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What Is The Source Target In Port Forwarding? Everything To Know

Source target in port forwarding is essentially a way of controlling which devices can use port forwarding.  It significantly enhances your network’s security as well as improving its performance.

The basics of source targeting in port forwarding

There are basically only two options for source targeting. One is that you leave it blank and the other is that you add a value.  

If you leave it blank, any device can potentially connect to that port and hence your network. If you enter one or more values then devices that meet those values can connect to that port.  This means that they will be able to access your network, but any other devices will be rejected.

Source targeting in port forwarding and security

Even without the improvement in network performance, source targeting in port forwarding would still be worth using for security reasons. Being able to do so so much on the internet is a huge convenience, but it also means that home networks are now a valuable target for cybercriminals. They can steal financial data, medical data, contact data, and, increasingly, work data.

This means that even private individuals have to be much more aware of cybersecurity in general and network security in particular.  Source targeting can and should be used as part of an overall network security strategy. This should also include the use of firewalls and, where possible, appropriate security software.

Using source targeting in port forwarding can make it extremely difficult for cybercriminals to hijack online-capable devices and then use them to gain access to your sensitive data.

Source targeting in port forwarding and network performance

Another reason for using source targeting in port forwarding is that it can go a long way towards stopping your network from getting congested with pointless traffic. These days most people will have at least a regular computer, a cell phone, and a tablet, and probably a games console as well. Multiply these by each person in a household and that’s already a whole lot of devices.

Then you can add household devices like home assistance (e.g. Alexa) and smart devices. In fact, most people probably have several smart devices in their homes already. They’re very likely to be adding more all the time, possibly without even thinking about it.

All these devices create internet traffic.  Using source targeting in port forwarding is a way of monitoring and managing that traffic so you make the most effective use of your router’s resources.

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