Solved: External Users to Access Website/Service

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murphys811

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Sep 18, 2008
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Hello,

I am brand spanking new to networking. I have been a software developer for a few years now but networking and anything server related goes right over my head.

As a side project, I want to create a WCF Service hosted on an extra computer I have at home. I want anyone in the world to be able to access this service. Is this possible if they know my computer's ip address?

I use a wireless router. After looking at other places I may have picked up the idea that I could configure my wireless router to expose a certain port to map an external ip address to an internal ip address. So if they go to http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/MyService/MyService.svc they would see my web service.

Is this truly possible? Any help on where I could start?

I know how to code the Service, I just don't know how to let the world see it.

Thanks for any help.
 
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Sep 2, 2008
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This is called port forwarding and can be found in your router documentation. Usually you can look up the user manual on the website of your router's manufacturer.
It allows you to forward connections from the Internet side of your router something like http://1.2.3.4 which is ip address 1.2.3.4 port 80 to an internal ip like 192.168.0.100:80. Of course you need to provide a service that is listening at port 80 to accept and use the connections....like a web server, presumably IIS, hosting WCF.
 
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We can help you more if you provide the make and model of your router.

But, yes, that's the gist of it. Forward whatever ports you need to the server.
 

murphys811

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Sep 18, 2008
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I have a LinkSys Wireless-G Broadband Router (Model WRT54G).

I have tried doing the port forwarding but I noticed that in order for this to work, I need to turn off DHCP and assign the computer hosting the website a static IP Address. This is where I am a bit clueless.

When I disabled DHCP on the router, I could no longer connect to the router (limited or no connectivity and couldn't get to the router settings). So as of now I have DHCP enabled on the router, but have a static IP Address set on the specific computer. But I still can't navigate to the external IP Address of the router to get to the website.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Scott
 

murphys811

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Sep 18, 2008
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Yes, that is where I tried to set up the Forward Porting.

Here are the settings I put in there:
Application: <name of project> (does this matter?)
Start: 80
End: 80
Protocol: Both (TCP and UDP)
IP Address: 192.168.1.99
Enabled: checked


Is this the right way to set it up?
 

murphys811

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I just don't know what I am doing wrong...

Each computer inside the network can navigate to the private static IP Address for the "webserver". However, the port forwarding is still not working.

The public IP Address for my router is found in the status section of the router settings, correct? Should I be able to ping the router IP Address from outside the network? Maybe I have the wrong public IP Address somehow.

Are there any firewall settings I need to disable, whether it be on the router or the "webserver" PC?

I am starting to remember why I usually stick to software...
 
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The public IP Address for my router is found in the status section of the router settings, correct? Should I be able to ping the router IP Address from outside the network? Maybe I have the wrong public IP Address somehow.
Go to whatismyip.com using your browser and it will display your public IP address.

Are there any firewall settings I need to disable, whether it be on the router or the "webserver" PC?
Enabling port forwarding should be enough as far as the router. You may need to disable any firewall software on the webserver computer.
Also, be aware that you can't test this scenario from within your internal home network. There is no way for the packets to exit through your router make a U-turn and come back in your router from the outside interface and be forwarded. You need to test from another network. Dialup, AOL, from work, or have a friend test it.
 

murphys811

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I have completely disabled the Windows Firewall on my "webserver" machine. Also, when I am trying to test accessing the website through an external line, I connect to my neighbor's router.

Maybe there is something else blocking the requests on my machine.
 
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I have a hunch that your modem is performing NAT. What make and model is your router. Also, what ISP do you have?
 
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If the ip address you got from whatismyip.com is different from the wan side of your router then your modem could be doing NAT as avisitor has mentioned.
Check if you can find any other firewall or antivirus software on the webserver machine and disable it for testing.
Go back into the router and make sure of the settings and address. Check the ip address of the webserver and make sure it hasn't changed or DHCP turned on.
You can also test if the problem is the router if you connect the webserver directly to the modem and then try to access it from your neighbor's connection. This should bypass the router completely and the need for port forwarding. Turn on dhcp for this, though.
You can telnet to port 80 and see if you get any info from the port. Open a command window and type telnet xx.xx.xx.xx 80 from outside your network and see if you get anything. I haven't done this in a while so I'm not sure what info you get back from port 80 but you should get something other than an unable to connect message.

Can you post a ipconfig /all for the webserver so we can see the addressing, please?
 
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Sorry, I meant modem ;).

However, I believe that TWC might not allow webhosting. They're one of the stingier ISPs. I believe they might block inbound port 80.
 

murphys811

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Modem: Arris TM502G

I connected my "webserver" directly to the modem to test this whole thing without the router. It worked! I was even able to use Port 80. The only thing was my public IP Address changed when I used my computer instead of the router. Although I am guessing that is normal.

So the problem is the router...
 
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