Port Forwarding an Apple Router

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Port Forward Staff
July 18, 2017 (Last Updated: ) | Reading Time: 4 minutes

Apple was founded in 1976. It is an American multinational company based in Cupertino, California.

Here is the port forwarding guide for the Apple routers. Apple routers have a very similar interface so this one guide covers the Apple Airport Express, Apple Airport Extreme, and the Apple Airport Time Capsule.

Apple routers work a little different than other routers on the market today. Apple uses a different user interface than other routers, which can cause a lot of confusion. Besides this different user interface setting up a port forward on an Apple router is really no different than most other routers on the market today.

Your Apple router uses a firewall to help protect your home network from unwanted Internet access. The firewall works by blocking all incoming and outgoing connections that are not authorized by your router. In order to authorize these connections in order to play an online game or application you need to create what is frequently called a port forward. A port forward sends the named port or ports through the firewall to a specific device on your local network.

A port forward on an Apple router may seem difficult, but we will walk you through each of the steps involved. We will show you how to:

Step 1

It is important to know that opening a port (port forwarding) does not open the port for your entire network, just one device. So that device needs a static IP address, an address that does not change every time you shut it off. This ensures the port remains open even after your device reboots.

Step 2

In order to login to an Apple router you need to have downloaded the Apple Airport Utility. When downloading the utility make sure you know there is a different utility for a MAC vs. Windows. (You can find this at the Apple store online)

For the purpose of this guide you should already have the Apple utility downloaded and the router should already be configured. This step shows you how to login to the user interface.

Login With a MAC

First, you need to find the Apple utility. To do this use the search. This should be in the upper right corner of the screen. Type Applications in the search box and press the Enter key. You should be shown a page similar to this:


Now, click the Utility option.


Find the Apple router utility in the center section of this page and click on it.


At this point, depending what Apple router you are using and how many you have, you may be shown a list of different base stations. Make sure to choose the one you want to make the port forward on.

Login With Windows

To find the Apple utility you need to open up the Start menu.

Next, simply type Airport in the search box.

At this point Airport Utility should appear as one of the results. Click this option.


There may be a list of different base stations to choose from, pick the one that you want to make a port forward on.

Step 3

To find the Port Forward section of the Apple router is the same across all the different Apple routers. For this guide we will be using Airport Extreme screenshots.

We begin on the first page of the Apple router, the Airport Summary page:

airport summary
airport summary

On this page click the option Advanced at the top of the page.

Then underneath that choose Port Mapping.

port mapping
port mapping

On this new page, to add a new port forward click the little + or Add button.


Congratulations, you have found the correct page to make a port forward for your Apple router.

Step 4

Here are the ports to forward for Xbox Live:

  • TCP Ports: 3074
  • UDP Ports: 3074

If you are looking for the ports for a different application you can find it by either:

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Enter the same port number to be forwarded into both the Public Port and the Private Port boxes.

Enter the IP address that you are forwarding ports to in the Private Address box. This is either the IP address of a computer or the IP address of another device on your network.

Click the Ok button when you are all done.

Click the OK button after each entry.

After you have finished entering the appropriate data, click the Update button at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

All Apple Routers

If the above instructions do not exactly match your router then you can try the following articles instead.

Your currently selected ports are for: Xbox Live.
  • If this is correct, select your router below
  • If you want to select a different application, please see our List of Ports.

Use a VPN Instead

Have you considered using a VPN instead of forwarding a port? For most users, a VPN is a much simpler and more secure choice than forwarding a port.

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