I've been looking around and I can only find a way to access my iMac and it's files on a local network. But if I'm away or at school, this kinda puts a hold on my work and is mighty inconvenient. If anyone could tell me how or point me towards resources, that'd be great!

In specifics, I'd like to use my iPhone (jailbroken, iOS 12.1) to be able to ssh, scp, or sftp from school.


I would recommend the screens app and screens connect. The software is not only fast and works excellently, but it helps diagnose if your network conditions are not correct to accept incoming traffic past any firewalls or NAT borders.

For ssh, I use prompt and recommend that as well.

Together they solve all issues like not knowing your IP address of your router or having to set up dynamic DNS.

  • I’ve been a happy user of Screens for years, but Screens Connect has never worked for me. Screens Connect shows a green tick ready to use on the Mac, and the Mac shows up on other devices, but tapping it just hangs on connecting; manually putting in the IP address works fine, but then I need to know the IP address. I have the most hacky solution I use at the moment instead, but do you think it’s worth asking a question about that Screens Connect issue? With regards to Prompt, I’m supposing this doesn’t have similar functionality for non-static IPs as what Screens Connect is meant to do? – grg Mar 3 '19 at 23:01
  • @grg Absolutely - ask about it and also ping their support group. Their engineering team is very good in my experience. Usually it's IPv4/IPv6 routing that causes me issues on some residential connections. In the past you could use mDNS and iCloud back to my Mac as a second source of location, but that's been shuttered as well a few years back. – bmike Mar 3 '19 at 23:10
  • well, i don't need an ssh client. that is already squared away like with termius or such. more of a "how can i ssh from school to home" problem going on. – bigman Mar 13 '19 at 22:16
  • @bigman just skip the part with prompt then. – bmike Mar 13 '19 at 22:59

Why not just utilize iCloud Drive? Once you have it set up correctly in System Preferences, any of your computers... including your iPhone, which are logged into your iCloud account, have access to all of the same files on your iCloud drive (which can be accessed at https://www.icloud.com/ using a web browser or in Finder.app)

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    iCloud is good for file sharing, but how does this address the OP's need for ssh? – Allan Mar 4 '19 at 18:13
  • My thought is if the OP's only need is to be able to access files on his other computers, outside of his network at school, SFTP or SSH etc... May not be necessary as the iCloud approach can work. However, if he is hellbent on SFTP or SSH etc., my solution offers no help – wch1zpink Mar 4 '19 at 18:23
  • Being that he's using a jailbroken iPhone, he's probably "hellbent on SFTP or SSH etc." but this does give him another option. – user3439894 Mar 4 '19 at 18:36
  • SSH is not typically used for file x-fers; SCP and SFTP are which the OP uses already. SSH would be used for something like rebooting the machine or restarting a service. I'm not saying this is a bad or wrong answer in anyway; I'm a huge proponent of cloud file sharing. It's just incomplete. There are some cloud based SSH services, though I haven't used them as I either work in Azure or through DDNS – Allan Mar 4 '19 at 18:37

A contrarian approach to bmike's answer would be to utilize a Dynamic DNS (DDNS) to give you DNS services to your dynamically assigned IP address. You will need to configure your firewall to allow/forward ports as necessary, but on the flip side, it gives you far more options (like hosting your own web servers)

Dynamic DNS

There are many DDNS providers; some paid, some free. I personally recommend FreeDNS as they are free (as in beer) and compatible with a number of routers and virtually all operating systems.

Basically, you'll register on their site by selecting a TLD and then adding your host info. For example: myhost.example.com They''l assign you to example.com but you can choose the name of your host (myhost). From there, anywhere on the web you can reach your home by going to myhost.example.com.

Firewall/Port Forwarding

You can forward all traffic from port 22 (SSH) from the router directly to your server. In fact, your can use a non-standard port (i.e. 40022) on the firewall for added security. When you SSH, you just specify the port and the firewall will forward it appropriately.

ssh user@myhost.example.com -p 400222

The same hold true for SCP and SFTP as well. You'll need to consult your router's setup guide for specifics on port forwarding.

There are a number of clients available that work on routers or on the system. If your router supports it, use that client. If not, install the client on your server and have it update periodically.

  • Very good DIY options. +lots – bmike Mar 4 '19 at 23:21
  • Well i'll be damned, that actually worked, and it worked well! I can access ssh and sftp from a remote host now. Thank you! – bigman Mar 13 '19 at 23:00

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