The Best VPNs with Port Forwarding 2024

Choosing a VPN with port forwarding compatibility is crucial for a secure internet connection. Our top picks for VPNs that support port forwarding include Private Internet Access (PIA), Proton VPN, and AirVPN.
We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Best for Compatible Port Forwarding

5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Private Internet Access's website

Private Internet Access
View More

Best for Premium Privacy

4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Proton VPN's website

Proton VPN
View More

Best for Port Forwarding and Torrenting

3.7
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On AirVPN's website

AirVPN
View More

A virtual private network (VPN) masks your real IP address, which helps keep your network secure. But concealing your IP address under a fake one can make it difficult for incoming traffic to find your specific device when so many other devices are using the same IP address. Enter port forwarding. Port forwarding lets incoming traffic find you while still using a VPN IP address. Your privacy is secure, and you can continue to enjoy the internet.

So is port forwarding safe? Yes and no. Not all VPNs offer port forwarding, and a lot of premium VPNs don’t support it due to security risks. Insecure port forwarding can lead to issues like IP addresses getting blacklisted, hosting providers canceling, and law enforcement involvement. Fewer VPNs offer port forwarding due to these potential security problems. 

Even still, there are quite a few trustworthy VPNs with port forwarding, like Private Internet Access (PIA), Proton VPN, and AirVPN. Private Internet Access is our top pick due to its ease of use and device compatibility.

In this article
The best VPNs with port forwarding
Private Internet Access: Best for compatible port forwarding
Proton VPN: Best for premium privacy
AirVPN: Best for port forwarding and torrenting
Honorable mentions
How we tested the best VPNs with port forwarding
Best VPNs with port forwarding FAQs
Bottom line: The best VPNs with port forwarding

The best VPNs with port forwarding

Top 3 VPN services with port forwarding compared

Starting price $2.19/mo $4.99/mo €2.75/mo ($2.98/mo)
Free version
Money-back guarantee Yes — 30 days Yes — 30 days Yes — 30 days
Streaming support Yes — Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney+, and more Yes — Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney+, and more
Learn more Get PIA

Read Our PIA Review

Read Our Proton VPN Review

Read Our AirVPN Review

Private Internet Access: Best for compatible port forwarding

Save 82% on a 2-year subscription + 2 months free
5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Private Internet Access's website
Private Internet Access
  • VPN offering fast internet speeds and strict no-logs policy
  • Unblocks Netflix and other streaming services
  • Antivirus and dedicated IP address cost extra

Who it’s best for

PIA is an affordable option for dynamic port forwarding that is compatible with multiple operating systems. Yet it doesn't offer port forwarding for all server locations.

Private Internet Access offers WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEvs/IPsec protocols. All three are highly secure.

What we liked

Port forwarding with PIA is compatible with all devices. You can use the app to change settings and connect to a server that offers port forwarding. Not all locations offer port forwarding, so you may have limited choices. Once connected, you'll get assigned a dynamic port number.

PIA also has other features that make it a valuable VPN choice, including:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Advanced kill switch
  • DNS leak protection
  • Multi-hop
  • Blocks ads, trackers, and malware

What we didn’t like

PIA doesn't reveal how many servers are available, which makes it a bit more difficult to compare to other VPNs. Port forwarding isn't an option for U.S. locations, so you will need to connect to an international server if you are located in the U.S.

PIA specs

Price range $2.03–$11.99/mo
Money-back guarantee Yes — 30 days
Number of servers Servers in 91 countries
Number of connected devices Unlimited
VPN protocol OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPsec
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Learn more Get PIA

Read Our PIA Review

Proton VPN: Best for premium privacy

4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Proton VPN's website
Proton VPN
  • Easy to use
  • A strict no-logs policy that’s been tested in court
  • More expensive than NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost

Who it’s best for

Proton VPN is a great option if you want to port forward while still having access to premium security features. However, it's a more technical option to set up if you are using macOS. Windows and Linux users will have an easier time enabling port forwarding.

Proton VPN's port forwarding feature allows certain apps or software to bypass the VPN firewall and connect through an open port. It could speed up your torrenting or gaming, but also poses a security risk.

What we liked

Proton VPN offers port forwarding via its paid plans. It's as easy as enabling port forwarding within the app and then connecting to one of the P2P servers. Since Proton VPN passed our speed tests, it's a good choice if you don't want your internet connection to significantly slow down.

Proton VPN is also ideal if you prioritize premium privacy. It has features such as:

  • Independently verified no-logs policy
  • Open-source apps for transparency
  • Built-in Tor support
  • Proton Mail to sign up for an account

What we didn’t like

macOS users will need advanced technical knowledge to set up port forwarding on Proton VPN. It may change in the future, but for now, Windows and Linux are the only operating systems that can set up port forwarding within the client app.

Proton VPN specs

Price range $4.99–$9.99/mo
Money-back guarantee Yes — 30 days
Number of servers 4,400+ servers in 91 countries
Number of connected devices Up to 10 devices
VPN protocol OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Learn more

Read Our Proton VPN Review

AirVPN: Best for port forwarding and torrenting

3.7
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On AirVPN's website
AirVPN
  • AES-256-GCM encryption
  • Tor integration
  • Cannot access Netflix

Who it’s best for

AirVPN is ideal if it’s important that your VPN has port forwarding. It delivers on keeping your identity protected with no other frills attached. You may want to use AirVPN with other VPN providers if you are looking for additional security features or to unlock regional streaming content.

What we liked

AirVPN’s main attractions are its port forwarding and torrenting capabilities. You can choose your own protocol and select your own static port number. Compared to other VPNs, it offers much more flexibility and customization for port forwarding and torrenting.

While it can get technical, there is a lot of support to guide you. AirVPN’s active community and forums are noteworthy. You can always find answers to your questions from a helpful group of people.

AirVPN provides the essential privacy features you expect from a VPN — all at a price that won't break your budget. You can even pay in cryptocurrency to ensure your identity remains private.

What we didn’t like

AirVPN is not a great option if you are looking to unblock regional streaming content. During our testing, AirVPN couldn't access any of Netflix's international content. In addition, it wouldn't connect while using a U.S. server. Our testing showed significant speed issues while using AirVPN.

There is also an issue with the lack of server availability. For example, there is no option to connect to an Australian server. This lack of servers could develop into an issue if you are from a country where AirVPN has no servers.

Finally, while AirVPN has a no-logs policy, it has never completed an independent third-party audit to confirm its validity. AirVPN notes that audits don't guarantee future avoidance of traffic logging or transmission to third parties. However, we still think an audit is an important part of verifying a VPN's authenticity.

AirVPN specs

Price range €2.75–€7.00/mo ($2.98–$7.60/mo)
Money-back guarantee Yes — 30 days
Number of servers 200+ servers in 20+ countries
Number of connected devices Up to 5 devices
VPN protocol OpenVPN, WireGuard
No-logs policy No logs (but not independently verified)
Unblocks Netflix? No
Torrenting support Yes
Learn more

Read Our AirVPN Review

Honorable mentions

There are a few additional VPNs that didn't quite make our top three. They are still worthy of your consideration, especially if you still haven't found the right fit for your port forwarding needs.

  • hide.me: hide.me offers dynamic port forwarding within the app or manually. It's easy to use and set up. However, it didn’t do as well on our speed tests as other VPNs, which made hide.me only an honorable mention.

    Read Our hide.me Review
  • Ivacy VPN: Ivacy VPN has port forwarding as an add-on feature. Unless you want to get stuck with a 5-year plan, Ivacy isn't as affordable as other VPN options, especially with a port forwarding add-on.

    Read Our Ivacy Review

How we tested the best VPNs with port forwarding

When choosing the best VPN services for port forwarding, we evaluated a few factors to determine which ones were top-tier:

  • Port forwarding support: Beyond a set-up guide, we checked if VPNs offered forums, community, or 24/7 customer service to help support port forwarding.
  • Pricing: Affordability is usually a primary factor when choosing a VPN. That's why we prioritized VPNs that included port forwarding in their plans instead of as an add-on.
  • Privacy and security: We also verified that VPNs use private and secure protocols and successfully mask your IP address.
  • Device compatibility and ease of use: We checked if port forwarding was available on select operating systems and if it was easy to use.

Best VPNs with port forwarding FAQs


+

How does port forwarding work with a VPN?

When you use a VPN, you share an IP address with other people. However, this can make it difficult for incoming traffic to send something to your specific device. Port forwarding gives incoming traffic a way to reach you without exposing your real IP address.


+

Which VPNs allow port forwarding?

Some VPNs that allow port forwarding include PIA, Proton VPN, and AirVPN. You may also want to consider PureVPN, hide.me, or Ivacy since they also allow port forwarding.


+

Should I use a VPN with port forwarding?

Yes. Port forwarding can open a path for hackers to access your network. To protect yourself, you should use a virtual private network to mask your IP address while port forwarding.


+

Which VPN has dedicated IP port forwarding?

AirVPN allows you to choose a dedicated IP port forwarding. This means that you will have the same port number even if you disconnect and reconnect to AirVPN. Another option is PureVPN, which has add-ons for port forwarding and a dedicated IP address.


+

Does NordVPN offer port forwarding?

No, NordVPN doesn't offer port forwarding. Some suitable alternatives include Private Internet Access, Proton VPN, and AirVPN.


+

Does OpenVPN support port forwarding?

Yes, OpenVPN does support port forwarding. You can also use the WireGuard protocol for port forwarding. Learn more in our WireGuard vs. OpenVPN review.

Bottom line: The best VPNs with port forwarding

Private Internet Access is an ideal solution if you are prioritizing affordability and ease of use. It's also great for all types of devices.

While Proton VPN has premium security features, macOS users may need advanced support to manually set up port forwarding.

Last but not least, AirVPN provides the most support and flexibility for port forwarding. Keep in mind that it's not a great choice for watching Netflix with a VPN or server availability.

3 best VPNs with port forwarding 2024

Starting price Best for Learn more
$2.19/mo Best for compatible port forwarding Get PIA

Read Our PIA Review

$4.99/mo Best for premium privacy

Read Our ProtonVPN Review

€2.75/mo ($2.98/mo) Best for port forwarding and torrenting

Read Our AirVPN Review

Save 82% on a 2-year subscription + 2 months free
5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Private Internet Access's website
Private Internet Access
  • VPN offering fast internet speeds and strict no-logs policy
  • Unblocks Netflix and other streaming services
  • Antivirus and dedicated IP address cost extra
Author Details
Sara J. Nguyen is a freelance writer specializing in cybersecurity. She aims to help people protect their data while enjoying technology. She has written about online privacy and tech for over 5 years for several organizations. When she's not writing about the latest cybersecurity trends, you can find her on LinkedIn.