Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Oct 4, 2012 12:49 PM by thomas_r.
explorz Level 1 (50 points)

I'm having some issues setting up screen sharing.  The problem is that I set it all up and can see the other computer when we are on the same network.  But I cannot see the device when I'm back home and trying to screen share over the internet.


I need to be able to see the screen of my client's Mac while I am at home.


Here is what I've done to set up screen sharing:


  • Both Macs are running Lion 10.7.3
  • I have set myself up in the address book of the Mac I want to access.
    • In my address book card I have multiple emails.  One of them is the email that I use as my Apple ID.
  • I turned on screen sharing on the remote computer and added myself to the list of people able to screen share by selecting my address book card that includes my Apple ID.
    • Access is for all users
    • I have checked "Anyone can request permission to control screen."
  • On my computer I have ensured that my Apple ID is included in the Users and Groups control panel.


When I am on their network, in their home, I see their computer in the shared devices section of my Finder window.


I am able to request permission to screen share and am able to gain permission when they accept.


But when I get home, their computer does not show up in my Finder window under shared devices.


What critical step am I missing?



iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3), 27" 2009 iMac
  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,335 points)

    The client has no way of locating or connecting to the server over the Internet. I suggest you use the screen-sharing feature of iChat.

  • explorz Level 1 (50 points)

    I don't think that is true.  I've read a ton about screen sharing in lion being useful for assisting family members with computer issues over the internet.


    I am actively trying to avoid ichat for various reasons. So, am trying to make screen sharing work.



  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,335 points)

    Then you will have to set up dynamic DNS for the server and forward TCP port 5900 on the remote gateway to it. Make sure you choose a strong password, because this is a huge security risk. You'll need to connect to the server manually, of course, since Bonjour won't find it.


    If it's not obvious to you how to carry out the above steps, then reconsider using iChat, or else look into a third-party hosted VNC solution such as LogMeIn or TeamViewer.

  • explorz Level 1 (50 points)

    I believe it is suppsed to work now quite simply.  That's the whole point:


  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,335 points)

    It works simply over a local network, not over the Internet.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,717 points)

    It does work quite simply, but only on the same network.  If you are on one network and trying to connect to your client's machine on another network, that's complicated.  Typical network hardware blocks such connections, unless configured to allow them.  You can do screen sharing through a third-party server that helps the two machines establish a connection to each other, using something like iChat, Skype, LogMeIn, TeamViewer or the like.  Or you can set up the client's network hardware, as Linc has indicated, to forward traffic to the right port through to the target computer.  That's only a real option if the client is on a very simple network and has full control of all the network hardware.

  • explorz Level 1 (50 points)

    I believe it is designed to use the same technology as "Back to my Mac" where I can access my Mac at home while on the road with my laptop.  In the same way I should be able to access another Mac on the internet that broadcasting itself to my Apple ID.


    If you read David Pogues descritpion, he says that Lion is "Crawling with ways to use screen sharing.  You can do it over a network, over the internet and even during an ichat chat."


    If you read his piece, I'd be curious to see what you make of it.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,717 points)

    You can use Back to My Mac, but that requires that you know the Apple ID and password of the target computer - ie, the client's machine.  If your client has any sense, he/she is not going to go giving out that password just to allow you to share the screen remotely.


    There's really nothing new to me on this subject in Pogue's book that you referenced, and I would venture to say that the same is true for Linc.  I have actually set up remote screen sharing to a Mac Mini server at my wife's office, so I know exactly what's involved, and I guarantee you, it's not as easy as doing screen sharing on the same local network.

  • explorz Level 1 (50 points)

    Sorry guys.  I appreciate your efforts.  But I think you are missing the point.  The whole idea of adding me to those who are allowed to access their computer is supposed to work similar to "Back to my Mac.


    I'll wait for other advice and insights.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,717 points)

    No, you are wrong.  Back to My Mac is specifically to allow the owner of the machine to connect, using the password associated with the Apple ID.  It does not allow anyone else to connect.  You are, of course, free to believe that I'm wrong about that, of course, though that won't get you closer to a solution, since I'm not wrong. 

  • explorz Level 1 (50 points)

    Should be interesting... ;-)


    I'm going off of comments such as: "

    Mac OS X 10.7 Lion’s marquee features hide some of the fine subtle changes to existing capabilities. A good case in point is Screen Sharing, the software and underlying service used to provide remote control and viewing of other computers on your local network or out on the Internet. One Lion-wide feature and one improvement in the Screen Sharing application make controlling remote Macs far more fluid."


  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,717 points)

    Yes, I didn't say Back to My Mac doesn't let you share the screen over the internet - it does.  But it requires you to know the password of the iCloud account that is signed in on the client's computer, as I've said.  Your client would be nuts to give you that password, as would you be to sign in your iCloud account on his/her machine.  That's not an option.


    Here's what Apple says about using Back to My Mac:



    Here's another nice summary:


  • explorz Level 1 (50 points)

    Again, you missed my point.  I'm not saying that it is through "Back to my Mac."  I'm saying it uses "similar" technology.


    Please, I don't want to debate with you.  If you don't think it works, then please leave it be.  I believe it does and will wait for someone who knows more about this.  I think ytou are stuck in your limited thinking.

    thanks anyways.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,717 points)

    Okay, whatever you say.

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