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Web server set-up

Discussion in 'Firewalls and Networks' started by Volty, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. Volty

    Volty Techie7 New Member

    We have a network based around a pc running Windows 2000 Server.

    I gather it is possible to make it act as a webserver - i'd like to be able to make a website available to internet users wihtout relying on external hosting.

    How do you set this up?
    Can anyone suggest a straightforward guide online perhaps?

    many thanks
  2. Bear

    Bear D-A-L Elite Member

    See if this helps, click HERE :)
  3. owen

    owen D-A-L Team Member (UK)

    I'm not sure about using Windows Server 2000 to setup Hosting but I know Apache HTTP Server can run under Windows and is a very good choice. See www.apache.org
  4. Volty

    Volty Techie7 New Member

    Thanks for the post but i find these articles convoluted and unhelpful unless they intend to sell you some web hosting on someone else's server - which is not what I asked.
    Have I missed something?

  5. brikal

    brikal Techie7 New Member

    I would have to agree with Owen www.apache.org is a good choice if you want a free and simple to use/setup HTTP webserver. Using windows 2000 Server its-self can be a bit frustrating if you don't know exactly what you are doing

    Hope this gives a little more insight

  6. BigT

    BigT Techie7 New Member

    If you have Windows 2000 then by default you can install Internet Information Server (IIS) as a Windows component (Control Panel -> Add Remove Software -> Windows Components -> IIS) Installing this will have a web server up and running straight away.

    If you prefer the more secure route and wish to install apache then there are a number of pre-configured scripts out there that will install it at the touch of a button ready to roll. My personal favourite is Foxserv:
  7. Volty

    Volty Techie7 New Member

    Yes, thanks , I understood that with IIS installed web serving becomes possible. What else needs to be done?
    Any tips welcome

    I will also checkout Apache

  8. BigT

    BigT Techie7 New Member

    Nothing else needs ot be done. Once installed you can manage it via the "Internet Information Services" shortcut which should be in your start menu under administrative tools. By default your web site will be served up from pages located in the folder c:\inetpub\wwwroot\ You can tes it by running a browser on the machine and entering the URL http://localhost To access the web site from a different machine on the network just run the browser and put http://machinename
  9. Volty

    Volty Techie7 New Member

    ahh...thanks again
    Now this is getting interesting :)
    I located the IIS manager and the help pages connected to it.

    How about making pages available outside of the local network - as in the internet at large?

    If I buy a domain name can I point it to the server directly?

  10. BigT

    BigT Techie7 New Member

    OK, if you want your web site to be seen out on the internet there are a few more things I need to know.

    1. How does the server connect to the internet to browse pages thorugh IE for example. Modem, router, broadband dial up etc. etc. The more you can tell me about the connection you can tell me the better my answer

    2. Do you have any sort of firewall in place, either hardware or software.

    3. Does your internet connection give you a static IP? (I may be able to guess the answer to this from your response to 1.)
  11. DJNafey

    DJNafey UK site moderator

    That's a rather big question you're asking there Volty and certainly not something I'm particularly experienced in myself. Fortunately, however, it's BigT's specialist subject :)

    Have you also tried looking at the Microsoft web site for 'How To' articles? When I've wanted to learn about how to set up something new on a server that I haven't used before, I've found Microsoft's articles to be really useful - they are straightforward enough that they are easy to understand, yet they are also detailed and thorough enough to give you a good understanding of the new thing that you want to do.
  12. DJNafey

    DJNafey UK site moderator

    If you haven't already done so, set your IE home page to www.microsoft.com/technet - it puts all of kinds of useful information and resources right at your fingertips :)
  13. DJNafey

    DJNafey UK site moderator

  14. Volty

    Volty Techie7 New Member

    1. How does the server connect to the internet to browse pages thorugh IE for example. Modem, router, broadband dial up etc. etc. The more you can tell me about the connection you can tell me the better my answer
    >A Router. The connection is described as a Broadband VPN

    2. Do you have any sort of firewall in place, either hardware or software.
    >I am told that there is a firewall at the "other end" but I am a bit unclear about this.
    There is no software firewall set on the server

    3. Does your internet connection give you a static IP? (I may be able to guess the answer to this from your response to 1.)
    Sorry if I dont sound 100% confident - ive inherited the system and my predecessor was a bit unclear at times.

    thanks for your help
  15. BigT

    BigT Techie7 New Member

    OK. First things first. Your description of your connection is a Broadband VPN. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is used where generally where multiple offices want to link together but use the internet as their transport mechanism. this implies your server connects to something else remotely.

    If it is just a straightforward broadband router using either Cable or DSL technology then what I am about to say may help. It may also help if you really are using a VPN but I cannot be sure.

    First up some principles. Your router does the job of "routing" information from things inside your network to things outside your network. Where this is a client initiated activity like browsing the web or downloading a file what happens broadly is this:

    PC on network makes request from something outside, response comes back and the router knows which PC asked for it.

    If you think about running a web server, or any other type of server like an FTP server or emails erver, the intiation comes from outside your network. So if someone can reach your static IP address it will actually be asking the router, "Can you let me have your web site please" and the router will not know which internal machine it should direct the request to because none asked for it.

    To get aroudn this you must understand the concepts of prots and port forwarding. Ports are like thousands of doors onto different services a PC could run. The default port for a web server is port 80, FTP port 21 etc. The way you allow the outside world to see your web server is to tell the router, "If anything outside this network asks for web traffic on port 80 then direct it to the Windows server". This is called port forwarding. For it to work, your Windows 2000 server must have a static internal IP address. (Lets say for example Then you must log into your router and set up the port forwarding of port 80 to

    Your static public IP address will be the one given to you by your ISP. Lets say for example it is . If you have port forwarding set up on your router properly then anyone in the world could put and see your Windows 2000 web server. The process is that a browser entering this initiates a connection on port 80 to your public IP address. The router, because it has port foorwarding set up says, "aha, port 80 I know that has to go to the Windows 2000 Server" and redirects traffic there.

    If you then want a domain name associated with this you can do a number of things. Use a dynamic DNS service, register a domain and edit the DNS records or use forwarding from your domain name registrar to "point" it at your static IP address.

    This is all a bit simplified and does assume you are using basic NAT on your router and that you are using the standard ports and stuff, but I hope it gives you an idea of where to start looking.
    1 person likes this.
  16. Volty

    Volty Techie7 New Member

    Thanks for that. I will have to ask someone at our central office about how the VPN is configured at their end.

    How do I log into the router to check/adjust the port forwarding settings?

  17. DJNafey

    DJNafey UK site moderator

    BigT is quite clearly going for the 'Award For Most Complex Answer Described In The Simplest Way' - nice response ;)

    You should be able to go into the web browser on any machine on the network and type in the IP address of the router, e.g. and that will launch the web-based command console. You'll need to know:

    a) the internal IP address of the router
    b) the username and password to log into the router with admin rights.

    If you don't know the IP of your router and you can't find out any other way, you might find that the DCHP Manager (or whatever it's called in Win2000 Server) has excluded one or more numbers from the range of IPs that it will dynamically allocate to the client PCs. One of these will be the static internal IP that is used for the router.
  18. Volty

    Volty Techie7 New Member

    I'm very grateful for these explanations.
    I will look into this tomorrow and will let you know how I get on.

  19. Volty

    Volty Techie7 New Member

    OK well I am able to enter in the IP address as http:// on the server and this gave me a sign in box - username password etc which took me to a welcome page from windows help - so that seemed successful
    I can also enter the same http://IPNUMBER and see a holding page from other computers connected to the network.
    I tried entering in http://servername but this gave me page unavailable.
    I placed a file named default.html in the wwwroot folder and now this is visible when I enter http://IPNUMBER

    So it seems to be going OK.

    Havent tested it from outside the network yet but will when i get home tonight

  20. Volty

    Volty Techie7 New Member


    tried http://ipnumber and http://servername from home
    gateway timeout

    no internet access.....hmmm.....

    btw I checked port forwarding for web site and it showed the port as 80 as you mentioned....something is in the way......