How to Port Forward on Starlink: How to Get Around CGNAT Gateways

Are you having trouble getting ports forwarded with Starlink? Probably, you’ve tried just about everything, including trying out various firmware to no avail. Well, you’re not alone, as how to port forward on Starlink is a question many ask. This article outlines why it’s hard to port forward on Starlink and how to go about it.

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Unfortunately, traditional port forwarding on Starlink does not work. That’s because Starlink, like many other ISPs, employs CGNAT (Carrier-grade Network Address Translation) to conserve IP addresses. That means your terminal does not have a public IP address you can access directly. Instead, Starlink assigns one IP address for multiple users to share. 

As a result, you cannot open ports. However, annoying as it is, it’s a protective measure. Otherwise, any attempts to port forward would render your local network vulnerable to attack if a bad actor scans for open ports on the internet. 

Image depicting a cyberattack

(Caption: Image depicting a cyberattack)

What Is CGNAT?

Carrier-grade Network Address Translation (CGNAT) is issuing one IP address for multiple services to share. That way, ISPs can extend their pool of usable IP addresses, helping mitigate the issue of global IPv4 address shortages. Therefore, CGNAT is an ISP-driven firewall to prevent network exhaustion and bandwidth issues. 

(Caption: Image of a firewall)

As mentioned earlier, you cannot open ports on Starlink. However, Starlink is testing IPv6 and plans to transition to IPv6, thereby solving the problem. In the meantime, here’s how to get around CGNAT and port forward on Starlink:

  • Use software like LocalTunnel. With such software, you can open up connections via their servers by split tunneling, enabling you to port forward.
  • Use a reliable VPN with a port forwarding add-on that can bypass CGNAT by masking your IP, allowing you to open ports. 
Image of VPN software installed on the device

(Caption: Image of VPN software installed on the device)

  • Host a server with a dedicated IP address with a port forwarding add-on.


Because Starlink uses CGNAT, you don’t have an individual IP address. Rather, you share one address with several other subscribers.

No. However, you can use a VPN to mask your IP address, software that enables split tunneling, or host a server with a dedicated IP address.

No, it does not. It has only two. One for the power supply and another for the dish cable. If you need an ethernet port, you must use a Starlink Ethernet adapter, one of the many accessories available at the Starlink online store.


Currently, you cannot port forward on Starlink, although Starlink promises to solve this problem. But now you know how to port forward on Starlink. As we’ve outlined, it’s all about bypassing the CGNAT  feature to enable you to open ports. To achieve this, you can use split-tunneling software, a VPN with a port forwarding add-on, or a server with a dedicated IP address.  

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