Internet Explorer 11 cannot connect to local host – Redux
In a previous blog post, I detailed how Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1 Preview fails to open
http://127.0.0.1 while it has no problems opening
http://localhost, given an appropriate web server is installed. Well, here is an update.
In the original post, I wrote:
I tried tweaking Internet Explorer’s enhanced protection settings to work around this issue but it was all in vain. I still think Microsoft, I or both might have missed something there. I strongly believe it should have had some effect.
I tried my luck with Internet Explore 11.0.9600 for Windows 8.1 RTM. Disabling either Protected Mode or Enhanced Protected Mode indeed enables access to
http://127.0.0.1., both in desktop version and Metro-style version.
Now, perhaps I should elaborate a little bit about the difference between Protected Mode and Enhanced Protected Mode.
Protected Mode is added in IE7 and can be disabled on a per-zone basis, from Security tab of Internet Options dialog box. In fact, starting with Internet Explorer 8, Protected Mode is by default disabled for local intranet zone. So, if you add 127.0.0.1 to the local intranet zone or trusted zone, you can access it with Internet Explorer. For more information, see:
- What does Internet Explorer protected mode do, Windows Help – contains general information
- Understanding and Working in Protected Mode Internet Explorer, MSDN – contains more technical information
Enhanced Protected Mode is added in IE10 and can only be disabled via Advanced tab of Internet Options dialog box. Disabling or enabling it requires a system restart. It causes a lot of compatibility issues with plug-ins but Microsoft is generally not in good terms with plug-ins. For more information, see:
Is this still a bug?
Short answer: Yes. There is no security-conscious justification for letting any piece of software treat 127.0.0.1 and localhost differently. Both go to the same place and are authenticated equally. (Mind you, the are reasons for treating, say, 126.96.36.199 and http://www.microsoft.com differently, but that’s not the case here.)
Posted on 9 November 2013, in Software Development, Software Review and tagged 127.0.0.1, Fiddler, Internet Explorer, Internet Explorer 11, isolation, localhost, loopback, Metro, proxy server, TCP/IP, web server, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Runtime. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.