Control Sonos Remotely (over VPN)


Userlevel 3
I'd very much would like to control (or at least monitor) my Sonos system over VPN. I can control my lighting and HVAC via Lutron and my IP cameras but it appears that the Sonos iOS app only functions over the device's wireless interface (network). All that is required is a change to allow the Sonos app to use any network, wifi or otherwise. This could be implemented as a enumerated list in the app's settings where the user could enable or disable (on or off slider) each network type and then sort the list to establish a priority. I understand that there would be a delay if for example, my primary network was wifi but I was currently connected remotely via VPN, I would have to wait for discovery via wifi to timeout before the app would begin searching via VPN. This would be acceptable to me. Thanks!

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56 replies

That's cool now i have a question as i am using 3rd party vpn services so this will be same for or its only for specific vpn? I am using Ipvanish which is best us vpn serivce provider..
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
That scenario would require advanced configuration capabilities on the customer site as STP path and UDP routing would have to be configured manually in the router/VPN settings.

This seems a little 'out of scope' for the intend of the application itself.

But i agree Sonos needs home integration capabilities, preferably with IFTTT to stay vendor neutral. 
Userlevel 2
It needn't be a scope discussion, Sonos simply shouldn't bind to the wifi interface of the controller device. Best practice would be to bind to the active interface. That way normal routing procedure could connect controller to players. whether wifi, wired, or VPN. I too have this need and it's quite troublesome that I can control the entirety of my home remotely except for the audio. 
What is the practical application for this? I don't see why you want to be able to turn on music if you aren't home to listen to it?
Userlevel 3
Dog/Cat ... I am also wondering the point of it, apart from pets. IFTTT understandable, Home automation both great ideas, but being able to vpn when I am at work? Burglar deterrent maybe?
What is the practical application for this? I don't see why you want to be able to turn on music if you aren't home to listen to it?

I'm trying to set this up using a VPN to support a client at a remote location.
Please add this feature for remote management of Sonos system over a VPN for client support.
It is obvious-- remote controlled application is needed in case you need to access your system away from home. We left our system on and I needed to be able to turn off. Huge inconvenience & waste of time to not be able to.
What is the practical application for this? I don't see why you want to be able to turn on music if you aren't home to listen to it?

I wouldn't want to turn it ON as much as make sure it is OFF.
Userlevel 7
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Seriously I'd worry more about the electric hob or the gas hob.
It was left on, volume was loud- need to be able to access to turn off
Userlevel 7
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Give your neighbour or even a couple of neighbours a key
1. Get one of the IFTTT modules with an AC outlet
2. Plug Sonos device into said module
3. Shut off module via app on phone while away via internet


i'm also interested in this as part of my home automation setup. i want my sonos speakers to be my "alarm," and i want to be able to turn it off or on remotely

i haven't tried this yet, but i think it's possible with 3rd party tools. e.g. vera home controllers have a sonos app. openremote can also talk to sonos boxes. i think these should permit remote control. anyway, this probably isn't totally trivial to setup; a solution like this is more suitable for someone who already has a VPN server running at home
Intrigued, but confused. You left the house and got however far down the road and realized you left your Sonos kit blaring... How would that happen? If you're leaving the house, you'd hear it, no? Leaving the garage door up is one thing, but leaving the house with Sonos on loud or even a TV on... kind of bizarre.
No- we didn't have it 'blaring'. We left and babysitter told us it was on, not blaring but loud enough & needing to be turned off. The app is on our phones & couldn't turn it off after we left. Not sure what is so confusing about that
No- we didn't have it 'blaring'. We left and babysitter told us it was on, not blaring but loud enough & needing to be turned off. The app is on our phones & couldn't turn it off after we left. Not sure what is so confusing about that

Ah. That makes sense. My question was based on this:

It was left on, volume was loud- need to be able to access to turn off
One possibility would be to connect to a computer in your home via RDP/VNC and control your Sonos system that way. Not ideal, and you'll need the computer running all the time. (Maybe a Raspberry Pi w/Android and the Sonos app? There are VNC servers for Android. Just a thought)
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: 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.

This is the use case I am looking for as well Chris. Can you please elaborate how you tied things together ?
Until now I am also using motion detectors and cameras and I am getting email notification when someone not authorized enters my home. I would like to take the next step now and play an VERY LOUD alarm on SONOS but I cannot link the email trigger to the Alarm.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
With Insteon announcing the addition of Sonos connectivity to their "smart home" system at CES earlier this month, I would expect that you'll be able to set up Insteon sensors and whatnot to trigger Sonos music. An example they give is that if you have a water/leak sensor and it triggers, it could play Bob Dylan's "The Levee's Gonna Break".

Whether or not you'll be able to have some basic control of your Sonos from outside your home using the Insteon app remains to be seen.

More info: www.insteon.com/sonos
I wonder if the Insteon integration will allow an Insteon motion sensor to add a room to a Sonos group that is playing when tripped and drop it from the group some number of minutes after the motion sensor no longer sees any motion?
Userlevel 7
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I wonder if the Insteon integration will allow an Insteon motion sensor to add a room to a Sonos group that is playing when tripped and drop it from the group some number of minutes after the motion sensor no longer sees any motion?
I don't think the integration has anything to do with groups... I think it's more single player control (with up to four players able to be controlled by the Insteon system). Looking at the handful of support articles that have surfaced on Insteon's site about it, nothing is mentioned about groups. Now, if a player is part of a group already, then it will likely control the group. But I don't think joining/leaving groups will be part of the functionality.
I'm not able to use Sonos app via VPN. Not even when tricking it to think that my phone is connected on wifi.
But a simple way to connect to Sonos via VPN: you can connect via VPN and then use Macronos and do all commands via macros. It's a really great app for Sonos! 🙂 A bit expensive, but worth it
VALID USE CASE

For those asking "why?" to this question, I have a valid use case for you. I set up a SONOS system for my elderly Mom to be able to enjoy music throughout her home, but she is not yet comfortable using her iPad to control it due to her limited hand dexterity. So, she can only enjoy it if I am there to control it. Would be nice to be able to control it remotely for her.

What is really needed is a more "accessible" user interface with easier to control volume, etc. Even I have trouble controlling the volume with my fat fingers and that little bitty slider on the iPad.