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1546 posts

Uber Geek

#262188 9-Jan-2020 12:52
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Hi there,


I need/want to access the shares on my home NAS from my phone, I can do it easy enough with a few apps (Total Commander for example) when on home WiFi, but if I go out and then connect home via VPN over 3G/LTE and fire up the application they all say they need WiFi enabled and refuse to even go look for my NAS.


- Using my home internet connection via VPN all works fine, phone is just another device on the home LAN.


Anyone know of an app that will accept the VPN connection and connect to network shares.



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2503 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2389015 9-Jan-2020 13:02
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Problem will be with your VPN configuration. Maybe you could elaborate re: the VPN details.

Spark FibreMAX using Mikrotik CCR1009-8G-1S-1S+. UAP, UAP AC Pro, UAP AC Pro Mesh, Apple TV 4, Apple TV 4K, iPad Air 1, iPhone 6s, VodaTV Gen 2. If it doesn't move then it's data cabled.

4546 posts

Uber Geek


  #2389016 9-Jan-2020 13:13
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Is it not just a case of the app trying to save mobile data being thrashed?


What kind of NAS are you running? Synology for example have apps for all the types of VPN's and are really easy to set up.


1283 posts

Uber Geek


  #2389043 9-Jan-2020 13:41
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Is it not just a case of the app trying to save mobile data being thrashed?


What kind of NAS are you running? Synology for example have apps for all the types of VPN's and are really easy to set up. 


Plus, if it is Synology, they have their own mobile apps like "DS File" and "Drive" that directly support access to network shares.

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Uber Geek

  #2389075 9-Jan-2020 14:54
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I VPN direct to my home router (Fritz Box), that pops me straight on to my home network where I can browse the internet as if I was at home and access devices on my LAN.


But as the VPN connection is going out via 4G and Wifi is off (or not logged into anything) the file browsing apps usually say "No network connection!  Please either enabled WLAN or disable flight mode!" (using Total Commander's output as an example).


Trying to find an app that will let me browse network shares and not worry if it thinks I am trying to do it over 4G.



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Uber Geek


  #2389102 9-Jan-2020 15:24
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What type of VPN is the Fritzbox doing? I thought that did L2TP by default? If so, with the right config and routes you should be able to access everything regardless of the app.


What IP is your phone being assigned on the VPN interface? And can you do stuff like ping the NAS when the VPN is on?

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Uber Geek

  #2389165 9-Jan-2020 17:35
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I found an app that works "AndSMB" ... hopefully trustyworthy! :)


Awkward the others test to see if WiFi is online before even trying a connection ... I'll do a feature request, never know might get implemented.



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Master Geek

  #2389339 9-Jan-2020 21:55
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I use MiXplorer to access my shares over VPN, it never asks for WiFi connection.


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Ultimate Geek

  #2389400 10-Jan-2020 05:41
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When using a VPN, there are two ways it can work.  Either the connection is just doing routing ("tun") or it is bridged ("tap").  For network shares like SMB/CIFS, you normally need to be bridging so that all the broadcast messages can be seen.  When only routing, if you try and connect to your shares in the normal way, the broadcast messages telling your device what servers are there are not seen and it will not work.  Depending on the protocol being used, it can be possible to manually set up a connection, but you may need to use IP addresses, rather than names.


Unfortunately, the ability to do bridged VPN connections is rare - the OpenVPN android app, for example, can not do it.  There is a pay app that can, but it is annual subscription only.  And bridging increases the traffic, as all  the broadcast packets get sent over the VPN, which may cost extra bytes on your mobile data connection.  I use bridged OpenVPN on my laptop in Windows and Ubuntu to connect to home, so that I get proper network shares.  As a side benefit, IPv6 also works (even though the OpenVPN connection is only set up for IPv4).  This is because the IPv6 Router Advertisement packets and the like are broadcast packets and are seen over the VPN connection.


From my android devices (phone and tablet), I only have OpenVPN using routing, so I have never tried using a SMB/CIFS connection over that.  I would recommend trying the X-Plore app which I use over WiFi at home - it does very good SMB/CIFS and is just an excellent file app.  It is not pretty as some file apps are, but instead has all the features I want in a file app and then some.  Including the builtin ability to set up a file sharing server itself.

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Uber Geek


  #2389406 10-Jan-2020 07:11
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I have not looked but would a client that supports sftp or similar be a simpler way, I use this a lot, works like a charm, just need SSH port forwarded to your NAS, which is also useful for other things.


WebDav is also another method I have used to simplify connecting to SMB shares from outside a network which like sftp gets around the SMB/CIF need for broadcast chatter and broadcast at all.



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