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Port Forwarding on Mac OS X 10.5.5 - Final Chapter


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Thank you for patience with this subject.

I read a lot about port forwarding on the net however a lot of technical answers confused me ever more. I would truly appreciate if someone could summarize the story and provide clear simple guidance. Just to be clear, I am far from an expert.

At home I am one of four computers connected to one router that is connected to internet with 3 Mbit/s connection. With my Mac and with uTorrent I can sometimes get up to 100 kb/s (without any port forwarding). However when I am downloading Sopranos all seasons with 30GB (seeds around 5 (155) and peers around 33 (1912)), 10-20 kb/s that I am getting is very slow. The small lamp in uTorrent is sometimes red, sometimes green and sometimes orange. In preferences, i checked both, randomize port during launch and auto map port. My firewall preferences are Set Access for Specific Services and Applications (uTorrent application is allowed).

My questions are:

Considering pros and cons, do I need port forwarding? How much more faster download rate can I get if I forward my port?

Considering Mac OS X 10.5.5 security issues (I am a new Mac user-old PC user) how safe is it to forward ports and leave them open all the time (I need it only for occasional uTorrent downloading)? Is there a way to open/close them as necessary (taking into consideration that port forwarding is a complicated procedure)?

If I decide to do port forwarding, is portforward.com all I need? I mean, do all the rules there apply to Mac OS X?

Thank you for your patience and help. Truly appreciated.

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Port forwarding is very necessary if you intend to torrent. You can, if you choose, just open certain ports for uTorrent in mac's firewall but it's really not that big of a deal to have all ports open on the mac. unless you actually have services (that would have to be one that could be exploited) running on said ports, you'll be fine. The standard services enabled on mac are completely safe to have exposed to the internet though.

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It is ok to allow only specific programms to get incoming connections. You´ll be asked for every programm to do so or not one time. As long as you are running uTorrent they are open as desired, so your OS X deals with it.

By the way: You are concerned about security on OS X ? Sure, there isn`t any perfectly secured way. But as long as you have Microsoft Office for Mac on your computer, think about security. Even Word demands incoming connections and history has shown that there were some serious security risks with Microsoft`s Office application :)

I think that it is slightly possible to get concerned about security as many people consider buying Apple machines and it`s software. So their percentage in market share is growing.

Yet 95 per cent of the world uses Windows. Mac and Windows do use different languages.

Anyway, I would never install some third party security software on my Mac.

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