Legacy Open Mesh: Why Can’t I Access an Internal Server via Its External IP Address?

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Question

Why can't I access an internal server via its external IP address?

Environment

  • Datto Routers

Answer

Trying to access an internal server via its external IP address on the same network the internal server is hosted on will typically not work as expected, unless your router supports(and you've enabled) NAT Hairpinning. NAT Hairpinning may also be called NAT Reflection or NAT Loopback.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_address_translation#NAT_loopback

Not all routers offer this functionality, call it by the same name or have the same configuration options. You'll need to review your router documentation or talk to their support staff for more details on if it's supported and how to configure it.

Typically this problem is seen on guest SSIDs where an alternate DNS is configured to provide guest clients with the external IP address of the internal server. Typically this results in guest clients being unable to communicate with the internal server via the external IP address.


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