Audience: Network Administrators Only

AirPlay Client & Server Software
AirPlay allows mirroring a display wirelessly. AirPlay clients are built-into  iOS and OS X devices. 3rd-party software is available for Windows and Android devices:

•  AirParrot (Windows client)
•  AirServer (Windows server)
•  Reflector (Windows server)

Bonjour Protocol
The AirPlay protocol uses Bonjour (Apple’s branding for IETF’s Zeroconf protocol) to discover AirPlay receivers. As Zeroconf is based on multicasts, the AirPlay clients, typically wirelessly-attached, must be in the same broadcast domain as the AirPlay receiver, which may be also wireleessly-attached, or may be wired. (e.g. wireless iOS devices mirroring to a wired PC running AirServer software)

Bonjour Proxies
Because the AirPlay clients and receivers may not be in the same broadcast domain, Bonjour gateways can be deployed to route the broadcasts:

•  Cisco Wireless LAN Apple Bonjour Deployment Guide 
•  Cisco Bonjour Deployment 
•  Cisco Meraki Bonjour gateway
•  Cisco to unveil Apple Bonjour gateway for enterprise WiFi networks, Networkworld, Jul 2012
•  How would you support Bonjour across multiple VLANs?, blogs.cisco.com, Dec 2012
•  AirPlay, VLANs, and an Open Source Solution, packet mischief.ca, Sep 2012
•  Aerohive Bonjour Gateway

AirPlay Protocol
Once the AirPlay receiver is located, Bonjour is not used further; the AirPlay protocol establishes a unicast connection between the client and server.

Reference: Ports Used

  • Complete list of Ports used by Apple: support.apple.com/kb/TS1629
    Partial extract:

    1900 UDP SSDP ssdp Bonjour, Back to My Mac
    5350 UDP NAT Port Mapping Protocol Announcements Bonjour, Back to My Mac
    5351 UDP NAT Port Mapping Protocol nat-pmp Bonjour, Back to My Mac
    5353 UDP Multicast DNS (MDNS) 3927 mdns Bonjour, AirPlay, Home Sharing, Printer Discovery, Back to My Mac

  • Used By AppleTV: support.apple.com/kb/HT2463
    • TCP port 123 is used to communicate with a network time server.
    • TCP port 3689 is used to communicate with iTunes while using the iTunes Library Sharing feature.
    • UDP port 5353 is used by Apple TV for automatically finding computers with iTunes on your network using Bonjour.
    • TCP port 80 is used for communicating with podcast servers.
    • TCP port 80 and 443 are used for basic and secure communications with the iTunes Store via the Internet.
    • TCP port 53 is used for regular DNS.
  • Used by Bonjour and AirPlay:
    bowersandwilkins.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/55/~/firewall-ports-utilised-by-airplay

     Port Number  Type  Protocol  RFC  Used by
     80  TCP  HTTP  2616  AirPlay
     443  TCP  HTTPS  –  AirPlay
     554  UDP / TCP  RTSP  2326  AirPlay
     1900  UDP  SSDP  –  Bonjour
     3689  TCP  DAAP  –  AirPlay
     5297  TCP  –  –  Bonjour
     5298  TCP / UDP  –  –  Bonjour
     5350  UDP  NAT Port Mapping Protocol  –  Bonjour
     5351  UDP  NAT Port Mapping Protocol  –  Bonjour
     5353  UDP  MDNS  3927  AirPlay / Bonjour
     49159  UDP  MDNS (Windows)  –  AirPlay / Bonjour
     49163  UDP  MDNS (Windows)  –  AirPlay / Bonjour