Connect Sonos from office to home via VPN

  • 16 September 2010
  • 18 replies
  • 17358 views

Userlevel 2
Has anyone connected their Sonos system from an office location to their home? I'd like to know what I need to check to ensure that things work.

I have a VPN connection between the office and the home. I am able to remote desktop without issue, but I can not seem to get the Sonos system to connect to the home network.

Does the Sonos need to be able to access the server with the music directly? Can it be streamed? etc.

Thanks,
Ed

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18 replies

someone smarter than me will jump on here hopefully but I am fairly certain you cannot hop networks with a single sonos family of units. even within a physical location like a home, if you have two routers for some reason both doling out IP addresses, i don't think they can then talk to each other but would be set up as separate households.
Userlevel 2
That's what I'm seeing. I can't email it not being possible, but it may be an case of wasted effort. In fact, this thread seems to imply something different!

http://forums.sonos.com/showthread.php?t=18062
Userlevel 2
I'm pretty sure that Sonos will not work across VPN, different subnets, etc.

If I had a 2nd home, I would have a backup file server on the remote LAN with nightly syncs of music/video files across the 'Net. Then a ZoneBridge and some ZP's in that location.

People with a large investment in CDs/digital downloads probably would appreciate the off-site backup of their data. I backup and move my data offsite monthly but it would be great to have automatic offsite backup for my ever-changing data.

The neatest trick I've read on this forum is to add a ZonePlayer in your primary home to your "Sonos group", and then relocate it to your 2nd home. Then your laptop etc will theoretically connect to Sonos in either location.
Then your laptop etc will theoretically connect to Sonos in either location.

Not just theory - true in practice!

OP a bit, but I'd love to find a tech-lite way to be able to remote-access my NASs so as to be able to do remote back-ups, rather than the somewhat "analogue" method of rotating NASs from location to location...

T
Accessing a NAS will work across a VPN, but Sonos-to-Sonos communication normally not. I did once use OpenVPN and port bridging to VPN into my LAN with control of Sonos, but I don't think there is any router that will do that. You will need a computer on each end for that.
Userlevel 1
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Most likely your VPN is not passing broadcast and multicast traffic which Sonos gear uses.

Really you would need a VPN (like OpenVPN which Avee mentions) that can do bridging on that level. With OpenVPN you'd be using a layer-2 "TAP" style connection. Not sure about other VPN software.

FWIW you can run OpenVPN on routers directly via replacement firmware like DD-WRT (http://www.dd-wrt.com) I run a wide area VPN using that OpenVPN and DD-WRT on some Netgear routers and it works very well.
Just tested this. I have a Linksys LRT214 router that has OpenVPN built in. I can connect to the Sonos unit and view the network matrix, but the Sonos app doesn't see any of the players.
Just tested this. I have a Linksys LRT214 router that has OpenVPN built in. I can connect to the Sonos unit and view the network matrix, but the Sonos app doesn't see any of the players.
That means the OpenVPN is okay with a unicast connection (as one would expect) but isn't forwarding multicasts/broadcasts. Sonos controllers use SSDP to locate the players.
Userlevel 4
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It might be possible to run Intels upnp relay software on two devices, on on each location, and get it going. Haven't, but that's the user case for the atleast.
Principally it is easy to get SONOS players running via VPN (I use openVPN embedded in my router).
As we know, the Sonos controller does not allow multicast.

Conclusion: the SONOS controller is not designed for that purpose. Technically it is no problem not to rely on a WLAN connection and address the devices directly via IP.

So we need an alternative: a) another controller app, that was designed with regards to home automation. OK so use "iHome" from Appstore, it´s free and allows to play your music, start and stop rooms or group them and select music from the library via VPN. But: no Spotify. Works great.

b) use scripts written in php, works fine, too, but only is for nerds. If you need more information, let me know (kram@cool.ms).

But you may ask: what is the purpose of playing music if you are not at home ?

Tell ya:
Use case: i have a home automation solution (rwe smarthome) that works with motion detectors and cameras. If someone not authorized enters my home, all SONOS devices are turned on, grouped, and a VERY LOUD Alarm ist played and I´m notified.

USE CASE 2: you have a subnetted enterprise network (several rooms \ stores) and you want to control your SONOS devices centrally.

Works great. SONOS really hast to improve.
USE CASE 3: You are a dealer and want to add a music service to your customer's Sonos system via VPN rather than rolling a truck to do it on site for them.
Userlevel 4
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From a purely technical perspective, there is no restriction regarding a single subnet and/or physical presence in this sense. From a practical perspective, it is very hard to make it work, though.

You need to have a link that allows multicast traffic. The multicast traffic generated from Sonos has at least a TTL of 2, which means that it allow a minimum of one jump across nets. I have tried and tested this myself in a VLAN-segmented environment.

You might need a link that allows broadcast, for the initial pairing sequence (vol down + mute), but this pairing sequence is not always necessary in the latest software version in my experience.

Different equipment has different solutions to support this, and some just don't have any at all. UPnP relay, is one option that might work if you have already paired your controller and your players locally (the pairing is proprietary, not part of UPnP spec). Haven't tested it though, and requires one windows machine in each end. There might be other options for linux/os x.

Just FYI, this is not for the faint hearted, I spend a considerable amount of time to get this to work in a corporate network. Of course, if you find a mean to transparently bridge two different physical networks, all of this should just "work".
For those who come here and looking for a vpn that works:

Currently I have a Raspberry Pi at home with "SoftEther Server" running. When connecting with my laptop with the Sonos application using "SoftEther client" I get full control of the installation at home 🙂
Hi Steefph I just install a Softether also in my Raspberry pi But I can't connect to Sonos over my iPhone!! I haven't tried my computer yet!! If there's a specific setting in the SoftEther Server configuration to enable to use Sonos over the VPN? Thanks!!

ariel

For those who come here and looking for a vpn that works:

Currently I have a Raspberry Pi at home with "SoftEther Server" running. When connecting with my laptop with the Sonos application using "SoftEther client" I get full control of the installation at home :)

b) use scripts written in php, works fine, too, but only is for nerds. If you need more information, let me know (kram@cool.ms).


Can you elaborate more on the scripting process? What device do you run them on?

I would like a script for each of the following cases:

1) automatically setup groups, set specific speaker-level volumes, and play specific stations on each group

2) automatically turn off all music at a specific time

Best,
Adam
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I have succeeded using a vpn on my qnap server, and using sonobit and quick sonos (widgets in app store) to control my sonos from outside. The control is quite limited, but I got tje system started when I was on holiday, and we forgot to start sonos before leaving (we always put music on when travelling away). It is not possible to regroup speakers og to change the source. But it is possible to start, stop, repeat/stop repeating, shuffling and advance to next song remotely.

So please....sonobit/quick sonos, will you prepare more advanced sonos controls as widgets?

Other ways of remotely control sonos?
Userlevel 2
Hi,

OpenVPN in TAP mode allows full access to Sonos.