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From "Robert J.Mirro" <>
Subject I access my website from my local network, but I can't access it from elsewhere on the Internet?
Date Wed, 13 Mar 2002 01:46:05 GMT

Hello all.

I took my subject line above from the FAQ here 
( since it
describes my problem almost perfectly.  I read the entry 
in the FAQ suggesting to run Apache on an alternate port,
but I had already tried that without any luck.

I've been running Apache 1.3.22 for a few months now on a 
Win2k Pro SP2 machine.  Apache normally runs on port 81,
although I've tried a variety of other ports since my
problem occurred.

Basically, I use the Apache webserver to demo web apps to
my clients.  This allows me to work from home but still get
feedback from clients regarding the applications I develop
for them.

People from outside of my home network started having problems
accessing my website on Monday morning.  I had been hitting
the Apache server the day before (using the Palm proxy servers
used for WebClipping applications) and know that it was was 
working just fine.  I was (and am) able to hit the server from
inside my home network without ever encountering this error.

Since I'm running Win2k, the first thing I did was bounce the
Apache server.  No luck, clients still couldn't hit my website
consistently.  Sometimes the webserver would return a page and
sometimes it wouldn't.  

Next, I rebooted the machine, but still no luck.  I disabled
ZoneAlarm "just in case", then restarted the machine, but still
no luck.

I contacted my DSL provider to determine if anything had changed
on their end, and of course, they claim nothing has.  I also took
the time to verify if they are blocking ports 80 or 81.  They
told me they don't block any ports at the moment.  I asked if 
I had reached some type of throughput limit for my DSL account. 
They said there are no limits on my account.

Since everyone (including me) uses an IP to access the Apache 
server, I figured DNS issues can be ruled out.

Next, I configured my netscape browser to use a free proxy server
I found on the net (, port 3128).  This
allowed me to simulate someone attempting to access Apache from
outside my network.

I started a sniffing session with Ethereal to monitor network
traffic to and from my machine.  I could see the HTTP GET requests
coming in from the proxy server my Netscape browser is using.
However, I can also see that Apache was not responding to the 
GET request each time.  Sometimes Apache would respond and serve
a web page back to Netscape and sometimes it wouldn't.

By the way, this behavior is exactly what my clients reported.
They all said something along the lines of "If I keep clicking
the link or button or whatever, eventually it seems to work
for a short while".

When Apache doesn't respond to a request, there are no entries
logged in the access.log or error.log files, so it appears that 
Apache never attempts to actually handle the request.

I realize this problem probably isn't exactly an Apache problem,
especially since I can start IIS 5.0 up on port 80 and experience
the same problems.  I'm posting to this group because I'm hoping
that some of you with more experience than I might be able to
point me in the right direction.  

I've only listed some of the things I've tried to get this
problem resolved.  The things that are causing me more confusion
that normal are:

 1. I have been running Apache reliably for months on this Win2k box
    without a single problem (which is a helluva lot more than I can
    say for IIS).  I literally didn't touch the machine in between
    Sunday (when it Apache worked solid all day long) and Monday (when
    these problems started occurring).

 2. The fact that sometimes web requests are serviced by Apache and
    sometimes they aren't.  I can sit here with Netscape hitting the
    Reload button over and over again.  Sometimes a web page is 
    returned and sometimes it isn't'.

 3. I have not seen any error when I access Apache from any machine 
    on my home network using the same IP that I give my clients to use.

Does anyone have any advice on how I can further debug this

I'm to the point where I can sniff all incoming traffic and
verify that HTTP request are indeed arriving on my Win2k
machine running Apache.  Now I'm looking for ways that I 
might determine why all requests are not being serviced by

I should note that this webserver is not seeing a lot of
traffic.  It serviced about 500 hits on Sunday, but normally
only sees around 100 on a good day.

I appreciate any info that might get me started in the
right direction.

R o b e r t  J.  M i r r o           

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