Small secure web server?


  1. Mayhem

    Mayhem Well-Known Member Contributor

    I have occasion to want/need to access my home PC from my phone. As it stands right now, when I access it remotely using freedns, it brings up my router's configuration page (dd-wrt). I definitely do not want that.

    I've used Apache in the past but don't know if it's the most secure web server. Can anyone suggest a light-weight one that is?

    I'm running Windows 7 32bit but may switch the box over to 64bit.

    I need to keep Windows on the box because of the remote access client I use to connect to my office.

    Thanks.

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  2. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    Are you specifically looking for http access, or general computer access?

    If you're looking for general computer access, here is what I do.

    I use Remote Desktop (native to Windows 7 machines, except Home Basic, I think), using a free DNS redirect from No-IP, and forward the RDP port directly to my home computer's IP address. Right now it sounds like you've accomplished the free DNS redirect fine, but you haven't forwarded the appropriate port to your computer's IP, so it is loading the remote management side instead.

    RDP is pretty robust, and when coming from one Win7 box to another, it's fantabulous. I also have XtraLogic's RDP client for Android on my BIONIC, and it works pretty well, much better now that I'm n 4G land.

    Others might say there are other alternatives - VNC (used plenty of times, works pretty well), Team Viewer (used for the first time a couple of nights ago to help a fellow androidian get back to stock on his BIONIC), (both of which are free) and LogMeIn (not free, IIRC), and others.

    HTH
    9to5cynic and Mayhem like this.
  3. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    If your DD-WRT install is set up to respond to a "http://yourInternetIP/" request, then you probably should change the port to access your router, and make it an SSL connection if possible.


    Apache can be made as secure as you need it to be. As for lightweight Windows HTTP servers, I don't know of any general purpose ones. I had one that exposed my Windows filesystems (drives) using a simple HTTP server, but I can't find it right now.

    If you want secure file access, you can install Cygwin's SSH service or one of the several Cygwin-based SSH server packages, and use WinSCP to move files to/from your computer securely.

    If you want to use your desktop as you would at home, with security, try LogMeIn. They still offer a free version.


    There's a very good program called rdpclient for Linux that I've used to access Windows computers and Terminal Servers. It works great and has at least as many features as the Windows client.
    johnlgalt likes this.
  4. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Well-Known Member

    While I haven't tried it myself, I've heard that nginx is quite nice. In fact, I believe this site uses nginx. I want to say the download file is incredibly small... my tar.gz file is less than a meg.

    I'll have to give it a whirl one of these days...

    And plus one for RDP. I've heard good things about LogMeIn as well though.
    Speed Daemon likes this.
  5. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    The basic reason I use RDP is that you can set the home machine to use only NLA supporting RDP, or less secure version from XP / NT. Plus, since it is native, it works really really well. Also, it is in all versions of Windows 7.

    I suppose the best way to determine which way to go is to ascertain which OS you'll be logging in from....
  6. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    Thanks for the tip. Now that Apache has become the standard bearer, the bloat and harrowing configuration process makes it everything but quick and easy.


    RDP is OK if you're using it within the protection of an internal network. I wouldn't want to put out my graphical desktop login out there on the Internet for the Chinese port scanners and script kiddies to find, though. RDP's main failing is that it stands out like a sore thumb for crackers.
  7. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    No, that's not true. MOF my main gripe about Windows 7 Home and lesser versions is that there is no RDP server like there is for XP and 2000 Server. (With NT4, only the rare, special and costly Terminal Server Edition has RDP. Not for most home users.)

    Although there are varying levels of encryption for the RDP session, the fact that it exposes the Windows desktop to all comers makes it an easier target for break-ins compared to other schemes that don't give away the OS and version.


    Again, there are excellent Citrix, RDP and (naturally) X Window System clients for POSIX compliant operating systems, including the BSDs, Linux and UNIX. OSX uses VNC, which was first developed for the first graphical terminals, and has been ported to every imaginable operating system. The X Window system can be accessed directly, through encrypted sessions using things like SSH, and by using proprietary protocols like NX. NX is the equivalent to Citrix in the UNIX/X world.

    On other words, OS interoperability for the various remote desktop access methods is rarely a problem.
  8. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog Moderator

    I seen a thread I thought it was here where someone was using ssh and something on the phone and just using that to send files back and forth. (This was more Linux than Winblows however) I wonder if someone would be willing to write a tutorial on how to set something like that up so we all could benefit? I'm not that great when it comes to networking. (Havent really done alot) I have a Samba network at home only cause my 2 Winblows computers (the wifes, and the one I dual boot with Fedora 17 which I never go into Winblows anymore.) I need to learn how to do a virtual with winblows for those few times I do use it. maybe another tut for that hmmmm
  9. Mayhem

    Mayhem Well-Known Member Contributor

    I completely forgot about TeamViewer. I installed it on my phone and PC.

    :D
    Speed Daemon likes this.
  10. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    Depends which way you want to go.

    Samba on PC, accessed by phone?

    Try EStrongs File Explorer.

    Server on phone, accessed by PC?

    Try SwiFTP, set access to / rather than /sdcard to access everything.

    Server on phone using secure sockets?

    Try -

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=berserker.android.apps.sshdroid
    argedion and 9to5cynic like this.
  11. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    SSH is normally used to access a UNIX shell (like a Windows command prompt, but much more powerful) on a remote computer with every part being secured by encryption. Commercial products and free products like Cygwin allow SSH to work on Windows too. It takes a little getting used to because it acts like UNIX. But once you're used to it you can use it to move files in Windows with relative ease. There's a utility called rsync that was written by the same guy who wrote Samba that's immensely handy for doing incremental backups. The rsync program was designed to use a remote shell program, and as long as you have SSH public/private keys set up (I'll skip this) you can back up your Windows home directory to a Linux machine without using Samba like this:

    rsync -rtvzPS /cygdrive/c/Users/myusername linuxbox:/home/myusername/backups/windowsboxname/

    The myusername parts may be different on different machines, so you need to adjust that if necessary, as well as the letter after "/cygdrive/", and the path beyond that, depending on your version of Windows and how it's installed. You can use whatever names you like on the Linux box for the destination, as long as your Linux user owns the location and the directory structure exists. Just substitute your path on the Linux box and you're in business.

    You can install the sshd program as a Windows service and copy files from the Linux machine's console, and put it on all of your Windows machines. The rsync program does some things that the DOS/Win XCOPY program can't do, which is why I prefer it.

    If you want to eliminate Windows altogether, the first thing to do is get used to using `man' and the newer `info' command (also the `--help' switch) to learn more about the bash, ssh and rsync commands in Linux. You can look on the web and use dead trees books too, but IMHO diving into using the UNIX shell straight away is best. The same applies to other command line programs, and most importantly, shell scripting. Just like there are some things in Windows that are just plain easier to do with a batch file, writing your own Linux shell scripts is helpful even when your Linux distro can be controlled through the GUI.
  12. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog Moderator

    I have been using rsync for several years now. Can't live without it. I've been using linux for about the last 9 years. And was first introduced to linux back when caldera had open linux. I had 2.2 I know what ssh is, I just have never had an opportunity to learn and use it.

    I am used to the terminal and bash. I have recently setup a computer strictly for my android devices. Thread is in this forum
  13. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    Hey, another ex-Caldera user! :cheers: I beta tested Caldera Network Desktop, their first product. I loved their KDE-based distro, with the clean interface and NetWare compatibility. Too bad their CEO went insane. I took a bath on their IPO when they bought SCO and turned evil.

    I also used OpenBSD, which was made by the same people who developed OpenSSH. I can still remember when most people bought it from SSH.com.

    Have you tried unison?
  14. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog Moderator

    no I haven't tried it. I actually got back into linux because of Open Suse. I had to set up some networks for some friends that were using it. It was both server and desktop for them so I had to learn how to go through it then I found fedora I think it was seven then maybe lower anyway I have been using fedora ever since as my main OS. Every now and then I do a windows thing. I have tried several other distro's but keep coming back to what just works the way I want it to. :D

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