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How To Redirect A GODADDY Domain To Your Home Internet IP Address

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Introduction

If you've ever wanted to run a website from your home this article is for you!  Having a website today is more important than ever before!  They can be used for everything from ecommerce to blogging!  This article will help step you through the process of hosting your own website from ALMOST ANY home internet connection.

The Advantage Of Self Hosting

You might be wondering, why not use GoDaddy to host my website?  Well, GoDaddy basic hosting has severe limitations which impact performance!  I found this out the hard way when I starting building my own sites on GoDaddy.  In fact, MOST hosting providers will have these vary same restrictions in their basic hosting plans.  Don't take this the wrong way, I think GoDaddy is a great company!  I use them for ALL my domain registrations, just not for hosting!  Basic hosting plans are, quite simply, for those who need a single web page with very little content and very little traffic.

The biggest advantage has to be cost!  You can host as many websites as you can create for FREE!  Yes, that's right FREE!  This is contingent on you doing your research when selecting a server platform to host from!  I use Virtualmin, an extremely powerful Linux based server for hosting my websites.

No Static IP Needed

Many of you may wonder how it's possible to use a cheap home internet connection to serve your website from home!  Well,  most ISP's use a security mechanism called captive portal which prompts you to enter a user name and password during initial setup.  Once it authenticates the user account it will record the connected users hardware address into a database.  You will, normally, not be prompted again unless the connected hardware changes somehow.  Most providers setup captive portal in a way that minimizes customer complaints.  Thanks to this modern method of security subscribers are assigned a sticky static IP address by the ISP's DHCP server.  This method is widely utilized by a majority of providers!

Register Your Domain

The first step to getting your website up and running is to register a domain name!  I use GoDaddy in this article!  There are others out there but GoDaddy is the largest provider by far.  Simply, go to the GoDaddy website, use the domain name search tool, then register your new domain!  Once you have selected and registered your domain you'll be able to manage your domain with GoDaddy for as long as you keep your account active.

The Default Internet Gateway

This is where the fun begins!  Just to be clear, it would be next to impossible to provide an absolutely foolproof method of finding your external IP address given all the variables.  The best I can do is to explain how it works and point you in the right direction!

Your computer is connected to a router, which assigns an IP address to it.  Since your router is connecting you to the internet it is now considered THE DEFAULT INTERNET GATEWAY.

In windows you can see detailed information about your network by typing ipconfig /all in the command line (see fig1 &2 below).

fig.1

fig. 2

In order for your router to provide you with internet it must also have a DEFAULT INTERNET GATEWAY.  Essentially, every computer or device between you and ANY website you try to reach MUST have its own internet gateway.

Finding Your External IP Address

Your routers internet gateway is provided by your ISP (internet service provider).  Your internet service provider issues an IP address to your router which is called your external IP address.  Your external IP address, as provided by your ISP, is what we need to know!

In order to find your external IP address you will need to access your router through its administrative user interface.  Each router manufacturer is a little different so you may need to download the necessary documentation for your specific device.

From within your routers management interface you will be able to see detailed information about your internet gateway and the external IP address (see fig. 3-5 below).

fig. 3

 

fig. 4

fig. 5

In this article the router I use is a pfSense virtual router running on Proxmox.  A comprehensive e-book on setting up the powerful pfSense router in a Proxmox virtual environment can be found at Linux Solutions.  Alternatively, you can also check out the youtube video demonstrating this system.

Is There An Easier Way

If you are having trouble finding your external IP address there are online resources available.  One of the oldest and most established sites I use is WhatIsMyIP.com.

When you get to the website you will see a block showing your External IP Address (shown below).

Make sure you check this IP address against your router if you can!  It pays to double check things!  If it matches you're good to go!

Configuring Your Router For IP Passthrough (Bridged Mode)

In order to use your external IP address you will need to configure your router for IP Passthrough or bridged mode.  This mode will allow your Public WAN or External IP address to be passed through to one computer or router interface.  In this article I use pfSense for my routing device so my External IP Address passes through to the JAB interface (as shown in fig. 4 above).  Since all routers are different it would be impossible to give definitive directions in this article.   Please refer to your routers documentation on how to configure this setting.  Since many of you may use ATT for your home internet there is a link for configuring IP Passthrough here (ATT Passthrough).

Editing Your Domain DNS Zone File

As mentioned earlier, I use GoDaddy for this article.  All domain registrars such as GoDaddy will have a management interface that will allow you to edit a special file called your DNS ZONE file.

When you log in to your account you should see a management screen where you will select the domain you wish to edit (as shown below).

After selecting the domain for editing we will need to find the DNS ZONE File tab (shown below).  This is the file we will need to edit!

The final step is to add or edit the A (Host) record to point back to your External IP Address ( AKA Public WAN).  Notice that the ZONE File below points to the address shown in the pfSense router (fig. 4 above).

Additionally, you may need to add CName and MX records for the various servers you wish to run on your new domain (shown below).

Congratulations!  You should now be able to access your new domain resolving back to your cheap ATT home internet IP address.

 

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