Out of 'home' streaming--webDAV, VPN, and more questions

Although I’ve read (several times) the online help topic of “Streaming Away from Home”, I can’t seem to wrap my head around how to make Infuse work when I’m away from my home WiFi and LAN. The basic setup is:

  • Nearly all files stored on an old Netgear ReadyNAS.
  • Routing and Wifi provided by a Synology RT2600ac
  • Roaming devices (for now) include iPhone and iPad

What I’ve tried:

  • Installed SoftEther VPN package on my ReadyNAS (one of the ‘default’ 3rd party packages available). I thought I had worked through the configuration–I was able to get a VPN connection on my iPhone, but was never able to browse the NAS or my network. Uninstalled.
  • Installed and configured the VPN Plus server package on the Synology router. Successfully connected with iPhone and browsed files with the Files app. Able to create a new SMB share for Infuse (with caveats below). However, playback was terrible: 20s of playback, followed by minutes of buffering. Perhaps I have something misconfigured?
  • Turned on the HTTP and WebDAV availability on my media share on the ReadyNAS. Can’t figure out how to use HTTPS, so I had to use port forwarding to open port 80, which gives me the heebie-jeebies. Again, able to browse files via Safari on iPhone and create a new WebDAV share for Infuse (with similar caveats). Playback seemed to be fine overall. However, a speedtest in Infuse was very ‘spike-y’, though the average speed was about 17Mbps.

My caveats:

  • For my test Infuse WebDAV share, I had to use my router’s WAN IP address. Expected, since I haven’t set up any kind of DDNS system yet. I would like to find out how to make WebDAV work over HTTPS.
  • For my test Infuse VPN SMB share, I had to create an entirely new share AND use my NAS’s LAN IP address when doing so. This was unexpected. I was hoping/expecting that with a VPN setup that my existing Infuse data and existing SMB shares would be usable. Also, I was surprised that I had to use an IP address instead of the server’s local name. Any configuration guidance here?

Overall, my biggest qualm is that it appears that to access media remotely with Infuse, I would have to have TWO libraries–one defined with all the LAN shares, the other defined with all the VPN or WebDAV shares. Any way to avoid this?

I’d been hoping that Infuse could replace the nearly-antiquated Air Video HD app (& server), which has been giving me troubles over the past year with aspect ratios, audio options, and subtitles. Any suggestions and pointers for wrangling Infuse and my novice attempts at VPNs and WebDAV are very welcome!

Thanks!
brad

All you need to do is forward (forward) the port used by your NAS for SMB/FTP/WebDAV in your router - see it in the settings of your NAS. And the second thing you need to do is either get a static IP address from your Internet provider, or use the DDNS service.

In case it’s helpful, my setup:

  • Synology Diskstation NAS
  • Wireguard VPN server set up on NAS with port forwarded from Orbi router and a dynamic DNS service
  • Local network is 172.x.x.x
  • I set up my primary library on Infuse using SMB on 172.x.x.x
  • When I access the VPN, I can use all 172.x.x.x addresses as if I were local, so the Infuse library “just works”

Your VPN server may also be severely bottlenecked on CPU depending on the VPN encryption algorithm, software package, and your processor. OpenVPN is known to be hugely inefficient unless your CPU has built in hardware decryption. Wireguard is much more efficient.

All you need to do is forward (forward) the port used by your NAS for SMB/FTP/WebDAV in your router - see it in the settings of your NAS. And the second thing you need to do is either get a static IP address from your Internet provider, or use the DDNS service.

@Axl2021
Yep. That part is something I’ve accomplished (I can activate the VPN while using cellular connectivity on my iPhone and successfully browse my NAS with the Files app). If I can resolve my other questions and issues, I’ll start tilting at the DDNS challenge for my WAN interface.

In case it’s helpful, my setup:
[trim]
Your VPN server may also be severely bottlenecked on CPU depending on the VPN encryption algorithm, software package, and your processor. OpenVPN is known to be hugely inefficient unless your CPU has built in hardware decryption. Wireguard is much more efficient.

@beastlybeast
Thanks for some of the details. I’m pretty sure I can’t run the VPN server on my NAS. It’s a Netgear ReadyNAS that dates back to 2010, and I couldn’t get (the somewhat authorized) SoftEther VPN server working properly. Therefore, I’m limited to the VPN server that is provided by Synology for their RT2600 router. I don’t know if it’s OpenVPN, but I know it’s not Wireguard. A couple of questions for you…

  • Did you set up your Infuse library while connected to the VPN?
  • Is that the only way you use Infuse (via VPN), or do you also access your library ‘at home’ from within your LAN?
  • Are you able to use server names for any of your setup, or is everything done with IP addresses?
    I can successfully connect and define an SMB share while on the VPN, but it duplicates everything I’ve defined already when working inside my LAN.

Thanks for the replies!

@bspachman I’m guessing that’s your issue. Is this the “Synology SSL VPN”? It looks kinda proprietary and old.

Another option for you would be to get a raspberry pi 4 or 5 and install PiVPN with wireguard. If you just connect that to your network and open a port to it, that should work.

Don’t think this matters, but no

I access it from the LAN and via VPN. It also works via the VPN while on my LAN. So every permutation just works, so long as I’m either on my LAN or connected to the VPN from somewhere. The point is just that whatever your device is, it needs to be able to see your local network addresses. As long as that’s true, the Infuse library should work, if you configured it using your local network address.

I’ve had trouble with server names – I just use the LAN IP address.

Hmm, not sure I follow this. Can you describe in more detail what steps you’re taking and what gets duplicated?

Thanks for the input!

I’m loathe to reconfigure my existing shares to be defined by IP address (instead of by SMB local host names). My desire to keep things somewhat human-readable is probably at the root of some of my problems.

Since I can’t seem to configure VPN settings to allow me to use my existing shares with local host names, I’ll either have to:

  • Nuke my existing shares and re-define with IP addresses. Not sure what the ramifications are of this choice.
  • Add new shares that are defined by IP addresses. This is where I end up with duplicate libraries–there would be a set of shares defined by local host names and a set of shares defined by IP addresses.
Once a share is defined in Infuse, it doesn't look like it can actually be edited to any major degree. At least I cant' figure out how to change the address.

Good thought on the RaspberryPi. I’ll have to see if one of those has more horsepower than 1.73GHz Qualcomm Krait IPQ8065 that’s in the Synology Router. I’m sure it has more processing power than my old Netgear NAS (upgraded processor, but still only to a 2.66GHz Core2 Duo E6700). Most of my file serving gear is mid-2010s based.

Just a side note, I’ve changed storage drives a few times and what I do is install the new drive, copy all of my videos for Infuse to it and then add it to Infuse. Yes, you get everything duplicated but once you let it finish all of the scans you can then delete the old share and all of your watch history and customization for individual videos is still intact. Then you’re back to only one of everything and maintaining your info.

You could do the same thing with one share being as the net name and the other being the IP address. Just don’t delete the net name share until your IP share has finished the initial scans.