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  1.    24 Jan 2017 #1
    Join Date : Nov 2014
    Posts : 17
    Windows 10

    How Can I Allow a DLNA Server App Through the Firewall?


    Hello,

    I recently bought an Amazon Fire TV Stick to use during my hotel stays. I use my Windows 10 PC to create a Mobile Hotspot and the Fire TV Stick is connected to that Mobile Hotspot.

    On the Fire TV Stick, I installed an app called AirReceiver (it supports DLNA media streaming) which I use for a couple of things but one of which is to stream videos from my PC.

    From the app, I can browse for content on my PC no problem, but when I select a video to play, it gives an error that it cannot be played. It's a firewall issue because when I disable the firewall, the video plays no problem.

    Obviously I do not want to disable the firewall and since the app is on my Fire TV Stick, I can't (or don't know how to) browse for and select that app and setup a firewall rule to allow it. So what I've done in the meantime is setup a rule to allow connection for that specific IP address that is assigned to my Fire TV Stick.

    But, surely, there has to be a better way for me to set this up correctly rather than hard-coding an IP address because at one point it will change. So how can/should I setup this firewall rule?

    Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    24 Jan 2017 #2
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,520
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by nuspieds View Post
    ...surely, there has to be a better way for me to set this up correctly rather than hard-coding an IP address because at one point it will change. So how can/should I setup this firewall rule?

    You could open the Control Panel and type MEDIA in the 'search the control panel' box. Look for the 'Media streaming options', turning it on should enable the appropriate ports. But it does warn you that you'll be modifying the firewall so - do you trust the hotel networks that much? If not, stick to using your IP rule.

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  3.    24 Jan 2017 #3
    Join Date : May 2015
    Central IL
    Posts : 4,250
    Mac OS Sierra

    On a Captive Portal, you cannot since they lock it down for a reason.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    25 Jan 2017 #4
    Join Date : Nov 2014
    Posts : 17
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bree View Post
    You could open the Control Panel and type MEDIA in the 'search the control panel' box. Look for the 'Media streaming options', turning it on should enable the appropriate ports. But it does warn you that you'll be modifying the firewall so - do you trust the hotel networks that much? If not, stick to using your IP rule.
    Yes, I had already turned on Media Streaming but the firewall was still blocking, so that's when I did the test to disable it.

    I certainly do not trust their Wi-Fi so thanks for confirming that I should stick to the IP-based restriction. And, yes, they certainly have their network locked down, so that's why I have to resort to using the Hotspot from my PC.

    So now that I have the IP-based restriction, I actually had to setup a range, since the IP address of the Fire TV Stick can change. I searched all over and tried digging in to all sorts of settings, but like my router at home, is there any way I can fix the IP address that is assigned to the Fire TV Stick by my Hotspot? If the Firewall restrictions allowed you to also use Mac address as another method, that would certainly do the trick, but that option is not there.

    Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    25 Jan 2017 #5
    Join Date : May 2015
    Central IL
    Posts : 4,250
    Mac OS Sierra

    Quote Originally Posted by nuspieds View Post
    Yes, I had already turned on Media Streaming but the firewall was still blocking, so that's when I did the test to disable it.
    I certainly do not trust their Wi-Fi so thanks for confirming that I should stick to the IP-based restriction. And, yes, they certainly have their network locked down, so that's why I have to resort to using the Hotspot from my PC.
    So now that I have the IP-based restriction, I actually had to setup a range, since the IP address of the Fire TV Stick can change. I searched all over and tried digging in to all sorts of settings, but like my router at home, is there any way I can fix the IP address that is assigned to the Fire TV Stick by my Hotspot? If the Firewall restrictions allowed you to also use Mac address as another method, that would certainly do the trick, but that option is not there.
    Thanks!
    This has nothing to do with your computer or the Firestick. If you wish to "Cast" to the Firestick, you will have to use an Access Point as a Repeater on the hotel network just for you to be able to directly connect to the Firestick. These public Hotspots are locked down so that people cannot discover other devices on them and also to secure from people trying to use all of the bandwidth.

    If you connect your laptop to Ethernet for the hotel public network, then you can use your Wifi on the laptop as a private hotspot to connect the firestick to and cast that way.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    26 Jan 2017 #6
    Join Date : Nov 2014
    Posts : 17
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by bro67 View Post
    This has nothing to do with your computer or the Firestick. If you wish to "Cast" to the Firestick, you will have to use an Access Point as a Repeater on the hotel network just for you to be able to directly connect to the Firestick. These public Hotspots are locked down so that people cannot discover other devices on them and also to secure from people trying to use all of the bandwidth.

    If you connect your laptop to Ethernet for the hotel public network, then you can use your Wifi on the laptop as a private hotspot to connect the firestick to and cast that way.
    So I'm not "casting to" my Fire TV Stick in the sense of, for example, right-clicking on my file on my PC and then selecting "Cast to device" and then selecting the Fire TV Stick. That doesn't work because the Stick doesn't even show up in the list, as we know.

    What I am doing, however, is from the Fire TV Stick, I use the DLNA Server app, which can see my Windows DLNA Server because it is connected to my Windows Hotspot and then I am able to select and play videos directly from my Fire TV Stick.

    That works.

    My immediate post above was asking how I can reserve a specific IP address so that I can update my Firewall rules to be specific for the Stick, instead of using an IP range.

    Since the post, I did additional research and found all sorts of third-party Hotspot software--including those with features, like a router, that allowed you to fix the IP address for connected devices--but they all turned out to be either much, much slower to actually get the Hotspot up and running or they generated an error saying that my Wi-Fi card did not support the feature.

    I don't know what's going on there because using the built-in Windows functionality works flawlessly for me and is fast, so I've abandoned trying out those third-party apps.
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  7.    26 Jan 2017 #7
    Join Date : May 2015
    Central IL
    Posts : 4,250
    Mac OS Sierra

    DLNA is a nonprofit agency group that came up with a method to allow media to be played back and streamed across a network. In your case you need to keep the firewall on, just in case some employee at the hotel may know a way around the safeguards on the public network.

    Like I stated in my last post, there are two ways to do it so that you do not have to open the Firewall on your Laptop and also have a direct connection to the Firestick.

    I had the Fire TV box before I gave it to my daughter. It was nice to be able to hook up a pocket drive and just pull media from that, since I did not want to leave it in developer mode and risk something causing issues, even though Amazon does not like when you install Kodi or SPMC.

    Have you tried loading VLC on the stick and use VLC on your laptop to cast your content to the stick? Just remember that the speeds are not going to be as great, since you are not on your own network. That was another reason why I suggested using a Access Point or Router that you could set up as a Ad-Hoc network. The one that I found that works the best is the Engenius ECB-350. You can set it up as a Wireless only router, Access Point, Bridge, Repeater, etc.. It does do it's own DHCP for Static or Dynamic. When you get a chance, experiment a little and see if you can find a better way to do what you want, without having to drop the firewall ports.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    26 Jan 2017 #8
    Join Date : Nov 2014
    Posts : 17
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by bro67 View Post
    DLNA is a nonprofit agency group that came up with a method to allow media to be played back and streamed across a network. In your case you need to keep the firewall on, just in case some employee at the hotel may know a way around the safeguards on the public network.

    Like I stated in my last post, there are two ways to do it so that you do not have to open the Firewall on your Laptop and also have a direct connection to the Firestick.

    I had the Fire TV box before I gave it to my daughter. It was nice to be able to hook up a pocket drive and just pull media from that, since I did not want to leave it in developer mode and risk something causing issues, even though Amazon does not like when you install Kodi or SPMC.

    Have you tried loading VLC on the stick and use VLC on your laptop to cast your content to the stick? Just remember that the speeds are not going to be as great, since you are not on your own network. That was another reason why I suggested using a Access Point or Router that you could set up as a Ad-Hoc network. The one that I found that works the best is the Engenius ECB-350. You can set it up as a Wireless only router, Access Point, Bridge, Repeater, etc.. It does do it's own DHCP for Static or Dynamic. When you get a chance, experiment a little and see if you can find a better way to do what you want, without having to drop the firewall ports.
    Thanks a lot!!!

    I'm definitely going to look into the Engenius but I will also test out VLC and will definitely report back. I am extremely security-conscious so, yes, I hate having to open my firewall; thus, these options you recommended are definitely something I must look into.

    Regarding speed, all I can say is that even when I'm on their network, the performance is crap! So imagine the audio/video glitches I run into when I throw into the mix this hotspot solution. But, I am stuck, and it is the best that there is for my situation and I just have to make the most out of it.
    Thanks again and I will definitely report back with my results.
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  9.    29 Jan 2017 #9
    Join Date : Nov 2014
    Posts : 17
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    So after looking up the Engenius and what it does, becase I'm looking for something portable due to my travels, I eventually stumbled on a couple of products by RAVPower and the product I settled on was the RP-WD01.

    I got my setup all working with no Firewall compromises whatsoever! As a matter of fact, I even deleted the Firewall rule I had created for the Fire TV Stick. All is well!

    However, I am at home and as much as I did to simulate being away from home in my hotel, my true test and confirmation will come later this week when I travel again. But, so far, so good!!!

    I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    30 Jan 2017 #10
    Join Date : May 2015
    Central IL
    Posts : 4,250
    Mac OS Sierra

    It is actually pretty portable. But not where you could get any smaller than the other. It will get you a signal up to 150' away if you are looking for better coverage in your home.

    I swapped from the ECB360 to the EAP1750h, because of the features it has and the price dropped. I run it off of POE, with the injector downstairs with the rest of my network gear.

    You actually can simulate it with a Pfsense box running with a Captive Portal.

    It does look like the RP-WD01 was created more for tablets and smartphones. It is not bad for the price. I would make sure to check how their support is for the Firmware and if there is a newer version available. Also look at the other ones just in case the RP-WD01 does not work out while testing it at home.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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