Hi, I'm quite new to networking and so I was wondering what is the difference between Port Forwarding and Triggering? I was Port Forwarding my XBOX360 Live with my router and it looks like it's working now. But at first I had the doubt if I had to Trigger and Forward or just one of the two. Anyone know the difference? and if both of them are required?
"Port Forwarding" opens the ports you specify PERMANENTLY. When you turn the router on, it automatically allows any incoming connections from the Internet to use those ports at any time.
"Port Triggering" ONLY opens the ports when your computer sends an OUTGOING connection using the "Trigger Port". At all other times, ALL ports are completely BLOCKED. As an added security feature, there's also a "timer" which counts down when the ports are opened, and if the computer doesn't use the Trigger Port again before the timer reaches zero, the router will CLOSE all the ports again.
"Triggering" adds a bit of extra security, but because of the way it works, it's NOT compatible with most Internet applications which require INCOMING connections, such as game servers, web servers or filesharing programs.
Since the ports are closed until YOUR computer uses the trigger port, NO ONE from out on the Internet can connect to you until YOUR computer uses the trigger port.
And because your computer can't possibly know WHEN someone from the Internet may try to reach your game server or connect to your filesharing program, it'll never trigger that port.
Also, if for example a filesharing program uses a different port to download a large file than the trigger port which is used to contact the file server or torrent server, the timer may CLOSE the connection while the download is still coming in, or a game is in the middle of being played.
Because of alll this, we don't normally recommend using Port Triggering for most applications.