Port Forwarding and Not Using Port 80

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Port Forwarding and Not Using Port 80

Postby manjitsahota » Mon May 13, 2013 1:26 am

I am trying to use port forwarding on my router so that I can access HydroFLASH from outside my home network on my computer. When I use port 80, it works for a couple of hours and then it brings my entire network down. I am assuming my ISP (Comcast) does not like me using port 80 and probably that bring my network down. When I try using another port number, like 8080 or 9096, and append this to my address (like :8080) it does not work. I am using ZyXEL NBG-418N router. Could there be something hardwired into HydroFLASH that demands port 80? I would like to know if I am doing something wrong. Have other people successfully done port forwarding to HydroFLASH? Thanks.
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Re: Port Forwarding and Not Using Port 80

Postby Support » Mon May 13, 2013 2:13 am

The HydroFLASH web interface portion runs on port 80 and is fixed (currently). Some ISP's block port 80 traffic to keep you from running a full blown web server. If you want to access HydroFLASH externally from the web and your ISP blocks port 80 then you can use a different port like 8080 or (assuming you don't have any other devices running on that port). You would configure your router to forward external connections to your external IP address coming in on port 8080 to your internal network IP address (HydroFLASH's IP address on port 80). This will re-direct external connections to: your.external.ip.address.net:8080 --> hydroflash.ip.address:80.

Also you might want to consider picking and setting a fixed IP address (outside your DHCP address range) for HydroFLASH vs using DHCP as it could change following a reboot of your router, rendering the port forwarding useless as it would no longer point to the new address that was assigned to HydroFLASH.

Is this how you set it up?

We have it running this way on numerous systems, so it should just be a matter of configuring port forwarding correctly on your router.

One note: The settings page port number is ONLY used for the Mobile Application connection port, NOT the Web page. Leave the mobile set to the same port as your mobile device.
Brooks
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Re: Port Forwarding and Not Using Port 80

Postby manjitsahota » Wed May 22, 2013 4:23 pm

Hi Brooks. It took me a long time to pinpoint my problem, but here is what I found that might be an issue of concern: When I fix my HydroFLASH local IP address on ZyXEL router model NBG-418N running the latest firmware (whether outside or within the range of DHCP server), the WiFi goes down within about 24 hours--it still shows a strong signal but would not accept any devices. There is no Dynamic DNS involved here, and there is no port forwarding. At the same time HydroFLASH running 1.01.41 firmware completely freezes with a frozen display and plays completely dead. A reboot of the router fixes the router but HydroFLASH would not wake up no matter how long I wait (tried up to 12 hours). I must unplug and plug back the HydroFLASH. I do not know if the problem is with the router or with the HydroFLASH, but there is some incompatibility between the two. Another data point: I have another HydroFLASH on the NETGEAR router on a fixed local IP address running flawlessly. Thanks for looking into it.
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Re: Port Forwarding and Not Using Port 80

Postby manjitsahota » Wed May 22, 2013 11:50 pm

P.S.: when my timer freezes, the symptoms are exactly what Brian Gray reported under another thread. I know mine would not respond to ping and there is no blinking light. Nothing but the frozen display.
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Re: Port Forwarding and Not Using Port 80

Postby Support » Thu May 23, 2013 3:30 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the detailed information. I have a couple of questions:

If I understand correctly the issue only occurs when you use HydroFLASH with the ZyXEL router model NBG-418N?
Is the exact behavior of HydroFLASH locking up and your router failing to work repeatable?

Not sure why your router would be impacted but since you have two HF devices, have you tried to see if your second HF device behaves the same when connected to the ZyXEL router? I would be important to determine if the issue is with just one of your HF devices or (what it appears) that there is a relationship issue between HF and your specific router.

It would be helpful to know if you are running the same level and type of WiFi encryption on both access points and or any other deltas.

We will look in to it for you. It might be helpful if you can contact us via the support email address and provide a contact number and time so that we can speak with you directly. This level of support usually results in quicker resolution.

Thanks,
Brooks
HydroFLASH Support
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Re: Port Forwarding and Not Using Port 80

Postby manjitsahota » Sat May 25, 2013 12:45 am

Hi Brooks:

First of all, I will contact you through the support email address and will be happy to leave my home phone number. However, I feel a bit more information is worth posting to see if anyone else is having the same problem. Here is a bit more precise information.

1. The problem is absolutely repeatable and I have repeated it many times, but how long it takes to happen is unpredictable. It takes anywhere between four hours and three or four days. Let me emphasize that if I just use the timer with ZyXEL router as most people would, it works like a champ and stays on indefinitely. The problem occurs when I try to fix its IP address either within or outside the range of DHCP server. (Without the dynamic DNS and even without port forwarding.)

2. Another way to repeat the same problem is by even not fixing the IP address but just doing a port forwarding based on the IP address assigned by the DHCP. No dynamic DNS but using router's WAN IP address directly to get to the timer. (My thought here was if the local IP address of HydroFLASH changes, I could easily reconfigure port forwarding through remote management of the router.) Yes, I can access HydroFLASH this way for some time until the problem occurs.

3. I have been so focused on items 1 and 2, that I have not gotten around doing the most common thing, i.e., first get a dynamic DNS server, then fix the IP address of the timer outside the range of DHCP, and then do port forwarding. I think I would have no way to get it working without getting past items 1 and 2.

4. Today by coincidence I was able to observe the problem remotely as it started to happen (using port forwarding as mentioned in item 2). I lost contact with HydroFLASH on my iPhone. I immediately went to my computer and remotely tried to log onto HydroFLASH without success. Logged onto the router right away and deleted port forwarding. Rebooted the router remotely. HydroFLASH came on line on my iPhone. Strangely however, I could not see HydroFLASH connected to the router. Drove to the location where HydroFLASH was and confirmed that everything appeared normal with the HydroFLASH with the usual IP address of 192.168.1.50. However, still the router did not show HydroFLASH attached to it. Logged onto HydroFLASH using the local address of 192.168.1.50 anyway. Rebooted HydroFLASH using my browser. Everything became completely normal with router showing HydroFLASH connected with the correct IP address. I am sure, had I not taken these actions right away, HydroFLASH would have eventually frozen as usual.

Now I will answer your questions specifically:

1. The issue occurs with the ZyXEL router model NBG-418N. This is the only ZyXEL router I got. I do not know if the other ZyXEL routers would behave the same way. As I said earlier, the problem is consistently repeatable, but it could take several days. What I can say with a fair degree of certainty is if you got this router and got Comcast internet, connect HydroFLASH to this one and fix its IP address. Or alternately, do port forwarding without dynamic DNS with or without fixing the IP address. It will happen within a couple of days.

2. It is getting pretty hard for me to get physical access to this HydroFLASH because this is at my rental property inside the garage, and my new renters are moving in this weekend. It takes me several days to get a data point. I cannot go without irrigating my lawn everyday as it's getting pretty warm in Sacramento area. All I can say is this HydroFLASH ran for two weeks continuously at my home when I was setting it up. By the same token, it runs fine at my rental property as long as I don't mess with port forwarding or its IP address.

3. My level of WiFi encryption at the rental place is WPA2-PSK [AES] and at home is WPA-PSK [TKIP] + WPA2-PSK [AES].

As I said before, I will leave my phone number at your support email address.

Thanks,
Manjit
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Re: Port Forwarding and Not Using Port 80

Postby Support » Sat May 25, 2013 2:52 am

Hi Manjit,

Thanks for the detailed post and your time on the telephone today. We have purchased this specific router and it will be in our lab by Tuesday. We will begin testing using the same conditions to see if we can repeat the issue. We currently have several wireless units running under fixed IP addresses here in the lab using other brands of access points without issue. As I stated on the phone we will gladly replace your unit with a new one in the event we can't duplicate the issue here. I will advise of our results as soon as we have accumulated some time on the access point in question.

Thanks much,
Brooks
HydroFLASH Support
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Re: Port Forwarding and Not Using Port 80

Postby Superspike711 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:28 pm

Not sure how this was resolved but you should be able to assign a static ip address inside the router using the HF mac address. Set DHCP server in the router with the static IP you want assigned to the mac address. Then the router's dhcp server will keep giving the same address to the HF when the address renewal period expires.
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Re: Port Forwarding and Not Using Port 80

Postby Support » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:49 am

Thanks for the inputs. We are working to identify a possible issue that may be related to operating in this configuration. If you wish to have a fixed IP address it is recommended that you set the IP address by using the HydroFLASH TCP/IP configuration (On the Wireless Settings Page) vs the Reserved MAC address inside DHCP IP address range method (on your router).

Manjit has been working closely with us to help identify this issue.

We will advise as we know more.

Thanks!
Brooks
HydroFLASH Support
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