Getting Your Server Online
You now have a fully functioning server that acts as an FTP server, Jabber chat, VPN, and CalDAV. That’s quite a feat, especially considering that you’ve got all of this for free on your Mac. Your server is fully functional on your LAN (local area network) using your IP Address to access the services, but if you want to have external access via the Internet, you’ll need to set up and configure a DNS solution.
We recommend using DynDNS, a free and easy to use service that will provide a simple DNS solution and domain name. This service gives you a domain name (i.e. “myname.dyndns.org”) that you can navigate to with your web browser to access your Mac server without having to remember your ISP assigned IP Address (i.e. XX.XX.XXX.138).
To get DynDNS setup you’ll also need a router that supports Port Forwarding. You can do this on most modern wireless and wired routers. We’ll be using an Airport Extreme Base Station. For instructions on how to do this on other routers, give PortForward.com a try.
First things first, setup an account on DynDNS. Once you’ve created your free account and are logged into DynDNS, click Services at the top of the page, and then click Dynamic DNS.
Once there, click Dynamic DNS Free. Click the Get Started button, then fill in the hostname you’d like. We’re choosing "myhomeserver," then use the drop-down box to select the post-fix of the address.
In this instance, we chose "myhomeserver.endoftheinternet.org." This will be the address we will enter into our browser to access the home server. Under Service Type make sure Host with IP address is selected, click Use your currently detected IP address under the IP Address section, then click Add to Cart.
Don’t let this fool you, it’s completely free. Once you enter the shopping cart, click next, then Activate Services. Your domain name is now activated, but there’s still more to configure.
Unless you have a static IP address with your ISP, you’ll need to download the DynDNS Updater for Mac to ensure DynDNS is always updated with your new iP address. Open the DMG and drag the DynDNS app to the Applications Folder on your Mac. Once installed, launch the application.
When the app launches, enter in your login information. Your available domain names appear, select the one you just created, then click "Enable updating for this host." If everything goes well, you’ll see a green dot appear next to the host name under your account on the left side of the window. You’ve now configured DynDNS to translate your domain name into the IP Address for your home Internet access.
Before you begin configuring the router, we need to make sure the Mac you’re using has a static IP Address that won’t change like a dynamic address does. Navigate to System Preferences > Network.
If you’re using a wireless click AirPort, click Advanced. Click TCP/IP, then the Configure IPv4 drop-down box and select Manually. This will allow you to specify a manual IP Address that’s static.
In the IPv4 address field, type in an address like 192.168.1.90 and click OK and then click Apply. This will be the Mac’s static IP Address on the LAN.
If you’re using an Ethernet connection for your router, click Ethernet and change the drop-down Configure IPv4 option to Manually. In the IPv4 Address type in an address like 192.168.1.90 and click Apply.
Now it's time to prepare your router
If you’re using an Airport Extreme, launch the Airport Utility on your Mac and utilize the following directions. If you’re using a router from a different manufacturer, try PortForward.com for tutorials on your particular router make/model.
Once you have the Airport Utility opened, click Manual Setup, then click Advanced > Port Mapping. This is where you will be able to setup where incoming traffic for a particular port is routed to.
Now, it's time to set up the Web, FTP, and Jabber servers to work with the domain name service from DynDNS. Click the plus button (+) at the bottom of the window.
Under Service, choose Personal Web Sharing. Change the Private TCP Port to 8888 and make sure the Public TCP Port is 80. Port 8888 is the default port for MAMP, if you’ve changed it, you’ll need to put in the appropriate port number. Add the IP address you created for your Mac server to the Private IP Address Field. Click Continue and Done.
To set up FTP, click the plus button (+) again, choose FTP Access from the drop-down menu and add the IP address you created for your Mac server to the Private IP Address Field. Click Continue and Done. Your FTP is now configured.
To set up Jabber, click the plus button (+) again, select Jabber from the drop-down menu, and add the IP address you created for your Mac server to the Private IP Address Field. Click Continue and Done.
You should now see all of your configured services in the Airport Utility. To Save the settings, click the Update button in Airport Utility. The router will then restart and the settings will take effect.
You can now access your web server from anywhere in the world by firing up your web browser and typing in your DynDNS Address (i.e. myhomeserver.endoftheinternet.org). Assuming you’ve configured everything correctly, your webpage will load from your newly built Mac home server. You can also use this address to access files from your favorite FTP client, and Jabber from iChat (just change your host name in Openfire). Remember that your Mac must remain on for you to have access to the services that it now provides.
So, there you have it, how to breathe life into your old Mac and make something useful.