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Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

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  • Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

    This is the first post in a long long time placed by myself on this board, and the first on the server section. Some cruising of the board here for some of the questions I have was done, but was not successful. As this was probably a result of not looking hard enough, please accept my apology for that as well as the questions probably being dumb ones.

    My objective is setup a web page server using Alpha’s Application Server on my somewhat ancient laptop, an Intel Mobile 2.0 GHz 2 GB Ram running Windows XP Professional. Using Alpha’s Guide for setting up the server using NoIP and Always Up ($40) has worked only worked for about an hour after the computer hosting the server has been booted.

    After about an hour the NoIP link fails to provide a connection. The connection cannot be reestablished by stopping and starting the Alpha Application server with the Always Up program. The computer with the server must be rebooted before the NoIP link to the web page can be accessed. However the direct IP address to the web page works on my home network, of which the server is a part, can be accessed. Computers on other networks cannot see this IP address.

    Norton 360 is the firewall I have been using and has been configured properly for the port settings used. In addition the settings for program rules have been set to “Allow” for the Alpha Server, NoIP and Always Up programs. The setting Norton has for Traffic Rules as well as other settings goes beyond what I can deal with but would not seem to be ones providing inconsistent behavior.

    What I fear at this point is, the three companies being a potential source of this problem will be saying this is not our problem you need to contact the other guy.

    Surely I am not the first to run into this problem. Any comments or suggestions as to where I should go from here would be greatly appreciated.

    Rich

  • #2
    Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

    Please accept my apology for the poor grammar in the post above. The following comments have been added to provide a better understanding of the problem I have been attempting to solve. As my computer knowledge is somewhat limited, you will have to bear with me.

    The No-IP service has been used for host redirecting with the idea of eliminating the problems created by having a dynamic IP address. A domain selected from a list provided by No-Ip.com, is what has been used. A fictitious example of my selected domain name would be something like www.wpicks.no-ip.com.

    Getting No-Ip’s redirecting link to work on my local network upon booting the computer with the server software has not been a problem indicating everything has been setup correctly. However after a period of about an hour or so, the link provided by No-IP’s redirecting service fails to provide a connection on my local network. As mentioned before, using the IP and port number on the address line of IE will work on my local network, but not on an outside one.

    My best guess at this point is Norton’s Firewall provided with Norton 360 and/or the settings used with it, is not compatible with what it is I have been attempting to do. Since Window’s firewall has a proven track record with the configuration attempted, using that in place of Norton’s Firewall will be the next step taken; unless some else has a better suggestion.

    When more is known about this problem from my end, this thread will be updated.

    The Alpha Guide used in setting up my server can be found at the following link:

    http://www.alphasoftware.com/documentation/afas_setup/

    Thanks ahead of time for any input you might have,

    Rich

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

      I bet it is your internet provider timing out the connection due to no activity. A hosted web app is mostly dead time unless you have very active users. Many ISP's have a policy against hooking a web server on their connection. And I know my laptop (wich you say you are using) will timeout the wireless connection sometimes. Those are some things to investigate.
      Steve Wood
      Join the ALPHA DEVELOPERS NETWORK
      There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
      Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
      AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

        Steve,

        Thanks for taking the time for the response you provided. My home DSL ISP (Verizon) not only has a policy against hooking a web server on to their connection, but a means of blocking it as well.

        The classes you have provided through Alpha’s DVD Video Learning Program have been very helpful for me in learning Alpha5 and its Application Server.

        All the Best,

        Rich

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

          Updating the issue here, it was found by using Window’s Firewall setting in place of the Norton’s 360 firewall setting, the connectivity problems mentioned in my earlier posts were eliminated.

          Figuring out Norton’s setting to make this work might be worthwhile, but as their coverage may be more wide than deep, it is anyone’s guess if the effort would be worthwhile.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

            Although this is somewhat embarrassing what I have learned since my last post will be shared as it may save someone some of the same frustration I have gone through.

            The comments about Norton’s firewall made in my previous post were incorrect and had nothing to do with the problem at hand.

            The guide provided by Alpha

            http://www.alphasoftware.com/documentation/afas_setup/

            in setting up a web page omitted a very critical step. During the router configuration it is absolutely necessary to provide under Single Port Forwarding, an external 8080 port to internal 80 port forwarding setting.

            The instructions for doing this on No-ip’s web site leave much to be desired as well.

            All the Best,

            Rich

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

              Originally posted by RRTRACKS View Post
              The guide provided by Alpha

              http://www.alphasoftware.com/documentation/afas_setup/

              in setting up a web page omitted a very critical step. During the router configuration it is absolutely necessary to provide under Single Port Forwarding, an external 8080 port to internal 80 port forwarding setting.
              The Alpha guide in question does detail the need to configure port forwarding at the router level in step 3.
              Andrew

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

                Andy,

                Thanks for the comment and correction. You are correct as it was my misperception that port forwarding was from an external to an internal port. Upon closer examination it should have been obvious that port forwarding is from a port to an IP address. What I find curious is that after doing the single port forwarding from port 8080 to port 80 the Alpha Server configured to port 8080 could still be accessed from another computer on my network. What I find disturbing is by forwarding from port 8080 to port 80 I might have disabled any security Alpha would have provided through port 8080 during the time the single port forward setting were in place.

                It will probably not come as any surprise the effort to use single port forwarding failed to solve the issue presented despite my earlier comments claiming otherwise. Although I may not be very bright I am persistent, and am not going to give up on this until it is understood what the road block is or the problem is solved.

                Steve Works (SW) provided some suggestions regarding items to be looked into and are presented below along with comments and questions.

                SW: I bet it is your internet provider timing out the connection due to no activity.

                Question: How would I know this? In my case using http://www.canyouseeme.org/ indicated port 8080 is open after the web link failed. Would having it timed out for a short period of time break the continuity to Alpha’s Application Server?

                SW: And I know my laptop (which you say you are using) will timeout the wireless connection sometimes.

                Question: Will a break in the internet connection to my laptop for a short period of time cause a continuity problem with the connection the Alpha Five Server?

                The continuity problem I might or might not have had could not be solved by stopping and restarting the Alpha Five Server. It has required a reboot of the lap top computer hosting the server.

                If you might know what the problem is from what has been presented, please shout it out. Until I have double and triple checked a solution to this problem, it will not be presented with the chance of it being a false one yet again.

                All the Best,

                Rich

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

                  I think the referenced Steve Works (SW) is me, Steve Wood. Steve Workings is the other, often referenced Steve or SW.

                  I tested dropping my connection and it does not affect my connection to the server once I reconnect. I am still logged in after the connection is restored. Of course I was dropping my connection at my desktop DSL, I don't know how to kill the connection on my server without kicking myself out permemently from remote desktop.

                  Alpha security doesnt care what port you are on, so it does not matter if you were on 80 or 8080 for any given time.

                  I hate to say this, but you are placing too many conditions on your connnection. No-IP plus port forwarding and whatever else is involved on your personal or corporate LAN. How about you get a straight shot to a server with a static IP address and see if that fixes it.
                  Steve Wood
                  Join the ALPHA DEVELOPERS NETWORK
                  There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
                  Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
                  AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

                    Steve Wood, thanks for the comments and please accept my apology for the confusion with your name.

                    The problem I have been having still persists; however, I have learned a bit more since my last post.

                    My laptop has adapters for both a wireless and a RJ45 connection. Rebooting the computer is the number one solution to most PC problems. Updating the drivers associated with the device doing the work is the number two solution. The upgrade from Windows XP SP2 to SP3 was found to have created stability problems with the two network adapters my laptop has. In my case the driver upgrades did not help with the problem at hand, but this is good info to keep in mind.

                    The Alpha Application Server does a good job in using the active network connection and its IP address. This is was a suspected problem until tested.

                    As the problem I have been having has not been described well in my previous posts, another run with what I see as a problem follows.

                    Using Alpha’s guide to a T, boom it did not quite work. What worked was everything on my local network in terms of the external IP address and the host redirects provided by No-IP. The host redirects would seem to indicate there is a link from Alpha’s Server to the outside world. Unfortunately this was not found to be the case. A successful link on my computer network tested only seconds later on a computer outside of my local network failed on both the host redirect link and external IP address.

                    To add to the mystery here, after a period of several hours, the host redirects provided by No-IP fail to work on my local network; however the external IP address on my local network continues to work.

                    Switching between the Windows and the Norton firewall has failed to make difference. Although I have not run out of gas in dealing with this problem, I am coming close. Any suggestions or comments regarding what would be the best approach to take at this time would be appreciated.

                    Thanks,

                    Rich

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

                      Rich:

                      I have a server (server 2003) set up using a dynamic IP Address, and using NO-IP. Alpha is listening on port 80.

                      It has worked perfectly for about a year...

                      I believe your issue is with your local machine; perhaps your software firewall... Actually, I really think it's your Norton 360.

                      Have you tried opening a browser on a machine OUTSIDE (ie in another building) your network and typing the current dynamic IP Address with a colon and the listening port number? For example, 12.345.678.987:81, if listening on port 81.

                      By doing this test, you will immediately determine if it is a NO-IP issue, or an issue with your XP "Server"...

                      Again, I think it is your Norton 360 throwing up a wall to visits from outside your network. Doing this test will prove me right or wrong...

                      If you get through, It's NO-IP, and I would try re-creating the settings in NO-IP.

                      If you do not get through, I think it's Norton...


                      Craig

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

                        Rich:

                        I just want to point out I know the external IP Address works within the network, even when the system is down.

                        I also know you turned off Norton, but their firewall seems to continue to block events, even when dis-engaged. I've resolved issue in the past by:

                        1) Turning off "Worm" blocking.
                        2) Uninstalling with tyhe Norton removal tool.

                        Craig

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

                          Welcome to the board, the depth of your posts begs me ato ask - what is your background. Also I'd say bye bye to Norton as a fix.
                          Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
                          Albert Einstein, (attributed)
                          US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

                            Peter:

                            Thank you for extending the welcome. This travels off the track of the thread, so I apologize.

                            Very briefly, I began developing in Electric Desk / Alpha Works / Alpha Four version 1 in 1989, and have been actively developing in most versions (DOS, then Windows) ever since. I have been self employed since mid 2000, and work on custom applications at least 30 hours every week. The balance of my time is remote computer repair, website design, and servicing local clients with server and client issues.

                            That's about it, except to say that I used to frequent this board daily until 2004, and now only peek in every once in a while. I've been visiting more often in the past couple months. Actually, I feel a little guilty that I have left the community, but I just have so many projects going all the time.

                            So, you see, you may not know me, but if I were asked yesterday to list the names of Alpha Five developers, your name would have been on the list... Hope that doesn't creep you out too much... I mean, I'm not a "Peeping Tom", am I?

                            At any rate, Rich seemed to be having problems I could help with.

                            Craig

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Inconsistent Access Between Alpha App Server and NoIP Address

                              Craig,

                              Alpha Works is a program I used for a couple of years, I loved it. On to the problem.

                              Thank you for the suggestions.

                              Norton was completely removed from the computer hosting the Alpha Server and Windows Firewall was started. The same problem exists.

                              So far I have not been able to see my server or web page from an outside computer, using either the No-IP web link or the current dynamic address with the :8080 added. I can see the No-IP link for about an hour or two on other computers on the same network as the server before that link fails to work. The IP link does not fail on the local network. The No-IP link does not have a connection problem on the host computer.

                              At this point I suspect it maybe Windows XP Professional SP3 that is causing the problem. Does anyone know of others either having success or failure with SP3? It would be nice to know this since the restore point for that update is no longer on my laptop.

                              Does any one have other suggestions?

                              All the Best,

                              Rich

                              Comment

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