Apr 27 2009
By: Jon Gales
Last we left it, we had Apache running like a champ. The downside was that
unless you were connected directly to the internet, you weren’t able to connect
to your server from the outside world. Today, this will change. We are going
to learn the joy of port forwarding.
We are going to tell your router the directions to send the right people (the
ones who want your web server) to the right place (your computer). There is
a little difference between different routers, but the first part is the same.
- Go to: System Preferences > Network
- Write down your IP address (should
be something like: 192.168.1.100)
- Close up System Preferences
Now, the directions change depending
on what router you have. The two biggest choices are:
- Apple Airport
- LinkSys Cable DSL Router
- Open Utilities > Airport Admin Utility
- Click the Port Mapping Tab
- Click add and set the Public Port to 80, Private
IP Address to the IP address
you wrote down, and Private Port to 80.
Make sure your screen looks something like this.
If you are not using a LinkSys router, consult your manual. Try this though,
it might work.
- To visit the config page, visit http://192.168.1.1
- If you have not set-up another password, it is admin. There is no user
- Once there click on the Advanced tab
- Click Port Forwarding
- Type 80 into boxes opposite the ~ and the last three numbers of your local
IP address (the one you wrote down) into the box on the far right. All
three numbers should be on the same row.
- Click Apply.
Your set-up should look something like this.
Now, test the forwarding by typing in your REAL address into your link bar.You
can find this IP address by visiting WhatisMyIPaddress.com.
You should find the same thing you found last week. If not, go back over
the forwarding instructions above. Make sure you write down this address
if you’re likely to forget it.
A lot of people don’t understand what port forwarding is, so here’s my analogy.
Some people are lucky to live in a gated community. These gated communities
usually have a rent-a-cop that mans the gate. Your router is this rent-a-cop.
Port forwarding is just telling the guard that when he sees a delivery truck,
send it to his house. The web visitor (the one who wants your web site) is
DynDNS.org offers a service
that you can register for free that will allow you to have an address like:
yourname.dyndns.org. Pretty lame name, but it’s
better than numbers. there are a few other services like this, but I’ve had
the most success with DynDNS. It’s easy to setup too, you’ll just need info
like your IP address. You’ll be able to share this with friends. They will
probably think you’re really cool, but don’t expect them dissing you about
your plans next weekend–you’re now officially a nerd.
What to expect next week? Activate PHP, run CGI scripts and other cool stuff.
Maybe even installing MySQL!