There are cases in which your router does not know how to properly send particular types of internet traffic to your WDTV. This may be important to you for a few reasons:
- Your torrents download slowly because your router doesn't know how to send them to your WD TV.
- You want to be able to access your WD TV from outside your home network.
Fortunately, most routers allow you to indicate where certain types of traffic should be sent on your network using a mechanism called "Port Forwarding". This guide will tell you how to set up port forwarding with the WDTV.
While this guide goes into a fair amount of detail about how to make the necessary changes to your network, this is only to ensure that both novice and advanced computer users have all the information they need. There are really only a few basic steps:
- Retrieve your current network settings from your computer
- Change the network settings on the WDTV to use a static IP address
- Change your router settings to forward the desired traffic to your WDTV
Retrieving Your Configuration Information
In order to make changes to your network, you first need to know what your current connection information is. In Windows, you can do this by opening a command window ( Start > Run > cmd ) and typing "ipconfig". This will show you the internet configuration for each of your ethernet adapters. You may have multiple adapters (for example, your wireless adapter and your ethernet jack). Get the information for the adapter that you use. You will want to get the following:
- IP Address: This is the address of the computer on which you typed "ipconfig".
- Subnet Mask: You will need this when you set up the WD TV network settings below.
- Default Gateway: This is the IP address of your router. You will need this below as well.
- Local Subnet: This is not listed, but is simple to figure out. If your router address is 192.168.0.1, then your local subnet is the range 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.255.
On Mac and Linux machines, you can get this information by typing "ifconfig".
Logging In To The Router
Each router is configured differently, but most have a web interface you can log into. If you obtained the "default gateway" information above, then in most cases you can just type that IP address into a web browser to get to it. For example, if the gateway address is 192.168.0.1, you can simply go to http://192.168.0.1.
Routers typically come with an administrator username and password. Check the manual for your router for further details.
Set the WD TV Network Settings
Static vs. Dynamic IP Addresses
By default, the WD TV is configured to automatically retrieve an IP address from your router using DHCP (this is typically how the other computers on your network are set up as well). While this is the easiest way to configure the WDTV's internet connection, it comes with two significant drawbacks:
- The IP address of your WD TV will change from time to time. If you ever want to connect to your WD TV from outside your home network, this makes it practically impossible.
- Because the IP address changes, the router won't know how to send particular types of internet traffic to the WD TV. Programs that rely on that traffic (such as BitTorrent clients) may not be able to function properly in this case.
Assign A Static IP Address To Your WDTV
In order to set up port forwarding, you will need to assign a static IP address to your WD TV as follows. This isn't as scary as it sounds, and you can't mess anything up permanently; if you ever have problems you can always just switch your router back to getting its IP address automatically.
Use your remote to go to Settings > Network Settings and manually setting the values there. You will need to choose "manual" instead of "automatic". Then, set the values as follows:
- IP Address: Set this to some IP address in the range of your local subnet (see "Retrieving Your Configuration Information" above.) You can typically assign your device any IP address you want on your Local Subnet with the exception of the following:
- Do not use the IP address of your router.
- No other computers can be assigned this IP address. Your router probably has a range that it reserves for dynamic IP addresses, which you can find in your router configuration. This may be listed under "DHCP range". These are the addresses that it assigns to computers automatically when they connect to your home network, so do not pick an IP address in this range. For example, if your DHCP range is set from 10.0.0.100 to 10.0.0.200, you can safely choose the address 10.0.0.3 because it is not between 100 and 200.
- Subnet Mask: In most cases this will be 255.255.255.0 on a home network. Check your router configuration if you are unsure.
- Gateway: Enter the gateway address retrieved from "Retrieving Your Configuration Information" above.
- DNS: You should be able to get this from your internet provider. When in doubt, I use AT&T's DNS (188.8.131.52). This should work worldwide, but it may be slow if you are located outside the US.
Configure The Router
Important Security Note You should only forward ports that you know you want to receive traffic on. Don't ever tell your router to forward all ports to your WDTV - that is just asking a hacker to break into your home network. Only allow traffic on the ports that you need.
Each type of internet traffic uses a different set of ports for communication. This is simply a number that both the sender and receiver agree upon when sending information back and forth so that they both know that it won't conflict with other internet traffic being sent to the machine. This is how your computer knows, for example, that it is receiving web traffic instead of BitTorrent traffic.
You will want to set up your router to forward the traffic for the desired programs to the IP address you assigned to your WDTV above. While the method of configuration varies from router to router, it is typically done through the router's web interface. You want to indicate that traffic on the ports of interest are forwarded to the IP address you assigned to the WD TV in step #1 above.
Additionally, there are two types of traffic that can be sent to a port: TCP and UDP traffic. If you know which type of traffic your program sends, it is more secure to only forward traffic of that type. If you are unsure, however, you can just choose to forward both types of traffic on the port.
Common Ports To Forward
- rTorrent: TCP and UDP traffic on ports 58690-58699; UDP traffic on port 46881
If you want to operate your WD TV from outside your home network, you can install the ddclient plugin and forward the ports below:
- Web server: TCP traffic on ports 80 and 443.
- FTP: TCP traffic on port 21
- SSH: TCP traffic on port 22
- Telnet: TCP traffic on port 23