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Posted on 08/17/2022

How to check open ports for live streaming

When streaming content, whether live or pre-recorded, it’s important to ensure your ports are open to avoid any buffering or other playback issues. This post will show you how to check open ports for live streaming on both Windows and Mac.

How to check for open ports on Windows

Here’s a quick guide on how to check your open ports for live streaming on Windows: 

1. Open the Command Prompt. To do this, press the Windows key + R and type “cmd.” 

2. Type “netstat -aon” and hit enter. 

3. Look for the port numbers in the LISTening state. These are the ports you’ll need to have open for streaming. 

4. If the port numbers aren’t in the LISTening state, you’ll need to open them manually. Type “netstat -aon > C:\port_test.txt” and hit enter to create a text file of all the open ports. 

5. Open C:\port_test.txt in Notepad or another text editor and look for the port numbers that are in the LISTening state. These are the ports you’ll need to forward in your router settings. 

6. Enter those port numbers into your router settings and save your changes. 

7. Close Command Prompt and try streaming again!

How to check for open ports on Mac

You can check your open ports on Mac using the command line tool “netstat.” With netstat, you can see all the active connections to your computer, including which ports they’re using. To use netstat, open the Terminal application and type “netstat -an | grep LISTEN.” This will show you a list of all the open ports on your Mac, along with the process ID verification service (PID) and name of the application that’s using each port.

If you’re unsure what a particular port is used for, you can look it up in the /etc/services file. This file contains a list of every known service and their associated port numbers. To view the contents of this file, type “cat /etc/services” in the terminal.

How many types of ports does live streaming use?

Live streaming generally uses two ports: UDP (User Datagram Protocol) and TCP (Transmission Control Protocol). UDP is typically used for audio streaming, while TCP is used for video streaming. If you’re not sure which protocol your live stream is using, you can check the settings in your streaming software.

To check if a particular port is open on your Mac, you can use the “lsof” command. For instance, to check whether port 8080 is open, you would type “lsof -i :8080” in the terminal. This will show you a list of all the processes using port 8080.

You can also use the “nmap” command to scan for open ports on your Mac. For example, to scan for all open UDP and TCP ports, you would type “nmap -sU -sT localhost” in the terminal.

A fourth image showing open ports for live streaming.

Open ports can be a security risk, so it’s important to close any ports you’re not using. You can use the “sudo pfctl -F all” command to close a port on your Mac. This will flush all the currently active rules and close all open ports. You can also use the “sudo pfctl -f /etc/pf.conf” command to close all ports that are listed in the /etc/pf.conf file.

If you’re planning on live streaming, checking your open ports beforehand is a good idea to ensure everything is set up correctly. By using the netstat, lsof, and nmap commands, you can easily check for open ports on your Mac. Remember to close any unused ports to reduce the risk of security vulnerabilities.

Read our earlier posts here and here on live streaming. 

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