4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 19, 2014 12:19 PM by ccvitality
J90JGD Level 1 (10 points)

This may seem like an odd question, but I think it may be the root of my problem. I have a network that uses three Devolo mains network extenders in various rooms (the house has very thick walls). All three Devolo mains plugs connect (via the ring main) to the router. An iMac, laptops, an Apple TV, iPhones, etc each connect wirelessly to these very happily.


However, no two computers (say an MBA and an iMac) in the same room, or different rooms, can 'see' the other in the normal way - i.e. by having the other device appear in the left hand pane of the finder window. They can, however, if I enter the IP address of the other machine manually. So this is irritating but not insurmountable.


What does appear insurountable though is that, in a similar way, iTunes cannot 'see' any shared libraries across the network. Because of the issue described above, I had assumed that both problems were probably being caused by some sort of issue with the way the Devolo boxes are configured. But then I realised that, even though each device is connecting wirelessly to the Devolo boxes, I don't actually have a wi-fi network in the same sense that I would if I had an Airport-based system...and if Home Sharing only works over wi-fi, this might explain why it doesn't work for me.


Apologies for the rambling question, but given the increasing popularity of these mains network-extender boxes, I feel I can't be alone in experiencing these issues. Can anyone shed any light?

  • John Galt Level 8 (44,650 points)

    The quick answer to your question is no, for example Home Sharing works over Ethernet as well. Strictly speaking Wi-Fi is not required and iTunes doesn't care either way.


    However, I understand that the Devolo mains adapters have problems coping with this. If I had to guess, the problem might be an inability to carry the required bandwidth. The reason for this is that Airtunes is fairly demanding of bandwidth and if your wireless network's performance is degraded due to any number of variables, Airtunes is the first to suffer.


    You didn't say what kind of computer or OS you are using but Home Sharing uses TCP port 3689 and UDP ports 123 and 5353 to communicate with shared iTunes libraries. Those ports need to be configured in whatever firewall or security settings you may be using. If you are certain you have those ports open on your shared computers then concentrate on the Devolo adapters. Perhaps they are in need of a firmware update or modification of some configuration setting.

  • J90JGD Level 1 (10 points)

    John, thanks so much for your swift response.


    So my hunch was wrong re home sharing working only over wi-fi. The Devolo boxes appear to be working extremely efficiently with a communication speed of over 100Mbit/s between them - so in terms of speed, the network seems not to be degraded (although I realise you are querying bandwidth, not speed). I'm using Lion on all Mac devices, IOS 5 on phones and ipads. I have no PC devices.


    As far as I understand the network, the Devolos are acting only as 'dumb' access points and there are no firewall settings on them. Which I guess leads me back to the router (as BT business home hub). Perhaps I need to configure the port access you mention on that?

  • John Galt Level 8 (44,650 points)

    Yes, the next step is to determine if your router is preventing Home Sharing from working. Without an Apple Base Station, it's difficult to say what the problem might be. Apple rather unhelpfully says your router "needs to be up to date" whatever that means.


    This may be helpful: Troubleshooting Home Sharing


    Given the proper port access and barring anything with the BT router preventing it, Home Sharing should work.

  • ccvitality Level 1 (0 points)

    So what you're saying is that technology does not work - is that correct.