How to Test Your Site Before Updating DNS

One of two ways. You can set up a proxy inside of your web brower to point to the new server. Or you can update your computer’s local DNS file to point your domain to the new server. Both are explained below.

Setup a Proxy

In order to see your site at NetGate prior to domain registration or transfer you can trick your browser into sending the request to the NetGate server. To do this you will need to configure “proxy” settings. To do this for Google Chrome under Windows 10:

  1. Select “Settings”.
  2. Click the “Advanced” link (if needed).
  3. Click “Open Proxy Settings”.
  4. Click “LAN settings”.
  5. Check the “Use a proxy server …..” checkbox.
  6. Click the “Advanced” button.
  7. Type the IP address you received in the welcome email into the “Address” box.
  8. Type 80 in the “Port” box.
  9. Click OK to close each window.

You may now view your website (and only your website) with this configuration. To resume normal web browsing, follow the above steps and uncheck the “Use a proxy server …..” checkbox.

Update Local DNS Host File

Modifying your hosts file enables you to override the DNS for your domain. This allows you to view your new site as well as the rest of the Web. But you won’t be able to see your old site unless you also add mappings for it too.

To modify the hosts file, you add two entries to the file that contains the IP address and hostname. Adding the following two lines, for example, point www.yourdomain.com and yourdomain.com to IP address 1.1.1.1. In this example replace 1.1.1.1 with the IP address you received in your welcome email.:

1.1.1.1 www.yourdomain.com
1.1.1.1 yourdomain.com

Windows 8 and 10

  1. Press the Windows key.
  2. Type “Notepad” in the search field.
  3. In the search results, right-click Notepad and select Run as administrator.
  4. From Notepad, open the following file: c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts
  5. Make the necessary changes to the file.
  6. Click File/Save to save your changes.

Windows 7 and Vista

  1. Click Start/All Programs/Accessories.
  2. Right-click Notepad and select Run as administrator.
  3. Click Continue on the Windows needs your permission window.
  4. When Notepad opens, click File/Open.
  5. In the File name field, type C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts.
  6. Click Open.
  7. Make the necessary changes to the file.
  8. Click File/Save to save your changes.

Mac OS X 10.0 through 10.1.5

  1. Open /Applications/Utilities/NetInfo Manager.
  2. To allow editing of the NetInfo database click the padlock (lower-left corner of the window).
  3. In the second column of the browser view select the node named “machines”.
  4. The third column contains entries for -DHCP-, broadcasthost, and localhost.
  5. In the third column, select localhost.
  6. From the Edit menu, select Duplicate. (This is the easiest way to create a new entry.)
  7. Click Duplicate.
  8. A new entry called “localhost copy” appears, and its properties are shown below the browser view.
  9. Double-click the value of the ip_address property and enter the IP address of the NetGate server.
  10. Double-click the value of the name property and enter the hostname.
  11. Click the serves property and select Delete from the Edit menu.
  12. From the File menu, select Save.
  13. Click Update this copy.
  14. Repeat steps 6 through 12 for each additional host entry that you want to add.
  15. From the NetInfo Manager menu, select Quit.

You do not need to restart the computer.

Mac OS X 10.6 through 10.12

  1. Open Applications/Utilities/Terminal.
  2. Open the hosts file by typing the following line in the terminal window:
  3. sudo vi /private/etc/hosts
  4. Edit the hosts file. The file contains comments (lines starting with the # symbol), and some default hostname mappings (e.g. 127.0.0.1 – local host). Add your new mappings after the default mappings.
  5. Save the hosts file by pressing Control+x and answering y.
  6. Open a Terminal window.
  7. Flush your DNS cache using: dscacheutil -flushcache
  8. Close the Terminal window.
  9. The new mappings should now take effect.

Linux

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Open the hosts file in a text editor by typing the following line:
  3. vi /etc/hosts
  4. Make the necessary changes to the file.
2018-03-30T11:48:27+00:00March 22nd, 2018|