How to Change the NAT Type for a Netgear Router

by Steve McDonnell

Network Address Translation creates a firewall because it hides each computer's local network address from devices outside the network and drops traffic addressed to a port that's not open or assigned by the router. Secured NAT enhances security by inspecting packets and dropping those that look similar to packets used in network attacks, but it can cause some online games and applications not to work. Open NAT forwards all traffic on an incoming port to its destination computer without inspecting the packets. It's less secure but more compatible with most games and applications.

Open the router's setup screens by typing "routerlogin.com" or "192.168.1.1" in your browser's address bar and pressing "Enter."

Type the administrative username and password for the router. Select "OK" to log in to the router.

Click the "Advanced" tab, click "Setup" and then click "WAN Setup."

Locate the NAT Filtering section. Change the NAT type to either "Secured" or "Open" by clicking the radio button next to your choice.

Click "Save" to save your changes and wait while the router reboots.

Tips

  • Some Netgear routers use the term "Strict NAT" instead of "Secured NAT."
  • Even when you change to Open NAT, you still have to use UPnP or forward the ports that your game or application requires to your computer.

Warnings

  • Switching to Open NAT creates a security vulnerability in your network and increases its susceptibility to Denial of Service attacks, Ping of Death attacks, LAND attacks, SYN floods and IP spoofing.
  • After you forward the correct ports, test your application or game with Secured NAT before you switch to Open NAT.
  • If you switch to Open NAT and your game doesn't work, and then you forward additional ports or make other changes, switch back to Secured NAT and test the new configuration before you revert to Open NAT.

Photo Credits

  • Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images