Can I Use iTunes Home Sharing Across the Internet? [Ask MacRx] | Cult of Mac

Can I Use iTunes Home Sharing Across the Internet? [Ask MacRx]



iTunes Home Sharing has been around for a few years and is a handy way to access your media between devices. One reader wonders about trying to use this service while traveling:

My setup is Apple based i.e. iPad/iphone/appletv2/airport extreme/imac. The iTunes Home Sharing works brilliantly. Is there a way by which I can retain the home sharing function remotely? In other words if I am on 3g and still use the be able to see the iTunes media as I would on the same wifi? I have seen various articles referring to vpn and then indicating that iTunes is not available through the vpn tunnel or through the airport extreme etc.

My only interest with home sharing is sharing and playing the media and not other features such as airplay. I am of some alternatives such as Stream2me etc. but I was hoping to incorporate it through iTunes itself. I would appreciate some clarification and what your best suggestion is in achieving this.


Hi Kapil,

iTunes Home sharing is limited to working on a single network (or subnet, specifically). This is to prevent piracy and file transfers over the internet. The Bonjour messaging which is behind Home Sharing does not carry across a VPN, which is why you can’t get this to work.

The solution to your problem would be the new iTunes Match feature of iCloud, which will replicate your files to all devices sync’ed to the same account. Give that a try and see if it does what you need.

Thanks mate, I suspected so and appreciate your explanation. I am a bit fussy when it comes to quality which is why I was trying to establish a “private cloud”. I think iTunes Match will cap the streaming at 256kps and I am not sure if they are intending to include any video.

Yes, iTunes Match will limit the matched tracks to 256kbps AAC files, and no it does not sync video files. Hopefully the service can still be of use to you even with these limitations.

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Readers, have any additional suggestions on this topic, or corrections/clarifications on the advice above? If so, please leave your thoughts in the comments.


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