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Plex and Emby Remote Connectivity


MikeB88
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MikeB88

I am trying to get a handle on the differences between Plex and Emby. I have been using Plex for sometime and am considering switching to Emby.

What I am trying to confirm is whether a remote Emby client can access my home server when it is behind a double NAT scenario.

My server is behind my router (which is obviously using NAT). But, in my case, my network service provide also uses NAT in front of my router (WAN side of my router) or rather the router they provide me to connect to their Internet service.

Because this is the case they have one router somewhere in their network that represents a number of their clients (me included) with one public IP. I obviously have no access to that router. So adding port forwarding is not an option.

An interesting thing with Plex is that when you make a connection to my server by logging into the company Plex server (plex.tv) with a web browser or a Plex app that these apps can access my server even though it is behind this double NAT scenario.

The only way this can work is that the plex.tv server has the client port number my server uses to access my account on plex.tv and relays that info to the client app that is trying to make a connection. Then the client app attempts a direct connect using that client port number or relays through the plex.tv server.

I assume that Emby server does not offer such a feature. Because so far I cannot make this work. When I log into Emby Connect it shows my server but when I click on it it fails the connection. So, I am assuming all the Emby Connect is doing is a translation from a name to an IP address (similar to the way DNS works).

Incidentally, TV's running the Plex app are unable to connect (just like Emby apps). I am assuming that is because the Plex TV apps (or Emby apps) try to make a direct connection to the server at it's known server port number (and are unable to make a connection using the client port number as in the Plex case).

Does this all make sense and am I right in my analysis?

 

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9 minutes ago, MikeB88 said:

When I log into Emby Connect it shows my server but when I click on it it fails the connection. So, I am assuming all the Emby Connect is doing is a translation from a name to an IP address (similar to the way DNS works).

Did you configure your server settings with the proper external port?  IOW - is the address shown for WAN address on your dashboard exactly what one would type in to access your server remotely?

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MikeB88
Just now, ebr said:

Did you configure your server settings with the proper external port?  IOW - is the address shown for WAN address on your dashboard exactly what one would type in to access your server remotely?

I can use that address but it does not help. The WAN IP address on the outside of my router is not the same as reported by say, whatsmyip.com. So even though I could insert that address it is not going to work because the NAT gateway (that I have no control over) converts incoming packets to have a destination address that my router has on it's WAN port.

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chacawaca

Maybe i'm wrong, but its probably their modem/router they provide you that do this double nat, often you can ask your internet compagny to configure them in bridge mode ( im like that here, my port 1 on their modem is in bridge mode, their modem dont do NAT on this port)

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MikeB88
15 minutes ago, chacawaca said:

Maybe i'm wrong, but its probably their modem/router they provide you that do this double nat, often you can ask your internet compagny to configure them in bridge mode ( im like that here, my port 1 on their modem is in bridge mode, their modem dont do NAT on this port)

Sorry, but yes, you would be wrong.

For clarity, this is the reality:

           192.168.0.0/25   is my subnet behind my NAT gateway -- WAN IP is 172.16.132.185  ---  (ISP Network) --- ISP border router (Outgoing IP is 177.242.199.180.

The 177.242.199.180 address is what whatsmyip reveals as the address I am using.

Incidentally, the 172.16.0.0 address block is not routed anywhere on the Internet. It is classified as non-routable address space just as 192.168.0.0 is. 177.242.0.0 is routed on the Internet.

I do not have a modem and then a router behind that modem. I just have a router with a WAN port that is connected directly to my provider.

 

Edited by MikeB88
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pwhodges

This extra NAT is known as cgNAT (carrier grade...).  The only things to do are to ask your ISP nicely to turn it off for you, so you get a known fixed address (they may charge), or to use a VPN that allows port-mapping so that the ISP assigned IP address becomes irrelevant.

Paul

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39 minutes ago, MikeB88 said:

I am trying to get a handle on the differences between Plex and Emby. I have been using Plex for sometime and am considering switching to Emby.

What I am trying to confirm is whether a remote Emby client can access my home server when it is behind a double NAT scenario.

My server is behind my router (which is obviously using NAT). But, in my case, my network service provide also uses NAT in front of my router (WAN side of my router) or rather the router they provide me to connect to their Internet service.

Because this is the case they have one router somewhere in their network that represents a number of their clients (me included) with one public IP. I obviously have no access to that router. So adding port forwarding is not an option.

An interesting thing with Plex is that when you make a connection to my server by logging into the company Plex server (plex.tv) with a web browser or a Plex app that these apps can access my server even though it is behind this double NAT scenario.

The only way this can work is that the plex.tv server has the client port number my server uses to access my account on plex.tv and relays that info to the client app that is trying to make a connection. Then the client app attempts a direct connect using that client port number or relays through the plex.tv server.

I assume that Emby server does not offer such a feature. Because so far I cannot make this work. When I log into Emby Connect it shows my server but when I click on it it fails the connection. So, I am assuming all the Emby Connect is doing is a translation from a name to an IP address (similar to the way DNS works).

Incidentally, TV's running the Plex app are unable to connect (just like Emby apps). I am assuming that is because the Plex TV apps (or Emby apps) try to make a direct connection to the server at it's known server port number (and are unable to make a connection using the client port number as in the Plex case).

Does this all make sense and am I right in my analysis?

With that setup you will need to port forward the first router to the second router.  No two ways about that as you need to carve out the port from the Internet to the Emby Server.

It is highly unusual to get a router from an ISP that you can't manage yourself.    Often times there is a sticker on the modem with login info.  You can also call the ISP and ask for the router login info and password.

OR you could ask them to switch the mode of their router to BRIDGE MODE.  In this configuration their equipment is just the "connection" but does ZERO routing.  So you would plug your own personal router directly into their router with nothing else attached to the ISP equipment.

If for some reason you can't do either of these the only alternative is to use a VPN tunnel but let's not discuss that yet until you check to see if there's a label anywhere on the modem or after making a call to get this info or see if they will switch it to bridge mode.

Let us know what you find out and we'll take it from there.

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MikeB88
1 minute ago, cayars said:

It is highly unusual to get a router from an ISP that you can't manage yourself.  

 

I can manage the router the ISP gave me. What I cannot manage is the router that they own, that the packets from my network have to traverse to get out to the Internet. That router happens to also be using NAT.

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MikeB88
9 minutes ago, cayars said:

OR you could ask them to switch the mode of their router to BRIDGE MODE.  In this configuration their equipment is just the "connection" but does ZERO routing. 

That would be impossible. They would permit that as that router hosts a large number of their other clients (not just me).

Edited by MikeB88
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MikeB88
9 minutes ago, cayars said:

 the only alternative is to use a VPN tunnel

I think you are right. But, in order to do that I would have to be able to place a VPN server somewhere out on the Internet where that server has direct access to a public IP address (or at least behind a router that I have control over).

Perhaps that is a service that Emby could offer for people in my predicament.

In the future you can expect this kind of thing to occur more frequentely as long as the Internet continues to use IPv4. If and when the Internet, at large, converts to IPv6 no more problems of this sort.

Edited by MikeB88
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pwhodges

You can subscribe to VPN services that provide that facility.

Also, it's still worth asking you ISP if they will give a portmapped address to get through their router.

Paul

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Yea sorry about that MikeB88, it's clear as a bell reading it a second time. :)
I thought you had two routers on your premises which isn't the case.

Yes with CG-NAT (what this is) your only alternative is a public VPN server.

If you want to PM your location I'll see if any of the VPNs I have will work for you as you normally want a Server close to your location.

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MikeB88
1 minute ago, pwhodges said:

You can subscribe to VPN services that provide that facility.

Also, it's still worth asking you ISP if they will give a portmapped address to get through their router.

Paul

That would mean dedicating a specific port for my use. They might do it. But, I live in Mexico and I am not sure I could manage to talk to a person who actually can perform that task. If I go through the people that front the ISP they will have no clue how to accomplish this.

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