web.direct 2.0: Introduction

Content:

1. Description

1.1 What are the possible uses of mdex web.direct?
1.2 Functionality
1.3 Supported protocols
1.4 Comparison web.direct → web.direct 2.0

2. Setup & configuration

1. Description

1.1 What are the possible uses of mdex web.direct?

The HTTP/HTTPS web interface of any device can be accessed using a browser. This applies to various devices such as cellular routers, cameras, data loggers, control systems (e.g., XWEB500), web servers (e.g., IIS, Apache, NGINX), and more.

web.direct allows remote access to devices without the necessity of a public IP address or an additional VPN tunnel. Following are the advantages of utilising remote access via mdex web.direct:

  • There is no need for any additional software installation.
  • Access is possible through any web browser on any computer or smartphone with internet connectivity.
  • Access to multiple devices, including routers and terminal devices behind the router, can be achieved through different HTTP/HTTPS ports.
  • The devices are safeguarded by appropriate security settings on web.direct to protect against internet threats and risks such as cross-site scripting attacks, port scans, and search engines.
  • With additional user authentication, web.direct links can be used securely.

1.2 Functionality

The basic functionality of web.direct is explained below. It allows access to the HTTP/HTTPS WebUI of devices, such as a routers or terminal devices.

Requirements:

  • The cellular router must be accessible via a private IP address from the Wireless Logic mdex network, such as mdex fixed.IP+ or NetPro incl. DevicePro.
  • To remotely access a terminal device (e.g. camera, solar logger, etc.), it is necessary to configure port forwarding for the required HTTP/HTTPS port from the cellular router to the connected terminal device.
  • The web.direct link must be configured for the corresponding HTTP/HTTPS port assigned to the device.
  • The PC or smartphone used for remote access must have an active internet connection.

How it works:

  1. To access a WebUI remotely, you can use the web.direct link in the web browser of your PC or smartphone. No VPN connection to Wireless Logic/mdex is needed, only access to the Internet.
  2. The browser establishes a connection to the mdex gateway using the web.direct URL.
  3. The mdex gateway checks and accepts the authentication request. Depending on the security option set, authentication can be done automatically or through additional user authentication.
  4. The mdex gateway forwards the request to the (private) IP address of the SIM card (or mdex fixed.IP+ Device) and thus to the cellular router.
  5. The cellular router forwards the HTTP/HTTPS port set in the web.direct link to the connected terminal device through port forwarding.
  6. The connection to the cellular router's WebUI or the connected end device is established.

1.3 Supported web.direct protocols

The web.direct feature allows access to devices with a WebUI (web server) through a designated HTTP/HTTPS port. This includes devices such as router configuration interfaces, controllers, controls, cameras, and similar devices. It is important to note that cameras that transmit live images using the Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) are not compatible. However, certain cameras may provide an alternative solution using WebSockets.

Protocol Access via web.direct
HTTP DONE
HTTPS DONE
WebSocket (WS)  DONE 1
WebSocket Secure (WSS)  DONE 1
Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) choice-no
FTP choice-no
SSH choice-no
SMTP choice-no
Other protocols choice-no

1 Some devices (e.g. certain webcams, data loggers, etc.) require the WebSocket protocol for a two-way communication, which has been supported since web.direct 2.0. When using the conventional web.direct, you may encounter instances where certain content is not displayed correctly on the web interface.

1.4 Comparison web.direct 1.0 → web.direct 2.0

Below you can see the differences between the conventional web.direct 1.0 and the new web.direct 2.0, which is available through DevicePro in SIMPro or the new mCOP platform:

Function web.direct 1.0
web.direct 2.0
Direct links: DONE DONE
Login links: DONE DONE
URL paramater:   DONE 1 choice-no
WebSocket (WS): choice-no DONE
WebSocket secure (WSS): choice-no DONE
Link per device: choice-no   DONE 2
Two-factor authentication: choice-no DONE
Optional SSL certificates:
(For terminal devices)
choice-no DONE
Optional URL path can be set: choice-no   DONE 3
Temporary links: choice-no   DONE 4

1 The URL can be manually customised for specific protocols/ports and options, such as port (-p), protocol (-s) and caching (-c).
2 With the conventional web.direct function, created web.direct links are always made available to all accesses of an 'mdex VPN', even if not every access requires this web.direct access. Since web.direct 2.0, the web.direct links can be specifically assigned to any desired Device.
3 This path is appended to the URL of the web.direct link, for example to access certain pages in the terminal device. The path must begin with a slash /, for example /motor. This directly accesses the page .../motor in the terminal device.
4 It is now possible to generate temporary web.direct links for a specific duration under link timeout (minutes). These links will remain active for the duration chosen by you and will be automatically disabled thereafter.

2. Setup & configuration

web.direct 2.0 can be accessed through DevicePro in SIMPro or the new mCOP platform.

Administration of web.direct templates is done under "web.direct". Settings of existing web.direct links can be modified by selecting the "Edit" button.

Below, you will find additional details regarding web.direct settings:

Templates
Link presentation
Browser -> mdex gateway
mdex gateway -> Device

 

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