Real VPN & Sonos incompatibility

  • 22 February 2021
  • 1 reply

  • Contributor I
  • 0 replies


I’ve setup a VPN to connect my mobile device safely to my home network.  It’s a set-it-and-forget-it thing.  On my mobile device my VPN stays on 24/24 7/7. 

I can reach my NAS,  and literally do all the things I do at home when I am at home (!) and when I am away.  Since dataconnection through 4G or 5G is mostly unlimited (Belgium) there’s no issue on that topic.  Since I have perfect 4G coverage at home, I don’t need wifi on my mobile device either.   And certainly…  I don’t need tweaking around my phone when I leave home, starting my car, starting to navigate, or whatever thing I am planning to do.     

The only thing that doesn’t comply… my Sonos system.  

I’ve seen a lot of coverage on this forum and Reddit about Sonos and VPN.  Mostly posters point in the wrong direction of it being “not Sonos’ fault”, or as in “bittorrents are illegal, so you shouldn’t use a VPN”.  Answers totally missing the point about what a VPN in 99% of the cases is and what is used for daily.  

I still can’t see any reason why every other service and device in my house (Ring to name one, and even my landline through SIP is not aware that I am abroad) works properly in my setup but not so for the Sonos.   

I’ve done quit a bit of research.  And it’s driving me well… nuts.

I can always VNC into a raspberry pi and contol my Sonos from there. 
But… really?  This shouldn’t be rocketscience.  

I’m at at point of kicking Sonos out my house after a relationship of maybe 10y.   

So please clarify. 

PS: I mean “incompatibility”, It’s monday after all. 


1 reply

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

Your comparison to Ring is apples-to-oranges. You can use Ring without a VPN entirely, as the Ring app speaks to the ring servers, not to the Ring device directly.

For Sonos you need to speak to the devices directly, and trying that remotely via a VPN will not work as the protocols required (eg SSDP, UPnP events) are simply not VPN compatible.

If there was a Sonos-over-cloud app (which is technically feasible, I have a prototype working) then basic control from anywhere would be possible without requiring a VPN. However the Sonos Cloud API is lame and offers maybe 25% features of the local Sonos UPnP API. The API is also a real pain to use from a mobile device, it was designed for the likes of Spotify Direct (ie server-to-server).