Port-forwarding functionality comes at no extra cost when you buy a FastestVPN subscription and add a Dedicated IP to your plan. However, if you already have an account, including Dedicated IPs, adding the new option will cost you the equivalent of $1.20 a month.
How to use port forwarding
"With great pride, we announce that FastestVPN now brings Port Forwarding for you! You’ve asked, and we’ve once again delivered," reads the provider's email announcement.
Put simply, port forwarding describes the process where your network gets redirected to a specific route or path. When this functionality is added to the power of a VPN, it can create some serious advantages.
As FastestVPN went on to explain, users can now open any UDP/TCP ports or forward them from any device. For instance, this means you can access the laptop you've left at home to browse from the same IP address.
Port forwarding also allows you to enjoy VPN protection on devices, like gaming consoles and smart TVs, that don't support the software by default. So, there's no need to go through the hassle of installing the VPN on your router.
This ability to reroute internet traffic among different devices is best-suited for those using FastestVPN as a reliable gaming VPN, as it'll allow you to enjoy more stable connections and faster overall speeds.
Despite being a useful feature, port-forwarding is also infamous for leaving the connected devices vulnerable to some security risks. These ports can be used as an entry-point for cybercriminals, for instance, or responsible for IP leaks.
That's exactly why some of the most secure VPN providers either have removed port-forwarding due to security concerns (like Mullvad) or offer less risky alternatives. These include ExpressVPN's Device Group feature and NordVPN's new Meshnet technology.
Responding to these concerns, a FastestVPN spokesperson told TechRadar: "Yes, some security holes come with it [port forwarding], and we’re ready to give solutions to using it carefully. Of course, it’s not within our intention to put any user in harm’s way, but we simply provide what our customers have been asking for."
That's why the provider recommends discretion when using the feature. For those customers at higher risk and in need of a port-forwarding option, FastestVPN suggests contacting the support chat to let the provider know the IP they intend to access beforehand. "Only then we will accept traffic to those IPs," said the spokesperson.
Users might also want to use an alternative VPN or proxy service alongside FastestVPN to act as a Double VPN, routing traffic with double the encryption. The provider also recommend to head to this blog post for more information and advice.
The bottom line is that "port Forwarding does open up endpoints of attack, which is why we never recommend using it without a valid solution attached to it," said the provider.
Are you a pro? Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to the TechRadar Pro newsletter to get all the top news, opinion, features and guidance your business needs to succeed!
Chiara is a multimedia journalist committed to covering stories to help promote the rights and denounce the abuses of the digital side of life—wherever cybersecurity, markets and politics tangle up. She mainly writes news, interviews and analysis on data privacy, online censorship, digital rights, cybercrime, and security software, with a special focus on VPNs, for TechRadar Pro, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide. Got a story, tip-off or something tech-interesting to say? Reach out to email@example.com