As I’ve mentioned before, I was recently delivering some iPad training to some Australian colleagues.

In order to do this I needed to have Reflector or Airserver installed on my work laptop. Both these apps are very similar – they turn a computer into an Airplay receiver so that when Airplay and mirroring are enabled on an iOS device, whatever is displayed on the device’s screen will be mirrored to the computer. With the computer screen shared via Webex, the course attendees are able to see my iPad screen.

A few days before the first training session (I had 6 sessions scheduled), I installed Reflector on the laptop and enabled Airplay and mirroring on the iPad. However, the iPad was unable to “see” the laptop even though both devices were connected to the same wireless network at work.

It turns out that Reflector (and Airserver) needs certain ports to be open on the wireless network – and there’s no way that this will happen at work – they are not open for a reason (security!)

To get round the problem, someone at work lent me a MiFi. I connected both devices to the MiFi. This time my laptop was listed in the devices list when I enabled Airplay on the iPad, but still I could not get the iPad screen to mirror to the laptop.

So I spoke to one of the techies and it turns out that the firewall software on the laptop was preventing the iPad and laptop talking to each other.

He couldn’t disable the firewall software on my laptop so he lent me a laptop on which he’d disabled the firewall software and installed a 7 day trial of Airsever – which was fine except the training was being delivered over a 10 day period.

I fired up Airserver, enabled Airplay and mirroring on the iPad – and it worked! I was able to deliver the training.

When the Airserver trial ran out, I installed a 7 day trial of Reflector to complete the training.