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Connecting to Mac from outside of your home LAN  


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I'm looking for a way to connect to my MacBook Pro, away from my LAN, to my Mac Mini at home to transfer files and possibly screen share. may i also use some external VPN provider coz security is a priority for me. So basically I believe I'm looking for a way to host a VPN service that I can use to connect into my home network, making the home LAN believe my MacBook Is physically there. What options are there for accomplishing such a task?

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3 Answers

I’m a little wary of giving a quick answer, though the TeamViewer (and similar apps) suggestion is great to remote access your Mac Mini.

You’ve sort of mentioned 3 different things:

  1. Screen sharing & file transfer to Mac Mini while away from home
  2. External VPN provider for security
  3. Placing your Mac onto the internal network while you’re external


Indeed, that's wat i wanted. Thanks!

Now may you suggest me some external VPN service provider i should go on for? sorted out some from Google but confused which one to get.


The easy way is TeamViewer.  It deals with finding your home even though you have an ever-changing ISP DHCP assigned IP address, and it deals with getting past your NAT home router.

After that, it is more along the lines of setting up a VPN server (never did this so I will not comment on it), Or opening ports for VNC (bad idea), or opening ports for ssh (better).

If opening ports, one trick is to have the router open a high numbered port, but direct it to the standard port inside your LAN.  This effectively gives you the ability to have several high numbered ports each pointing at a different system inside your home.

If using ssh, you can create ssh tunnels for VNC, AFP, SMB, etc...  Not for the faint of heart, but more for the hardcore ssh users (and yes, I've been using ssh at work for years and learned a few tricks along the way).

But TeamViewer will get you to your Mac very easily from anywhere.


this is way to technical, may you define in an easy way 🙂

The easy way is
If nothing else you should experiment with just to see if you find it useful.
There is a way to put the copy you run at home into a server mode so you can connect without someone to grant access.
Also connections are fully encrypted, so not 3rd party VPN needed.
As for a VPN, DaveH or JohnB (MGG hosts) would be better at explaining that, or maybe there is a article on it. But to be clear I'm talking about setting up and running your own home VPN server. NOT a commercial VPN vendor.
A private home VPN server would allow your remote Mac to appear as if it was at home. And everything you could do while at home, you could do when connected to your VPN from a remote location.
I never bothered to learn how to setup a VPN server, because I figured out remote ssh connections first, and I was sufficiently happy with what I had. I do not think using ssh is better, just something I know. As in, I have a hammer (ssh) and everything looks like a nail to me.
ssh connections. I can go into details, but it is geeky, and there are a lot of steps. I will outline them here:
Open router port. See: for instructions on how to open a router port. I suggest you open a high numbered port on the Internet side of your router that maps to the standard port 22 on the destination Mac. You can open as many ports with different hight numbered ports going to different individual home computers as you have, if you want.
Get a free dynamic DNS name from someplace like and run their dynamic DNS name updater on one of your Macs, unless your home router offers the service that will work with a dynamic DNS provider to keep the dynamic DNS name updated.
If you do not get a dynamic DNS name, you will have to use the ISP assigned IP address and that can change, especially after an ISP outage (ice storms, tornados, hurricanes, etc...), or you power-cycle your ISP's modem.
Make sure the destination Mac has very good passwords for all user accounts, AND DO NOT enable the root account. Script kiddies that find an open ssh port always try to guess the root password. They most likely do not know your personal account name, and will not be trying to crack your account.
On the destination Mac, you have to enable System Preferences -> Sharing -> Remote Access (this turns on ssh services for that Mac).
On the destination Mac, you have to enable Screen Sharing and file sharing if you wish to use those services (System Preferences -> Sharing)
Now you can connect to the home Mac from a remote location, or test it while sitting in your living room.
From remote Mac
ssh -p -L 22445:localhost:445 -L 22590:localhost:5900 [email protected]
That will make the ssh connection.
Then you can use
Finder -> Go -> Connect to server -> vnc://localhost:22590
to start a screen sharing session
Finder -> Go -> Connect to server -> smb://localhost:22445
to start a file sharing connection.
NOTE: ssh is already a very secure protocol. And the ssh connections are fully encrypted, so no 3rd party VPN service needed. The -L tunnels are fully encrypted going over the ssh connection.
I'm sure I forgot a step or 3, but hopefully, you get the idea of how an ssh connection would be done.

. is much easier 🙂


I use a VPN to connect to work every day. But when at work, I use Jump Desktop to connect back to my Macbook Pro. From there, I can do everything like I was there. It supports multiple monitors and works with iOS also. I also have Screens, which also works the same. Both are in Setapp, so if you already are a member, you don't have to go anywhere else. 

I've set up the VPN at work on a Synology, it was easy and works very well. You can also do this if you have a router that supports its own VPN, like Synology's routers for example.

If you are using parallels, there is Parallels Access, which allows you to access your mac from an iOS device.

As you mention you want to access files from your home computer, you could also store those file in the cloud (iCloud Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive) That way, your files would be available to you where ever you are.

Anyway, as they say, there are many ways to skin a cat.;-)