Take the 2-minute tour ×
Information Security Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Information security professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have found that my connection decreased suddenly when downloading torrents. I diagnosed it with bit torrent and the answer is that i should do port forwarding on my modem/router! Is it risky?

share|improve this question
    
Opening ports can be risky, usually with uPnP compatible devices you don't have this issue. If your connection speed decreased suddenly it might be because you have your upload speed set to unlimited. If i have mine set on that it takes longer to load webpages because your requests take longer to reach their destination and return a response. If you imagine an hose pipe with water flowing through it, when you stand on the pipe it prevents so much water going through it. Your internet connection is a bit like this. –  micb Nov 5 '13 at 14:43
    
Well it hasn't changed anything that i opened a port or changed my upload settings .. i think the problem may be with the router as my other downloads on youtube or anything is good except torrents ! Thx –  Anonymous Nov 5 '13 at 15:06

2 Answers 2

Port-forwarding means that when a connection is attempted on a specific port on your router, that connection will be forwarded to you (a machine behind the NAT) on that specific port (or, depending on the setup, it can be a different port, but let's not get into that).

Is it risky? Well, it can be risky. It all depends on the application listening on that port. In this case, the application is your BitTorrent client. There are two factors here:

  • Your trust in the BitTorrent client: You trust that the BitTorrent isn't actually opening a backdoor to your machine.

  • How up to date you're keeping your BitTorrent client: Outdated clients can have certain upatched vulnerabilities with publicly available exploits.

If you have those two points in check and you think you'll benefit from opening port (I don't think your speed will increase), then go ahead and forward that port.

share|improve this answer

Port Forwarding is just a technique used to enable "proper" network connectivity for some applications that are running on NATed devices (almost all home computers).

Port forwarding in itself a risk factor - the risks occur with regards to how the destination computer handles the incoming connections. e.g. If you forward port 22 (SSH), make sure you have a strong password, keep the SSH server well patched, and review any failed login attempts.

For some BitTorrent clients, port forwarding increases performance. Since most BitTorrent clients use random high ports that aren't used for other services, I'd say that there is little to no risk to enable port forwarding of whatever 5-digit port number that the client specifies.

In my opinion, the risks involved in executing files acquired via BitTorrent far outweigh the risk from forwarding a high port used by the BitTorrent client.

You should (at the very least) virus scan any such files before opening them.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.