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

Updated Dec 27, 2017

Reported In

Software

  • LabVIEW Full

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?

Solution

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.

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