The 7 Best VPNs With Port Forwarding (Review & Guide)

Port forwarding has many uses so it’s a shame that most VPNs don’t support it, including the two major ones – Surfshark and NordVPN. But there are still many alternatives that do. Here are the best VPNs with port forwarding:

1. Private Internet Access

privateinternetaccess
  • Over 30k servers in 78+ countries
  • All servers P2P-friendly
  • Port forwarding with all ports available
  • No-logs policy
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • For Netflix, Amazon Prime Video…
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 7-day free trial
  • For up to 10 devices
  • 24/7 live chat

PrivateInternetAccess is known by a couple of similar names and acronyms (Private Internet Access, PIA, PIA VPN, or PrivateInternetAccess VPN) and is one of the largest VPN providers in the world.

They have an incredible number of servers and a broad variety of features that deserve praise, as do the robust security measures that help improve privacy when browsing.

Some VPNs support port forwarding, while others don’t. But Private Internet Access does include port forwarding as a standard feature on all of their clients. 

This makes it extremely easy to enable port forwarding by simply going to “Network” and checking the box “Request Port Forwarding”. Go to “Connections” and choose the protocol and the port.

The port forwarding feature is unfortunately not available on US servers, only outside of the country.

Read all about PIA in our extensive review

2. ExpressVPN

expressvpn
  • Almost 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
  • Port forwarding only possible through router setup
  • Initial port forwarding setup more complicated
  • Detailed instructions on how to open ports
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • For Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer…
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • For up to 5 devices
  • Works in China and the UAE
  • 24/7 live chat

Although ExpressVPN costs a bit more than some other major VPN providers, it has a lot going for it when it comes to privacy and security. With apps for macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS, plus router support. Install it on up to 5 devices.

With more than 3000 servers in its network, ExpressVPN still has one of the largest server networks of any VPN provider. Any network with over 1000 servers is large, and any network with over 3000 servers is very large.

In regards to port forwarding, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs with port forwarding, but the company has made the feature bit harder to implement.

ExpressVPN doesn’t have an option in their app that allows you to simply enable PF but instead, requires you to install its software on your router. This is for now the only way you can use ExpressVPN with port forwarding, as it isn’t attainable through any of their apps.

If you don’t have a compatible router, you’ll need to get one of their recommended routers, that come with ExpressVPN preconfigured. You can then use the router dashboard to set up the port forwarding how you like.

Find out more about ExpressVPN in our full ExpressVPN review.

3. PureVPN

purevpn
  • Almost 6,500+ servers in 78+ countries
  • All servers are P2P-friendly
  • Port forwarding available as an add-on feature
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Optimized servers for streaming
  • All protocols supported on every Server
  • 31-day money-back guarantee
  • 7-day free trial
  • For up to 10 devices
  • 24/7 live chat

PureVPN has been around since 2007 and has secured its place as one of the most far-reaching, fastest, and most secure VPN services for privacy and security-minded people. 

The company had its ups and downs and I have to say that they’ve done a fabulous job of bouncing back after a privacy scandal in 2016/17 when they gave user data to the FBI in a high-profile case.

purevpn port forwarding

PureVPN Port Forwarding Comes Only as an Add-on

PureVPN allows port forwarding with an easy setup from within their app. It really couldn’t be easier to configure this feature. The catch is that you can only access this feature if you purchase the Port Forwarding add-on. 

The price for it is really low so it’s affordable to anyone looking for easy port forwarding configuration on a solid VPN. 

Read all about PureVPN in our extensive PureVPN review.

4. IVPN

ivpn
  • 77+ servers in 30+ countries
  • Port forwarding for OpenVPN reserved on all servers
  • US servers don’t support PF
  • All servers are P2P-friendly
  • Port forwarding supported on all device types
  • Port forwarding only available with the IVPN Pro plan
  • Choice of WireGuard, OpenVPN, or IPSec protocols
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • E-mail support

IVPN is a comparatively small VPN provider that has a big commitment to consumer privacy. They are upfront about the fact that they don’t offer the lowest prices and charge more than several others as they believe they offer a superior product.

Regarding port forwarding, it’s super easy to enable the port forwarding feature in their client’s website dashboard. You just need to use the displayed port code. 

You will, however, need to go for the IVPN Pro plan if you want to access the port forwarding feature in the first place. Also, the Standard plan only lets you use two devices while the Pro plan supports up to seven. 

There’s more “bad” news. PF is only available through OpenVPN protocol and only on servers outside of the United States.

However, if you want a reasonably budget-friendly VPN with increased privacy and anonymity that has an open-source code you can personally inspect before paying, IVPN is a solid choice.

Read more about it in our full IVPN review

5. TorGuard

torguard
  • 3000+ servers in 50+ countries 
  • Detailed instructions on how to open ports
  • Port forwarding limited to ports above 2048
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • All servers P2P-friendly
  • Up to 12 device connections
  • For Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer…
  • 7-day money-back guarantee
  • Works in China
  • Supports all OS and devices
  • Fast 24/7/365 support

TorGuard was founded all the way back in 2012, and since then, they have established a worldwide network with more than 3000 servers. But what their service is most famous for is torrenting. There’s much more than that, of course. 

TorGuard supports open-source software and protocols like OpenVPN, OpenConnect, WireGuard, and SSL Proxy via browser extensions. All of them offer an even higher degree of privacy and are great for everyday users and even businesses that want to make sure their sensitive data doesn’t get out into the open.

Because no VPN is perfect, downtimes can happen. In that case, any time your VPN goes down, you risk exposing your actual IP address. To protect your privacy even during sudden interruptions, TorGuard implements the Kill Switch that will automatically disconnect you from the internet.

Apart from the above, TorGuard is also known as one of the few VPNs that prioritize P2P support. This, typically, includes a port forwarding feature that is supported only through OpenVPN, WireGuard, and OpenConnect VPN protocols.

However, TorGuard isn’t suited for beginners, especially when we’re talking about port forwarding. Setting up port forwarding is much more complicated here and is better suited for advanced users.

To enable port forwarding, you need to hover over the blue toolbar and tap or click “My Services.” From there, go to “Manage” and click “Port Forward Request” to access the port forwarding feature. 

You will then have to wait for TorGuard to send you an email with exact instructions on how to open your ports once your request is accepted.

Read more about TorGuard in our detailed TorGuard review

6. Perfect Privacy

perfect-privacy
  • 58 servers in 25 countries 
  • Easy to configure ports
  • Port forwarding is server-specific
  • Allows up to 5 ports to forward
  • Unlimited bandwidth and connections
  • 7-day money-back guarantee
  • No live support

Perfect Privacy VPN operates from several locations worldwide, but it’s based in Switzerland and conforms to Swiss jurisdiction. Swiss laws are generally beneficial for VPN servers, and the company also displays a Warrant Canary page that states they haven’t received any warrants, court orders, etc.

For everything Perfect Privacy offers, they charge more than most other VPNs on the market. Their best package is the two-year plan that’s averaging a savings of 31% off the monthly rate but it’s still far pricier.

We at INVPN recommend this VPN service only for tech-savvy folks that are seeking privacy and security more than some other features.

However, regarding port forwarding, you can access the feature from the settings table where Perfect Privacy lets you set up port forwarding rules and route signals through multiple port sequences. 

You can also add new custom ports with the “Add” button and configure ports for torrent clients. Setting up these static ports is very easy and takes very little know-how. 

The downside is that Perfect Privacy’s PF services are server-specific and can only be used on those particular servers. There’s an option for automatic port forwarding that automatically forwards signals to itemized port. It’s really useful for someone who does a lot of torrenting or P2P services. 

Find out more about Perfect Privacy in our full review

7. PrivateVPN

privatevpn
  • Over 200+ servers in 63 countries 
  • Easy to change ports in the client
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 1-click-setup
  • Up to 10 device connections
  • For Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer…
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works in China
  • Live chat support

PrivateVPN is another established and internationally used VPN provider. Although they don’t have as many servers as some other VPNs, they are spread out in over 60 countries so you won’t have any difficulty finding the right one for yourself. 

When talking about privacy and security, PrivateVPN checks all the boxes. It has all the features that you need; like IPv6 leak protection, kill switch, various protocols, compatibility with SOCKS5 and HTTP proxies, and much more.

PrivateVPN lets you connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. There are a few features that are missing. Things such as double VPN, browser extensions, and an adblocker. However, it’s a solid choice for those that need port forwarding.

privatevpn port forwarding

Port forwarding is easy to configure in the PrivateVPN client. When you connect to a server, you’ll see a port number between the Connection type and the disconnect button. You can manually change this number to whatever port you want. 

To find out more about PrivateVPN, read our full PrivateVPN review

What is Port Forwarding? 

It’s hard to explain port forwarding in layman’s terms but with PF, you’re simply opening appropriate ports on your router so that the traffic doesn’t gridlock in your router and it is sent to the device that you selected.

That way, you instruct your router to send some of the data directly to a specific device on the network and let it bypass security processes. Port forwarding can increase your speeds and offers other benefits (and perils).

Types Of Port Forwarding

There are three kinds of port forwarding actions that you can set up on a router:

  • Local port forwarding
  • Remote port forwarding
  • Dynamic port forwarding

Local Port Forwarding

Local port forwarding is required when connecting your PC to a game or P2P server. This way, your firewall will let you gain access to blocked websites and services.

Remote Port Forwarding

Remote port forwarding is required when connecting your computer to a remote network service. To configure remote port forwarding, you must know the external IP address of the server and port numbers. An easy to understand example of RPF is connecting remotely to a host company’s server.

Dynamic Port Forwarding

Dynamic port forwarding is required when you connect your computer to a server that acts as a single point of network to accept or send data to various other servers. DPF can give added security when you are connected to an untrustworthy network.

Why don’t Surfshark and NordVPN Offer Port Forwarding?

Both Surfshark and NordVPN don’t support port forwarding because of security issues that they cite on their websites. Issues such as the ability to bypass VPNs, letting hackers past your firewall, and exploiting other vulnerabilities that arise from port forwarding. 

Conclusion

From our experience with hundreds of VPN providers, we found and listed the best VPNs that support port forwarding. They range from the ones that are easy to implement to the more complicated ones. Still, whichever you choose, it should do the trick for you.  

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