iTunes Home Sharing to iPhone over VPN (3G)

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by alvse, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. alvse macrumors regular


    Nov 30, 2008
    Does anyone know if this will work, so far I've tried with iVPN and successfully connected to the network with the iPhone, but I cannot get the home sharing to work (iOS 4.3 GM).

    If anyone has got this working over 3G (or remote wifi), pointers to where I've gone wrong would be great...

    Home Sharing on the home network is working brilliantly... now to try to take it on the road (I've been using Zumocast previously).
  2. RSully macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2011
    I'm also interested in using HomeSharing over VPN. I too have iVPN installed on a Mac Mini at home, with iTunes 10.2 running at all times with all of my movies.

    I'm not worried about my internet speed, as I can mount the Mini from my laptop and play a movie remotely without any lag.

    I not only tried the iPhone, but my Macbook, connected to the VPN. Still no dice, doesn't show up on iTunes.
  3. JonHimself macrumors 68000


    Nov 3, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    I'll add my name to the list of people wanting this to work..

    I set-up iVPN as a PPTP (I suppose I might as well try L2TP and see if it's different) and was able to connect to my computer over 3G. Using iTeleport I was able to connect to my Mac Min as if it were a "local computer" (I turned off the VPN on my iphone to make sure and I was unable to connect without the VPN connection) but nothing shows up in the iPod app for Home Sharing.

    As a further test, I connected to the VPN, turned on personal hotspot and then connected to that using my iPad. Again I was able to see my computer as a "local computer" but unable to see Home sharing in the iPod app.

    Does anyone have Snow Leopard Server to try out that VPN host?

    I've been reading that it might have to do with being on the same subnet.. but not entirely sure what that means/how to adjust that.
  4. AshleyUk macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2010
    Surely apple just built in that you have to be connected via WIFI for it to work?
  5. RSully macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2011
    I'm also using PPTP. Can't using L2TP since MobileMe uses that port on my router. (Incase it matters, I have Back to my Mac setup on both of my machines)

    A VPN server is a VPN server. If I recall, iVPN uses the VPNd built into the OS, as would SL Server.

    I googled around and found something like this too, might be worth looking into. If I remember my iVPN setup, all of my IPs are on 10.0.1.x, same as my router. I just have my router setup to go from x to y, and iVPN from y+1 to z.

    Well, I'm sure Apple is assuming you're on the same network (which is why I'm curious why VPN won't work). Wifi or ethernet won't matter.
  6. AshleyUk macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2010
    Yeh I can understand what you mean, but at the same time if your Iphone is connected to Wifi and have the ipod app open and start Itunes it appears within a few seconds. So there must be some type of background searching going continously? If this was all the time you'd be adding up to network usage constantly while the Phone is on, including abroad e.t.c

    Wouldn't surprise me if they just litterly limited the searching for Itunes function to Wifi connected only.
  7. JonHimself macrumors 68000


    Nov 3, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    I wouldn't be either. Despite the process of setting up a VPN likely being reserved for a small percentage of customers, I would imagine that the record labels wouldn't be too happy if this could be accomplished.
    I was reading that people seem to have been able to set this up using a computer (instead of the iPhone). From a different network, they connected over VPN to their home computer and their home library showed up in iTunes on the other computer.
  8. Orge macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2004
    I haven't tried this out myself with a vpn connection, but the problem is probably that the bonjour broadcast messages aren't travelling down the tunnel and alerting the ipod client. There some information at this link for configuring third party software to manually send a request - it may require some technical knowledge to get set up, but I haven't followed Neil's directions yet myself:

    If I make any progress, I'll post some further instructions.

    Hope that helps!

  9. alvse thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 30, 2008

    sweet.... I too have a feeling its a bonjour issue...

    still tinkering with it in my spare time too... will let you guys know if I find a way to do it...
  10. zaxxon72 macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Nice solution Neil has there. But he says himself that this is only for music.

    So what can we do about Home Sharing (for videos, for example)? Any way to forward the mDNS/Bonjour traffic over the vpn?
  11. Orge macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2004
    Having had another look at neils instructions and played around with this on my setup, this isn't an answer to this problem... it will only work for a computer connecting to another iTunes share over VPN, as the beacon software does not have an equivalent for an iphOnr (that I have been able to find).

    What is needed is a bonjour advertising application for the iPhone...

  12. jon.christopher macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2011
    Would this help? Please try and let us know, because VPN-based iTunes Home sharing would be awesome. In case the link goes stale, this link is refering to Network Beacon at
  13. powaking macrumors 6502


    Jul 3, 2008
    I believe it has something to do with iTunes not broadcasting over a routable address. Have you tried setting up a VPN to your router instead of your machine?
  14. Orge macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2004
    I'm fairly confident the network beacon instructions linked above are wrong... I believe network beacon needs to run on the client (the iPhone), rather than the server. Since there doesn't appear to be an equivalent app for the iPhone, I dont know what other options there might be?

    It's possible that, with certain router hardware, we may be able to forward the broadcast packets via a static route. However, this would be both technically difficult and could swallow outgoing bandwidth without suitable filtering. Certainly not for the faint hearted!

    In answer to powaking, yes the problem is as you describe, but it's inherent to the way a vpn tunnel is set up, so there shouldn't be any difference between a router or computer based connection. Indeed, my VPN link is through a router and it isn't working.

    The only other thing I can think of is a hamachi/back to my mac type solution... these use a different technique to punch through the firewall and may be more successful for this application?


    Hamachi type access to the
  15. rado0x54 macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2011
    Well this is hard...

    @Ogre network beacon is just a bonjour announcer and has to run on the network side, where the announcements are missing (client network). It doesn't even need to run on the iphone itself, but can run on a Mac in the same Network (assuming the iPhone is connected per Wireless in this network).

    But in general, this is a hard problem that I was fighting with for years. Before solving it for the iPhone you should try to get it working for a Mac VPN connection. And it's my believe that it's impossible to do with PPTP or L2TP.

    Problem is the VPN Server, which always has to route the package to and from the target network.

    e.g. My L2tp Server has IP iMac with HS and iTunes Library Client (e.g. Macbook) gets assigned from the VPN Server.

    If you do a traceroute from the client (Macbook), you'll see it always takes 1 hop:

    $ traceroute
    traceroute to (, 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
    1 ( 73.990 ms 70.363 ms 69.136 ms
    2 imac.XXXX.lan ( 79.933 ms 70.047 ms 71.875 ms

    I spend many hours to get the VPN Server to route the bounjour stuff over the link. (e.g. Settings up an announcment service (repeater) on the VPN Server). But always failed. If someone gets it working.. please let me know.

    Well if you want it working, you need OpenVPN. Since an OpenVPN Server does not create a new Network Interface on the Server for each Client connection, but rather works with a constant interface that is BRIDGED to the Interface of the Subnet Things work much(!) smoother and all the Bounjour stuff works just fine (HomeSharing, Remote, AirPlay etc...).

    If I do a traceroute from the client know, I can see that there is no actual routing taking place on the VPN Server.
    $ traceroute
    traceroute to (, 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
    1 imac.XXXX.lan ( 70.129 ms 69.211 ms 69.275 ms

    Nice. Long Story Short. Jailbreak your iPhone and use OpenVPN :).
  16. iWizzard, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

    iWizzard macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2007
    rado0x54: Nice will look in to this
    It seem that the access server is running on a linux machine or a VM.
    I have my Itunes installation on a Windows 7 virtual machine. So the connection would be.

    Iphone -> OpenVPN Access Server <- Windows 7 (via open vpn client)

    or is there an open vpn server for windows that I did not find?

    Edit: When I think about it, OpenVPN Access Server and Windows 7 is on the same network so no connection between them should be necessary.

    PS: is there a free openvpn client for ios? the one I found seam to cost money. It is called GuizmOVPN
  17. rado0x54 macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2011

    Hey iWizzard,

    unfortunately I don't actually have an openvpn client on my iphone. I connected whole subnets, so every computer in my place can talk to every computer at my parents place. On the one side there's an linksys WRT54GL as Router and OpenVPN Client whereas my parents have a linux router with OpenVPN installed.

    As I see your setup would be

    iPhone <-> INTERNET <-> Router (Home) <- (forward)> OPENVPN Server

    Since you are apparently already using VMs I would just setup a Linux machine for OpenVPN and forward the required ports from your home router.

    You may need to activate "presumptuous Mode" in your VMware Options. Otherwise bridging won't work.

    After connection your iPhone can reach every computer in your home. Then, of course, don't need to connect to the VPN Server. :).

    Good luck.
  18. spankym macrumors newbie


    Sep 11, 2010
    Something like this: ported to iPhone/iPad could make this work. I wouldn't expect this in the app store so for jailbroken phones only, if ever. VPN in and of itself is not enough since this type of traffic doesn't traverse VPN in a regular configuration. Bonjour uses multicast DNS and the above linked trick is a good example of how to make Bonjour work across a tunnel, albeit only for Mac not for iPhone. Probably apple will allow something like this eventually through their rumored cloud based music plans.
  19. todaystechblog macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011
    Network Beacon?

    So does this program work? I need to get a router that supports VPN, but found some reference to Network Beacon here which sounds potentially promising. I'm going to have a go at this soon and will post my findings. Thanks for the feedback so far!
  20. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    Yes you can make it work using network beacons and these instructions

    You will however need to assign your machine a static ip.

    Have fun :)
  21. huntson macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2005
    care to share exactly how to set this up?
  22. eurobum macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2012

    Has this been made possible/easier to achieve?
  23. Pinksteady, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012

    Pinksteady macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2008
    I've successfully set up EasyVPN on my Mac Mini, forwarded the ports, and can now access local resources via VPN on my iPhone/iPad.

    Now I need to get the iTunes sharing working. I've set up the Network Beacon service and opened the port, but the Music/Videos apps still can't see the shared iTunes library.

    Interestingly, iTunes running on the host shows a new shared library of itself(!) because it is picking up the Network Beacon broadcast. Either the broadcast is not reaching the outside world, or there is some additional step I need to do to allow my iPhone to access the library.

    Any suggestions?
  24. gsuking macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2012
    Just use File Explorer to access your iTunes files

    If you have successfully used ivpn to connect to your home network why just browse directly to your iTunes folder using File Explorer.

    /Users/your user name/Music/iTunes/itunes media

    In order to do this you will need to:

    1) select "Add new Computer"
    2) Computer name is the internal ip of the computer that is running has iTunes, DNS Domain is "local". User Name and pass is the same that you use to log into your computer with.
    3) You will have to have File sharing enabled on your Mac. Don't worry about adding Shared folders. If your user is an admin you will be able to see all folders including your iTunes folder.

    Hope this helps,

  25. macjedimatt macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2012
    I have found that the easiest way to access iTunes on an iPhone over 3G is to use Plex Media Server. The iOS client lets you listen to the iTunes library on the server. Seems to work pretty good but I have only been using it for a little while. You don't even need a VPN for it to work.

    The only downside I have found so far is that it doesn't do iTunes Genius. You can always save a genius playlist as a regular play list and listen that way.

    I'm not trying to promote Plex or anything like that. Just thought I would share this for folks like me who have been stumped by making home sharing work.

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