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How an SD-WAN Solution Can Help You Safely Port Forward

May 19th, 2023 | 3 min. read

By Jordan Pioth

Business woman working on computer

Your organization may have difficulty sending files or data to external users outside of your organization’s network.

If your organization works with partners or customers who are not in your network, it can be difficult to send them important information such as contracts without being flagged by your organization’s network security.

Coeo has helped thousands of customers with their network connectivity and security and knows how important network security is to organizations.

We want you to understand how SD-WAN can support port forwarding so you can securely send data and information to external users who do not have access to your network.

By the end of this article, you will know what SD-WAN is, what port forwarding is, and how SD-WAN can help with port forwarding.

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN or Software Defined Wide-Area-Network is an overlay network built on top of underlying network connections. It typically uses fiber, LTE, or broadband to connect.

The solution is carrier agnostic meaning it doesn’t matter who your internet service provider is. Your SD-WAN solution can be leveraged using any number of underlying internet providers.

SD-WAN is applied as a software network of SD-WAN appliances, connected by encrypted tunnels.

Since SD-WAN uses encrypted tunnels to send and receive data, it ensures that data being sent through these tunnels is always secure.

SD-WAN appliances continuously monitor the availability and performance of each network service.

Data traffic is then classified based on application, ensuring data is sent out over the fastest, most reliable tunnel.

If you would like to learn more about SD-WAN and if it is a good fit for your organization, you can read our SD-WAN Buyer's Guide:SD-WAN BUYER'S GUIDE

What is port forwarding?

Port forwarding, allows remote servers and devices on the internet to access devices that are on a private network.

If you are not using port forwarding, only devices on that private network can access information being sent.

A port is a communication endpoint and is identified as a port number that is always associated with an IP address.

Network security is an important tool to have and allows you to protect your data from being compromised by malicious actors while keeping outside sources from penetrating your network.

If you are not able to grant access to an outside source, chances are you have strong network security.

However, there are times when you need to grant access to customers and business partners to share and review documents or other data residing on your network. Port forwarding will help you do that.

Port forwarding works by configuring an internal IP address on the firewall and then associating that IP address with an external IP address that other devices on the Internet know how to reach.

This enables you to be seen on a private network while still being protected from outside sources. Doing this allows you to access files and data that are on the private network.

How SD-WAN can help you safely port forward

An SD-WAN solution can help with port forwarding and make things less complicated and more secure. Some of the ways that SD-WAN can help with port forwarding include:


One of the ways that SD-WAN can help an organization port forward is by properly configuring and automating the port.

Proper configuration makes it easier to not only automate one location but then clone the configuration and use the same preferences at other locations within your organization.  

For example, you can configure your SD-WAN to redirect port-forwarding requests at every location which will eliminate the need for manual port forwarding.

This eliminates the risk of human error since it automatically determines if the port is malicious without the need for you or your IT team to determine.

Greater visibility

Since SD-WAN automatically configures port forwarding, it eliminates the need to port forward manually.  

Further, SD-WAN gives you greater visibility into your network so you can evaluate what is entering and leaving your network. This will enable you to make adjustments whenever appropriate.

For example, if you see non-authorized users attempting to enter your network, you can lock it down by adding more specific restrictions on who can and can’t enter your network.

Better management

With greater visibility and freedom, you are better able to manage your SD-WAN and port forwarding technology.

With more control and visibility, you can manage your SD-WAN and port forwarding to meet your organization’s telecom security needs.

In addition, since SD-WAN automates port forwarding and allows you to identify the settings and preferences you want, your network will automatically follow these preferences.

If you or your team were to manage port forwarding manually, there would likely be inconsistencies that could lead to security breaches.

Next steps to using port forwarding

Now you know what SD-WAN is, what port forwarding is, and how SD-WAN can help with port forwarding. This will help you determine if your organization should use SD-WAN to port forward.

If your organization needs to send information and documents to an external user outside of your network, it can be difficult to do this securely.

Because network security is a high priority for most organizations, it can be difficult to send data to external users with network security restrictions.

Fortunately, port forwarding can help you send documents and information to external users and SD-WAN can help you port forward easily with more control and better customization.

If you would like to speak with our team to learn more about port forwarding or SD-WAN or ask any questions you may have you can schedule an appointment. TALK TO AN EXPERT

Now that you know how an SD-WAN solution can help you port forward, read this article to learn more about SD-WAN:

Jordan Pioth

When he's not creating content for Coeo, Jordan loves to watch sports, hang out with friends and family, and anything sneaker-related.