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I have a machine with Vista Business OS on it which I want to setup as a small webserver.

I have installed IIS via Windows Add/Remove components. I have disabled the windows firewall and the norton security on the machine. I can access the web pages locally (and remotely if I connect to the network via VPN).

I can't get access to the pages publically though.

Can anyone help me out?


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If I understand your question correctly then I have made the following assumptions:

  • Have setup IIS on Vista
  • Can access webpages via local machine or any other machine on the LAN
  • Can access remotely via VPN access only

Have you setup an open port on your internet gateway to allow public access through to your Vista machines port 80?

This allows PUBLICIP:PORT->PRIVATEIP:PORT connections (sometimes referred to as reverse NAT)

Also you may want to think about either a static IP address for your internet connection or use some sort of dynamic DNS service.

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Hi, I tested port 80 using and it told me it was open. How do I go about opening a port on the internet gateway? As I imagine it is this thats causing it. Also I have specified a static IP for the machine. – James Sep 5 '09 at 11:17
Can you update your question specifying the equipment being used. Don't tell us your public IP address, but just describe the network topology so we can further diagnose your issues. – Wayne Sep 6 '09 at 0:36

You most likely need to enabled port 80 forwarding from your gateway.

This is usually done by logging into the gateway device via its web interface, and adding a forwarding in the "Port forwarding" or "NAT" menu. You will be able to find specific instructions for your device on the manufacturer's website.

Another issue is if you don't have a static public IP. If you're using a home, or low-end business, internet connection, which I assume since you're using Vista business as a server, you probably have a dynamic public IP. If you do you'll need to use a service such as to create a url which gets updated whenever your public IP changes.

Yet another issue is that using Vista Business as a comercial web server violates the EULA. If you intend to use this as a production web server you should look into Windows Server 2008 Web Edition.

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I am only using this as a test server not production. I have a public static IP address. – James Sep 5 '09 at 12:03

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