NAT Types: How To Change NAT Type
Gaming can be either fun or annoying, depending on the online limitations you have. Whether you are playing through a PlayStation, PC, or Xbox, you should understand various connection nightmares and how to manage them. This way, you will take your gaming experience to the next level.
Weighing on NAT types is one of the major nightmares online gamers face, with most gamers finding the issues revolving around it complex to solve. Read on as we take you through the NAT types on the different gaming consoles to give you an in-depth understanding of each and what it means to have them.
What is a NAT?
As a gamer using the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 5, you have come across discussions on NAT types while trying to fix some gaming problems. Therefore, understanding a NAT is crucial to figuring out how they work.
Generally, Network Address Translation (NAT) is the process through which a network device such as a router assigns a public address to a PC in a private network. The technology dates back when Internet Service Providers (ISPs) restricted their customers to one IP address. This resulted in the invention of routers that would take the external IP address from the ISP and translate it into a bunch of internal IPs for different users so that they could communicate with other devices on the internal network (that is, behind the router).
Therefore, for a better user experience and increased security, it is advisable to change the IP addresses into network packets when in transit through a router or any other device. This process comprises a series of complex issues resulting from the limitations set by different manufacturers. Hence, as a user, you will need to sort them yourself with some simple steps.
NAT is useful for most internet connections, but it also breaks the internet, especially during gaming. For this reason, gamers prefer some consoles over others, with Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation being top on the list. However, it is worth noting that these consoles also suffer with closed NATs.
What Are the Different Nat Types Available?
There are three major NAT types: Static NAT, Dynamic NAT, and Port Address Translation (PAT). These NAT types are useful in protecting you in the following ways:
- A NAT will hide the IP addresses of the devices in your network by giving them one address.
- A NAT requires incoming data to be asked by a device and will therefore reject malicious data.
- They also feature firewalls to block unauthorized traffic.
- Static NAT:
The static NAT is useful in web hosting. This NAT type offers permanent mapping between a single private IP address and a public IP address. For instance, if you have a web server with IP address 192.168.0.10 and you want to make it remotely accessible when a host requests at 22.214.171.124, you will need to do a static NAT mapping between the two IPs.
- Dynamic NAT:
A dynamic NAT is ideal if you have a pool of public IP addresses that you dynamically want to assign to your internal hosts. To use this NAT type effectively, you should be aware of the number of users who want to access the internet at a given point. During configuration, you should know the IP addresses of your PC, router, and server. Start by configuring the access list, then the NAT pool from which you will select a public IP. Thereafter, enable the dynamic NAT and conclude by configuring the router interfaces as inside or outside.
- Port Address Translation (PAT):
Port Address Translation, also called PAT, is the most commonly used NAT type as it is cost-effective and allows thousands of connections to use a single real global IP address. To distinguish the traffic in a PAT, we use port numbers. When configuring this NAT Type, you should know the IP addresses of your PC, router, and server. Start off with the access-list configuration, then configure the NAT pool from which you will select the public IP and enable the PAT NAT overload.
What NAT Types Can You Use On PlayStation?
According to Sony, there are three NAT types you can use with your PlayStation. These NAT types rank from 1 to 3. According to Sony, NAT Type 1 is the best while NAT Type 3 is the worst.
- In NAT type 1, the system connects directly to the internet,
- In NAT types 2 and 3, the system connects to the internet through the router. However, this does not imply that NAT Type 2 and NAT Type 3 are the same.
NAT Type 1
NAT Type 1 is an open NAT and allows all devices connected to the network to send and receive data. The data in this NAT is unrestricted, and no firewalls are blocking incoming connections. Also, while using this NAT type, there are lower chances of disconnection than with types 2 or 3. The absence of firewalls allows gamers to connect with all kinds of players. While this freedom means a better gaming experience, it poses a huge security threat to your network. Hackers can easily access your network, given the open ports. Thus, while NAT Type 1 is mainly recommended for PlayStation, it is not the best alternative, and users settle for NAT Type 2. If you want to get your NAT Type 1 behind a router, you need to put your router in bridged mode. While this may work, your PlayStation will be the only device running well in your network. Your other devices will not connect to the network. For this reason, it is not advisable to bridge your router.
How Do NAT Type 2 and NAT Type 3 Compare?
NAT Type 2
NAT Type 2 is recommended for PlayStations when gaming online. In NAT Type 2, the system connects through a router that performs the NAT functions. The router in this NAT Type is aware of your system and will forward the incoming packets to the PlayStation’s predefined ports. The PlayStation system can also receive connection requests from other players in the system, and you will be able to chat with and play multiplayer games with these gamers. With a NAT Type 2, you can also host multiplayer lobbies without any chat or video limitations. Thus, if you have a NAT 2, you do not need to change your router during gaming.
NAT Type 3
On the other hand, NAT Type 3 is an enemy for PlayStation users as other players cannot connect to your network, nor can you connect to theirs. In this NAT type, the system connects through a router, and you will likely have problems with the connection and voice chat. This is because the router is unable to forward PlayStation network ports. The main limitation of this NAT type is that you can only chat and play with gamers who have NAT Type 1. Also, you may not be chosen as the host of these matches, unlike in NAT Type 2. In online gaming, hosting a game improves your gaming experience by reducing lag. Thus, with the inability to host games in NAT Type 3, you are sure to experience lag, denying you a fantastic online gaming experience.
How Do You Change NAT Type on Your PlayStation?
Getting a NAT Type 2 is the end goal when setting up your PlayStation. To do this you need to do one of the following steps:
- Port Forward the Sony Network ports on your router to the PlayStation, or
- Alternatively, you can set up a DMZ, or
- Have a UPnP-compliant network.
While these methods will all get the NAT Type 2 on your PlayStation, forwarding ports remains the safest option. UPnP risks your network by allowing unknown software to access your router without prompting you, risking your entire network.
On the other hand, DMZ is limited, as it allows one IP address at a time. Thus, it is best to reserve DMZ when you need it.
What Are the Xbox NAT Types?
Xbox is a product of Microsoft, explaining the naming of the NAT Types in Xbox devices. According to Microsoft, there are three NAT Types that you can use on your Xbox. These include the Open, Moderate, and Strict NAT Types.
1. NAT TYPE OPEN:
The Open NAT allows you to receive requests and connect with anyone regardless of their NAT Type. Also, you can chat with other gamers, join and host multiplayer games, thus, offering a fantastic gaming experience. With NAT Type Open, your router is aware of the incoming packets, and it will forward them to their destinations. The above benefits of the NAT Type Open make it the end goal for Xbox users. Thus, if you have this NAT on your Xbox, you do not need to make any changes.
2. NAT TYPE MODERATE:
If you have NAT Type Moderate, it means that your Xbox works behind a router that may have a firewall that blocks some packets but not all. You can chat with some people but may not hear or play with others. Also, you will not host matches when using this NAT, hence being a limitation in your gaming experience. This NAT type ranks above Strict. However, it is not as good as NAT Type 1 because there is a likelihood of things going wrong a few days after you start using it. You may also experience lags caused by higher pings and difficulties joining chats and lobbies. Even with these limitations, you need not worry, as with port forwarding, you can get NAT Type Open if you are using NAT Type Moderate.
3. NAT TYPE STRICT:
NAT Type Strict is probably an option most Xbox users do not want to explore, perhaps due to the problems encountered in port forwarding. Using this NAT Type means that you will incorrectly forward your ports. This is attributed to the use of multiple routers on the individual network provided by your ISP. With this NAT Type, your Xbox is behind at least one router, and your router is not forwarding the connection requests to the Xbox. This explains the limitations, including your ability to play, video conference, or chat with gamers who have the open NAT type, and you cannot host the matches. However, through port forwarding, you can get the NAT Type Open.
How Do You Change Your NAT Type On Xbox?
Before learning how to change your NAT type on Xbox, you should know how to check the NAT Type first. This is because only the Moderate and Strict Type will require a change.
To find your NAT Type, follow these steps:
- Check-in the game lobby, but if you cannot find it there,
- Go to the Xbox network settings menu and trace it with a few steps.
- On this menu, go to the Home tab and select Settings.
- You will view your NAT Type under the Current Network Status.
If you have connection problems on Xbox One and your NAT is Open, it may be due to a connection problem, and a simple reboot should fix it. On the other hand, if you have NAT Type Moderate or Strict, you will generally experience restrictions or blockages that hinder proper communication. Thus, you will need to alter your router settings by changing your NAT type to allow proper communication. While changing your NAT type on Xbox, you should note that these changes may not last. You may enjoy your game on NAT Type Open, but after a few days or more, you may revert to your limited NAT Type.
Changing your NAT Type on Xbox one is achievable through port forwarding the Xbox Live ports to your router, setting up a DMZ, or having a UPnP-compliant network. To port forward on your router, enter the IP address on your chosen browser, then input the admin credentials of your router. Proceed to search for the Port Forwarding section and click the Configure Port Forwarding tab. After that, enter a name to remind you of the reason for this forward and input the TCP and UDP port numbers you want to forward. You can then select your device’s IP address and save the changes to effect the port forwarding.
Enabling the UPnP is possible with a few steps, but this may vary depending on your router. To start with, log in to your router with your credentials, then navigate to the UPnP menu. If your router model lacks this menu, stick to port forwarding. Next, enable UPnP and save your changes. On your Xbox One, open the Settings app, select the Network tab, and then Test NAT to Open NAT. You can then restart your console to effect the changes.
While the above methods will set the NAT Open on your Xbox, port forwarding remains the best alternative due to its security. DMZ is easy but it is best reserved as a network problem testing tool. On the other hand, UPnP poses security threats to your network by allowing malware to port forward without prompting you. Thus, for increased security, it is safe to turn off the UPnP.
PC NAT TYPES
When it comes to NAT Types, PC devices and consoles use the same types. Given that PC gaming takes place on Microsoft software, the NAT types you will likely use are NAT Type Open, Moderate and Strict.
The difference between gaming with a PC and a console arises when the PC gaming reports your NAT Type within the game, and if you are using a console, you will need to head over to the console dashboard to view your NAT type.
How To Change NAT Type On PC?
Like in the PlayStation and Xbox, it is possible to change your NAT Type when using a PC. This is achievable through port forwarding, a VPN, or via Network Discovery.
Port forwarding is the most common way of changing your NAT Type. Understanding your router model is key, as the port forwarding procedure varies depending on the router you are using. Generally, you will need to do the following:
- You will need to find the Port Forwarding Section on your router’s homepage.
- Enter the specific ports of the game you are playing in the first section.
- In the other column, enter the IP address, after which you will be prompted to select the device receiving the forwarded ports.
- Thereafter, select the UDP and TCP ports, then save the changes.
- To effect the changes, restart your PC, and your ports will forward.
- To check if your desired port is open or closed, head over to Open Port Checker Tool.
If you want to bypass the NAT connections, use a VPN when changing the NAT Type. The advantage of a VPN is that the data that passes through your computer will be encrypted, protecting your identity online. This enables you to access the network without any hitches. Also, with a VPN, you can restrict your ISP from monitoring your data and restricting you.
Finally, if you are a Windows user, turning on your Network discovery offers a simple way to change your NAT Type. To do this,
1. Open the settings on the start menu.
2. On the Settings tab, search for the sharing Options under Network and Settings.
3. Now, turn on the network discovery option. You should also check the box for the connected devices on this window.
4. Save the settings.
NAT TYPES COMPARISON
Generally, NAT Type Moderate ranks the least functional for most users since it requires port forwarding to get the NAT Type Open. Another confusion on NAT Types is whether NAT Type Open and NAT Type 1 are the same, with a similar discussion between NAT Type Strict and NAT Type 3.
|PlayStation 5, PS4, PS3||NAT Type 1 or 2||None||NAT Type 3|
|Xbox Series X, Xbox One, 360||NAT Type Open||NAT Type Moderate||NAT Type Strict|
|PC||NAT Type Open||NAT Type Moderate||NAT Type Strict|
As a rule of thumb, NAT Type 2 is the end goal on PlayStation, while NAT Type Open is the end goal on Xbox.
Thus, while NAT Type Open and NAT Type 1 appear on top of the lists, they have different rankings. According to Sony, your PlayStation should connect directly to the internet if you want to get NAT Type 1. This implies that your PlayStation cannot report to NAT Type 1 if you are behind a router. On the other hand, Microsoft does not mention how your PlayStation should connect to the internet.
NAT Type 3 and NAT Type Strict are both limiting since, in both cases, you do not have your ports forwarded. This means that you cannot accept incoming connections. Thus, if you have either of these NAT Types, you will need to port forward in your router to get either NAT Type Open or NAT Type 2.
Whether you are using PlayStation, Xbox, or a PC for online gaming, it is worth noting that understanding the NAT Types is vital towards a fantastic gaming experience. If you have the end goal of NAT Type for each category, NAT Type Open for PlayStation or NAT Type 2 for the Xbox, you do not need to change your NAT. On the other hand, if you have a different NAT Type, you can transition through Port Forwarding, UPnP, or DMZ, depending on your device.
Finally, some NAT Types have similar features (for instance, NAT Type 1 and Open), but this does not mean they are the same. These NATs differ in their connections and performance and subsequently provide different gaming experiences. Thus, to enjoy online gaming, consider the highly ranked NAT Types as per your manufacturer. If unsure which NAT to pick, contact support for assistance.