Is Port Forwarding necessary for Ant Media Server?

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In the context of server computing, port forwarding typically refers to the process of redirecting network traffic from a specific port on the server to another defined port.

Servers are networked systems that rely on ports for defined traffic to come in and go out. Ports are logical endpoints that act as pathways for incoming and outgoing traffic to and fro the server systems. Ports are represented by numbers, standardized by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and documented in the “Service Name and Transport Protocol Port Number Registry.”

RECOMMENDED READING: How are Protocols implemented in applications?

How is Port forwarding related to Ant Media Server?

Ant Media is a streaming application with networking aspects, and it relies on various protocols that make video streaming and transmission possible. Protocols are logical rules and standards that define how a networking application works in relation to packaging, transferring, or sharing data over a network.

RECOMMENDED READING: How to open Ant Media Ports through the Firewall?

It’s important to note that Ant Media Server also ships with a Webserver, which is used for deploying and running the Web Panel pages for administrative access.

Below is the image of the Ant Media browser-based Web Panel:

Now, because Ant Media is also integrated with a Web server, it requires HTTP and HTTPS ports to be opened through the firewall.

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, which is the foundation of data communication on the internet and enables the transfer of various types of data, such as text, images, videos, and more, between clients (such as web browsers) and servers.

On the other hand, HTTPS stands for Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol, which is the encrypted version of HTTP we’ve just talked about.

By standard, HTTP uses 80 as its default port number and HTTPS uses 443 as its default port. However, when it comes to Ant Media, it uses 5080 as the substitute port for 80 to allow HTTP traffic. And port 5443 is used as the defined alternative to 443 to allow HTTPS traffic. The reason for this is that the Ant Media developer assume that the default HTTP & HTTPS ports could be preoccupied, and they decided to define the custom ports for the native webserver that ships with the Ant Media software.

Therefore, the Ant Media Web Panel can only be accessed in the browser if Ports 5080 & 5443 allow HTTP & HTTPS traffic respectively.

When is Port Forwarding Needed and Not Needed in Ant Media Server?

Port forwarding is not necessary if you don’t activate the firewall on the server. For example, if you haven’t activated your firewall system on the server, you will still access the Ant Media Web Panel using its default ports without having to configure port forwarding.

However, when you’re using a Firewall on your VPS server, you will need to open all the defined Ant Media ports and then implement port forwarding.

RECOMMENDED READING: How to open Ant Media Ports through the Firewall?

How to enable Port Forwarding in Ant Media Server?

To enable Port forwarding in Ant Media Server, you will need to first open the defined Ant Media ports using iptables. Here is the step-by-step guide on how to use the iptables firewall to port forward in Ant Media

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