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Make web server publicly accessable

Last response: in Toms Network
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May 21, 2011 5:55:58 PM

Hi all

I have a question that’s been bugging me and that internet searches didn’t quite explain and that is how do I make a resource available publicly e.g. web server.

All I hear so far is register a domain name but that doesn’t quite answer the full question. Id like to know exactly what happens when a user types in the url of my web site and how their traffic gets to me.

Is it.. get a static ip from my isp then provide this to the domain name registrar and that it now every one can access my site?? Seems to simple.

Thanks

Confuseis
May 21, 2011 11:08:20 PM

Basically yes.

either you provide a static IP or DDNS name to the domain name registrar.

on your router you forward port 80 to the internal IP of your web server.
Anonymous
May 22, 2011 11:18:39 AM

If your ISP doesn't block port 80 like most do.
Related resources
May 22, 2011 5:28:23 PM

Ok

Thankyou
May 22, 2011 6:57:29 PM

I might be able to help you, but it sort of depends on what you are trying to do. Do you want a web server that hosts a website? Do you just want an FTP server so you can share or access your files on the web? do you want to create your own email server with your own custom email address (your.name@your-domain.com) ?

The quick and dirty on getting yourself online is as follows:

Step #1 = Buy a domain name (sitelutions.com or dyndns.com is a good place to start for beginners because of the DNS features they provide)
When you purchase the domain name, you will have options to set up Name Servers. This is the "DNS" (Domain Name Server). Since you probably don't have this yet, you will probably want to leave them blank or defaulted until you know what to put in the fields. You (almost always) need at least 2 DNS servers for any domain name on the web.

Step #2 - Get a Domain Name Server (DNS). There are many free Domain Name servers available. My favorite is Sitelutions.com, but I also use DynDNS.org for one of my domain names since I have a lifetime membership. You will need to install a small application on your server PC with the web files that will update the IP address of your internet connection every time it changes. A good one for Windows is http://www.directupdate.net . Get the Name Servers from the (DNS) client you are using and go back to the place you bought your domain names from in Step 1, and enter them there. They will look something like: ns1.mydyndns.com || ns2.mydyndns.com or maybe dns1.sitelutions.com || dns2.sitelutions.com . It takes about an hour or two for the DNS to "propagate" nowadays, but all DNS activity is said to take up to 24 hours to completely propagate around the world. You are basically telling every major backbone of the internet that your domain name can be found on your address. Could use just use a static IP address to point the domain name to your computer? Sure. But you need 2 DNS Servers. You can just put your Static IP Address into one of the fields for your Name Server and put in a bogus DNS for the 2nd Name Server, but it may cause problems when the network is under heavy load and prevent access to your computer. If you are using Windows, you can press the Windows Key + R to bring up the "Run" prompt and type "cmd" (without the quotes) to get a DOS prompt. Next, type "ping yourdomainname.com" (without the quotes) and make sure it shows that your IP Address matches the one on your computer. Don't forget, it takes at least an hour, or up to 24 hours for DNS to propagate, so you have to wait that time after you plug in your IP Address.

Step #3 - Set up the server software on your PC. I prefer Apache 2.2+ for Windows or Linux, but you can get a variety of other open source (free) web server software. If you want to get really into it, there is WAMP, LAMP, and XAMPP, all of which use Apache as the web server software and include "modules" for using PHP and Perl for scripting, MySQL for databases, and more. You may need to "Port Forward" if you are using a router in your home or office. All web browsers assume that Port 80 is the correct port the hosting web server is using, but it is possible to use a non-standard port. To use a non-standard port like port 81, type in www.your-domain-name.com:81 into your web browser. This can be a handy way to add a little security to your site if you have areas you don't want accessed by the general public. Some routers do not support a function known as "loopback", which allows you to view your own servers web pages through an internet browser from behind your own network. If this is the case, you will need to use the internal IP address of the computer you are using as your server in place of the domain name (i.e. instead of http://www.your-domain-name.com/web-page.html you will use http://192.168.1.3/web-page.html).

One other important note, if you just want to play around with a web (HTTP) or file server (FTP), you don't even need a domain name at all. You can simply just install a Web Server software package on your computer and access it by typing the IP Address into any web browser. You may want to use the DynamicUpdate software on your PC along with a free sub-domain from DynDNS or similar service so that if your IP changes, you can just type in http://myfreesubdomain.dyndns.org into your web browser and it will point right to your IP Address. You will still obviously have to forward the ports of your router accordingly, but it won't cost you anything to get started. I would recommend you get the hang of publishing content on the web through free services before you go off and buy 20 domain names. When I first started out, I bought 12 domain names, used 4 of them, and eventually all the other domain names expired without ever even being used. It was a total waste of money on my part.

I hope this helps, if you have any questions about the process, please let me know!
August 16, 2011 6:59:41 AM

When a public search is done browser searches their ISP DNS servers to translate the name and see where that site is located. Then the browser takes them to that website. So, the website needs to be listed on a server name for starters or the only way is by IP address.
!