Setting up a proper NAT is key in creating an optimum online experience. This isn't a surefire fix to your online troubles, but it will better allow you to connect to potentially better hosts and your friends. To get started, let's first gather two important items.
This guide is broken up into a few main sections. Each section is a constant work in progress and is subject to change in time. Feedback is welcome and contact information can be found at the very end of the post. Understand that this is not really complicated, just really, really long. Once you figure out the basics you'll be able to do this as many times as you need. Remember, your feedback is greatly appreciated.
#Port Forwarding - Guide.
Step 1 - Setting up a static IP
For some of you, this may seem like the hardest part of fixing your ports. It's a cakewalk if you use a simple trick and a bit of logic. Let's start out with an explanation and then recap with a simple numerical set of steps.
Start up your PlayStation like normal and connect to the network if you haven't. Navigate to the settings tab and from there to the network settings tab. Here in network settings, let's click on "Settings and Connection Status List." Grab your pen/paper and take note of the IP address, the subnet mask, the default router and both DNS strings. Before we continue, let's consider something very important. What our static IP will be.
Most IP addresses on a router follow the same scheme - 192.168.X.XXX. Many times the XXX set will be a relatively low number like 101 to 103 and the single X will range anywhere from 0 to 3. The great thing about a router is that it can assign many IP addresses. Our logical choice here is to pick something your router wouldn't normally assign a computer connecting to your network. Don't go above 150, and most definitely do not go above 2XX. Let's use 130 for now, you can always change this IP at any time, as I'm sure you'll never have 30 items connected to your router. Go ahead and use your router's single X it provided when you wrote your information down. That has to stay the same, but the XXX value can change as we need it to. We've got our IP of choice. Lightly scratch out the one your wrote down just now and write our new one, 192.168.X.130, next to it. Now let's move on.
There is a special case scenario regarding changing a static IP, but I'll cover that toward the end in #notes.
If you haven't already, back out of the "Settings and Connection Status List." Scroll down to "Internet Connection Settings" and select it. It's going to tell you that you need an Ethernet cable for a wired connection, acknowledge this to get to our next panel. Here we're going to select custom and then wired connection on the following panel. It'll give you the option to select the operation mode for the router, go ahead and select manual settings. On the "Speed and Duplex" panel select Auto-Detect and then manual on the "IP Address Setting" to finish this string of panels.
In front of us now is a list of required information we wrote down a bit ago. Put everything in as normal except for the IP address. Remember that we selected 192.168.X.130 earlier. That IP address must go in as this is the critical point in setting it all up. Once you're done, move on to the next panel. Our MTU settings should be set to Automatic, our Proxy Server set to "do not use," and our UPNP disabled. We're at the end page after disabling UPNP, go ahead and review everything and click X. It'll ask us if we want to test our connection. Now, you could do this but you'd be puzzled as to why it may have just failed. Remember, our ports aren't forwarded yet. We have to do that next. Go ahead and leave that screen up for the moment and let's move on to the router settings.
Time for the numerical recap. If you did this all, great, some may need this to streamline the process.
Step 2 - Forwarding your ports.
This step is actually the harder of the two. Luckily we have a great website that will make handling this portion a lot more easier. Grab your pen and pencil though, we'll need it again.
Let's identify the router we're using. Normally the make and model is written on the device itself. This information can be found usually on either the bottom or back of the device. If your're lucky, it'll be located on the top in plain view. You're looking for a brand name and a model number. Write it down once you've found it.
With our router model in hand it's time to visit portforward.com. I've taken the the liberty to provide you with two links. The first is specific to the PlayStation and the other is the master list which will house your router and all avaible guides for that router. You'll want to start with the first link and see if your router is there. I'm not positive on how often they update that page, so if you can't find your router use the master list. In the master list, you'll want to search for "PlayStation Network" after you've located your router and click on it. After you've followed either tutorial, look below for an additional list of ports that you need to forward to also. These ports have been collected via Sony's knowledge base and Activisions'. Unfortunately, these aditional ports will not be listed until they are released. Check back often.
We'll address later on if you can't find your router in the #notes section. Also take note that portfoward.com is a real site. It lives off of advertisements just like many other sites. If you run into a page notifying you of a program available for purchase, skip it by selecting the link at the top. A screenshot of that page will be located below as well.
It's okay if you don't know how to access your router. Remember all the information we wrote down? The one titled "Default Router" is the IP you'll want to put into your browser's URL bar. The password and username are what you issued when you first setup your router. If your router is brand new, look up the information online or in the manual you received on purchase. Google is your friend!
I for one like to double check things though, so I've grabbed the links you need to verify the ports and I'll also list them below. Make sure you double check these! They contain additional ports to forward than what the guide has given you!
What ports does this game use? (Activision Knowledge Base)
So, you should be done. Give your router/PlayStation a power cycle and then test your connection. If everything went to plan you should have an open NAT when you enter your game of choice and should connected immediately to the network when signing in. Enjoy!
#Notes - Tying up loose ends.
If you're here, that means you couldn't find your router in either list or your curious about something I did or did not say.
Router not found! - The good thing is you SHOULD be able to do this on your own with some tinkering. Log into your router, type in the default router address from your piece of paper, and take a look. If you can find a tab that is labeled "Applications," "Gaming," or "Forwarding," go ahead and check it out. We're looking for the ability to "forward" ports. The page will generally look like these images.
You can generally make out what this page is by looking at the two examples. Once you find this, fill in the information accordingly and pay attention to the protocol. If it says UDP, make it UDP and vice versa. Enable it all, power cycle your PlayStation/Router and see how it holds up for you. If worst comes to worst, google search your router's manufacture and speak to their customer service. I do have a set of links you can take a look at first. It's in #Resources just below this section.
Changing IPs? - Yes, you can change the static IP as frequently as you want. Keep in mind though that once you update your static IP on your PlayStation, you'll need to update it in the port forward settings of your router. If the IP's don't match there, your NAT won't be open.
This is only for wired! - Yup! I personally believe that all gaming should be done on a wired connection. I don't care if it is 2011, wires beat wireless hands down. Will I ever update this? Of course! Just not now. When I wrote this it was 3:28 AM on a Tuesday morning. I'll update this in due time.
Why did you make this? - Somebody had to again. Plus, this entire thing is bound to a macro. I'll be copy/pasting this all around.
#Resources - Knowledge Base.
This section simply houses additional content to help gamer's better understand their routers and equipment. It'll expand in time.
Night School: Know Your Network - Hosted by popular tech blog Lifehacker, this link will direct you to a very user friendly destination which houses a vast wealth of information. Everything from learning about your router to setting up your ports. This is a great article that compliments any existing understanding of network hardware/software and is a great knowledge base for beginners.
#Contact - Email, twitter, more.
Twitter is the easiest way to contact me regarding any issues with this guide, but an email will be more concrete to getting changes made. Forum PMs work to some degree with the state of the site, I'd rather not chance it.
Copy and paste as you need to.
Have a nice day,
II F0XH0UND II / theycallmefox