How to Connect to a Specific Web Front End Server in SharePoint Farm?

A typical SharePoint farm may contain more than one web front-end server – load balanced. When you hit the SharePoint site URL, say:, it hits the load balancer first. Load balancer decides to which web front end server this request needs to be transferred based on server load and other load balancing algorithms. Here is a nifty trick to hit specific WFE, bypassing load balancer in SharePoint farm.

Option 1: Connect to a Specific WFE Server in SharePoint with HOST file Edit:

  • Go to “C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc” in your local machine
  • Open the “HOST” file in notepad.
  • Add an entry at the end of the file with: WFE IP and SharePoint site’s Host header. 
    • E.g.
      How to Hit a Specific Web Server in SharePoint Farm
  • Save and close the file.
  • Clear your browser cache and reopen the site.

Now you should get responses from the specified web front end server. BTW, Web Front End Server (WFE) is the one with IIS Web sites running.

Option 2: Add a Binding to SharePoint Web Application in IIS:

Alternatively, you can add an additional binding to your SharePoint web application and hit that URL from your local machine. Say, You have a SharePoint web application: which has port 80 and Port 443 bindings on a web server: Abz-SPS2013-V1. Now,

  • Go to IIS >> Expand Sites >> Pick your web app >> Click on Bindings >> Add a binding. E.g. Type: HTTP, IP: All Unassigned, Port: 8888. 
  • Add an alternate access mapping with the new URL to complete.

Now you can hit: https://Abz-SPS2013-V1:8888/ from your local machine!

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two-decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. He has held various positions including SharePoint Architect, Administrator, Developer and consultant, has helped many organizations to implement and optimize SharePoint solutions. Known for his deep technical expertise, He's passionate about sharing the knowledge and insights to help others, through the real-world articles!

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