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WIB: Web Server In A Box, Part 2

Last month, we introduced our new Web Server In A Box (WIB) and gave the full construction details. This month, we show you how to connect it to your modem/router and guide you step-by-step through the set-up details. We also show you how to activate a dynamic DNS service, so that you can access the WIB via the Internet.

Pt.2: By Mauro Grassi

In order to access the WIB over the internet, you must have an account with an ISP (eg, Telstra, TPG, Optus, etc). You must also have a router connected to the modem or you can use a combined modem/router. In fact, this is the most common set-up where you have more than one device sharing your Internet connection.

In summary, the set-up procedure involves the following eight steps:

Step 1: Physically connecting the WIB to your network (this involves connecting it via an ethernet cable to your router or modem/router).

Step 2: Changing the DHCP range of your modem/router (ie, the range of IP addresses it can automatically assign to other devices on the network) to prevent conflicts with the static IP assigned to the WIB.

Step 3: Enabling port forwarding (or virtual server) in your modem/router for the HTTP and FTP servers.

Step 4: Directly copying the provided website and configuration files onto the WIB’s memory card using a PC.

Step 5: Modifying the settings.txt file so that you can connect to the WIB via the local network using your web browser.

Step 6: Configuring each module in turn by changing the settings via the browser. These modules are:

(a) the HTTP (web) server;

(b) the SNTP client (for network time);

(c) the FTP server (to allow files to be uploaded or downloaded);

(d) the SMTP email client (for email notifications); and

(e) dynamic DNS (domain name server) to allow access via the Internet.

Step 7: Setting up the analog variables, so that you can monitor the analog sensors (eg, for temperature).

Step 8: Creating new default values once the set-up is finished.

Step 1: Connecting The WIB To Your Modem/Router

Click for larger image

There are several ways of connecting this device to your local network.

First, if you have combined modem/router with a spare ethernet port, then it’s simply a matter of connecting the WIB to it using a straight-through ethernet cable as shown in Fig.9(a). Alternatively, if the router is separate, then the WIB should be plugged into this along with the modem as shown in Fig.9(b).

If you don’t have a spare ethernet port on your modem/router, then the connection will have to be made via a network hub. This situation will typically arise if you only have one port on a combined modem/router but that’s already used to connect your PC. In that case, the PC will have to be disconnected from the modem/router and both it and the WIB connected via a hub as shown in Fig.9(c).

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