Using port number in Windows host file

I managed to achieve this by using Windows included Networking tool netsh.

As Mat points out : The hosts file is for host name resolution only, so a combination of the two did the trick for me.

Example


Overview

example.app:80
 |                           <--Link by Hosts File
 +--> 127.65.43.21:80
       |                     <--Link by netsh Utility
       +--> localhost:8081

Actions

  • Started my server on localhost:8081
  • Added my “local DNS” in the hosts file as a new line
    • 127.65.43.21 example.app
      • Any free address in the network 127.0.0.0/8 (127.x.x.x) can be used.
      • Note: I am assuming 127.65.43.21:80 is not occupied by another service.
      • You can check with netstat -a -n -p TCP | grep "LISTENING"
  • added the following network configuration with netsh command utility
    • netsh interface portproxy add v4tov4 listenport=80 listenaddress=127.65.43.21 connectport=8081 connectaddress=127.0.0.1
  • I can now access the server at http://example.app

Notes:
– These commands/file modifications need to be executed with Admin rights

netsh portproxy needs ipv6 libraries even only to use v4tov4, typically they will also be included by default, otherwise install them using the following command: netsh interface ipv6 install


You can see the entry you have added with the command:

netsh interface portproxy show v4tov4

You can remove the entry with the following command:

netsh interface portproxy delete v4tov4 listenport=80 listenaddress=127.65.43.21


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