A friend and I once wanted to play some multi-player games. So we sprung a cable out the window and set up a makeshift network. But it isn't always that easy. Now, with the internet it has become quite common to communicate and share files via online sites and web messengers. But what about those good old games that only worked on a LAN? What about them? Well, all you need is a virtual private network (VPN) and you're set. What is the fastest and easiest way of creating a VPN? I don't know... but I can tell you about Hamachi instead.
Security is in your hands
Hamachi offers many ways of establishing networks over the Internet, but today we will only focus on one. Because the free version of Hamachi only has one. Still, that is enough to enjoy a VPN with up to 4 friends.
Installation is as easy and once you start it up, just click the ON/OFF button. If you do not already have an account with LogMeIn, then you will be required to create one. You do not need to confirm your e-mail for Hamachi to work though. Once that is done you are ready to go. The main window shows your networks and the computers that are connected through them. Once you've created a new network or joined an existing one you interact with other computers by right clicking on them and selecting "Browse" or "Chat" (among other options). "Browse" will open the files that have been shared by that computer on the local network, while "Chat" opens up a chat window to communicate with the other side.
The most practical use of Hamachi (and of any VPN in general) is connectivity, file sharing and security measures. Setting up a video game to be played over LAN can be done as easy as on any local network. There may be some issues with some titles but the Internet has solutions to whatever problems you might encounter (and usually they're linked to the antivirus software or the Windows firewall).
A Hamachi network appears in Windows Explorer as a local network and can be accessed accordingly. It's good to mention that you can use a VPN like any other network and thus you can establish connection between your home computer and your laptop or office computer. A practical application of this could be setting up a secure proxy connection for use when browsing the internet from a public WiFi spot.
- Easy to set up and run
- Many advanced configuration options
- You now need to register in order to use it.
- Not every game will work in LAN mode
Hamachi is probably the easiest way to set up virtual private networks. The free features are amazing and expanding to a paid version really opens up the possibilities.