 2007
  13. thanks everyone for your help. the port stays shut then!
    Grinderswitch, Apr 9, 2007
  14. Grinderswitch

    Dave J. Guest

    It's worthy of note, that if a peer to peer program has a vulnerability
    (the only route to a connection to it leading directly to someone taking
    control of your machine) then it's as likely to be vulnerable on outgoing
    connections as on incoming ones.

    If you're running that program, then you're already taking most of the
    risk as that program is already 'talking' on the net to other computers;
    hundreds of machines, which may or may not be running the same program.
    Most of the better protocols are fairly carefully implemented because of
    this risk.

    With most Peer to Peer filesharing networks, it'd be pretty much as easy
    for a potential attacker to persuade users to connect to *them* (something
    you're already doing) as it would be for the attacker to connect to *you*.

    'Opening a port' just means you're allowing other machines to initiate the
    connection, rather than allowing the program to do it. The connections are
    identical once started, regardless of who started them, if the application
    is vulnerable then you're as likely to be hackable already.

    Some P2P protocols 'value' their users, depending on whether they're
    willing to make life easier for the minority of users who *cannot* open
    ports, if you open one then they can still take part. The higher your
    'value' to the network, the higher priority you get when downloading
    stuff, and so the faster you get it.

    If you're still reading and would like to learn the language your son is
    speaking (like maybe a couple of steps deeper would be good..) then post
    back and I'll put some links up.

    The real risks with P2P have little to do with opening ports.

    Dave J.
    Dave J., Apr 12, 2007
  15. many thanks for the detailed help. yes, if you can post 1 or 2 'idiot's'
    links that would be really helpful. thanks again
    Grinderswitch, Apr 13, 2007
  16. Grinderswitch

    Alex Fraser Guest

    See the link I posted five days ago.

    Alex Fraser, Apr 14, 2007
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