Let me put my swami hat on and see if I can make a prediction: You access broadband through a router. If you’re trying to use your computer in some other capacity than checking your email or drudgefoxcnn.com, then you may have had to forward ports using your router’s setup screen. Accessing the succulent features of rolling your own “Back To My Mac” and “Screen Sharing” always amounted to static port forwarding, until now.
Lighthouse by Codelaid software is an all in one port forwarding app that supports both UPnP and NAT/PMP enabled routers. This means that Lighthouse can adjust port mappings automatically on your Aiport or Belkin/NetGear/whatever router. Setting up Lighthouse is pretty simple. In fact, you can access Lighthouse’s features in three easy steps.
- Install Lighthouse
- Enable UPnP or NAT/PMP on your router
- Use the Lighthouse menu to Set Router to the automatically detected ip address in the drop down menu
Lighthouse ships with eight preset profiles, and you can tweak these presets or make your own. If you don’t see the profile that you need and don’t feel like making one, you can select “Get More Profiles” to download more presets from the Codelaide website.
I still haven’t gotten to the fun part yet. Lighthouse will start and end profiles based on a the opening of a corresponding application. Just select “Edit Profiles” and add your application to the profile of you choice.
Now, when you start up an app like SubEthaEdit, the accompanying ports will be forwarded to your automatically assigned DHCP address. As soon as you quit SubEthaEdit, Lighthouse will stop the profile and everything is back to normal.
Lighthouse also supports Growl so you’ll always know what’s going on in the router ports department.
Registration for Lighthouse costs $12.99, but you can give this Universal application a try for free for 14 days. This app is a simple yet powerful menu bar app that gets the job done. I tried to find a problem with it, believe me I did. But Lighthouse associated with my router and forwarded my ports for easy remote SSH and VNC access every time.