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Virgin Media Staff
Virgin Media Staff


Tips and tricks

A gamer's guide to NAT

• What's your NAT type

• Fix slow or lagging game-play

• How to change your NAT setting

When your online game play starts getting laggy or slow, your first thought might be that you're experiencing poor internet connectivity- but in reality, your console may just be using the wrong NAT type.


Network Address Translation (NAT) is a router's ability to change a public IP address to a private one, or vice-versa. It is issued as an additional security resource on a LAN by hiding a user's private IP address from other users on a given server.

Now NAT might not sound too exciting, but when it comes to gaming on consoles, specifically those which use online multiplayer features like the Xbox and PlayStation, a properly typed NAT is essential

What's my NAT type?

There are three different NAT types consoles use:

  1. Open NAT - If you have an Open NAT type, this means that you will be able to freely connect to anyone's games and other users will be able to easily enter games that you are hosting.
  2. Moderate NAT - This means that you will encounter difficulty entering some games and users may encounter difficulty connecting to online sessions that you are hosting. Overall, moderate NAT types give you limited online capability for you and other users on the server.
  3. Strict NAT - A strict NAT type means that you will have very limited ability to join online games and you will not be able to host any online games.

Troubleshooting NAT types

The only time you would need to do any troubleshooting with regards to NAT types is if you have a moderate or a strict NAT type. To check which NAT type you’re using, click on “test the current connection” button on the WiFi screen on your console (whether it is PS4 or Xbox) and the test will tell you which NAT type you have.

If the test reveals you have a moderate or strict NAT type, all you need to do is some slight configuration on your router. Before trying the steps below however, try (if possible) to plug an Ethernet cable into your console; on many routers, an internet connection through an Ethernet port automatically gives an Open NAT Type.

  1. Log into your hub by entering into your web browser and log into your router's interface.
  2. Enter the port-forwarding section of your router and forward the following ports:
  • For PS4:
    TCP: 80, 443, 1935, 3478-3480.
    UDP: 3478-3479.
  • For Xbox:
    TCP: 80
    UDP: 88, 500, 3544, 4500
    TCP & UDP: 53, 3074.

If this does not work, you can try to enable a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) on your console. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Find your IP address by running the connection test again on the Wi-Fi screen.
  2. Type your IP address on the DMZ page of the router’s interface, and click apply.
    This will enable a DMZ on the console.
  3. Assigning a DMZ opens all the UDP and TCP ports (except for those that are otherwise forwarded). Therefore, if the port forwarding does not work, remove the port forwarding rules that you have just established and assign a DMZ.

Entering these ports will change your NAT type to open, whether you had a strict or moderate NAT type beforehand.

It is important to keep in mind that these settings depend on the built-in firewall in your router that may incorrectly assign a NAT type to your console.

What next?

If you’re still experiencing issues with your console or any other technology in your home, the Virgin Media Gadget Rescue team is here to help. We’re available 24/7 to answer almost any tech question you can think of (but we don't have any cheat codes for Tekken 7, sorry).

And of course, you can always ask for help on the Virgin Media Community in the Gaming Support forum, or talk gameplay in our Gamer Lounge.

Any more tips to get the most out of your connection? Pop a comment below.

Happy Gaming!

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