Hamachi – P2P VPN

On the last episode of Security Now, Steve Gibson gave high marks to a product called Hamachi, a product that can be used to set up a very secure, easy to implement and “open” virtual private network (VPN) between two or more computers.

The product has a number of good things going for it and is useful for transferring files with a remote computer, or for running a remote desktop application. However, its primary downside is that it is not possible to use one of the computers as a gateway to relay Internet communications for the other computer. A “road warrior” needing access to the Internet from a hotel, wi-fi hotspot or other public location where their communications might be intercepted would need to run a remote desktop application on a computer located at his or her home office, a technique that can be slow and which requires that the desired applications all be installed on computer left on at the home office system. While Hamachi looks like a great product for certain limited applications, personally I’d prefer something like OpenVPN which Steve has mentioned in the past and will likely discuss in greater detail in a future episode. However, I suspect that OpenVPN is a much more complex product and will be more difficult to set up.