by Anthony 

February 21, 2024

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If you’re like me and have a server or NAS (Network Access Storage) at home where you save your files, you can access it using the Files app on your iPhone or iPad, or using Finder on your Mac. 

To access a NAS on your iPhone or iPad, open the Files app. Under ‘Browse’ in the menu, tap on the ellipsis icon in the top right of the screen. Choose ‘Connect to Server’ and then enter the IP address of your NAS, or the computer where you store your files. If you don’t know the IP address, don’t worry. I’ll explain that step in just a sec.  

If you use an account to access the computer where you store your files, you’ll be asked to provide those credentials to authenticate yourself. Assuming those details are correct you should be able to access your files. Once connected, you can then do things like copy files or folders directly to your Phone or iPad. Long tap to bring up the context menu and you should see the option to copy and paste.

To do the same thing on a Mac, open Finder. In the Finder menu, click on ‘Go’ and choose ‘Connect to Server’. Again type in the IP address of your storage device, and as with your iPhone or iPad you’ll be prompted for the account details. Your network files should open in a Finder window. To save you having to enter these details every time, you can click on the plus icon to save the IP address (what Mac refers to as a ‘location’) as a Favourite.

If these steps didn’t work for you; if you were unable to connect, it’s likely you either have the wrong IP address or your credentials are wrong. If you’re not sure of the IP address of your NAS, there are a few things you can check.  Firstly, make sure all your devices are connected to the same network. That means the NAS or file server must be connected to the same network as your iPhone, iPad or Mac. If you’re trying this at home (and since most homes only have one wireless network) it’s more than likely this should be fine. If you’re trying to connect in an office environment, you may need to check with someone.

To check the IP address of your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app and under Wifi, tap on the Information icon next to the network you’re connected to. This will give you the IP address of your device. It will look something like 192.168.0.5. Your numbers may be different but you should have four numbers with a period in between.  

You now need to check the IP address of your storage device. Obtaining the IP address from your device will depend on the type of device it is. I use a Synology NAS and I can find the IP address in the Control Panel, under the Network Settings. Regardless of the device you use, it’s a safe bet that searching for the network settings should lead you to the IP address. 

You’ll hopefully notice that both of your iPhone or iPad and your NAS have very similar IP addresses. Just the last one or two sets of digits (octet as they're known) might be different. This is a common format and in most cases, as long as these first two or three sets of numbers are the same, your devices will all be connected to the same network. 

If you use a Mac, rather than an iPhone or iPad, you can check the IP address of your Mac by holding down the option key and clicking on the wifi icon in the menu bar. 

Now you have the IP address of your NAS or storage device, and you’ve confirmed the device is connected to the same network as your iPhone, iPad or Mac, you should be able to follow the instructions above. 

So that is how to connect to a home server on iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Key Takeaways

  • Make sure your device is on the same network as the NAS or file server.
  • Find the IP address of your NAS or file server and use this to connect.
  • Remember you'll need the credentials of the account used to access the NAS or file server.

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel for lots of tips and tricks on all your favourite apps.

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