Network Access

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If you choose to connect to your home server from another PC or phone, you can use the test feature and the Access Key (from MC Options > Media Network > and click on Access Key) for access to your home PC. It will tell you if you can access your machine from outside your home network. If not, you can still connect locally when both devices are on the same LAN.

  • The Access Key is a six character alphabetic string, which tells another copy of MC what server and IP address to connect to.
  • JRiver's Access Key Server keeps track of both the inside and outside IP addresses. It also gets updated when the addresses change.
  • The test feature attempts to connect from a server at JRiver directly to the server running on your PC. It the port is open all the way, it will succeed.

The port you use must be accessible (not blocked by a firewall) from outside your network, and you must be using the outside address of your network. A cable modem, for example, has both an inside and an outside address. The outside address is the only one available from the Internet. You can find out what your outside address is by visiting whatsmyip.org or https://jriver.jriver.com/cgi-bin/youraddr.cgi.

Addresses like 192.168.0.* or 192.168.1.* are special addresses used only on internal networks. You can't connect to one of these from outside the network, unless your router makes the switch. This is called NAT (Network Address Translation) or port forwarding. You might need, for example, to connect to 214.111.133.10 from outside your network, and your router might convert that to 192.168.0.15. The latter is a sort of "fake" address not available from the Internet.

Troubleshooting

If you're having trouble connecting between two devices that are on the same LAN, it may be a firewall problem. See #2 below. Make sure you have turned on wireless service on your phone or other device.

If you're having trouble connecting from an outside location, there are two possibilities:

1. Is the machine accessible from the outside? This is usually solved with port forwarding. Port forwarding allows you to tell your router to forward all outside requests for a port (80, for example) to a specific machine on your LAN. Wikipedia has more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_forwarding . Your hardware manufacturer's site should have specific instructions for configuring your router.

2. Is the port on your home machine open? This is a firewall configuration issue. On newer versions of Windows, this is probably controlled by Windows firewall. Occasionally a machine may have two firewalls running (not a good idea).

3. Are you running Windows Live Essentials? You might want to check this thread: [1].

MC's Options for Media Network offers a way to test access from the outside. It asks a server at JRiver to attempt to connect back. If the above two configuration issues are solved, MC's test will succeed. If it fails, you will be unable to connect from outside your LAN, but you should still be able to connect when both devices are on the same LAN.

More

  • Access Key
  • Your router manufacturer will usually have basic information on networking on their web site.
  • An example of port forwarding.
  • Paul Sinnnema, author of MC Remote, a third party remote control solution on Windows Phone, has written a very helpful guide to solving network problems.
  • glynor talks about port forwarding