How to enable Port Forwarding in Iptables

What is Port Forwarding

Port forwarding allows remote computers, for example, computers on the Internet, to connect to a specific computer or service within a private local area network (LAN).

Typical applications include the following:

  • Running a public HTTP server within a private LAN
  • Permitting Secure Shell access to a host on the private LAN from the Internet
  • Permitting FTP access to a host on a private LAN from the Internet

In Linux, you can configure port forwarding using iptables command.
The below example is to enable the port forwarding of port 80 of the external ip address "83.229.64.2" to the port 80 of the computer inside the LAN with the ip address of "192.168.1.2".

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -d 83.229.64.1 -p tcp --dport 80 -j DNAT --to-destination 192.168.1.2:80
iptables -A FORWARD -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT