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Workaround to SmartLink


Apparently I need to setup a VPN as a workaround to the SmartLink Outage Issue. I operate Remote 95% of time. I have multiple Flex Radio servers. I use MacOS, and iOS (iPhone and iPad) exclusively. Since I have this downtime, I would like to learn how to enable a relaible workaround to bypass the SmartLink process of establishing a connection. I can employ a MacMini at each server site. Remote clients will connect. Now, what software do I install on each Mac? Apparently a VPN is seems. Which VPN would that be? Is there any particular instructions for the installation and also configuration? Also, are there any internet router settings that need to be changed? How do I employ compression to maintain low bandwidth constraints? Basically, I need a written guide for setup and verification of connecting remotely to these radios using only Mac hardware and software. Is this possible? Basically need a How-To guide. Thank you in Advance.


  • AA5SH
    AA5SH Member ✭✭

    I'm interested in this as well and also in a mostly Apple environment. I've read so much about SoftEther, TailScale, ZeroTier etc. A lot of options but most of them are kludgy when I looked at them. Then also hear people say that the Mac and iPad versions have a way to specify the IP and not use Smartlink but I played with that briefly and couldn't get it to work.

  • Dan Trainor
    Dan Trainor Member ✭✭✭

    I am starting to lean towards ZeroTier. My plan would be to install it on the MacMini which resides in the radio shack location. I operate exclusively with MacOS / iOS client types. And I operate Remote 95% of time. Need to provide a means to bypass SmartLink as I need improved uptime reliability.

  • N8EMA_Jeff
    N8EMA_Jeff Member ✭✭

    Good Morning All.. I tried setting the ip address to the radio in IOS, it worked just fine here, but will not see the radio using the public ip address from outside the network...

  • Gord-VA7GP
    Gord-VA7GP Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 2023

    Hi, Dan:

    The recent SmartLink outage had me also considering (and implementing) a workaround to SmartLink. In part, I do use a MacBook Pro...

    On my MacBook Pro, I installed BootCamp and Win 10. I know, I know... but my logger is Windows-only, so are many other cool utilities. I've spent 20+ years clamouring for more Linux and Mac OS, but in this case I opted for least-resistance. So, that's the client preparation.

    I tried using RDP and a PC co-located next to my '6400, and found it slugglish. I had to run an alternate path for audio, to avoid choppiness. I chose to route all my Flex audio through Mumble (a VOIP server), but apparently RemAud works too. Summary: Mumble / Murmur-server for audio, Remote Desktop for SmartSDR co-located with my Flex '6400. Kinda works, but not well.

    My firewall/route (Ubiquiti's Dream Machine Pro) includes Wireguard VPN. So do other firewall/routers like ASUS. I configured this, set up my MacBook Pro as a client, and it worked well!! It was really easy - create a config-file on the UDM-Pro Wireguard server, get that over the client, and literally one-click later I was connected to my home. Performance is good; I can happily use this. I do not need a PC co-located near my Flex radio.

    I hope this half-answer helps. I abandoned the MacOS environment while staying on Mac hardware, and relied on my router-capabilities to work around the SmartLink outage. I did have to wait several minutes for SmartSDR to "discover" my '6400, and would have loved to speed that up by providing the IP-address directly, but it worked out in the end.

    In Use: one-click to bring up my VPN on my MacBook. One more click to start SDR. The VPN makes my remote MacBook "appear" to be on my home-LAN, and SmartSDR works exactly as you'd expect: like you were on a computer at home. It all "just works" :-)

    With RDP, I did need a PC co-located with my '6400. But with WireGuard VPN, I don't. The remote-MacBook talks directly to the '6400, as though it were co-located.

  • koss1000
    koss1000 Member
    I would suggest using Tailscale