I’m about to share a method for Home Assistant remote access, that I’ve been using for years. I’m talking about Home Assistant CloudFlare tunnel.

More about this Home Assistant Remote Access using CloudFlare method

This method is easy to implement and works on all types of networks, including those without Real IPs and behind CGNAT.

It’s fast, well-maintained, requires no port forwarding, and allows SSL access. It used to be completely free until very recently, but now it costs me 7 cents per month for a paid domain name.

It was all free…

Not so long ago, I used a free domain from freenom.com. Unfortunately, the free domain configuration is no longer working, because the free domains from freenom.com were banned by CloudFlare, rendering this combination useless.

These free service from freenom.com is no longer an option
These free service from freenom.com is no longer an option

I don’t blame CloudFlare, as it seems that freenom.com has not been accepting new registrations for a long time, and their free service may not be reliable anymore.

The alternative!

After the free domains were banned, I searched for alternatives, but couldn’t find a free and reliable domain.

NOTE: If you happen to know of a free working domain, please share them in the comments.

However, I did find a super cheap option – .xyz domains containing only digits, which suited my needs perfectly, since I only needed something easy to remember. These domains cost around $0.90 cents per year, which is roughly 7 cents per month, and most importantly the renewal price is the same.

Domain + CloudFlare configuration

To implement this method, I bought a 6-digit .xyz domain from namecheap registrar – http://shrsl.com/43swo

A 6-digit .xyz domain for $0.84/year
A 6-digit .xyz domain for $0.84/year

You can choose any domain you like, and it doesn’t have to be digits only. If you’re willing to pay for other domain extensions like .com or .org, that works as well.

A domain name is required for the Home Assistant CloudFlare tunnel

Once I had the domain, I opened my namecheap.com domain settings and changed the DNS to the ones I have in my CloudFlare account.

You’ll need a CloudFlare account for this method, but that shouldn’t be an issue, as it is free. These are the CloudFlare DNS-es that I used:

  • DNS1: ines.ns.cloudflare.com
  • DNS2: noah.ns.cloudflare.com
    Adding the CloudFlare DNS names in the Namecheap domain settings

    In my CloudFlare account, I added the new site using the domain I purchased from namecheap. I selected the free plan, which works fine.

    Adding the .xyz domain as new site inside CloudFlare account

    After a brief wait (less than 1 hour) for the domain to start using the new CloudFlare DNS, my setup was complete.

    Confirmation mail that I received when the DNSes of my .xyz were updated with the CloudFlare ones
    Confirmation mail that I received when the DNSes of my .xyz were updated with the CloudFlare ones

    If you don’t have Home Assistant add-on store

    If you don’t have add-on store in Home Assistant, that means you are not running Home Assistant OS or Supervised installation. To learn more about the different Home Assistant installation types and their pros & cons + 1 super simple way to get started on a PC, then register for my upcoming webinar.

    Reserve your seat here – https://automatelike.pro/webinar

    Home Assistant CloudFlared Add-on installation

    Next, I installed the CloudFlared add-on available in the Home Assistant add-on store. To do this:

    • I opened the Home Assistant add-on store (press “c” button and start typing “add-on store“)
    Opening the Home Assistant Add-on store
    Adding the CloudFlared add-on repo in Home Assistant
    • installed the add-on
    Installing the CloudFlare add-on
    • and configured it with my .xyz domain from the Configuration tab of the CloudFlared add-on.
    Adding the .xyz domain in the CloudFlared configuration
    • I also added some YAML code in my configuration.yaml file to allow requests from the CloudFlared add-on.
    Adding few lines in configuration.yaml file
    # configuration.yaml entry
    http:
      use_x_forwarded_for: true
      trusted_proxies:
        - 172.30.33.0/24
    • I saved the above changes and I restarted my Home Assistant

    With everything set up and Home Assistant was running again

    • I started the CloudFlared add-on
    Starting the CloudFlared add-on
    • I opened LOG tab of the CloudFlared add-on and I copy/pasted the URL provided by CloudFlare in a new browser/tab.
    Copy/paste that link in a browser to activate the Home Assistant tunnel
    • I logged in with my CloudFlare credentials, and confirmed the creation of my Home Assistant tunnel.
    Log in CloudFlare to confirm my home assistant tunnel creation.

    Home Assistant Remote Access with CloudFlare tunnel

    Once the CloudFlared Home Assistant add-on was started, I could access my paid domain name with digits only (which costs 7 cents per month) from my browser.

    opening my Home Assistant using the .xyz domain
    opening my Home Assistant using the .xyz domain

    It worked flawlessly over HTTPS with no SSL certificate warnings, allowing me to set up my mobile Home Assistant companion app to use the domain address as well.

    Other Home Assistant Remote Access methods

    Before I continue further, let me mention some other methods for achieving similar Home Assistant remote access.

    Home Assistant Cloud

    The Home Assistant Cloud or Nabu Casa subscription, directly from the Home Assistant authors, is the easiest but most expensive option, costing around $6.5 to 7.5 per month, depending of your location.

    You can activate it from the Home Assistant settings.

    This where the Home Assistant Cloud menu is located

    Home Assistant Cloud

    There are also free methods like using DuckDNS or NginX Home Assistant add-ons with a free duckdns.org subdomain, but these may not work in all networks or countries.

    VPN is another good option, but it has limitations, such as the lack of push notifications from the Home Assistant companion app.

    The method I’m describing using CloudFlare Tunnel is in the golden middle; it’s cost-effective, universal, and works almost anywhere.

    Final thoughts + Smart Home Glossary

    In conclusion, for less than an hour of setup and less than a dollar per year, I have a secure and reliable HTTPS connection to my Home Assistant.

    If you know of a better domain name deal that has been confirmed to work, please share it in the comments.

    Don’t forget to download my free smart home glossary.

    Thanks for reading! I’m Kiril, and I’ll see you in the next one. Bye!


    6 Comments

    Sebastian Kriso · 27/07/2023 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks for making this tutorial. some days ago I tried using Freenom and saw it didn’t work so thanks for making this tutorial. But it doesn’t seem to work for me, as far as I can see I have done exactly the same as you with no result except “can’t reach this page” any tips?

      KIril Peyanski · 30/07/2023 at 8:16 am

      check the logs for errors and warnings

    Chris Bound · 02/08/2023 at 11:37 am

    Thank You. A Home Assistant newbie (set up on a Pi4 and playing with it for less than a month) I followed your instructions and it seems to be working as advertised.

    Jan de Bokx · 15/08/2023 at 11:10 am

    I tried your setup, but all I get when using my domain with digits is this:
    2023 Copyright. All Rights Reserved.

    The Sponsored Listings displayed above are served automatically by a third party. Neither Parkingcrew nor the domain owner maintain any relationship with the advertisers.

    Privacy Policy

    What am I doing wrong?

    Jan de Bokx · 16/08/2023 at 10:43 am

    I have seen now the site displayed is inserted by namecheap in CNAME redirecting to parkingpage.namecheap.com.
    In the logging in cloadflare I sen bad request as error.

    Gaetan · 08/10/2023 at 1:19 pm

    Thank for the tutorial.

    However, I’ve a question:

    How to access remotely to the vaultwarden addon trought cloudlare tunnel ?

    I no longer know how to log in to the bitwarden mobile application

    Regards

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