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Inspirone

"I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path. You must climb towards the Truth. It cannot be 'stepped down' or organized for you." - author: Jiddu Krishnamurthi

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hosting an Internet Information Server over LiveBox

Since the advent of MyT, although the Video On Demand (VOD) is not really worth it, many people have converted their ADSL subscription so as to benefit from the higher internet connection speed. Exchanging your old Sagem ADSL modem to the new Sagem LiveBox can be fun since the later is in fact a router with lots of features. In this posting I’ll discuss on how to configure a LiveBox so as to host your own web server (IIS) on a Windows XP PC at home. Note that the language of the LiveBox configuration page can be changed to English, but here I would use the default French one as set when using MyT.

LiveBox Configuration
When configured, the LiveBox by default has the following IP: http://192.168.1.1/, which when type through the web browser loads the configuration page. The login for both the username and password are Admin by default. Once on the configuration page select “Serveurs LAN” from the menu, which loads a list of servers installed on your network. Initially this list is blank. To add a new server, click on “Ajouter”. The fields need then to be filled as follows:
Nom du serveur: Any name you like to call your server.
Accès activé: This allows activating or deactivating the web server. Select "Oui"
Protocole: Select "TCP"
Du port: Enter 80
Au port: Enter 80
Adresse IP locale: This field is automatically filled with the IP address of the local machine which could be 192.168.1.10.

Once done select “Appliquer”, then select “Maintenant”, then “Sauver”. The settings would be saved on the flash memory of the LiveBox and the LiveBox configuration is completed.

DynDNS
Your LiveBox IP address which is the external IP is not static and therefore changes periodically. So accessing your web server from outside your local network by typing its IP address would work only if you know the IP of your LiveBox each time it changes. So ideally you would need to have a domain name that points to your local web server and make sure that each time the IP address of your LiveBox changes, the domain would always point to it automatically. This functionality is supported by your LiveBox by using the services provided on http://www.dyndns.com/.

DynDNS Account configuration
So the next step is to create an account on “http://www.dyndns.com/”. Select Sign up now and fill the new account form. You would need a valid email address to complete the sign up. Once done log on to the site using the newly created username and click on My services which is on the far right of the page. On the left menu, select Add Host Services. On the next page select Add Dynamic DNS Host. You would then need to fill up a new form for the dynamic host as follows:

Hostname
: domain name used address to access your webserver. For example this could be myname.dydns.org.
IP Adress: This is the IP address IP of your server which is automatically filled.
Once done, select Add Host and the domain name configuration is completed.

LiveBox advanced configuration
From the above, we have configured our LiveBox to expose a web server and also created a domain name to point to that server. All of this is fine until the IP address of our LiveBox changes. DynDNS would not know the new IP address unless the LiveBox is configured to automatically update DynDNS each time. We will now need to configure the automatic update of DynDNS. On the LiveBox configuration page, select “Configuration avancée” from the menu. On the new menu list, mouse over “Réseau” and then select “DynDNS”. The configuration need to be set as follows:

Etat du service: select "Activé" and then enter your account information as created on DynDNS so that the LiveBox can connect to DynDNS to update its IP address on the site each time it changes. Once done select “Appliquer” and then “Maintenant”, then “Sauver”. This completes the automatic update of your LiveBox IP address.

IIS Configuration
IIS may not be installed by default on your PC. To check this select Start then Run on Windows, then type InetMgr and hit Enter. If IIS is installed, the IIS manager application would be loaded. If not, an error message would be displayed. To install IIS go to Add or Remove Programs under Control Panel, then select Add/Remove Windows Components. In the list, select Internet Information Server (IIS) and select Next. You would require the Windows XP set up CD in order to install this feature and should follow the install instructions.

Website Configuration
Now all you need to do is go to the “c:\inetpub\wwwroot” directory and create a default “index.html” page. Type anything you want on it and voila, your web site is configured. To test it, you need to open your web browser and type http://localhost/. This should load the default web site hosted on your IIS which is the page created above. Anywhere on the internet if someone types your DynDNS domain name it would actually point to that web page hosted on your IIS server on your home PC. Now you can easily share files on the internet by copying them in the above directory and provide a hyperlink that points to that file, in this way your friends can easily download them. You can even design a whole website and host it on your PC. Note that if you type your DynDNS domain name from your web browser, it would not connect to your web server but rather to the LiveBox configuration page again. This is normal since your are accessing it from your local network. The web server is only visible from outside and the easiest way to test if it works is as mentioned above. Hope this helps, any comments or corrections are most welcomed.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous raj said...

Nice tip. I wonder if MT will soon find a way to block this? On another note exposing your machine to the web without proper protection is not a good idea :-)

27 November, 2006 21:39  
Blogger $€|v3n said...

@raj: MT doesn't have the right to block this, being an ISP, it just offers us connection, and we as users decides what to do with it, whatever we do with our connection is of any business to MT.

+$3|

20 October, 2007 14:45  
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