I have a PS4 and Xbox One, I'm looking to avoid all NAT issues and possibly improve performance. Would it be better to use a DMZ or use IP Pass-through?
DMZDMZ is a Router NAT function. When you put a device in the DMZ then all packets received by your router, that don't match an existing NAT connection, are forwarded to the DMZ device. So any unsolicited traffic sent to your router is no longer dropped by NAT if it doesn't match a port forwarding rule, but instead is forwarded to the DMZed device. You'll want a firewall installed on this device unless it is a game console (and maybe even then?), as it will now be subjected to all kinds of scans and probes from the internet.
IP Passthrough removes the device (by switch port, or MAC address depending on device and configuration) from any routing or NAT functions. All traffic from that device is switched/bridged through the router right to the ISP. The IP Passthrough-ed device will have to pull its own public IP address from the ISP DHCP server. This device is no longer on a private network behind a Router/Firewall/NAT, it now lives directly on the public internet (I suggest you should have a firewall installed on it).
Thanks for reaching out! For this purpose I've seen the most success of having your XBox/PS4 set to utilize IP passthrough as that would bypass any features of your router that would be blocking these ports at all.
It's do at your own risk though, as by setting up IP passthrough without having another router set up on that port, you wouldn't have any sort of hardware firewall set up, which is definitely not advisable for network security purposes.
What I've seen quite often is setting up IP passthrough from the Shaw modem/router unit -> another router that you have set up specifically for console gaming, and using your consoles through there. This way you'd have more control over the router settings for those devices specifically.
Thanks for the info shaw-brayden! When I go into the port forwarding section on the Hitron modem it shows a few ports being opened for my PS4 and Xbox One but I never put them there myself so it looks like it automatically is opening ports that are needed if a device requests them, is this supposed to happen?
Correct. This is known as UPnP (Universal Plug n' Play) port forwarding, where devices/software can request the router to open ports used by the software. This feature is on by default in most routers.
Ok, thanks for the quick reply shaw-phil. I've never seen a router actually list the ports opened by UPnP before.
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