How to open server ports for communication when installing Autodesk Network License Manager.



As you know you can purchase Autodesk software as a network license. This enable you to install the software on many PCs but only a number of people can open the software equal to the number of licenses. So if you have one license for AutoCAD only one person can use the software at a time.

How the licensing works is that you install a small app called NLM Tools on the server and this app manages the license assignments via the network. So, there needs to be communication between the server and the end user’s PC.

Sometimes the server firewall blocks the communication and the user will experience a license error when opening the software.

You can fix this by opened communication through ports 2080 and 27000-27009.


This is done on the server and via the Firewall settings. On the server press the windows key and search for and open the “Windows Firewall with Advanced Security” tool. The screen might look slightly different but than the one below, but the process is the same.

open ports for NLM for firewall

Once you have opening the Firewall settings. Click on the “Inbound Rules”.

open ports for NLM 2. Firewall dialogue box1

Then select the New Rule on the right. Then pick ‘Ports’ option and click Next.

open ports for NLM 3. Create new rule

In the next screen select TCP and the ‘Specified local ports’. Add 2080 and click Next.

open ports for NLM 3. select ports

Now select the “Allow” option and click Next.

open ports for NLM 4. Allow traffic

Make sure the rule applies to all traffic. Click Next.

open ports for NLM 5. Allow all

Now name the rule. A suggestion is to give the app name, port number and if it’s a in or out rule. Click Finish.

open ports for NLM 6. name the rule

The rule will appear in the list.

open ports for NLM 7. new rule in list

Now create another Inbound rule the same way but only use the ports 27000-27009 as shown.

open ports for NLM 8. rule for ports 27000

Once finished you have the two rules as shown.

open ports for NLM 9. Two rules.

You can now create two more rules but using the ‘Outbound’ option.

open ports for NLM 10. Two outbind rules


Setting up these four rules will allow the software, that is installed on the PCs, to communicate to-and-from the server. The communication of the NLM Tools happens through these particular ports and by allowing the communication enables the software licensing to work. If you would like information on the Network Installation of Autodesk software please contact us at: