How to use Home Assistant remotely over Meshnet

Learn how to configure Home Assistant using Docker on Windows, macOS, and Linux and access it remotely using Meshnet.


Home Assistant is the leading free and open-source smart home control system. It enables seamless addition, control, and automation of smart devices without depending on third-party cloud solutions. Since Home Assistant functions locally, it is not reachable from outside without port forwarding or a VPN to your home network.

Enter Meshnet, a solution that establishes encrypted tunnels between your devices, allowing direct and secure remote access from any device to your Home Assistant instance. With this setup, you can monitor and control your Internet of Things (IoT) devices from anywhere in the world.

Watch the video below for an overview of the setup process or follow along with our step-by-step written instructions to set up your own Home Assistant instance in a Docker container and remotely control it using Meshnet.

Install Docker

To follow this guide, you must have Docker installed on your device. You can find instructions for downloading and installing Docker on the Docker website:

Create a Home Assistant Docker container

With Docker installed, you can start creating Docker containers for various services, including Home Assistant.

For this guide, Docker run will be used. If you prefer the Docker Compose method, you can find instructions on the Home Assistant website.

Creating a volume

First, you need to create a dedicated Docker volume where the container's files will be stored. Without a persistent volume, all of the instance's files are lost once the container is stopped. You can create the volume directly from the Docker Desktop app or via the command line.

  1. Open the Docker Desktop app.

  2. From the menu on the left, select Volumes.

  3. Click the Create button in the upper-right corner.

The newly created volume will now be visible in the Volumes section.

Creating a container

With the volume ready for Home Assistant, you can proceed to create the Docker container itself.

  1. Open Command Prompt (on Windows) or Terminal (on Linux or macOS).

  2. Execute the following docker run command, replacing <TimeZone> with your time zone:

    docker run -d --name homeassistant --privileged --restart=unless-stopped -p 8123:8123 -e TZ=<TimeZone> -v homeassistant_config:/config


Docker will pull the Home Assistant image from Docker Hub and create the container.

If the creation is successful, you will see the full container ID of your Home Assistant container in the command line window.

Set up Home Assistant

Once the container is running, you can start using Home Assistant. By default, the Home Assistant service listens on port 8123, unless you've configured it differently.

  1. Open your internet browser and visit your Home Assistant page.

    • If you are accessing Home Assistant from the host device directly, you can use the following URL: http://localhost:8123/

    • Otherwise, you must use the device’s local IP address instead of the localhost part.

  2. Create your Home Assistant account and finish the setup process.

Now, when you visit your Home Assistant page again, you will be prompted to log in to your account. Upon logging in, you will be taken to your Home Assistant dashboard, where you can configure your devices and services.

Access Home Assistant remotely

Your Home Assistant is now fully set up. With Meshnet enabled on the host device, the Home Assistant dashboard can be accessed remotely by other devices in your Meshnet.


Ensure you set up strong user authentication. Without it, other devices in your Meshnet that have remote access permissions enabled can interact with your Home Assistant instance, potentially compromising its security.


If you're hosting Home Assistant on a Linux device, you must grant the local network permission for the devices accessing it. For more information, see Common issues on Linux.

Method 1: Using an internet browser

The easiest way to manage your Home Assistant remotely is via an internet browser.

  1. Copy the Nord name of the device running Home Assistant from the NordVPN app.

  2. Open your internet browser.

  3. Paste the copied Nord name followed by :8123/ to the URL field and press Enter. Example secret.meerkat-andes.nord:8123/

  4. Log into your Home Assistant account.

The Home Assistant dashboard will load, and you will have full control over it from your internet browser.

Method 2: Using the Home Assistant companion app

You can also access the Home Assistant dashboard remotely through the companion app. However, it is currently available only on Android, macOS, and iOS.

  1. Download and install the Home Assistant app from the Google Play Store.

  2. Copy the Nord name of the device running Home Assistant directly from the NordVPN app.

  3. Open Home Assistant and tap Continue.

  4. Select Enter address manually.

  5. Log into your Home Assistant account.

  6. Choose the name of your device, select the notification preferences, and tap Continue.

Once the setup process is complete, you will have full access to your Home Assistant dashboard using the mobile companion app.

You have successfully configured Home Assistant and can now access its dashboard remotely with the help of Meshnet.

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