accessing local domains hosted on a LAN
When you host one
or domains on your LAN behind a router (such as a DSL/cablemodem
router), you may encounter difficulties in accessing your
domains from inside your network. Chances are you are effected
by this anomaly if our Port Sniffer
can detect your web server but you are unable to access your
web site from within your own network.
If you're hosting
a single domain, you can access the web and email servers
via their local IP address. By local address we are referring
to the internal NAT IP address your router assigns each of
your computers or computer. (192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x)
If you're hosting
multiple domains, you need to configure the hosts file to
associate each domain with the appropriate server's local
IP address. Windows looks in it's hosts file for a match before
querying a DNS server for the address of a web site. The hosts
file in Windows NT and Windows 2000 can be found in the 'C:\WINNT\System32\Drivers\Etc'
directory. Windows XP should have the same path, but if you've
upgraded to XP from Windows 98 or ME, the directory name may
be 'C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc' instead. For Windows
95, 98 and ME, the file should be in the 'C:\Windows' directory.
(Note that these versions of Windows may not have the hosts
file installed, but you may create one using notepad using
the example below.) Macintosh clients (pre OS X) store the
"Hosts" file in the preferences folder and require
a slightly different format than Windows clients. See the
Macintosh section for configuration
After you've found
the file, open it using notepad. It should appear similar
to the example below, regardless of the version of windows
In this example, let's
assume that you have a web server on local address 192.168.1.5
and a mail server on local address 192.168.1.10. We'll also
assume that you have domains with the following names: mario.com,
mario.net and mario.org. You would want to edit your host
file to look like the following example: (If you're creating
a file from scratch in notepad, only the section starting
at the "127.0.0.1 localhost" line is needed)
You need to make this
change to all clients on your LAN that need access to your
web and mail servers. Once you have changed the file, save
it by choosing SAVE from the FILE menu. If you've created
the hosts file from scratch in notepad, you may need to navigate
to the directory where the file is stored and rename it, as
notepad will append ".TXT" to the end of the file
name, which will cause Windows to ignore the file.
Once you've modified
the file and saved it, you should be able to immediately access
your local web and mail servers using your favorite browser
or mail program. This is because TCP/IP looks for domains
in the hosts file before checking with a DNS server outside
Differences in Macintosh
Hosts files (Pre OS X) are as follows: Given the same domains
and local IP addresses as noted in the example above, the
Macintosh Hosts file would look like the following example:
NOTE: The Macintosh
Hosts file must have the "H" in Hosts capitalized,
or the system will not find it.
Macintosh OS X Clients:
To create a host file
with Mac OS X, follow these steps:
1. Open the /Applications/Utilities
folder path, and then double-click NetInfo Manager .
2. In the Directory
Browser, click the /machines directory. On the Domain menu,
click Security , and then click Authenticate . You may be
prompted to enter your administrator password. If Deauthenticate
appears on the submenu, administrative permissions are already
3. On the Directory
menu, click New Subdirectory . A new item labeled new_directory
4. In the Value(s)
column of the lower window, double-click new_directory , and
then type the name of the server or web page (i.e. www.mario.com)
to which you want to link an IP address.
5. On the Directory
menu, click New Property , and then replace new_property by
typing ip_address .
6. On the Directory
menu, click New Value .
7. Replace new_value
with the IP address of the server to which you want to connect.
8. Repeat steps 3
- 7 as needed for each server or web page.
9. On the Domain menu,
click Save .
Update this copy , and then quit NetInfo Manager.
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