4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 12, 2012 5:08 PM by wmloving

    accessing Filemaker files over the internet


      I have Filemaker 11 set up as a host on one of our Win7 machines on our office network. I tried to access it remotely from home using the IP address of the host. Got a message that it could not find the host. I Googled this and saw a few posts about problems with remote access, around the issue of a file named server.pem not being installed properly. Is this a know issue? Should I be able to access our office Filemaker host from home using the IP address?

        • 1. Re: accessing Filemaker files over the internet
          Stephen Huston

          Check with your IT/Network Administrator. You may need to have some specific ports and router settinsg opened to allow "remote" access to any reasonably well protected network. The IP alone won't do it if the network is protected.

          • 2. Re: accessing Filemaker files over the internet

            You don't say whether you are using FM Pro or FM Server to "host" but in either case, you need to have a way to get to the machine from outside. Two main scenarios:


            1. The host machine is connected directly to the internet and is NOT behind a router. It has an IP address supplied by your ISP, either static or dynamically. To access this machine remotely simply enter the current IP address of this machine in FileMaker's Open Remote dialog. You should see your files if Network Sharing is turned on.
            2. The host machine has a 192.168.x.x or a 10.x.x.x address being supplied by the router doing DHCP. In this case you need to tell your router where to find the host machine and you do that by setting up "Port Forwarding" in your router, usually in the "Advanced" area. Set Port 5003 for both internal and external port settings - you usually have to enter it four times, and then enter the internal IP address of your host machine, the 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x number and apply. The router now knows to forward FileMaker requests - which come in on Port 5003 - to the host machine.


            Some notes:


            • For scenario 2, you should setup the host computer to have a static/unchanging internal IP address. You can do this on the computer itself or in the router using the MAC address of the computer so that everytime the computer is turned on it gets the same IP address from the router. Pick a number higher than anything that the router would automatically assign to computers on your network, e.g (unless you have more than 200 devices connecting to your router).
            • In either scenario, if the External IP address, the address being supplied to the router or the computer by your ISP is "dynamic" (changeable by your ISP) rather than "static" (unchanging) then you will need to have a way to determine what that address is when it changes. The easiest way to do this is to setup a free account at DynDNS.org and then cancel it before the 14-day trial period ends. After the trial is cancelled they will let you retain the option of one dynamic address forwarding. The way it works is this: at DynDNS.org you setup an account and then create a domain name like "myname.dyndns.org". On your router, you look for the DynDNS options and enter your username, password and domain name. From then on, anytime your external IP address changes, the router will update your DynDNS account with the current IP address. On  you end, all you have to do to connect using FileMaker is go to Open Remote and enter myname.dyndns.org and they will automatically forward your connection to the current IP address of the router. If you router doesn't have this option - most do these days - you can download a small utility which will do the trick.
            • Be aware that Verizon, Comcast and others are now including DHCP in their modems so that you may have to setup Port Forwarding in both the router AND in the cable or DSL modem. Setup is the same except that in the cable modem you want to Port Forward port 5003 to the router using whatever IP address the modem is supplying to it. Very confusing to many people and makes is much trickier to setup...
            • 3. Re: accessing Filemaker files over the internet

              Thanks for this very helpful instruction. Can't wait to take a whack at it. Hope I don't break anything :-)

              • 4. Re: accessing Filemaker files over the internet

                Also see this FileMaker Knowledgebase article on Port Forwarding: