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how can i make my computer a webserver for free?


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#1 gorydragon

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 08:30 PM

i'd like to make my computer a webserver so me and some friends can access it like a website from any computer. since this is just for us, im not going to purchase a domain name, and i dont want to use a free online service. I want my computer to be the webserver.
So how would I go about doing this? I want us to be able to visit http://(my ip address) and it brings up the website. I have something going on like this now, with uTorrent. it has the online GUI that i can visit from any computer by going to http://(my ip address):(uTorrent port)/gui/ so i know this is possible. much appreciation to those who can help me out :thumbsup:

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#2 meuchel

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 08:51 PM

Few question.
What OS?
What web editor/language for development?
Apache web server is always a good recommendation generally.

#3 gorydragon

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 09:28 PM

i've installed apache on my windows 7 64 bit.
ill be keeping with plain html and javascript for this.
i got apache working when i type http://localhost/ but not when i type my ip address, which brings me to my routers settings. this leads me to believe port 80 is blocked by the routers firewall, yes?
i do not have access to the router username and password, so i cant do port forwarding and such on it. can i direct apache to a different port, so that http://(my ip address):31127 would work, like it did with uTorrent?
i already tried Listen 31127 and Listen (my ip address):31127 in apache's conf settings, but it didnt work. what can i do?

#4 gorydragon

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 09:52 PM

It turns out http://localhost:31127 works, but http://(my IP address):31127 still times out and fails. What can I do to make the latter address work properly?

#5 groovicus

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 10:03 PM

You need to do port forwarding in your router. What brand of router do you have?

#6 gorydragon

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 05:45 AM

I have the Westell VersaLink 327W.
I'll see what I can do about obtaining the credentials.

#7 groovicus

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 06:50 AM

Your manual will explain how to do port forwarding. Once you have it set up, you will have to test it with a machine outside of your network to see if it works.

#8 gorydragon

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 07:25 AM

Shouldn't there be a way to to that without forwarding ports? I didn't need to forward anything for the uTorrent GUI to work.

#9 groovicus

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 09:09 AM

Most routers have a built in firewall. If the port is not open, nothing is going to get in on that port. I can use a torrent client for downloading torrents without doing anything to my router either because the request comes from inside my network. Serving up requests for web pages are initiated outside of your network. Forwarding a port is not hard. All you need to do is tell your router which machine should handle requests on port 80.

#10 Romeo29

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 10:16 AM

Standard protocols are bound to standard ports. When you open a web site (HTTP protocol) in a browser, it tries to connect to port 80 of the server. If it cannot connect, then you receive an error like web server is down etc.

Your router has blocked anyone outside to connect to port 80 on your system. If you port forward port 80, then people would be able to connect and browse your site.

Other standard ports are 82 for HTTPS, 21 for FTP etc.

If you are using a custom port like 31127, then you will have to port forward to that port. And all users will have to type http://ipaddy:31127/ to access your site. Which is complicated for users to do. So better stick to port 80.

#11 meuchel

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 11:29 AM

Utorrent is using upnp to tell the router to port forward. I don't think Apache does upnp. Even if it did what a security hole.

#12 chromebuster

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 10:48 PM

Hey folks,
Two things. You should also check to make sure that your ISP is not blocking Port 80, because then you'll have no choice but to use a nonstandard port, which once users get used to it, it's not that hard. In fact, I'm already doing that as second nature due to the fact that I have a test server here on my laptop, and hopefully, my desktop will this summer, become the server for my site! Secondly, I'd recommend switching server software. Apache is heavy on one's CPU resources, so I'd recommend giving it up unless you want to give up your computer itself. You can download Abyss web server X1 from Aprelium if your heart desires at www.aprelium.com. It is a beautiful program, runs lightly in the background, is secure, has a UI based on Internet Explorer with all kinds of authentication features, and it doesn't hog CPU! So, even when you are working at your computer where it is running, your server is in the closet! And the even cooler thing is that Abyss Web server shares most of the same features as Apache, but it is easier to use. The main directory for your site is the same (htdocs), making site transport a breeze! Try it out if you want to! It's awesome!

Regards,
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#13 Romeo29

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 07:26 AM

Can my ISP block port 80 on my computer? I don't think so.

#14 groovicus

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 07:58 AM

Can my ISP block port 80 on my computer? I don't think so.

Sure they can, and they often do. My ISP blocks port 80 and 25 unless one has a an upgraded account. :thumbsup:

#15 Romeo29

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 08:21 AM

Well, I have been lucky to have ISPs who dont block port 80 so far.
Thanks groovicus and Chromebuster :thumbsup:




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