Geographically distant machines trying to sync via WAN instead of Relay

I have two machine at two different geographic locations miles apart. I’ve share folders from one to the other. For some reason the sending machine detects the connection as WAN instead of RELAY. These machines have no direct or WAN connections. Why won’t they attempt to connect through a RELAY?

Well, if they’re both connected to the internet, by definition they have a WAN link - the internet.

Syncthing always prefers direct connections over relays, because they’re generally much faster. Syncthing will not connect via a relay if it doesn’t have to (unless explicitly configured to only connect via a relay).

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It’s true they are both connected to the internet, but through different ISPs so I wouldn’t think that would work. Do I need to configure inbound port forward on each respective router since the machines are actually on private internal IPs (IP4)

Networking is a complex topic, and there are no one-size-fits-all answers. It is true that firewalls and Network Address Translation (NAT) makes direct connections more difficult (even impossible in some cases). Modern network applications (like syncthing) have “hole-punching” strategies to get around most common firewall and NAT setups. If that already works out of the box (apparently your case), that’s great: No additional setup is required from your side.

If you want to make connection establishment easier for syncthing (which can make connections more reliable in some cases), you can open ports in your router and/or firewall, sure. There’s an article in the docs that roughly outlines the basics. Again, since it already works, this isn’t strictly necessary.

Good for you! As others have already described, this is perfect.

No. WAN connection has already been established, so you don’t need to do anything. It works optimally already.

Happy syncing!

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Relay is the lowest priority connection not only because it’s the slowest but it’s also using bandwidth of another independent system. You don’t want a relay connection. It’s frankly a last resort if all else fails.

The wan connection is working so there’s probably nothing that you need to do unless you find the connection is unreliable. Probably you have upnp enabled on the router (at least on one side) and syncthing is instructing the router to forward the connection.

Again if this is working consistently you don’t have to do anything.

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