Remote Access of Home Server

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by traveller09, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2008
    I apologize in advance, I know this has probably been covered numerous times before so if someone could provide me a link where this was discussed I wont waste anymore of peoples time. I have been searching this site but I haven't really found what I am looking for. Also, please let me know if I posted this in the wrong forum.

    What I am looking for is the best way to access my home server while away from home, whether that be from my work laptop (Dell), MBP, iPad or iPhone. I have installed a Mac Mini Server as my home server and I am using it more as a media center than anything else. I stream movies and such to my Apple TV. I already know the server addition is overkill for what I need but I have already bought it and am using it so that point is moot. I am not an idiot with computers but I am also not a tech geek, I simply want to tunnel into my home server from the outside and view files, movies, photos and such. Eventually as I get more sophisticated I hope to control more but for now this what I need.

    What is the best S/W to accomplish this? Do I need some sort of DNS service?

    Further info if needed, I am using Airport Extreme and I have Comcast for my internet. I have been fooling around with a free version of iTeleport but it seems pretty clumsy, it lets you view your desktop but I was hoping for more.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. impierced, Jan 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011

    macrumors 6502


    Sep 30, 2002


    a. setup an account and pick a DNS name
    b. install the client on your server and login to your account

    2. any VNC client worth your time

    a. i only use Remote Desktop (Mac only, but more secure than plain VNC). however, you want windows support as well so VNC it is, i'd recommend using a good and long password
    b. just Google VNC clients and you''ll find some for Mac, Windows, etc. I used to use Chicken of the VNC for Mac - good place to start.

    3. configure your server's sharing

    a. enable VNC, System Preferences > Sharing > Remote Management > Settings... > VNC viewers...

    4. setup your AirPort Extreme

    a. tell your AirPort Extreme to assign a specific IP address to your server by MAC address.
    b. port forward 5900 to your server

    That should about do it.
  3. macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2008
    Mac OS X Server includes a VPN server. It supports L2TP over IPSec and the <much> less secure PPTP popular on Windows. You will have to tell your Airport to forward the appropriate ports to your server.

    OS X, iPad, iPhone, and Windows (with some hacking) all support the IPSec VPN server on OS X Server. With a VPN connection, you can access your files, share screens of computers on your home network etc.

    Bonjour does not travel over the VPN, so your mobile iTunes will not see shared files on your home network. There are hacks to advertise Bonjour locally so your mobile iTunes will know how to connect.

    If your IP is not mostly static (it typically is with Comcast), then you will want to use a service like DynDNS to help you keep track of it.

  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2008
    Thank you both so much, I will do some more research tonight based on the info you provide!
  5. macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    With dyndns you cans set some routers to update the dns rather than having the client running on your web server. I use a firmware called ddwrt on my router which does this.

    I hadn't thought about setting up a VPN, that would offer better security for my vnc and afp access would ot not?

    I tried setting up rdp for remote access, but it wouldn't connect, is there more than one port that needs forwarding?
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
  7. macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    Yes, but you also have to pay for it, and its nothing you cant do free with a little bit of research.

    I also want to set up sharing accounts on my macs for my freinds so they can access my shares, and possibly stream my itunes songs (although im ideally looking for a way to do this with my name direct across a WDS wifi network, rather than routing the stream through the internet). Slink wont let me do that

    The issue im having with the WDS is setting up so his internet data is still going through his ISP rather than mine.

    Anyway, VPN working now set up and working can connect from both iphone and ipad outside of my own network. I havent tried the AFP share, but the VNC works when connected with the VPN, however it still works when not connected to the VPN, which is something I want to stop. Will simply removing the port forwards on the router work, or are they still needed when using the VPN?

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