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joenspa

Back to my Mac

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I feel like I am filling this forum up.

Is anyone using Back to my Mac on a regular reliable basis? I thought I had it all set up. I could use it across my home network. Screen sharing worked. But I did my first trial outside the house and it didn't work. I went to a Chic-Fil-A where they have free WiFi access and got nothing in the shared menu. Is this a regular issue with free Hot Spots? Thought maybe they didn't open certain ports or something. If that's the case how useful is something like Back to my Mac?

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I haven't used it much myself but I have heard many experts complaining of issues using it outside a LAN ( especially in non-exclusively Mac setups )

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i personally have not used it much, but have had lots of problems when trying to connect to my imac at home from my mbp when i am outside the LAN. Especially when i when i am on a windows network.

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I feel like I am filling this forum up.

Is anyone using Back to my Mac on a regular reliable basis? I thought I had it all set up. I could use it across my home network. Screen sharing worked. But I did my first trial outside the house and it didn't work. I went to a Chic-Fil-A where they have free WiFi access and got nothing in the shared menu. Is this a regular issue with free Hot Spots? Thought maybe they didn't open certain ports or something. If that's the case how useful is something like Back to my Mac?

 

Have you got uPnP or similar turned on for your Router?

 

If you check out Apple's Support pages for B2MM, is your Router listed as supported?

Doesn't mean it can't work, just Apple hasn't tested it.

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1304

 

I had trouble with my v2 WRT54G Linksys Router until I installed a third party firmware (Tomato) which has a very robust uPnP and I have had no problems.

 

Incidentally, when you connect within your LAN, you aren't using "Back to my Mac" but VNC. "Back to my Mac" uses Apple's .mac servers to get your remote Mac to talk to your home Mac.

Edited by 2farrell

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I've never tried using it, because uPnP causes a lot of security problems due to it opening up your network so the automagical configuration can work. It's not worth the (considerable) risk to me.

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I've never tried using it, because uPnP causes a lot of security problems due to it opening up your network so the automagical configuration can work. It's not worth the (considerable) risk to me.

Hmmm, I check my logs on a weekly basis for the past six months. Never had what I would call a security problem. I keep close eye on my systems.

Of course, I have read all the documentation and manage my network properly.

You have to be very wary when using uPnP but it can be used without being hacked.

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Well each to their own. I'd just like to point out that I have a degree in computer networking and this forms quite a large part of my job at the moment and I wouldn't touch it with a 10 ft barge pole. But if you still want to use it after this warning, feel free! I'm sure most home networks wouldn't ever get "hacked" (because with uPnP there isn't much hacking to actually do. Once the encryption has been broken, they have access to everything), but the networks I deal with (larger corporate networks and computers with data that's actually worth something) it would be suicide to use.

 

As such, uPnP will not be allowed on any of the networks I use. My data is far too valuable.

 

But back to the topic at hand. If you have a secure network (ie with uPnP turned off) then back to my mac is flaky as hell. There a few threads on here that discuss setting up VNC the old school way, which is much more reliable (although it can be a bit of an arse to get set up in the first place).

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Have you got uPnP or similar turned on for your Router?

 

If you check out Apple's Support pages for B2MM, is your Router listed as supported?

Doesn't mean it can't work, just Apple hasn't tested it.

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1304

I have an Airport Extreme and it's firmware is up to date. I also have the NAT Port Mapping Turned on as Apple recommends.

The support pages weren't much help. I'm going to keep trying but I really think this feature was not ready for prime time.

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You know the bottom line here is that I need to get files from my home computer to my laptop, wherever I might be in the world. It hit me today that maybe I could just drop the files in the Personal Web Sharing folder and download them from there. Once gain works great as long as I'm on the same network. According to Apple "If you’re connected to the Internet, it can also be available to friends everywhere. Just send them the address shown in Sharing preferences." Not true!!!!

Anyone know if this is actually possible and if so what else I have to do that they don't feel they need to tell me.

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The problem with Web Sharing, is that almost all residential ISPs block port 80 to prevent people form running web servers.

You might be better off using a VPN like Hamachi so that you dont have to worry about port forwarding or blocked services etc.

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You know the bottom line here is that I need to get files from my home computer to my laptop, wherever I might be in the world. It hit me today that maybe I could just drop the files in the Personal Web Sharing folder and download them from there. Once gain works great as long as I'm on the same network. According to Apple "If you’re connected to the Internet, it can also be available to friends everywhere. Just send them the address shown in Sharing preferences." Not true!!!!

Anyone know if this is actually possible and if so what else I have to do that they don't feel they need to tell me.

Do you have a .mac account (I'd guess so if you're trying to use BTMM).

If so, iDisk might be OK for dropping files to and retrieving.

You just wouldn't be able to do unattended Screen Sharing.

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Do you have a .mac account (I'd guess so if you're trying to use BTMM).

If so, iDisk might be OK for dropping files to and retrieving.

You just wouldn't be able to do unattended Screen Sharing.

I have been trying that too. The files I want to get are around 2 Gig. Dot Mac iDisk syncing is painfully slow. As in I have tried it and after 14 to 16 hours the file still was not synced.

MY OPINION is that;

1) Back to my Mac is not a reliable feature and probably shouldn't even be included. I have been on Macs for years, actually decades, and it is not easy to use seemingly short of having some kind of IT degree.

2) iDisk should be used for iWeb and maybe Apple's Backup software but is not a real usable internet storage device. There are lots of posts online talking about how Apple controls the upload speeds on it. Not cool.

So I throw in the towel and can honestly say this is one of the few times I am seriously disappointed with Apple. Accessing your Apple from across the internet is best left to 3rd party solutions, which I don't have time to learn.

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So tonight I'm sitting in a hotel room 500 miles form home and what do you know. There's the family iMac back home under my Shared items. Of course every other Mac in the hotel plus a few Windows machines too. Let's see how reliable it is over the coming days.

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