How to use port forwarding with your Telos Alliance devices
Although port forwarding is not a concept invented by Telos Alliance, it is something that may need to be done in order to properly utilize some of our equipment, including the Z/IP ONE, iPort, and Infinity Link.
What is port forwarding?
Port forwarding is a function in your NAT (in most cases, this is a part of your router) that redirects network data from an outside IP address and port to an IP address on your local network.
There are a lot of bots and otherwise harmful traffic on the internet. A main function of the NAT in your router is to keep your network protected from these devices. Port forwarding allows you to give access to only devices that you need to be able to pass network traffic to your internal network, while blocking everything else.
When you set up port forwarding, the far end (what you are receiving data from) will need to send data to you at your public IP address and a port number. The syntax for this is publicIPaddress:port. For example, if your public IP address was 18.104.22.168, and you want to open up port 22000, then the syntax would be 22.214.171.124:22000.
If you still aren't sure, let's take a small step back. Think of a public IP address like the street address for an apartment complex. If you want to send a piece of mail to someone at that complex, you will need to know more than the street address of the building--you’ll also need an apartment number. That’s essentially what a port is. So when the far end configures their equipment as publicIPaddress:port (for ex: 126.96.36.199:22000), 188.8.131.52 is like the street address for every device at that location. Port 22000 tells the router where to deliver the mail...um...network traffic for your Telos device.
In other words, the public IP address is like the street address of the apartment complex, a router is like a mailroom, and a port number is like an apartment number, telling the router (mailroom) where to send the data (remember magazine subscriptions?).
How do you set up port forwarding?
In most cases, port forwarding is configured in your router. It is worth mentioning that not every router is the same. Sometimes the port forwarding settings could be called something different, like "port mapping", or even "gaming". If you cannot find port forwarding in your router, take a look at your router's documentation.
Let's say that the device on your network (maybe a Z/IP ONE, or Infinity Link) needs to receive audio from a device outside of your network. First, determine what port you would like to use. In most cases this up to you. We typically recommend something 20000 or higher, as they are non-standard. Next, you need to log into your router, and find the Port Forwarding configuration.
Here's an example:
What this is really saying is "any traffic coming in from the internet on TCP or UDP port 22000 shall henceforth be rerouted to the local device found at 192.168.0.190".
And that's it!
The only thing left to do is to tell the far end what port you choose, and what your public IP address is. So if your public IP address is 184.108.40.206, then the far end would need to configure their device to send audio to 220.127.116.11:22000. Your router will see the port 22000, and reroute that to the local device (192.168.0.190 in our example).
Let us know how we can help
If you have further questions on this topic or have ideas about how we can improve this document, please contact us.