Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Windows Home Server Remote Access - Understanding ISP Blocking Ports

Oddly enough, over the holiday’s I was working to figure out the remote access for my friend who just recently got a home server.  For all intents and purposes, his router stated the ports were open, yet Home Server would not show that remote access is available.  A quick Bing search lead me to believe from forums that the ISP (Telus in Canada) blocks the required ports for Windows Home Server

Those ports, 80 & 443 used for HTTP and HTTPS access to the server means that you are in a double-NAT environment that your ISP provides for you.  Unfortunately you have no control over the external most NAT device and as a result, remote access won’t work for you.  Here is a video from HomeServerLand that will help you understand this scenario

The options if you find yourself in this situation are:

  • Contact your ISP and see if they will allow these ports through for you.  In many cases, they will, although in this case, Telus required we purchased a monthly static IP address, or a business class DSL line, both rather expensive.
  • Use Home Server on non-standard ports, which is not that easy to do and potentially some of the updates you receive from Microsoft may or may not break this functionality.  Additionally, the ISP may still block these ports.
  • Change ISPs.

Good luck with your ISP, you’ll need it!


Jay said...

It's "for all intents and purposes" 8)

Sean Daniel said...

thank you! Fixed!

Chris said...


couldn't you just use non standard ports and then forward them from the router to 80 and 443?

your friend could use something like

kind of a pain but should be functional