Universal Plug and Play: the Key to Getting an Open NAT Type for Your Gaming Device
Playing games online on PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo game consoles? Do they require UPnP or an open NAT type? No worries, we’ve got the solution!
When it comes to being able to connect to the Internet on your gaming console, things are not so simple as you’d think. If you’re a student, you know this much too well – usually campus WiFi networks don’t allow connections from game consoles.
Sometimes it’s the router or other networking equipment you’re using that’s causing the issue. Your gaming device will require you to turn on Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) on your gateway / router. It basically resumes down to network address translation (NAT) settings.
Read below to see how to enable UPnP on mobile hotspot and be connected on your PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo or other game console using a simple app.
What is Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)?
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is a set of networking protocols that allows all devices in a network to automatically discover each other and work together for data sharing, communication and entertainment.
Take the simplest example: you have a Google Chromecast device connected to your home network. Whenever you connect a smartphone to the same network and go to YouTube, you will have the option to cast it on your Chromecast. This happens without you giving specific permissions or setting things up between your smartphone and the streaming media player. This is UPnP!
Having a UPnP network environment – or making sure UPnP is enabled on your mobile network or hotspot – means that the NAT type level will not be strict. If it’s strict, your gaming device will be limited in connectivity – see below more about NAT types.
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What is NAT? How Does It Affect My Game Console Connectivity?
Network Address Translation (NAT) is a method used by routers to translate a public IP address (used on the Internet) into a private IP address (used on your home network) and vice versa. This is done for multiple purposes:
- to add security to the network by keeping the private IP addresses hidden from the Internet.
- to allow multiple devices to share a single IP address
In the world of gaming consoles, there are three NAT types that classify the connectivity they have to other players over the Internet:
- Open NAT (Type 1) – all is permitted – your gaming device can connect to anyone’s games and host games. Plus – other users will be able to find and connect to the games you are hosting. This is usually the case when your console is connected directly to the Internet with no router or firewall.
- Moderate NAT (Type 2) – your gaming console will be able to connect to other players, but some functions will be limited. When connecting to the Internet through a router that is configured properly, you’ll get this NAT type.
- Strict NAT (Type 3) – your gaming device has limited connectivity with other players. Other players on a moderate or strict NAT will not be able to join your hosted games. This is the case when the router doesn’t have any open ports.
So, you’ll have the best gaming experience if you’re on an open NAT or at least a moderate NAT.
How to Enable UPnP on Mobile Hotspot with Connectify
For the purpose of this article, we’ll assume that you’re connected through a router or firewall to the Internet, whether at home or through some public network.
Connectify Hotspot is the most popular software app for Windows PCs that allows you to turn your computer into a virtual router and share your Internet connection with other devices, such as gaming devices. You just have to connect the computer you have Connectify Hotspot installed to your network via WiFi or wired Ethernet, and create a WiFi hotspot. Then, connect your gaming devices to the WiFi network created with Connectify Hotspot, which will automatically create a UPnP networking environment. So, even if you are able to do that, you’re not required to access your router interface and enable UPnP, add the gaming console to DMZ, etc. Just use Connectify Hotspot!
Below is a video that illustrates how to set up a WiFi hotspot with Connectify:
Here’s how Connectify Hotspot helps you with enabled UPnP on mobile hotspot:
- it will forward to TCP and UDP ports necessary for online play on game consoles
- they will automatically get NAT Type 2 (Moderate), which allows you to enjoy your gaming experience without any issues.
Still not working after taking the steps above? Read below!
How to Enable UPnP on Public Mobile Hotspots: Use Speedify Fast Bonding VPN with Connectify Hotspot
If you connect to the Internet on a public mobile hotspot (campus WiFi, office networks, etc.), UPnP is in most cases disabled and there are a lot of restricted ports as for a strict NAT type 3. In this case, in order to get a moderate NAT type 2 and be able to use your gaming console freely on the Internet, you’ll have to bypass the port restrictions on these networks.
The simplest way to do this is by using a fast bonding VPN such as Speedify. A VPN makes it impossible for the Internet service provider to see what your traffic is about and impose port restrictions. All VPN traffic goes through predefined ports that are open.
So, getting back to fixing NAT type restrictions, if you’re on a strict NAT type 3 network, here are the steps you should take:
- Download and install Connectify Hotspot and Speedify on your Windows laptop or PC
- Open Speedify and connect to a server (usually the closest will be best). If you have multiple Internet connections from different networks, you can combine and use them at the same time with Speedify to create a super-connection with increased bandwidth and lower lag.
- Run Connectify Hotspot. Under WiFi Hotspot mode, give your hotspot a custom name and password, and select the “Speedify Virtual Adapter” from the Internet to Share drop-down menu. Then click “Start Hotspot”.
- Connect your game console to the hotspot you configured using Connectify. All the traffic going through this WiFi hotspot will be NAT type 2 (Moderate).
Now that you’re all set – forget about NAT type issues and enjoy your online gaming with Connectify Hotspot! And Speedify, if that’s the case.
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