Sometimes while playing games, you experience annoying lags in the network. It makes all the difference in gaming. NAT or Network address translation is responsible for this. In this guide, we explain what NAT is and how to change NAT type on a Windows 11/10 PC.
What is Network Address Translation (NAT)
Network Address Translation (NAT) is a process where an IP address is mapped to a different address by modifying the network address information. NAT works in the router and translates the private addresses into a single public IP address. Your router becomes the mediator between your IP address and the internet in this process.
Your internet might slow down with strict NAT settings which are not visible in normal browsing. But, you can experience it while gaming. To beat this, there are three NAT types, they are:
- NAT Type 1 (Open) – This type has no restrictions in sending or receiving data as it has no firewall. It offers better speeds and very little buffering or lag, it is not a safe option as it do not have firewall protection which makes your network vulnerable to attacks.
- NAT Type 2 (Moderate) – This type is more secure than Type 1. A few ports are open and have a firewall to protect your network. Compared to Type 1, the internet may slightly slow down.
- NAT Type 3 (Strict) – This type is a more strict and secure NAT type. This type protects your network from attacks and is set by default in most routers. The internet is slower than the other two types.
Let’s see how we can change the NAT type on PC.
How to change NAT type on PC
You can change the NAT type on a Windows 11/10 PC in different ways. They are:
- Port forwarding
- Network Discovery method
- UPnP method
- Using a Configuration file
Let’s get into the details of each method.
1] Port forwarding
This is one of the easiest methods to change the NAT type on a PC. Before going into this process, you need to find out which ports are being used by the games you play. To find the ports used by an application or game,
- Type Win+R on your keyboard and type cmd and press Enter
- Then, type
tasklist | findstr [application/game name]and press Enter. You need to replace [applcation/game name] with the actual name. You will see the port number. Note it down.
Now, to change the NAT type in the port-forwarding method,
- Access your router configuration page and find the Port Forwarding option
- Enter the port numbers you have noted in the first section and IP address in the next column.
- Now, select both UDP and TCP options
- Save the settings and restart the router.
Now the NAT Type has changed.
2] Network Discovery method
To change the NAT type in this method,
- Open Control Panel from the Start menu
- Click on Network & Internet, then on Network and Sharing Centre
- Now, click on Change advanced sharing settings on the left side panel
- Now, check the button beside Turn on network discovery and Save changes at the bottom
3] UPnP method
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) method is done in the router settings. It helps devices discover one another on a network by enabling automatic port forwarding. UPnP method makes you vulnerable on the network and is not a safe method. Before going into the process, make sure your IP address is static.
To change the NAT type in the UPnP method,
- Open your router settings on a browser
- Find UPnP and turn it on.
That’s it. Your NAT Type is now changed.
4] Using a Configuration file
To change the NAT Type in this method,
- Open your router configuration page on a web browser
- Find Save or Restore Configuration options in the settings
- Save the file on your PC, and make another copy for backup
- Open the Configuration file and find “last bind“
- Then, type “bind application=CONE(UDP) port=1111-1111” by replacing the port number with the port numbers used by the game or application. Save the file.
- Then, in the router settings, click on Save or Restore Configuration and load the edited file.
- Restart your router to apply the changes.
These are the different ways using which you can change the NAT type on a PC. Also, if you don’t want to get into all these, you can use a VPN to bypass NAT types. A VPN gives you complete security by encrypting your traffic and data in a tunnel.
How do I check my NAT-type PC?
NAT Type is visible on the router settings page. You need to access router settings with the address and credentials according to your router make on a browser and see the NAT type.
Is there a way to change the NAT type?
There are different ways to change the NAT type. They are, by Port forwarding, by Network Discovery method, by UPnP method, or by Using a Configuration File. You can also use a VPN to bypass NAT settings.
Related read: Fix slow Internet speed on Windows 11/10 computer.