WAN / Remote Access

The following is a general overview of the steps needed to allow Atrex to connect from a remote system outside of your network to the Atrex data located witin your local area network.
Please note that configuring your network to allow for remote access to the Atrex data involves making changes to your network setup and is something that would normally be done by your network administrator.  While Millennium Software can provide basic support, assistance with configuring your network for remote assistance, this is billable support at our normal support rates.
These also instructions make the assumption that you have already installed the Atrex Database Server on the server computer and have successfully configured Atrex for client/server access.   If you have not already done this, you can find instructions on how to do this in the Atrex help.  Press F1 from the main window and select "Using Atrex - Network/Multi-User Setup - Network Setup - Client Server" from the main help contents.
 
 
*** Configuring your server Internal IP address.
In order for the data to be accessed from outside of your network, the network must know how to locate the server system.  This is done via a process called port forwarding, in which connections to a specific port are forwarded to a specific computer.  Since port forwarding only works to a specific IP address, you must configure your server to have a Static IP address.  If this is not done, a reboot of the server may result in a new IP address being assigned to it which will break the remote access capabilities.
A good set of instructions for how to set up a Static IP address can be found at http://www.hotcomm.com/FAQ/FAQ_staticIPXP.asp .
 
*** Port Forwarding
As indicated in the section above, port forwarding needs to be configured on your router.  This allows connections from the outside world on a specific port to be routed to the IP address of your server.
Unfortunately, different brands and models of routers have different configuration steps in order to enable port forwarding.  But the general process is the same:
  1. Log into your router.
  2. Locate the port forwarding configuration area.  On Linksys routers, it is available under "Games and Applications".  On Netgear routers, it should be available under "Security > Services".
  3. Create an entry that forwards port 12010 to the IP address of the computer that your Atrex Database Server is running on.
Please refer to the documentation that came with your router for instructions on how to configure port forwarding for your specific device.
 
*** Testing the Port Forwarding

One way to test the port forwarding outside of Atrex is through the Telnet program that is part of Windows.  If you do not have Telnet installed, you can install this from the Add/Remove Programs function of Windows.  It is available under the "Add/Remove Windows Components".


To test the connection, do the following:
  1. Click the Windows Start Button.
  2. Type "CMD" in the field and press enter.
  3. At the command line, type the following and press enter.   Replace the xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx with the external IP address of your server:

    telnet xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx 12010
  4. If the port forwarding is configured correctly, telnet will connect to the Atrex database server and the command window will go completely black.
  5. If the Telnet connection fails or times out, then the port forwarding is not working correctly.
 
*** Connecting from the Outside World
Once the above steps have been completed, you will need to configure Atrex to point to the server using your External IP address.  Using the same steps as you did to configure a workstation for client/server from within your network, you will use the internet IP address of your network instead of the internal IP address or name of your server.
If you do not know your internet IP address, you can connect to the following web site which will display your internet IP address. http://whatismyipaddress.com/
The one major problem that you may run into at this point is if your internet IP address is a dynamic IP address. If you have a dynamic IP address, your internet service provider may change the address of your computer at any time, which would cause your Atrex configurations on remote systems to no longer be able to connect to your server.
There are two solutions to this.   The first is to have your internet service provider change you to a static IP address.  This is the easiest from your side, but may cost you a small monthly recurring fee.  If you already have a static IP address for your intenet connection, you can skip to the next section.
The second is to get a free dynamic DNS entry from DynDNS, available at http://www.dyndns.org/.  Once you have created an account, you can configure a dynamic dns name by doing the following:
  1. Go to the "My Services" area of your account.
  2. In the "Host Services" are, click "Add Hostname". 
  3. Enter a name in the first box that describes your company or the purpose for this entry.  This is the subdomain name.  It is suggested that you use an abbreviation of your company name for this portion of the domain.  So if you were Bobs Pool Supply, use something like "bobspoolsupply", or "bps", or "bobspools".
  4. Select a high level domain to associate your subdomain with.  It really doesn't matter which high level domain that you select as long as you know which one you selected.  
  5. Leave the "Host with IP address" option selected".
  6. In the IP address area, click on the text that says "Use auto detected IP address".
  7. Click the "Add to Cart" button
  8. Follow the instructions to complete the transaction.  Unless you opt to upgrade to the Pro version of this service, the service is free.
At this point, the DynDNS entry is complete.  Assuming that you selected "dyndns.org" as the top level domain and "bobspools" for the subdomain, your DNS name that you will use in Atrex is "bobspools.dyndns.org".

Once you have configured your DynDNS account, you will want to log back into your router and configure it to automatically update the DynDNS account information when your IP address changes.  Again, the steps for this vary with different routers, so please refer to the documentation for your router on how to configure it for DynDNS support.



*** Changes to the Atrex Configuration

Once you have the port forwarding enabled on your router, use the "Options - Locations - Location Setup" function from within Atrex to add a new data location for remote connections.  When configuring this, you will use the External IP address in the IP address if you have a static IP.   If you are using a DynDNS account, you would enter the DNS name that you created at DynDNS into the Host Name field of the location setup.
 
Lastly, change the compression level to Maximum to ensure the best performance for Atrex across the wide area connection.

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