The CyberQ Wifi
Temperature Controller


Connecting From Outside Your Network

OK. Take a deep breath. You have connected to your CyberQ Wifi directly in ad hoc mode, and you have now connected through your home network in infrastructure mode. What is left is if you wish to connect to the CyberQ Wifi from work or from your smart phone while you are at a baseball game. You can do that too!

There are two things that you need to do to accomplish this. The first is to make sure that your router always gives the same IP address to the CyberQ Wifi. The part of any network that hands out IP addresses will take them back if devices don't use them for some period of time. The next time you turn one of the devices back on, it may get a totally different IP address. So there is a way to tell your router that the CyberQ Wifi should always get the same IP address. This way, things won't change and you will always be able to get to the CyberQ Wifi.

The second thing you have to do is tell your router that if it receives any requests from outside your network that are asking for a web page, it should send those requests to your CyberQ Wifi and not any of the other devices on your network. Normally, there is nothing on your local network that can provide web pages (i.e., a web page server), so routers come preconfigured to not allow that kind of traffic (web page requests) into your network. What we need to do is tell the router that a) it's ok, and b) where the web server (the CyberQ Wifi) is.

So again, the first part is to make sure that the CyberQ Wifi doesn't change IP addresses. To avoid having the CyberQ Wifi's IP address change from day to day, you can tell your router to permanently assign an IP address to it. We'll show you how we did it on our Linksys router. It will be different on different brands of routers, but the function is the same. You just have to figure out what your router calls it.

In order to do this, you first need to find the MAC address of your CyberQ Wifi. The MAC address is a burned-in permanent address that gets set by the manufacturer of every network adapter. Some devices have a label on them listing the MAC address. (We have bought laptops that had this label.) Others don't. But every device has a unique MAC address inside. To find the MAC address of your CyberQ Wifi, all you need to do is connect to the unit in either ad hoc or infrastructure mode and navigate to the Wifi Setup web page. You'll find the MAC address right at the top:


Now we know that MAC address 00:1E:C0:04:BA:6E is currently associated with IP address 192.168.1.109 (the IP address we displayed up above). Cool. So now we need to get into our router and tell it to associate 192.168.1.109 permanently with the MAC address of our CyberQ Wifi.

Routers have a web server built into that allows you to access the inner workings of the router and to make changes to its configuration. Again, this is completely different from router to router, so here is what our router does. Sign into your router by typing IP address 192.168.1.1 into your browser's address window. (This should be the default IP address of the router when you access it from inside your network. Check your router's instructions if it doesn't work.) Here's what it looks like when you sign into our router:

On Linksys routers, the place you want to go is that button labled "DHCP Reservation". Click on it and you get the following screen. This is where you go to tell the router to permanently assign an IP address to a MAC address:

As you can see on the line marked with the red arrow, MAC address 00:1E:C0:04:BA:6E is currently associated with IP address 192.168.1.109, and that these addresses are associated with the CyberQ Wifi device. So at this point, you would click on the "Select" box for that line and then click on the "Add Clients" button, and voila! Now your router will always assign IP address 192.168.1.109 to your CyberQ Wifi. You could have manually chosen another IP address if you wanted to, but this is the easiest way to do it. Here is what it looks like then, once you have reserved this IP address for the CyberQ Wifi:

The second part is done with that dreaded phrase, "port forwarding". You don't really need to know anything about ports other than the fact that a request for a web server to provide a web page to someone outside the network will come into your network on port 80. Normally, port 80 is blocked because home networks don't usually have a web server running inside them. However, we are going to open it up and direct any web page requests that come in on port 80 to go the CyberQ Wifi. So, we are going to tell the router to forward any messages on port 80 to IP address 192.168.1.109, which is now the IP address that is permanently assigned to the CyberQ Wifi.

To do this, you need to find the "port forwarding" function on your router. It will almost certainly be called "port forwarding" so all you have to do is find it. On our router it is under the "Applicaton and Gaming" tab:

Then click on the "Single Port Forwarding" tab and you will be given the following screen. Notice that on the line for "HTTP", we have entered the IP address of the CyberQ Wifi, clicked on the "Enabled" checkbox and then clicked on the "Save Changes" button:

If your router doesn't have a line with the HTTP protocol already selected like ours did, you would need to specify port 80 instead of HTTP.

So, now we have done the two things necessary to gain access to the CyberQ Wifi from outside our network. We have made sure that the CyberQ Wifi will always have IP address 192.168.1.109, and we have told the router to send any requests for web pages to this same IP address. And take heart. Even if all of this escapes you, if you can find a friend who knows a little bit about home networks and routers, they should be able to take these screenshots and set your router up for you.

Now there is only one other thing you need to do. Your router has an IP address assigned to it from your ISP. This is the address that the outside world uses to send messages to your router. Finding it is easy peasy. Just google "IP" and you will get this:

Currently, the external IP address of our router is 174.109.134.122. This is what you would type into your browser address window if you wanted to see our CyberQ Wifi. (Don't try it. We've changed our IP address.)

Now there is one last thing you need to know. Your external IP address probably isn't going to change as long as you leave your router powered on. However, remember how we told you that the network dude who hands out IP addresses will take them back if a device is turned off for long enough? Our ISP seems to reassign your IP address to someone else if you don't use it for 12 hours, so it could change while we aren't looking. You can do one of two things about this. You can either make sure you check your external IP address every time you leave home, or you can use something called a dynamic DNS service like www.dyndns.com that does some black magic voodo hocus pocus wizardry alakazzam sort of stuff that gives you a web address like "yourname.dyndns.org" which always points to your computer, even when your external IP address changes. A service like this costs about $20 a year, but you can also find free services. If you use this service, instead of typing in your external IP address, you would type in whatever name you are assigned by the service. The name never changes so you always know what to enter to get to your network.

That wasn't so bad, was it?

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