I have a Mac Mini connected to a Time Capsule (connected to a DSL modem, getting a new external IP address every 24 hours).

Any recommendation on how to access the Mac mini remotely (both file system and screen sharing) when I am not at home? (Also it would be nice to have a solution that works with Wake on LAN, so that the Mac mini can be asleep when not in use)?

Screen Sharing and file sharing works perfectly fine from within the network but I am not sure what's needed to access it externally. What are my options?

5 Answers 5


You need to configure port-forwarding on your Time Capsule. Since your ISP doesn't give you a static IP address, then you will need a dynamic-DNS service to resolve your home's IP address to a URL which you will use when you're away from home to connect to your Mac Mini. You'll also need to configure your Time Capsule to handle Wake-On-LAN/Wake-On-Demand packets. In the bullet points below I've listed the basic requirements and included links to step-by-step instructions for each step.

  • You need a static IP address from your ISP or a dynamic DNS service like dyndns.com to resolve a changing IP address from a URL which you can choose.
  • You need to setup Wake-On-Demand as described by Apple on your Time Capsule
  • Finally, you need to forward ports on your Time Capsule to your Mac Mini so that incoming connections from your client software when you're away from home can reach your Mac Mini.

Currently using https://secure.logmein.com/products/free/, free account and a free iPad app that works quite nicely.... no port forwarding as it registers the app with their website.


As an alternative to a dynamic-dns service Griffo suggested, you could use IP Observer. Leave it running on your mac-mini and It will email you when your address changes.


Also, to see/control your computer via VNC, you'll need a client on your machine to see the computer at home. Chicken of the VNC is a solid enough client. The most commonly used port for VNC is 5900 (for your port forwarding). You'll also need to go into System Preferences and configure your machine through the Sharing preferences panel. This screencast is a dated but good and relevant reference. There are a few options for the configuration, so be sure to read carefully.


I use sharetool. It works quite well for remotely connecting to bonjour services.


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