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I am developing a website on my Windows 7 pc at home and want to test it on mobile devices. How can I connect from, say, an iPod Touch to the localhost website on my local machine?

Thanks

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Gareth, this is off-topic on Server Fault, please refer to our FAQ. This question will likely be migrated to Super User in a short while. –  SvW Mar 14 '12 at 9:10
    
Sorry about that, thanks for the migration. –  Gareth Elms Mar 14 '12 at 9:16
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migrated from serverfault.com Aug 27 '12 at 2:06

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3 Answers

If your iPod Touch is jailbroken, edit the /etc/hosts file of iPod pointing the domain example.com to the LAN IP of your desktop, then with your mobile browser go to example.com and you'll see your website on the desktop, provided you are running your webserver on ethernet interface rather than on localhost only.

If your iPod is not jailbroken, then you have to run the desktop webserver on LAN IP, port forward port 80 on the router, then point your mobile browser to the public IP of your router.

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I know that if you have an Apache webserver set up with a VirtualHost entry, you will be able to access it via your server's private IP address (providing that you give it a domain name, which you can do via the hosts). However, if you enter the private IP of the server, it should go to the default entry of the vhosts definition, which is usually the topmost or first entry of the virtualhosts definition. The process should be the same with a WAMP stack.

You will probably want to make the your server listen on a port other than :80, which you'll need to open on your Windows machine's firewall (and maybe on your router).

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The localhost address is the IPv4 loopback address and every host should have one. To have other machines connect to the webserver on your PC you'll need to check several things

  • Ensure that your webserver is listening on your PCs LAN interface. Check the configuration files for a Listen directive. If it says Listen 80 then your good to go as the webserver is listening on all available interfaces. If it says anything else then make it say Listen 80 and restart the web server.

  • Ensure that your windows firewall is allowing traffic on port 80.

Now you should be able to connect to your webserver using the LAN IP address e.g. http://192.168.2.22

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