Accessing a web server from within my network

I have a Speedtouch 780 router.  Inside my network is a computer that acts as a media server within the house, and as a mail server (which I use for my personal email) for outside the house.   Until now, I have not been able to access the web server from within the house using the external domain name – that gave me the Speedtouch's own configuration webserver. I had to use the local IP address, or the hostname of the computer.  It also meant that I had to change the server name in my mail client (Thunderbird) depending on whether I was inside or outside the house.

I have found the solution.  I needed an option called NAT Loopback which is apparently only available through the command line interface, not the web interface.   From a Windows (or, in my case, Linux) command line, you need to telnet to the router. Then enter:ip config natloopback=enabled
saveall

I did not need to reboot.

Hat tip: Matt Buckett

Published by Owen Barder

Owen is Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics. Owen was a civil servant for a quarter of a century, working in Number 10, the Treasury and the Department for International Development. Owen hosts the Development Drums podcast, and is the author Running for Fitness, the book and website. Owen is on Twitter and

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5 Comments

  1. Don’t know if the Speedtouch supports it (Linksys, DLink, Draytel all do), but the normal way of doing this is to tell the router to put your server in a DMZ – when you hit the external IP address, all ports are forwarded to the DMZ box, unless specified otherwise.

    Then, to get to the router’s web interface, you have to specify the internal IP – usually 192.168.0.1.

  2. Instead of that, what about port forwarding WAN:80 to the LAN IP of the system that your server runs on?

    And if your server is local anyways, why not just forget everything above, and just 'locally' associate the LAN IP address of the Server to the domain name, under the Windows 'hosts' file.

    Owen replies: because that would involve updating the hosts file on every computer inside the network, and it wouldn't work for my laptop which is sometimes inside and sometimes outside the network.  But the port forwarding thing might have worked.

  3. man… thank you!I thought i was doing something wrong, or that the router was not working properly, and, in fact you  helped me! Thanks 

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