Router port forwarding for NAS access

DColin used Ask the Experts™
Hi Experts,

What ports should I forward in my router so that I can connect to my NAS from an external (to my home) network? I have read that 445 and 139 are required to be forwarded is this true?
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Depends upon the NAS.
WD needs ports 9080  or 9443.ports 80 and 443
Read the manual.
Forwarding 139  and 445 isn't a good idea.
They are extremely vulnerable to attack.
What make of nas?
Ernie BeekSenior infrastructure engineer
Top Expert 2012

It might be a better idea to configure a VPN (if your router supports it). Just opening up ports to the internet is always a bad idea.
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Top Expert 2014

It depends on the protocol used, rather than what NAS you have.

Forwarding SMB and NetBIOS isn't a great idea, as wyliecoyoteuk said.  It is going to be exploited 10 mins after you open it up.

A VPN is the safest way to open up access to the NAS directly, unless it's a cloud-based NAS.  In that case you shouldn't need to open up any ports inbound to connect to it from the internet (apart from between the cloud and the NAS).
Distinguished Expert 2018

Depends on the model and protocol. But as previously cited, you would want to forward the http or https ports, which would force you to use a Web browser. Less convenient (you would have to upload and download documents) but far more secure. Also make sure that your NAS has a secure password.

If you need or want to simply browse it like you would at the office, then set Up a VPN as already suggested.


Thank you all for your suggestions,

It is a WD My Book Duo and I do not have the manual for it.

I will set up a VPN after I get it set up first for external access.

Am I correct in thinking from pgm554's suggestion that I need to forward ports 9080 , 9443, 80 and 443 ?
Distinguished Expert 2018

You should just need to forward ports 80 and 443.
Distinguished Expert 2018
Setup Instructions

That link should help as well
If its a MYBook Duo (as you said), there is no network connection and it is directly plugged into your PC via USB:
(The manual can be downloaded from the support link)
As a USB device, the only way you will get internet access to it is if:
A - Your router has USB ports so you can connect it directly to the router and use the router setup for external access or
B - You turn your PC into a fileserver and open up the ports to it.

B is dangerous as h*ll!  If you don't have every single thing updated and very carefully manage what you want the world to have access to, you will get hacked.  Its not a matter of if; but, when.
A is also dangerous unless you are very careful about what you allow to be externally available.

If it is not the MyBook Duo I posted a link to, please post back with the model number which is printed on the device.
+1 for the above comments.
It isn't actually a NAS (which means "Network attached Storage"), just an external drive.
Unless you have a router with a USB port, then external access is not a good idea.
Top Expert 2004

Just a couple more cents:

DON'T DO THIS!  Opening your file server to the internet is just like putting a great big blinking neon sign asking people to please come steal your children.  

If you have a need to access the external drive, take it with you.  That's why external drives are so portable these days.  Alternatively hook it up to one machine, and use software like TeamViewer to access it from remote.  If you really, really, really need to get fancy, set up a secure, non-standard-port S/FTP server for the drive.
Top Expert 2016

you could use remote desktop to connect to your home machine if your home machine is running pro or higher versions of the o/s.. I'd suggest that you install a router (if not already done so) then you only have to NAT port 3389 to your machine. a dynamic hostname will also help i.e. from or or others.

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