Good day Blender community!

I got a question Is it possible to use a PC on the side of the planet to render? Is there a way to connect them through the internet and use them as slaves? So my online friend got a PC and she is willing to let me render on it. The problem is I can't keep sending her a file every time I want to render something and she doesn't use Blender. However she is willing to let it run for me while she goes away.

Is there a way to use a PC as slave that is not on the same network?

  • $\begingroup$ This question is not about Blender. And if this person doesn't use Blender it's no use trying. There are numerous free online render farms, such as SheepIt, for it $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2019 at 8:19
  • $\begingroup$ Afaik it's quite possible to do with some additionally created solutions. One of them is flamenco.io programmed by Blender foundation. It includes server which manages tasks (cloud.blender.org via your ID), workers and client side. Server can be your own but it needs to be set up (probably you need to buy subscription to use cloud.blender.org), see youtube.com/watch?v=7cnFKhsM67Q. In your example your PC will be client and your friend's - worker. Another solution could be cgru.info though I'm not sure if server infrastructure is included. $\endgroup$
    – Mr Zak
    Sep 29, 2019 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


TL;DR Don't connect your friend's computer directly to the internet. Please use the service provided by a render farm instead.

It is possible to establish a connection between two computer that are in separate private networks through the internet. However, creating a render farm like this is technically difficult and not advisable for lay-person.

In order to understand why this not easy to achieve, consider the following problems:

Network address translation

Your computer at home is in a private network. In order to communicate with other computers on the internet you need a public IP address. Your internet service provider likely only provides a single public IP address for you and your family. Since you want to connect more than one device at a time to the internet, your router supports Network Address Translation (NAT). Essentially the NAT remembers when you start a connection from a computer from inside your local network to another computer on the internet, e.g. a webserver. When the webserver sends a reply, the NAT knows which computer should get the response. In your example both your computers are behind a NAT, which make establishing a connection difficult. This issue is known as the NAT traversal problem. While not impossible to solve, this may require a proxy/relay server besides your two computers.

Dynamic IP address

Internet service providers (ISP) may assign the public IP addresses to their customers dynamically. This means that the public IP address of your router and that of your friends changes after some some time. Once in a while you need to re-establish the connection. This may affect long running render jobs.

Network Security

Depending on how you intend to establish the connection between the two computers, there may be severe security implications for your friend's computer and network. Please do not persuade your friend to let you configure their firewall, install a remote desktop solution or VPN software on their router. While there may be tempting solutions for your idea, improper configuration could leave your friend's network open to attacks from the internet. Bots regularly scan IP address ranges for vulnerable or badly configured services that respond to their probing requests. Your friend also shouldn't simply hand you the access to their network, since they should be able to decide who gets access and who doesn't. If for some reason they no longer agree with your remote rendering arrangement, they should be able to block your access. Authentication and authorization is required, since only people that have the permission by your friend should be able to render on their computer.

Free Software

A software that solves all the listed problems would have to exist. Based on your comments it would also have to be easy to install and configure. Reading between the lines, it should ideally be free of charge.

Unfortunately trade-offs are necessary, since there is no free software/service that would simply allow to use your friend's computer for rendering. The following solutions exist:

Blender Cloud and Flamenco

Flamenco is an open source software for creating your own render farm. The problem is that setting this up yourself requires a significant know-how and since your two computers are in separate private networks you would also need to rent and host your own server. Luckily this service is already provided by the Blender Cloud and they have a Blender add-on that is easy to install. The downside is that Blender Cloud requires a paid subscription. The upside is that you also get access to tutorials, 3D assets from the open movies, HDRI, textures, characters and more.

Render Farm

Instead of using your friend's computer at all, you can also use the service provided by a render farm. The following render farms support Blender.

Note that I haven't used any of these render farms, therefore I can't say anything about the quality/value of the provided service.

  • $\begingroup$ @Lukasz-40sth There's nothing illegal when the friend gives him permission to render on their computer or even configures her own little render farm. The question as currently written is a legitimate one that is also commonly discussed in undergraduate courses about computer networks. Also what I've described cannot be done without already having full access to the target network. $\endgroup$
    – Robert Gützkow
    Sep 29, 2019 at 9:01
  • $\begingroup$ that's what Frogger says and it may be not true. Besides, the whole post sounds awkward and is not within the scope of our community. $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2019 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Lukasz-40sth what I've written is computer networks and P2P basics, nothing about circumventing security or hacking. If their intentions where malicious my answer wouldn't help them one bit. If you think it's off-topic, flag the question as such. $\endgroup$
    – Robert Gützkow
    Sep 29, 2019 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ Good idea, rjg. Just flagged it. $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2019 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ Security risk? what? who the hell is going to hack my friends computer? (which they never even use) all I wanted to know what software is there that I can use to accomplish this task at hand? what program should we download on both computers to accomplish this and thank you. $\endgroup$
    – frogger
    Sep 30, 2019 at 7:15

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