I have a MobileMe subscription and a Mac at home with "Back to My Mac" enabled. When I'm away from home, this service lets me use another Mac to connect to my Mac back home and access file sharing, screen sharing, etc.

As far as I know, the service doesn't use any proprietary protocols, so in theory I should also be able to get "Back to My Mac" from a Windows PC. This MacWorld article explains how it works. Basically, it uses Wide-Area Bonjour to give your Mac a domain name like hostname.username.members.mac.com. Remote computers can find your Mac using that address, then connect to it using a private VPN. The "Wide Area Bonjour" part seems to make it a little more complicated than simply a regular domain name, though.

Note that I'm not interested in using the methods described by LifeHacker, which doesn't use the MobileMe service at all. I don't want to use a totally different dynamic DNS service. I'd like to use the one I'm already paying for, or at least find out why that's not possible from Windows.

Also, my primary problem is finding a network route back to my mac... once I've got that I know how to enable services so that Windows can talk to it.

UPDATE: Based on some additional research, it appears that Apple is only assigning IPv6 addresses to the hostname.username.members.mac.com names. So any solution will require enabling IPv6 support on Windows, if possible.

2 Answers 2


Have you had any success with this? I have been trying to figure this out for about a week now. I assume that there is some sort of authentication required which is why you can't just enter yourusername.members.mac.com. as a search domain to see a list of services on your computer/router.

I have been unsuccessful in "manually" connecting to my computer via back to my mac even from other macs (which presumably have all the required technologies installed and turned on).Once I connect via the back to my mac interface though the mDNS just "magically" works when I run lookups for the "right" addresses.

As far as I am aware, there isn't a way to authenticate mDNS lookups, so Apple must have some external way of knowing which lookups they respond to. If they would publish this it would be super helpful!

  • Nothing new to report, though I haven't had much of a need for it recently. I think a major part of it is doing IPv6 DNS lookups (Windows by default is only doing IPv4).
    – benzado
    Feb 27, 2010 at 16:13

I'm taking a stab in the dark at this one since I don't have the Back To My Mac service or MobileMe. Someone should correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing that based on that MacWorld article, the Back To My Mac service just creates an address that you can access from anywhere on the Internet.

Thus, from that LifeHacker article, if you set up your Screen Sharing preferences to include a password for VNC clients (under Computer Settings), you should be able to use a regular VNC client (like the LifeHacker-suggested TightVNC) to connect to hostname.username.members.mac.com at port 5900.

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Like I said, this is a guess based on how I think it ought to work, but there may be some trickery involved with Back To My Mac to block regular VNC clients from connecting to the Wide-Area Bonjour domain name.

  • Yeah, it's not this simple. The problem isn't in configuring the services on the machine, it's making a connection to the machine in the first place. It turns out the hostname.username.members.mac.com name is given an IPv6 address only, and that may be part of the issue.
    – benzado
    Dec 29, 2009 at 7:29
  • Interesting. Try it with an IPv6-compatible VNC client. I'm travelling further into guessing-zone, but perhaps RealVNC would work (check out realvnc.com/products/enterprise/4.1/ipv6.html). They offer a 30-day trial of the personal edition.
    – fideli
    Dec 29, 2009 at 14:02
  • I'm actually more interested in file sharing than VNC. But thanks for the pointer, I might check it out anyway.
    – benzado
    Jan 12, 2010 at 21:46

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