Configuring Tailscale

Hi all. Trying to figure this out but it’s above my pay grade at the moment. I currently have Tailscale installed on my computer and my phone. Now trying to install subnets on my computer so I can connect to all my devices in my home network, ie. IP cameras, printer, base station from my phone. When I enter “Tailscale up --advertise routes=x.x.x.x/x”, what are my route numbers supposed to be? I’ve tried my computer IP, camera IP, Tailscale IP, but all I get is they are not a valid IP address or CIDR prefix

What’s your subnet? That’s a very common home router subnet for with a netmask of

Basically yes. All my IP addresses start with 192.168.(80-88).(1-180). And yes that is my net mask. Where would I actually see my router subnet?

If your computer is set for auto DHCP, see what subnet mask it gets from your router.

Do you have vlans or separate subnets for different categories of devices?

I believe tailscale subnet routing only really works if tailscale was installed on your router itself. Here’s the issue. A remote tailscale host sends a packet to some destination on your home network. It’s relayed through your desktop computer which is on tailscale. The problem is the destination host on your LAN has no idea how to reach the sending tailscale host to send a reply since the tailscale network is not on your local network. So the only thing it can do is use the default gateway, which is your router normally. Your router also does not know how to reach tailscale, so it sends the packet out to its default gateway which is your ISP. Obviously this isn’t going where it needs to so you’ll just end up with complete packet loss.

If tailscale is installed on the router, then the router becomes aware of the route to tailscale, so two-way traffic flows nicely from any host on your LAN. This is obviously not possible to do on most commercial routers.

I believe my subnet mask is

I think it’s

I don’t believe so

Should the computer on the home network not become the subnet router which in turn has access to the home network router , which should give the home computer access to all IP addresses on the home network? Or am I not understanding this correctly?

Man does that ever sound confusing!!!

If I understand correctly, torriem is saying that if tailscale is on your desktop pc computer, then that’s the only device you can connect to. You’d need tailscale installed on your router to get access to your whole network.

I think your subnet is /21
Also written as I think

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That’s correct. Even though your desktop PC can reach your other LAN hosts, and even pass the packets from tailscale to them, those other hosts don’t know the return path to tailscale, nor does your router.

Let me try to explain routing as simple as I can. Each computer on your LAN has an IP address as well as a network mask. This creates an implicit route that says in essence, any IP address on the LAN can be reached through the computer’s ethernet port or WiFi connection. So LAN hosts communicate peer to peer. That is, directly, not through the router. As part of that IP address, they also get or are configured with a default route that says, any IP address not on the LAN, please pass to the router. The router can examine the packet and determine where to send it (usually the internet). In your case, the router knows nothing about tailscale, so when a LAN host is trying to reply to a tailscale message, it defaults to sending it to the router which essentially discards it because it does not know where to send it.

I just checked the tailscale documentation and indeed they say that to route entire subnets over tailscale you need to install tailscale on the router itself: Subnet routers and traffic relay nodes · Tailscale

Yes, that is exactly the page I was trying to configure. The way I’ve been understanding this Tailscale system is that your home computer becomes your subnet router, not your actual physical home router. Your home router is just a communication port from your home computer (aka subnet router) to the rest of your network.

Your subnet router has to have Tailscale installed onto it. You cannot install a program such as Tailscale onto a router can you?

Or do I have that wrong?

Also Mat, I was able to install that subnet you gave me! Awesome, thanks! Now I just have to test it out


Limited success!

I’ve been able to log into my IP camera a couple times but not everytime. Its very hit and miss. Seems very slow. More research required I guess! Next will be to try my base station. Hopefully that’ll send info easier.

deleted. See my latest post.

Looks like tailscale does network address translation (IP masquerading) on your desktop PC, which would make the other nodes think they are being spoken to by the desktop PC. That would get around the routing problem.

I tried it on my Linux machine, but I think I have conflicts with my virtual machine networking so I cannot verify that it works.

Well, got onto a good internet connection and it works 100%! Thanks for the help.

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Getting the hang of using Tailscale now. Works pretty good. Right now I’m just using my laptop as my subnet router as it’s the only machine I can use at home. What is anyone else using for their subnet router? Not certain I wanna leave my laptop on 24/7. Is a Raspberry Pi the way to go? Or just get a desktop?

Either way. Pi works fine and you can tuck it in a corner and forget about it. Can you get Pis these days?

Ok there in answers my question. Yes you can on Amazon for about $260-$400! Digi key, not so much. I’m sure i can get a desktop for that much money!


There are other little computers similar to a Pi but they all lack the community and support that Pi has. And downloading an operating system image from some random overseas website… Can work though. I’ve had decent luck with OrangePi. There’s also BananaPi. Pine64 might also have a similar board.

Maybe just look for a used tiny PC instead. Could do double duty if you needed it for something useful in the future.

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