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How Do I Connect to a Remote Front Panel That is Hosted Behind a Remote Router?

Updated Nov 1, 2019

Reported In

Software

  • LabVIEW

Issue Details

I have a computer hosting a Remote Front Panel that is connected to the internet through a router and I want to connect to it from anywhere. How do I do this?
I have a PC without LabVIEW but it does have the runtime engine. Why wont my remote panel work? 

Solution

If you have the right runtime engine then it is likely that the network is causing the issue.

Complete the following steps. The steps are identical if the computer has a wireless connection to the router.

1. From the menu bar select Tools » Options...

  • In LabVIEW 8.5 and 8.6, select the Web Server: Configuration from the Category list. In LabVIEW 2009 and later, select Web Server from the Category list (Figure 1). 
  • Select Enable Web Server or Enable Remote Panel Server (LabVIEW 2010 and later) to enable the web server. In LabVIEW 8.5, deselect the Use Default option. 
  • Specify an unassigned port.  A port number above 49000 such as 49123 will work. 
Figure 1

2. Set the computer’s IP address to an address in the router's domain (do not use DHCP, which is a typical default). For example, if the router’s IP address is 192.168.1.1 then a good address would be 192.168.1.200. 

  • To configure this, go to Control Panel » Network and Sharing Center » Change Adapter Settings.
  • Right-click on your Local Area Connection and select Properties (Figure 2a)
Figure 2a
  • Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and click Properties (Figure 2b)
Figure 2b
  • Enter an appropriate IP address (First three numbers should match the router's address) - See Figure 2c.
Figure 2c

3. Set up the router configuration by logging on to the router.  See your router’s manual for how to do this.

  • Select port forwarding in the router by range section and ensure the beginning and ending port values surround the port selected above (beginning and ending values could be 49123). 
  • Application name is anything you like (only for your reference). 
  • Select the forwarding IP address to be the address of your server computer (i.e. 192.168.1.200). 
  • Save the settings for the router. 
     

4. Set up your computer’s firewall to allow the computer to be a web server.

  • Ensure the firewall allows sharing
  • For better security, limit the firewall sharing to the remote computer(s) IP address(es) in its trusted zone. 


5. Get your web server’s IP address

  • From your server computer and using a web browser, browse to "http://whatismyipaddress.com/".   It will report your web server's current IP address (this can change over time). 


6. Get the DNS service for your web server.

  • Use a service, such as www.dyndns.com to catalog your web server's name. 
  • Follow their instructions for signing up, selecting your DNS name (might be something like "MyNIWebSite.dyndns.org"), and installing a client application to track your web server's IP in case it changes (some service providers keep your IP address fairly constant, some don't).  


7. Make the Remote Front Panel Connection

  • Ensure that your web server computer has a LabVIEW VI (such as XXXX.vi) running with the web server enabled (causes web server to start in the background). 
  • From a remote computer open a blank VI and from the menu bar select  Operate » Connect. 
  • Enter the IP address obtained above in "Get your web server’s IP address" 
  • OR enter your DNS name (such as "MyNIWebSite.dyndns.org"), if you setup your DNS service as described above. 
  • Enter the VI's name (such as "XXXX.vi") 
  • Enter the port (such as 49123) 
  • Select the Connect button. 

Additional Information

If you are trying to connect to the Remote Front Panel using a Web browser, complete the same steps but use port 80.