In the 21st century, having access to a fast internet connection is a prerequisite. People spend hundreds of dollars upgrading their plans and equipment to ensure that their internet speed is not lacking behind. However, despite their best efforts, many users are left scratching their heads as they try and figure out the reason behind their poor net speed. If this sounds like your issue and you are unable to ramp up your network connectivity, then it is time to change the NAT type on your PC.
How to Change NAT Type on PC
What is NAT?
While everyone enjoys surfing the net, only a few are aware of the hundreds of processes running in the background that make internet connection possible. One such process is NAT, which stands for Network Address Translation and is an important part of your internet setup. It translates the various private addresses of your network to a single public IP address. In simpler terms, the NAT operates through the modem and acts as a mediator between your private network and the internet.
Purposes of NAT
Acting as a mediator is not the only responsibility taken upon by NAT. Here are the purposes fulfilled by Network Address Translation (NAT):
- Prevent IP address overuse: Originally, each device had its own IP address, a set of digits that gave it a unique identity on the internet. But with the emerging number of online users, these addresses started running out. That’s where NAT comes in. NAT converts all the private addresses in a network system to a single public address ensuring that IP addresses are not exhausted.
- Protect your Private IP: By assigning new addresses to all devices within a system, NAT protects your private IP address. Additionally, the service also works as a firewall, screening the data that enters your local network.
Types on NAT
The speed of your internet connection could be affected by the strictness of the NAT type on your PC. While there are no official guidelines to distinguish between different types of NAT, there are three categories that are widely recognized.
1. Open NAT: As the name suggests, the open NAT type imposes no restrictions on the amount or the nature of data that is shared between your device and the internet. Applications, especially video games will run perfectly fine with this type of NAT.
2. Moderate NAT: Moderate NAT type is slightly more secure and is a little slower than the open type. With moderate NAT type, users also get firewall protection that restricts any suspicious data from entering your device.
3. Strict NAT: The probable cause behind your slow internet connection is the strict NAT type. Although extremely secure, strict NAT type restricts almost every packet of data being received by your device. Frequent lags on applications and video games can be attributed to the strict NAT type.
How to Change Network Address Translation (NAT) on Windows 10 PC
If you suffer from slow connectivity then it is probably time to change the NAT type of your PC. Chances are your modem supports a strict NAT type making it difficult for packets of data to reach your device. However, there are multiple methods you can try to change your NAT type on Windows PC:
Method 1: Turn on UPnP
UPnP or Universal Plug and Play is a set of protocols that help devices in a network connect with each other. The service also allows applications to automatically forward ports which essentially makes your gaming experience a lot better.
1. Open your browser and log in to your router’s configuration page. Based on the model of your device, the address for your router’s control panel will differ. More often than not, this address, along with the username and password, can be found at the bottom of your modem.
2. Once you have logged in, find the UPnP option and turn it on.
Note: Enabling UPnP puts your PC at risk and makes it vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Unless your network is extremely strict, turning on UPnP is not advisable.
Method 2: Turn on Network Discovery in Windows 10
Another way to change the NAT type on your PC is by enabling Network Discovery on your Windows device. This option makes your PC visible to other network computers and improves your internet speed. Here’s how you can turn on Network Discovery on Windows 10:
1. On your PC, click on the Start button and open the Settings
2. Click on ‘Network and Internet’ to open all the network-related settings.
3. On the next page, click on ‘Wi-Fi’ from the panel on the left.
4. Scroll down to the ‘Related Settings’ section and click on ‘Change advanced sharing options.’
5. Under the ‘Network discovery’ section, click on ‘Turn on network discovery’ and then enable ‘Turn on automatic setup of network connected devices.’
6. Your Network Address Translation should be changed, speeding up your internet connection.
Method 3: Use Port Forwarding
Port Forwarding is one of the best ways to change the NAT type on your PC without compromising the security of your device. Using this process, you can create exceptions for particular games and improve their overall performance.
1. Visit portforward.com and find the default ports for the game you want to run.
2. Now, following the steps mentioned in Method 1, head to your router’s configuration page.
3. Search for the ‘Port Forwarding.’ It should probably come under advanced settings or other equivalent menus, based on the model of your router.
4. On this page, enable ‘Post Forwarding’ and click on the option that lets you add specific ports.
5. Enter the default port number in the empty text fields click on Save.
6. Reboot your router and run the game again. Your NAT type should be changed.
Method 4: Use Configuration File
A slightly advanced yet effective way to change your Network Address Translation is to manipulate the configuration of your router. This method will permanently fix the issue while keeping the security of your device intact.
1. Once again, open the configuration panel of your router.
2. Find the option that will let you backup your router’s configuration and save the file to your PC. The router configuration will be saved as a notepad file.
3. Make sure you create two copies of the configuration file allowing you to have a backup in case something goes wrong.
4. Open the text file and hit Ctrl + F to find a particular text. Search for “last bind”.
5. Under “last bind”, type in the following code: “bind application=CONE(UDP) port=0000-0000”. Instead of “0000” enter the default port of your game. If you want to open more ports, you can use the same code and change the port value each time.
6. Once the edits have been made, save the configuration file.
7. Go back to the control panel of your router and click on the option to restore your configuration file.
8. Browse through your PC and select the file you just saved. Load it on your router’s configuration page and restore the settings.
9. Reboot your router and PC and your NAT type should have been changed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. How do I get rid of the strict NAT type?
There are several ways through which you get rid of strict NAT type on your PC. Go to your router’s configuration page and find ‘Port Forwarding’ settings. Here enable port forwarding and click on add to save new ports. Now enter the ports of the game you want to play and save the settings. Your NAT type should be changed.
Q2. Why is my NAT type strict?
NAT stands for Network address translation and assigns a new public address to your private devices. By default, most routers have a strict NAT type. This results in high security and prevents any suspicious data from entering your device. While there is no official way to confirm your NAT type, the performance of internet games is enough to help you figure out if your NAT type is strict or open.
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Slow and lagging games can be really frustrating and ruin your entire online experience. However, with the steps mentioned above, you should be able to tackle the issue and improve your network connectivity.
We hope this guide was helpful and you were able to change the NAT type on your PC. If you have any queries, jot them down in the comments section below and we will help you out.