There are several steps you need to complete if you want to allow friends, family, clients, or anyone else access to your server. If they are outside your router, you need manually set your router to forward ports to your computer.
Getting your Server LocationUnfortunately unless you have a static IP with your internet connection, your IP address (and server URL) will change every time you connect to the internet, or your modem gets reset etc. To get your current IP (Internet Protocol) number do one of the following:
Windows 95, 98: Start -> Run -> type in WINIPCFG when the window pops up use the top pull down menu to select the adapter you use to connect to the internet. I had an Ethernet [network] and PPP [dial-up] adapter listed, and by default everytime it's sitting on the network adapter. Windows XP, Win7: Start -> Run -> type in cmd (this starts DOS/Command prompt). Type in ipconfig and you should get a short list of settings with your IP address displayed. (if you want to see a complete list: ipconfig /all but you don't usually need that much info)
Now open the browser and type in http://your.number (like http://22.214.171.124). Now anybody can access your site by that number till your IP number changes.
Shortcut: Well, unless you are using a proxy, your IP and server is 126.96.36.199
Getting a Dynamic DNS ProviderIf your IP changes each time you log onto the internet, you might consider getting a free Dynamic DNS provider. They work by giving you a static name like http://yourname.DNSprovidername.com. Then each time you connect to the internet, the provider will update so your URL will point to your ever changing IP number. This is a great service, and check out the Dynamic DNS primer for a better explanation of dynamic DNS, what it is, and how it works.
LAN IPIf "winipcfg" or "ipconfig" from above returned a number that was in the 192.168.x.x range, that IP is your LAN (Local Area Network) IP. Only computers that are sharing your internet connection can access your server using that number. In which case you'll need to setup your router/modem to forward your "outside" IP like 188.8.131.52 to your 192.168.x.x LAN ip.
Router IssuesIf you have a router or share your high-speed connection with multiple computers, you will likely need to log into your router and configure it to forward Port 80 to your computer. How you do that depends on your router. The basic info to get you started:
Manufacturer Login IP Default username Default Password Netgear 192.168.0.1 admin password D-Link 192.168.0.1 admin Linksys 192.168.1.1 admin
Look for something under "Virtual Servers" or "Forwarding." Type of info it typically askes:
Private IP: (enter your LAN ip. should be something like 192.168.x.x) Protocol Type: TCP Private Port: 80 Public Port: 80If you still need help, check google or your router manual as I usually do not answer questions relating to this.