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How to access a computer over the internet through a router with a static IP

Posted on 2011-03-23
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Last Modified: 2013-12-14
I have a static IP on my internet connection (IC). My Internet feeds directly into my router.  How do I access a particular computer through the router from the Internet?
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Question by:garrickbradley660
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10 Comments
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 35204548
What do you mean by "access"?  What do you want to do?  Copy files from it?  Remote desktop (so that you can operate the computer remotely as if you were sitting in front of it?)

To operate the computer remotely, it's easy and free to install Logmein ( http://www.logmein.com ) on the computer at home, and then you can "access" it from anywhere, without having to deal with port forwarding and other router issues.
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Author Comment

by:garrickbradley660
ID: 35204559
I want to have a simple web server to do some software testing.  So the computer on my side needs to run a windows based web server.

I'd like to use Windows XP, XP Pro, or Vista.  Again, I don't need anything heavy. I'm just testing ideas.
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LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:akahan
akahan earned 200 total points
ID: 35204607
OK, so on the computer, you'd just install whatever web server you want to play with.

On the router, you'd need to point port 80 (and, if you're using https:, port 443) to that particular machine.  So you'd give the machine a static IP address on the LAN (you can do that in Windows easily enough in the Networking/TCP IP settings), and then just set the router to forward incoming packets directed at ports 80 and 443 to that LAN IP address.

Then, when you're away from home, you'd connect to your machine's web server by going to

http://YOUR.WAN.IP.ADDRESS

Make sure to turn OFF "remote management" in the router, or set it to a port that's not port 80.  Otherwise, you'll connect to the router's management page rather than your web server.
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:m_walker
m_walker earned 200 total points
ID: 35204615
If all you want to do is have a test web server (port 80) single host,then even xp has a cut down version of IIS on it.  then out your router/firewall you will need to do a dnat/port map from the outside IP port 80 to the inside PC port 80 and allow "all".  

then if needed you could install apache on it for a better web server.

How you setup your firewall/router to port forward will depend on that device.

Under XP, you can setup iis
1. Start -> Control Pannel
2. Open "Add/Remove Programs"
3. Select Add/Remove Windows Components
4. Select IIS and go with all the defaults.
To edit it settings
1. Start -> Control Pannel
2. Admin Tools
3. IIS
set you web home/root folder and off you go.

You should be able to hit that web server via its IP.  If you want a host name you will need to set it up in a dns server somewhere.
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Author Comment

by:garrickbradley660
ID: 35204688
For the instructions that you outlined using XP. Can I use these same instructions using Vista?  Also, if I want to use a range of ports from 2000 to 2500, can I configure the router to allow these ports to be accesses?  

Perhaps I misspoke.  I don't need port 80.  I am writing a client server application that will use TCP/IP communication and use a range of ports.  For testing, I will use 2000 to 2500.  I feel very comfortable programming applications, but I am new to true network programming.

Thoughts please...
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LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:akahan
akahan earned 200 total points
ID: 35204772
You can configure the router to forward whichever ports you want.  Forwarding port 2000 is done exactly the same way as forwarding port 80.
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LVL 4

Accepted Solution

by:
m_walker earned 200 total points
ID: 35204801
It will be close, but if you dont need IIS no need to do all that.  If you have your own app, just need to do the port forward.
Keep in mind that windows client OS restict the inbound ports to quit a low number (I can remember what it is bit is low).  So if you are expecting 500 inbound connections on port 2000 to 2500, it may not work.

As a side note, if you are running a server would you not just multi-tread a single server port so all inbound connections come into the one port, thus only one port on the firewall and all your clients.  I have no idea what you app is or the design, so this was just a comment.

the exact limits on what your firewall/router can forword word and how to do it will depend on the device.

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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:inbox788
inbox788 earned 100 total points
ID: 35212829
if you're not too worried about security, setting up your server as a dmz host is an easy way to get access from outside. unless the server is security hardened, i wouldn't use it in production, but for testing purposes, it's a quick and dirty method.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:inbox788
ID: 35212832
btw, dmz host setting is on the router, not server.
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Author Closing Comment

by:garrickbradley660
ID: 35234278
I love this.  This is the first time I have asked a question and I love the fact that so many people responded to the question.  

Thanks Guys (and Gals)!!

Keep it up!!!!
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