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My router does not support loopback. In order to view a webpage on my server, I either have to type in the local ip (, or be on another network. What are my options for making this easier?

Here are some possible things:

  • Route all web traffic through an external proxy (seems to be overkill)
  • Run my own DNS server (where to start?!)
  • Buy a new router that supports loopback.

Surely there is another way that I can use my laptop on the LAN and the WAN by typing in my domain more easily than these solutions.

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What oses are in play here? It would be easier to give a detailed answer with that information – Journeyman Geek Jun 5 '12 at 4:07

You could simply add your domain name in your hosts file pointing at the ip of the system acting as clients. You'd need to do this per system, but its simpler than either solution you've looked at.

In windows this should be in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts - you should open this as a root user and add where is the ip address of the system hosting the web page. You can do the same with linux or OS X by editing the /etc/host files. Howtogeek has detailed instructions, but its basically the same across OSes

You may also need to flush your DNS cache after you do this.

I also often use the tor browser bundle to check my sites, which works well in "is it just me" sort of situations

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I thought about editing my hosts file (on my mac), to point to the local IP address, but then my domain name won't work when I'm outside the network. – jessh Jun 5 '12 at 4:30
Well that would just mean editing it back, or having some small script that handles doing that. – Journeyman Geek Jun 5 '12 at 5:17

How about upgrading your router's firmware to a version that supports loopback? Are you running the latest factory firmware for your router? If not, try that. If you are running the latest and it still doesn't work, see if your router is supported by a third party aftermarket (typically open source) router firmware distribution, such as DD-WRT, OpenWrt, Tomato, or many, many more.

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