How do I change my NAT type?
Starting with version 2017.3, Connectify now supports game consoles in Routed mode. You can learn more about Gaming Mode here.
TL;DR answer: you can change your NAT type by using a VPN like Speedify to bypass NAT restrictions of your Internet connection, leaving you with NAT Type 2 | B | Moderate. Use Connectify Hotspot to share the VPN connection over Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet.
What Is NAT and How Does It Affect You?
Your connection to the Internet is usually done through a modem or a router. This also applies to public Wi-Fi networks. These modems / routers have a built-in functionality called NAT (Network Address Translation). NAT “maps” how requests from locally connected devices with private IP addresses are going on the Internet to public IPs, and back.
NAT in combination with your router's firewall also has a role for security - it protects devices connected to the local network from potential attacks of hackers, since it will prevent incoming connections from reaching the devices on your network.
There are several NAT types your ISP and modem / router manufacturer can have in place:
- Type 1 | A | Open - this is the case where your device is connected directly to the Internet with no NAT. All incoming requests from the Internet will be permitted.
- Type 2 | B | Moderate - this is the most common case where your device is connected through a modem / router to the Internet. Some incoming requests from the Internet will be permitted with port forwarding or UPnP, but most incoming requests are not allowed.
- Type 3 | C | Strict - No incoming requests from the Internet are allowed.
For day-to-day activities such as browsing, streaming videos and VoIP calls, you shouldn’t have any issues. But when it comes to playing online games, you might run into some trouble, because with some multiplayer games, other players have to connect to your device - computer, smartphone or gaming console.
What NAT Will You Get by Using Connectify Hotspot?
Depending on the network setup, you will be able to get a Type 2 | B | Moderate or Type 3 | C | Strict NAT.
Here’s a typical setup of a connection to the Internet that includes Connectify Hotspot:
As a virtual router software, Connectify Hotspot has its own NAT, which is a Type 2 | B | Moderate one. So, in the example above, your connection has 3 NAT components:
- One from the ISP - usually Open, but some cellular providers set it as Strict
- One from the modem / router - that is usually set to Moderate
- One from Connectify Hotspot - Moderate
So, the resulting connection will have the NAT that is the most restrictive:
- Open - Moderate - Moderate = Moderate NAT
- Strict - Moderate - Moderate = Strict NAT
How to Get a Type 2 | B | Moderate NAT Using Connectify Hotspot and Speedify VPN
Does your Internet connection have a Type 3 | C | Strict NAT that is limiting your online functionalities, such as online gaming? A VPN connection can bypass the NAT, as your device will be tunneled directly to a remote VPN server which usually has a Type 2 | B | Moderate NAT. So, your resulting connection will have a Type 2 | B | Moderate NAT.
You can use a modem / router with a VPN running on it for this. But this means that you will have to always carry the router with you if you will be playing games online outside your house.
A more cost-effective and flexible solution is to use your PC to share the VPN connection via Wi-Fi or Ethernet and connect your gaming consoles. All you have to do is:
- install and run both Connectify Hotspot and Speedify VPN on your PC
- setup Connectify Hotspot to share the VPN connection either as a Wi-Fi hotspot or in Wired Mode, to Ethernet.
Check out this step-by-step guide to share a VPN connection over Wi-Fi.
Note: in some cases, where VPN connections are restricted, you might not be able to get the Type 2 | B | Moderate NAT type, as you will not be able to connect to the VPN server.