If you need a way to connect multiple computers together over the Internet, without worrying about firewalls, routers, or IP addresses, then checkout LogMeIn Hamachi.
LogMeIn Hamachi uses the technology of Virtual Private Networking (VPN) to tunnel its’ way between connections over the internet. It is like having a local area connection (LAN), between your computers, over the internet.
Unlike traditional VPNs, LogMeIn Hamachi can be set up in minutes:
- No hardware required – A quick, simple and easy-to-use VPN that just works
- Secure communications – Encrypted tunneling across public and private networks
- Flexible networking – Combines the ease of an SSL VPN with the connectivity of an IP-sec VPN
- Web-based management – Deploy to anyone, manage from anywhere, access anytime
- Free for non-commercial usage – Absolutely free for non-commercial use
I am currently testing and using the FREE non-commercial version of LogMeIn Hamachi between my Desktop PC (Windows 7 Home) and my Netbook (Windows XP) over a wireless connection to create my own virtual private network, using a topology model described by the LogMeIn website, as Mesh Networking.
Mesh networking. Connect all of your network clients to each other. Quickly and easily create a simple, virtual, mesh network that allows remote machines to directly connect to each other, thereby giving users basic network access to all the network resources they need.
The install/setup of the client software took me less than 10 minutes for each PC. During the installation on my desktop PC I was prompted to give my PC a network name and then prompted to create a network ID and Password. During the Installation on my Netbook, I was prompted to give the Netbook a network name and then I selected “join an existing network”; at which point I typed in the network ID and password. The LogMeIn Hamachi client software (on the Netbook) started probing (searching) for the Desktop, on the network, and found it very quickly. I then setup a network share on the desktop. From the Netbook side, using the LogMeIn Hamachi client (see below), I clicked on “browse” and the share that I had setup, quickly appeared. Wow, what an easy way to setup a network.
When downloading the FREE non-commercial version, you have an option of downloading a “managed version” and an “unmanaged version”. For the sake of creating my mini network, I went with the unmanaged mode.
Unmanaged mode allows you and your friends or colleagues to set-up a VPN in a matter of minutes. However you will be limited to a mesh network configuration.
Managed mode gives you the ability to create a VPN in one of three configurations: mesh, hub and spoke or gateway. You will have the ability to deploy clients to your users by emailing them a hyperlink, and you will be able to manage and monitor your networks and their usage centrally from LogMeIn.com.
In the end, LogMeIn Hamachi was pretty easy to setup with minimal networking knowledge. One feature I really liked was that I could turn “off” my network by clicking on a “Power Button” at the top left corner of the LogMeIn Hamachi client software (see screenshot above).