Mar 21

Virtual Server – is used to forward a specific external port to an internal port in a one port to one port relationship. This would allow WAN side connections to come to the LAN side of your network. Virtual Server settings are commonly used for Port Redirection, when you use a public port that is different from the private port. This use is common if you are accessing multiple cameras. For for ease of use, you keep the cameras all on port 80 to view the web interface, but because the router will only allow port 80 to be opened to one IP, you would use Virtual server to redirect other ports to the LAN side cameras on port 80.

Example: In Virtual Server you would set your first camera as public port 81, private port of 80 and set it private IP accordingly. Then make the second camera public port 82, private port 80 and set its private IP accordingly. Internally (from LAN) both camera can be accessed at their IP address and port 80. From the outside(from WAN) they are access from the WAN ip address and their respective Public port, camera one at 81 and camera two at 82. http://wan-ip-address:81 typed into your browser will show you the web page of camera one.

Port Forwarding – is used to allow data to come from the WAN (Internet) and pass through the firewall to the destination ip address(s). This is used when a device or application behind the firewall of your router needs access to a range of ports to function properly. (E.g. online games or gaming consoles, FTP servers and network cameras.)
However, no two devices or machines on the LAN side of the router can use the same port number at the same time.

Example: In the case of the camera above, for Virtual Server, you kept the HTTP port as 80 and used Virtual Server to make the public port 81. To cover the streaming ports, Audio, Video, and control (DCS-5300G) you will have to set each port range unique to each camera and put those ranges in Port Forwarding. You can keep 5001-5003 for camera one but need to make camera two unique, may be 5004-5006.

In the end you will have used the Virtual Server for redirection and the Port Forwarding rules to allow a range of ports through the router to a LAN side device.

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  • At 2010.08.06 09:10, IP camera said:

    Hi there, anyway, thanks for the info!

    • […] or DWL-7100AP? Good post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement …IP camera on What is the difference between Virtual Server and Port Forwarding? Hi there, anyway, thanks for […]

      • At 2013.08.03 18:47, meryl said:

        Hello Thank you! this makes me understand the difference of two.

        • At 2014.11.10 18:19, Daniel said:

          Good post! However, I am not being able to setup the virtual servers. The virtual servers setup page in my router configuration page only shows this fields:
          Service Port / IP address/ Protocol (All/TCP/UDP) / Status (Enabled / Disabled)
          There are no field or choices like private port and public port. Besides, the 80 port is setup there (not for me…) and the “IP port” configured is my notebook´s IP address as far as I understood. Is this a problem…? Thanks!

          • At 2014.11.10 18:22, Daniel said:

            Sorry, I forgot to mention: I am traying to setup four DCS-930L IP cameras, but even though I can “see” the camera inserting its IP address in the web browser, when I run the camera´s setup wizzard, it cannot find any camera… I don´t know what to do, since the only way to use Mydlink seems to be thorugh this setup wizzard.

            • At 2021.04.24 08:18, JillTechGirl said:

              Why is it falsely called a “virtual server”? It has NOTHING to do with creating/using virtual machines. And works just the same on “servers” or “workstations”. Duh.

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