Does Back to Mac actually work over Internet?

in iCloud edited November 2014
I just got a second Mac (new Mac mini) for a vacation home so I'm trying to set up Back to Mac. My other device is a mid 2010 MacBook Pro. When both Macs are on the same network, everything works fine...file sharing, screen sharing...etc. But when I take my MacBook Pro back home, I cannot access the Mac mini over the internet. From all the articles I've seen, it doesn't seem like a lot of people have it working over the internet either. So does it actually work outside of a LAN? Both homes have Airport Extremes so everything is an Apple device. All devices have the latest firmware and the Macs are both using Yosemite. Both Airport Extremes are configured to use the same Apple ID.

Anyone ever get this to work over the Internet?


  • Reply 1 of 4
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,542moderator
    It's supposed to but you'll need to make sure your router is setup ok:

    This is why Apple adding a simple config VPN to the Airport would be nice as you'd just VPN into the router, which not only gives you secure, encrypted internet access remotely but it makes your remote devices look like local devices.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Yeah, I've seen that and several other support docs. All my settings are set properly according to the docs. And like I said, all this works when I have both my Macs on the same network. But it doesn't work over the internet. I also spent about 90 minutes on the phone with an Apple support engineer going through my settings. He just said it should work, but at the time both Macs were on the same network.

    I just haven't found a blog or article where anyone has actually gotten it to work over the internet so I thought I'd ask here.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,542moderator
    jupiterone wrote: »
    I also spent about 90 minutes on the phone with an Apple support engineer going through my settings. He just said it should work

    Did he go through your router settings too? Check your router admin page to see if there's a firewall on it. If you go to the network panel on the Mac, the router page should be at the address listed in the selected network > advanced > TCP/IP under router. Put that into a browser when you're on the network and it will give you the router settings. You'll need the login, which will either come with the router or be set as a default login for the router model. You can setup port forwarding, try disabling firewalls, put the Mini into a DMZ, enable UPnP etc.

    You can test the service when you are at your holiday home if you have tethering on your phone and have the laptop use that network as that will try to access it over the cell network externally from the wifi network. Don't do remote desktop or anything high bandwidth as that will use up data limits.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    jupiteronejupiterone Posts: 1,564member
    We did go through all the tabs in the router settings, via Airport Utility, but I don't remember doing anything with Firewall. I'm fairly certain that the firewall is not enabled. I did tell him that the way I was simulating being on two different networks was by connecting my MBP to my iPad's hotspot while my mini was on the home network. He said that using Back to Mac would not work over personal hotspots like that.

    But I'll double-check what you mentioned below when I get home.

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