Is a relay node what I need to talk to my smart TV?

I’m trying to wrap my head around relay nodes, because they sound like they might be a solution for my problem. I have multiple family computers on a Tailscale network, include my home NAS. However, I can’t really install Tailscale on my Samsung smart TV, so I figured I would just expose the NAS to my LAN since the TV and NAS are on the same network.

But reading up on relay nodes, specifically this article, it says “you may have machines you don’t want to, or cannot, install Tailscale on directly,” which sounds like my situation. So assuming I make my NAS act like a relay, then what? I guess it would still have to be exposed to the LAN, but what do I get by advertising the subnet?

Sorry if I got some of these details wrong. I’m a newbie to networking, so I’m still trying to navigate all this. Thank you!

I would look into a OpenWRT Router, they are cheap and really do the job. Fortunately, there is already a solution for running OpenWRT and Tailscale on your whole network: GitHub - adyanth/openwrt-tailscale-enabler: Install Tailscale on OpenWRT other than that, there is GLiNet, which provides Wireguard routers on OpenWRT basis for pretty good prices (with an easy to use GUI), I can only recommend them especially because they´re having a hard time because of their location. Support them if you can, but see if you can run OpenWRT or, if you can spare a Laptop (or any old pc), OPNSense, and run Tailscale on that.

I was hoping the response wouldn’t be around running tailscale on a router. Thank you though – I’ll take that into consideration. We have three routers in the house right now, where one of them is the modem/router from our ISP. Replacing one of them with one I could install software is something of a last resort.

Hi, you probably don’t need an openwrt router. But I don’t completely understand what you’re trying to accomplish. If your NAS and TV are already on the same LAN, what are you trying to use tailscale to help with?

Turning your NAS into a relay would allow you to access devices inside your home LAN, from outside your home LAN. This could include accessing devices inside your LAN that don’t have Tailscale installed, such as your smart TV.

Remote access could be from your laptop or mobile phone, which is outside the LAN, and signed into Tailscale. Your laptop or mobile phone would “see” the NAS as a relay, and recognise IP addresses that the relay advertises (IP addresses for any device on your home LAN, such as your smart TV). Only devices with Tailscale installed can “see” non-Tailscale devices that are located in a LAN advertised via the relay feature.

But even if you do all the above, this lets you go from Tailscale device → non-Tailscale device. E.g you can access your smart TV from your laptop. But it sounds like you want to go from non-Tailscale device to Tailscale device, e.g. smart TV to (remote?) NAS. However that’s not going to work because you can’t install Tailscale on your TV and only devices with Tailscale installed can see other devices in the Tailscale (virtual) network.

If you want a friend or family member’s remote laptop to be able to see your NAS, all you need to do is sign into Tailscale on their device, and they will see your NAS straight away. No relay feature is needed as Tailscale can see all other devices signed into Tailscale. If you wanted a friend or family member’s remote smart TV to access your NAS, then you have the same problem as above: only devices with Tailscale installed can see other Tailscale devices, or other non-Tailscale devices advertised by the relay feature. The “source” device has to have Tailscale installed to see other Tailscale devices and relays.