Home > Technology > iOS 4.3 HomeShare over VPN?

iOS 4.3 HomeShare over VPN?


So I’ve been exploring some of the new features of iOS 4.3 and found the iTunes Home Sharing feature to be somewhat useful, however am interested in getting more out of it if possible.  For those unfamiliar with the new feature, when connected to your home network, you’ll see a “Shared” option under iPod -> More from your iPhone.  From there you can stream content from your iTunes library on your computer to your iPhone.

I appreciate the fact that I can share my iTunes library on 5 different machines at home and can access them from my iPhone while I’m at home, but that doesn’t seem all that innovative, does it?

What I really want is to be able to access my library no matter where I am, without having to sync it to my iPhone every time I get something new.  It sounds picky/lazy/greedy, but it really isn’t an unrealistic expectation given the price we pay for all this content and subscription based services.  Frankly, I’m sick of managing my different iTunes libraries and figuring out how to sync them all to my phone without too much struggle.  Why am I limited by the amount of local storage on my iPhone?  Can’t we just get past this dated architecture yet? I’d also like to add, I don’t even use the iPod features of my iPhone much at all.  Those of you that do must be bleeding for something like this.

Kind of brings me back to my post a few weeks ago on Chrome OS…

So, assuming this kind of “cloud based” content streaming is coming soon (cheesy subscription based one-offs aside)…what I want to know is whether anyone has tried using iTunes Home Sharing over a VPN with their iPhone?  I’m really asking….has anyone done it?  Does it work?  If it does…does the VPN cut out after the phone goes to sleep like normally, or does it recognize that there is data streaming and stay on?  How is the audio streaming from Wi-FI, from 3G??  Is there some other method available that I’m overlooking?

I set up a VPN on my Windows 7 machine, however while looking for the PPTP setting on my Belkin Wireless N router, I quickly found out that it does not support VPN.  I could replace it, but am wondering what the experience was like for anyone that has been successful so far. So with that said…. I look forward to hearing your experience!!!

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  1. Frederuco
    March 13, 2011 at 1:57 am

    I have a LinkSys N router running dd-wrt with PPTP VPN server running. The first roadblock that I encountered attempting to do Home Sharing over VPN is that the PPTP client for iOS 4.3 is quite unstable. It only connects about 5% of the time. I never had a problem with 4.2.1.

    Once it does connect, I have had no luck getting the home sharing to work. Home sharing relies on the Bonjour protocol. Bonjour does not work well over VPN connections because VPN does not support multicast DNS to allow the devices to work.

    I also tried the same connection (PPTP VPN) with my MacBook Pro to see if I could see the library on my media computer. I was not. I was also able to do some traceroutes. The traceroute takes an extra hop due to the VPN, and I think that this may be where the roadblock is. I was reading a forum that it may be possible to JB and make it work, but that is above my level of expertise at this point.

    • March 15, 2011 at 12:46 am

      Thanks for sharing your progress, I’m glad someone has given it a try. Hopefully there is a better solution out there somewhere, because being able to stream locally doesn’t add as much value as advertised. Might as well just turn the volume up instead 🙂

  2. Bertilak
    March 31, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    On this site: http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2008/04/13161/

    I found a freeware program for OS X called Network Beacon which forwards Bonjour traffic into a
    VPN connection. The instructions on that site describe how to forward iTunes, but I think Home Sharing must use different settings for sharing because my Mac Mini’s iTunes now shows up twice on my home network (once via Home Sharing and once via Network Beacon). And, I have yet to get it to work via VPN. Perhaps someone else could put these pieces together.

    Network Beacon Direct Link: http://uneasysilence.com/yM

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