A Linksys router is a networking device that allows users to access shared resources, such as printers, file servers and Internet connectivity. Although most people rarely need to configure the port settings in a Linksys, it is important to know how to handle this task, particularly if you need to prevent people from using your network for any unsanctioned purposes, whether it's file sharing, instant messaging, subscribing to streaming content, connecting remotely or playing online games.
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Make a list of which applications you plan on blocking. Some may be connected with games, streaming content or peer-to-peer sites, such as LimeWire. These are items that can slow down an Internet connection, make your network vulnerable to hackers, decrease workplace productivity or result in illegal activity.
Find out which port each blocked program uses. Every software package has its own unique port requirements as well as different ways of determining which port it uses, but in virtually every case you can find this information in the "Preferences" settings of the application. Look for any "Network" or "Advanced" settings in the program's preferences to find which port is required.
Log into the configuration page of your Linksys using a web browser by entering 192.168.1.1 in the URL bar. Enter "admin" as both the username and the password. These are the default settings; if any of the settings have been changed, then enter the updated information.
Select "Port Range Forwarding" from under the "Applications & Gaming" tab on from the configuration page. Enter the name of the application in the "Application" field, and the starting and ending port numbers in the appropriate fields, as many applications use a range of consecutive numbers for the port number. If your application uses only one port number (for example, iChat on a Mac uses port 5190), then input the same number in both the "Start" and the "End" fields.
Click on the "Save" button at the bottom of the window to save any changes you have made. Make sure your changes have taken effect by testing an application. For example, if you blocked Port 1214 to prevent users from using Kazaa, perform a test from one of the computers on the network to confirm you have configured your Linksys router correctly.
Tips and warnings
- You have the option to quickly open the ports simply by checking off "Enable" and saving your changes.
- Not changing the default security allows any user to change the settings on the unit.
- Make sure you haven't blocked the port number of a legitimate program by mistake.
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