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RealVNC & VPN

#1
I’ve been using RealVNC to test connecting from my Windows 10 laptop/tablet hybrid to my Windows 10 desktop.  I had planned on using VNC to connect into my new Pi 3 B+ from my laptop/tablet hybrid, but was advised to not use it without knowing exactly why such was the case.

And then I came upon a post from 2012 by Robbie [Ferguson] that mentioned that VNC lacked security but that the use of a VPN would be something he could recommend for traveling purposes.  Can someone recommend a free VPN service/provider that would work with RealVNC and how I’d set those up to work together for accessibility purposes?

My ultimate goal is to be able to access Plex Media Server on my Pi 3 B+ from both inside the house and when I’m anywhere outside of my house.

- - - - - - - - - -

Also, having read another post, I want to connect my USB 3.0 Toshiba 1TB hard drive to my router, which does have two USB 3.0 ports, compared to the USB 2.0 ports on the Pi 3 B+.  The drive is formatted as an NTFS Drive; when I connect it to my router, I can access it from my Windows 10 devices with no issues at all.  But exactly how could I send media files from my Windows 10 devices - as well as my family’s iPhones - to the router-connected 1TB hard drive and have said files able to be read/seen/scanned by Plex Media Server on the Pi?  Samba?  CIFS?  Neither?  Something else?  How?  I’m so confused!

Once I get this all set up and working properly - and securely - from both on and outside of my home network - I plan to create a step-by-step guide for other “newbies” like I am right now to help them get everything up and running properly from the proverbial “get-go”.  I’m just the step-by-step kind of person, not a dig-a-little-here, dig-a-little-there, “piecemeal” kind of information-gathering person.  It just seems to me that this entire process should be easier to follow than I’ve seen so far.
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#2
Hi,
for the network share bit of your post, I have the exact same configuration and this is how I did it:
Code:
mkdir /mnt/networkShare
chmod 777 /mnt/networkShare
sudo mount -t cifs //YOUR_ROUTER_IP_ADDRESS/SHARED_FOLDER /mnt/networkShare

If it worked, you should see the files from your hard drive connected to the router in your pi /mnt/networkShare folder.

If you want to automatically mount it at reboot go ahead with the following:
Code:
sudo nano /etc/fstab

in the file, add the following line
Code:
//YOUR_ROUTER_IP_ADDRESS/SHARED_FOLDER /mnt/networkShare cifs username=root,password= 0 0

Save changes and exit
This works for me as I don't have authentication on my internal network shared hard drives.
Test the configuration with
Code:
sudo mount -a
cd /mnt/networkShare
ls -lth

If it worked, you should see the files from your hard drive connected to the router.
Then execute:
Code:
sudo raspi-config

From the grafical menu select 3 Boot Options > B2 Wait for Network at Boot > Yes
Exit selecting Finish.

Now basically your shared hard drive is mounted into /mnt/networkShare folder.

You can point your PMS libraries to this folder :)
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#3
Thanks Robbie
I'll try it immediately and report back.
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#4
Sorry to bother you again, but it's still not working.

Here's the code I used.
mkdir /mnt/networkShare
chmod 777 /mnt/networkShare
sudo mount -t cifs //192.163.29.239/HDHomeRun /mnt/networkShare

sudo nano /etc/fstab

//192.168.29,239/HDHomeRun /mnt/networkShare cifs username=root,password=<password>

sudo mount -a
cd /mnt/networkShare
ls -lth

When I ran ls -lth, I saw all the files.

sudo raspi-config
Select 3 Boot Options > B2 Wait for Network at Boot > Yes
Exit selecting Finish.

After this, I used PlexPi to create my libraries by pointing to /mnt/networkShare and the libraries were created, but they are empty, and several TV Programs are stored on the NAS in HDHomeRun share for testing purposes.

Screenshots of my NAS shares and a directory listing of HDHomeRun are attached.

Thanks for your help


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
       
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#5
(06-12-2018, 04:12 AM)Jhford Wrote: sudo nano /etc/fstab

//192.168.29,239/HDHomeRun /mnt/networkShare cifs username=root,password=<password>

I think you have to change this comma with a dot :)
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#6
Good catch. But, unfortunately, the actual fstab reads perfectly. I manually typed the erroneous path into my post. Sorry. Here's the real fstab:

//192.168.29.239/HDHomeRun /mnt/networkShare cifs username=root,password=<password>

I wonder if its "/HDHomeRun"? That's the reason I attached the screenshot of the NAS setup.

So, I browsed the NAS using Windows Explorer. Please see attached. Note that "HDHomeRun" is not part of the Windows Explorer path. Should the path part of fstab be this instead?
//192.168.29.239/Videos


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
   
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#7
I think you're also missing the 2 zeros at the end of the line.

It should read 
Code:
//192.168.29.239/HDHomeRun /mnt/networkShare cifs username=root,password=<password> 0 0


If you share a screenshot of your setup shares for the HDHomeRun folder it should tell you the exact mount point
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#8
OK. I think the "0   0" helped. I went onto Plex Server using my little TV and refreshed the libraries and the metadata and can now see recordings. However, there are 4 Libraries: Playlists, Films, Films, and TV programmes. The second Films is the only library that has data, which is 100% TV Programs. Should I deleted the duplicated first Films library? Also, the video and sound are stuttering with Plex.

I forgot to mention. I have an Amazon Fire Stick plugged into my TV which has Kodi and Plex installed as apps. We watch Charter/Spectrum cable TV using a special build of Kodi which has HDHomeRun incorporated, and it works fine. We can even watch the recordings using Kodi but it's not pretty like Plex. So, my comments above refer to using Plex instead of Kodi to watch recordings. There is no stuttering when we watch the same content using Kodi 

I take that back. Recordings are stuttering on both Kodi and Plex. I just retested and I think the stuttering is related to the cable card installed in the HDHomeRun Prime. I'm going to call Spectrum. Stand by.

 Any ideas?
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#9
For the duplicate library I think you set it up as plexpi out of the box only has 1 film library. You can manage the libraries as you want.

For the audio issue, how are you connecting the plexpi to the router? If it's wireless, maybe that can be not fast enough.
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