VPN Ports & Port Forwarding: TCP/UDP 443, 80, 53, 25, 22, 21

In computer networking, a port serves as a communication endpoint for each specific application or process. Only one process may bind to a specific IP address and port combination using the same transport protocol. Typical application failures, sometimes called port conflicts, occur when multiple programs attempt to bind to the same port numbers on the same IP address using the same protocol.

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Common applications/processes often use specifically reserved port numbers for receiving service requests from clients:

HTTPS (TLS/SSL) – 443 TCP/UDP
HTTP – 80 UDP/TCP
OpenVPN – 1194 TCP/UDP
PPTP – 1723 TCP/UDP
L2TP – 1701 UDP
SSTP – 443 TCP
Cisco IPsec – 1293 TCP/UDP, 500 TCP/UDP
IPsec/IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange) – 500 TCP/UDP
IPsec Nat Traversal – 4500 UDP
SSH tunnel – port 22
SOCKS proxy – 1080 TCP
Obfsproxy – dynamic (custom setup)
BitTorrent – 6881-6889 TCP
SMTP – 25 TCP/UDP
DNS – 53 UDP

Since default configurations for specific processes are well known, network admins can easily block certain ports to restrict a particular traffic. For instance, when 1194 port is blocked, OpenVPN doesn’t work unless VPN software can forward OpenVPN traffic via a port that is open.

So in order to bypass restrictive firewalls that block ports (college and corporate networks, for instance), VPN providers offer forwarding VPN traffic typically to 443, 80, 53, 22 ports:

21: FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
22: SSH (Secure Shell)
53: DNS
80: HTTP
433: HTTPS
1194: OpenVPN

FORWARDING VPN TO PORT 443
Forwarding VPN traffic through port 443 is the best way to bypass firewall restrictions since port 443 is used for encrypted TLS/SSL traffic by default. In other words, web browsers establish secure HTTPS connections using port 443. So as long as access to https:// websites is not restricted, port 443 is open. Additionally, since port 443 is used for encrypted communication, VPN traffic sent over 443 will sort of “blend in” with the rest (deep packet inspection can still detect it, of course).

FORWARDING VPN TO PORT 22
Port 22 is reserved for SSH (Secure Shell) traffic. SSH is an encrypted network protocol that allows network services to operate securely over an unsecured network. Since SSH traffic is secure traffic, port 22 is a good alternative to port 443. However, port 22 may be blocked on restrictive networks as it is not necessary for regular browsing activities.

FORWARDING VPN TO PORT 80
Port 80 is used for unencrypted communication – HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). In other words, HTTP port 80 is used to access http:// websites. For this reason, just like port 443, port 80 is never blocked. Since HTTP traffic is not secure, however, VPN traffic going through port 80 will stand out. This is generally not an issue, but forwarding encrypted OpenVPN data over port 80 may draw attention on networks that are being monitored.

FORWARDING VPN TO PORT 53
Port 53 is used by DNS servers to translate domain names into corresponding IP addresses. For example, when accessing Facebook, DNS converts https://www.facebook.com into 69.171.239.12. DNS servers have data set restrictions (upped and lower case letters, numbers and hyphens only) that need to be converted before transmission along with other limitations that lead to inefficient data transfers. So even if ISP overlooked filtering DNS traffic, rerouting VPN to a DNS server makes no sense. Sending atypically heavy VPN traffic over DNS will draw attention. Since port 443 and port 80 are always open, they are a much better alternative comparing to port 53.

TCP vs UDP
Long story short: TCP is heavier and slower than UDP. UDP is a preferred choice for speed, TCP is preferred when Internet connection is unstable.

TCP provides highly reliable, ordered, and checked for error delivery of information between applications. TCP is a connection based protocol which means that TCP first establishes a connection between two devices and only then sends data. Additionally, TCP performs flow control, error detection and correction to ensure that all packets are delivered. All data transferred via TCP is guaranteed to be delivered in the same order it was sent. TCP is heavier, its header size is 20 bytes while UDP is only 8 bytes. All of the above causes network overhead and makes TCP much slower. TCP is an excellent choice on unreliable networks, however, since TCP will check for lost packets and automatically resend them.

UDP is a more efficient protocol since it doesn’t establish a direct channel between two devices, it provides a connectionless datagram service that emphasizes reduced latency over reliability. UDP only sends information, but does not care if it ever reaches the intended destination or gets lost in the process, avoiding the overhead of error processing at the network interface level. Since UDP does not take time to establish connection, never checks for errors and does not track the packets, time-sensitive applications (gaming, streaming, VoIP) often use UDP because dropping packets is preferable to waiting for delayed packets. Sounds bad, right? Not really since the packets are virtually never lost in real life unless the Internet connection is unreliable.
 

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PIA is a leading no logs VPN service with over 23,000 VPN servers that deliver great speeds and a reliable performance.

PIA offers an easy to install VPN apps for all devices with security and privacy features that protect VPN connection from unexpected data leaks. PIA was once subpoenaed by the FBI and the only information they could provide is that the cluster of IP addresses being used was from the east coast of the United States. The FBI case confirms that PIA indeed does not log any user activity.

For faster streaming, torrenting and gaming, PIA software offers re-routing VPN traffic between different connection types and ports. You have an option to chose between UDP (faster) and TCP connections types that, depending on network, can speed up downloads, with UDP being the preferred choice for torrenting, gaming and streaming. You can also forward all VPN traffic through one of the available port options (dependant on your OS and protocol choice): 443, 80, 110, 502, 501, 500, 1194, 1197, 1198, 8080, 9201 and 53. Additionally, PIA allows port forwarding on all non-US VPN servers, with the predetermined forwarded port that you will get.

If you need to bypass VPN block or speed throttling on a default VPN port, re-routing traffic through port 443 is the most common way to bypass strict firewalls when all the other ports are blocked.

SOCKS5 proxy is another excellent feature that can re-route only certain traffic through VPN tunnel eliminating the need for split tunneling. SOCKS5 is widely used with torrenting software due to its convenience. Once installed on uTorrent, for instance, it works for p2p traffic only.

PIA default implementation uses NAT firewall that does a great job protecting from cyber attacks, built-in kill switch secures from unprotected data leaks. In addition, PIA apps have a DNS and IPv4/IPv6 leak protection for both OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols.

PIA VPN service gives unrestricted and uncensored access to blocked or censored websites. Aside from unblocking various restricted sites (gambling, for instance), PIA can also unblock Netflix USA and Netflix UK libraries, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime.

To read a full PIA review click HERE.

 

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Switzerland based VyprVPN is a leading no logs VPN provider with over 700 ultra fast servers worldwide that support gigabit VPN speed (1,000Mbps). VyprVPN was independently audited by Leviathan Security that confirmed VyprVPN to be a no logging VPN service.

Unlike most VPN providers, VyprVPN doesn’t rely on 3rd party hosting – they own and manage their own VPN servers. Essentially, no 3rd parties involved means that no one else handles your data, which increases overall security and privacy.

All VyprVPN servers run on the highest encryption using the most modern encryption methods. NAT firewall is an additional layer of security since it blocks unrequested inbound traffic. While VyprVPN doesn’t support port forwarding, it gives the option to manually assign the port opened by the OpenVPN protocol. Under the port settings, you can chose 443, and a range between 15001-20000 that should be more than enough for seeding or to boost your VPN speed on the throttled ports, like 1194.

In addition, VyprVPN is an excellent provider to bypass even the strictest firewalls that block VPN connection. For this purpose VyprVPN designed a proprietary VPN protocol called Chameleon. The protocol scrambles OpenVPN to hide VPN use and make it undetectable via deep packet inspection (DPI). Chameleon allows you to use VPN on very restrictive networks that completely block VPN.

VyrpVPN apps have a DNS and IP leaks protection and a kill switch to protect your device from accidentally accessing the Internet using your real IP address. VyprVPN kill switch works deeper than a typical kill switch. It remains active even after you quit the app, so when enabled, it works as a firewall and completely blocks Internet access until you connect to VyprVPN.

VyprVPN infrastructure is amazingly fast offering ultra fast gigabit speeds and low ping times for high speed HD streaming. Being one of the fastest VPN services, VyprVPN boasts some of the best VPN speeds. VyprVPN has dedicated streaming servers that can bypass Netflix proxy error and also work with BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Spotify.

With over 200,000 IP addresses in 64 countries, VyprVPN offers a fantastic choice of VPN locations. To read a full VyprVPN review click HERE.

 

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Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is an excellent no logs VPN service for privacy oriented VPN users who want to protect their data from government surveillance, improve online security and bypass censorship.

ExpressVPN has been independently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a top team of security audit experts with access to ExpressVPN servers’ codebase to verify their no logging claims. The audit also checked that TrustedServer technology operates as described, one of the extremely important features to guarantee user anonymity.

TrustedServer is a name ExpressVPN uses to describe their security tech that has VPN servers running on RAM only, instead of a hard drive that typically contains data until it is erased and written over. TrustedServers are automatically wiped every time they are rebooted or the electricity is cut off, which eliminates any possibility that the government could seize VPN servers and access sensitive user data.

If you run ExpressVPN app on your home router, you can setup port forwarding to remotely access devices connected to your ExpressVPN router. The app allows to manually configure internal and external port numbers between 1 and 65,535 TCP/UDP. Additionally, you can use a DDNS hostname to access devices remotely.

ExpressVPN default configuration wraps OpenVPN into SSL and reroutes VPN connection through HTTPS port 443. This setup completely hides VPN use from network admins and makes your VPN traffic appear as regular encrypted Internet browsing, thereby, making ExpressVPN a perfect choice for VPN users who need increased anonymity. Assuming your restrictive network blocks VPN protocols and VPN ports, ExpressVPN can unblock VPN on virtually any network.

ExpressVPN custom apps have a built-in DNS leak protection to ensure that no data is leaked while the app is running. Even though ExpressVPN is extremely reliable, kill switch is another useful feature that guards your real IP address from leaking.

Additionally, the provider has one of the fastest infrastructures with over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. Ultra fast ExpressVPN is one of the few services with VPN network that supports gigabit Internet connection, making it a perfect choice for ultra high speed streaming, torrenting and gaming.

ExpressVPN is also an excellent choice for high speed Netflix streaming. The provider can unblock Netflix USA and UK, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and a number of other streaming services.

Overall, this ultra fast infrastructure, dedication to security, and a number of additional privacy features definitely makes ExpressVPN one of the most secure VPN services.

To read a full ExpressVPN review click HERE.

 

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Offering over 3,000 servers in 55 countries, all mainstream protocols and top-notch security, TorGuard rightfully earned its place as a top VPN provider.

No logging TorGuard VPN is a reliable, fast and secure service for privacy oriented users. TorGuard offers port forwarding to ports above 2048 and is supported through tunnel types OpenVPN, WireGuard and OpenConnect. Essentially, you can setup custom TCP/UDP ports on each TorGuard server separately that could be finetuned for specific activities. You can use TorGuard to remotely access devices and services, to increase your torrenting speed and minimize gaming lag.

Stealth VPN is a technology that TorGuard uses to bypass Deep Packet Inspection firewalls, such as those typically used at the hotels, airports, restaurants and other public WiFi hotspots to restrict online access. You can also forward all VPN traffic through various TCP/UDP ports if your WiFi restricts default VPN ports. Consequently, TorGuard is a highly recommended VPN service for users who live in the regions with particularly restrictive governments, and would like to unblock censored websites or services.

TorGuard desktop apps have a kill switch feature that actively monitors your Internet connection to protect you from accidental IP leaks when your WiFi is unstable.

Besides a great number of security features and ability to unblock VPN on restrictive WiFi, TorGuard is also an ultra fast VPN service with gigabit servers (actually, 10 Gbps). This infrastructure allows the fastest VPN speeds with a reliable streaming and browsing experience.

Unlike most VPN providers, TorGuard VPN can bypass Netflix proxy error with their Netflix streaming IPs. TorGuard can unblock a number of Netflix regions (USA, UK, Canada, Italy, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and Singapore), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Spotify and virtually any streaming or social media service.

TorGuard is not only one of the best VPN services, it also offers OpenPGP encrypted email service with 2 factor authentication and up to 10Mb free storage.

To read a full TorGuard review click HERE.

 

Hide.me VPN Logo

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ANNUAL PRICE: 4.99 USD/mo
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Based in Malaysia, Hide.me is one the most secure and fastest VPN providers offering ultra fast gigabit VPN servers that deliver the fastest VPN speeds for users on gigabit Internet connection.

Hide.Me is a no logs VPN service with custom VPN apps that include a number of advanced features for maximum security. Hide.Me VPN has a built-in protection against IP and DNS leaks. Kill switch is an excellent tool to shut down Internet access when the connection to a VPN server is dropped.

Stealth Guard takes this even further by blocking access to predetermined apps even when the VPN is OFF. Essentially, you can configure Hide.Me in a way that makes it impossible to use Chrome browser, for instance, when the VPN is not running. This feature is an excellent addition to protect yourself from accidental mistakes.

Hide.Me offers a dynamic TCP/UDP port-forwarding (UPnP) with up to 10 TCP/UDP ports, and port ranges from 100000 and up. The app dynamically maps a network port whenever one is required by an app, saving you the hassle of manual port forwarding. For security reasons, Hide.Me asks you to create a new “virtual” device for UPnP use, instead of enabling globally for all connections. Port forwarding works well if you need to seed torrents, stream HD content or play games.

The service also allows to forward all VPN traffic through a predetermined port. You can setup OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2 protocols to use custom TCP/UDP ports or randomly assigned ports on every connection. A very useful feature on WiFi networks that throttle VPN speed or block VPN ports.

More so, you can selectively tunnel only specific traffic via secure servers. Split tunneling feature allows this or, alternatively, SOCKS5 proxy can be setup on your browser/torrenting client and re-route only that traffic.

The provider also offers advanced VPN masking tools to bypass strict firewalls, censorship and hide VPN use. Hide.Me masks (obfuscates) OpenVPN traffic with TLS-Crypt so, if your WiFi network blocks VPN by analyzing traffic patterns, this methods can bypass the most advanced firewalls. This setup also encrypts every OpenVPN packet twice, sort of like double VPN encryption.

Hide.Me supports perfect forward secrecy, an advanced security feature that tells OpenVPN to regularly renegotiate private keys. In case the private key of the server is compromised, past session keys will not be compromised. Forward secrecy protects past sessions against future compromises of secret keys, and future sessions against current attacks.

Hide.Me VPN is extremely reliable and very fast which makes it a perfect choice for security oriented users who would like to enjoy uninterrupted streaming and browsing experience.

To read a full Hide.me review click HERE.

 

Perfect Privacy VPN Logo

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ANNUAL PRICE: 9.99 EUR/mo
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Germany based Perfect Privacy is an ultra fast (gigabit servers) VPN provider with a heavy focus on advanced online security. As the name suggests, Perfect Privacy VPN has some of the most secure VPN features for maximum security, privacy and complete anonymity.

Perfect Privacy dedicated VPN servers run on RAM, not the hard drive, to secure your anonymity and privacy. This setup ensures that the data is automatically wiped during reboot or server shut down so the government cannot access sensitive user data in case they seize the server.

More so, the provider has one of the best and most advanced kill switch implementations. Their integrated firewall enforces all traffic to be sent through secure tunnels thereby protecting their users from all known IP leaks not only when the app is running, but also after OS reboot. Essentially, it prevents unsecured online access after you restart your device unless you connect to a VPN server.

Perfect Privacy allows up to five specific ports to forward to your computer, and three random ports available for forwarding. You can also choose a specific server at which the port forwarding should be applied.

Perfect Privacy also can bypass strict firewalls by obfuscating OpenVPN to look like normal HTTPS traffic with Stealth VPN or OpenVPN over SSH feature, while also rerouting VPN through an open port: 22, 53, 443 or a random high port. Basically, if your WiFi network completely blocks VPN, Perfect Privacy can bypass firewall and unblock VPN on virtually any network.

In addition, Perfect Privacy offers a unique Multi-Hop VPN feature that allows cascading over up to 4 OpenVPN servers (multi-layer end-to-end encryption) at the same time along with SOCKS5 and Squid proxies. So you can create a chain of 6 VPN locations at the same time which basically eliminates any possibility of tracking you down. While this setup surely provides more anonymity, it will dramatically slow you down, which may be an issue for some VPN users.

NeuroRouting is an AI based dynamic routing that determines the most secure and fastest route through the Internet. The algorithm dynamically changes VPN servers when taking a secure route to different destinations. Since NeuroRouting automatically assigns you a new IP address for different exit points, government tracking becomes very challenging, if impossible.

Additionally, Perfect Privacy regularly updates a Warrant Canary page as an insurance that the provider has not received any subpoenas.

Another interesting feature is the provider’s ability to resolve .onion (TOR) addresses without the need for the Tor Browser. Perfect Privacy SOCKS5 and HTTP proxies are setup to resolve Tor addresses by default.

Overall, Perfect Privacy VPN is the most secure VPN service to avoid mass surveillance, bypass internet restrictions, access blocked websites, and securely stream multimedia content.

To read a full Perfect Privacy review click HERE.

 

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Hong Kong based PureVPN is a no logs VPN service that was independently audited by Altius IT, a leading California-based independent Certified Information Systems Auditor. Altius IT team members are experts in higher-level network security audit, risk management, assessment, and security consulting services.

PureVPN has a port forwarding add-on that allows you open any UDP/TCP ports from any device to remotely access your home computer, speed up gaming and p2p seeding. Essentially, you can setup the fireall to block all ports, but for the ones that you want to keep open.

Secure high-speed PureVPN infrastructure offers advanced security features for anonymous Internet use. PureVPN custom apps have a built-in WebRTC, IP and DNS leak protection. Kill switch is feature that guards the users from unencrypted data leaks when the internet connection drops. PureVPN even has a DDoS protection add-on.

Additionally, the provider considered the importance of uninterrupted streaming by introducing Dedicated Streaming add-on that will boost streaming speed and enhance performance. PureVPN optimized streaming servers are best to get a buffer-free streaming experience.

PureVPN is also one of the few VPN providers that can effectively unblock Netflix. For this purpose PureVPN setup dedicated Netflix servers. At the moment the provider can unblock Netflix USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Japan.

In case you want to limit your VPN use to specific websites/services only, Split Tunneling feature lets you decide which applications to send through unencrypted channel and which one to secure with an encrypted VPN service.

Split tunneling is commonly used in case you need a VPN for torrenting only. More so, PureVPN offers 2,000 high-speed VPN servers in 140 countries with over 60 dedicated torrenting servers and a port forwarding feature to maximize your upload and download speeds.

Overall, PureVPN is a great no logs VPN service for privacy and security, to access geo-restricted streaming content, unblock websites and bypass censorship.

To read a full PureVPN review click HERE.

 

AirVPN Logo

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ANNUAL PRICE: 4.50 EUR/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 7 EUR

AirVPN is an Italian VPN provider created by privacy activists whose main goal is data protection. AirVPN has over 200 servers in 23 countries that have Perfect Forward Secrecy through Diffie-Hellman key exchange DHE. Essentially key negotiation is performed every 60 minutes to avoid data breach if the key is compromised. AirVPN offers OpenVPN dynamic port forwarding on 80 TCP/UDP, 443 TCP/UDP and 53 TCP/UDP. Additionally, AirVPN offers OpenVPN over SSH and OpenVPN over SSL that mask OpenVPN and make the use of encryption tools invisible to some of the most advanced firewalls. To read a full AirVPN review click HERE.

 

1 Comment

  1. latsonMay 3, 2016

    It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

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