I'm looking for a source of information on the inner workings of Back to My Mac. I'd like to know things such as:

  • Each protocol used (Bonjour, UPnP, mDNS, etc., IPSEC, TLS, etc.)
  • The sequence of each transaction (i.e. sequence diagrams for connection setup)
  • What router information is stored on Apple's servers
  • Which servers are used for which purposes (members.btmm.icloud.com, p34-btmmdns.icloud.com., etc.)

Take Control of Back to My Mac had some of this information, but it's no longer available. The replacement book, Take Control of iCloud has very little information on this topic.

While most users just give up in frustration when BTMM doesn't work, if one wishes to troubleshoot connections and see exactly where the problem is occurring (akin to looking under the hood when your car won't start), the information above is critical.

2 Answers 2


The inner workings of Back to My Mac as provided with the iCloud service (the implementation has changed since MobileMe) are described in RFC 6281


While it may not answer all parts of your question (especially the third and fourth bullet points), we have collected a (hopefully comprehensive) list of different standards that were used in Apple's Back to My Mac service (defunct, as of 2019).

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