Hamachi Virtual Private Network

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 19, 2006
Updated • May 13, 2013

Hamachi is a small freeware application that you can use to create virtual private networks (vpn) on the fly without configuration - well almost. You can download the application from the hamachi homepage. Once downloaded, install and run the software. Versions for Windows, Linux and Macintosh OS X exist so that you can use it on virtually all systems you may be using.

Note that the Linux and Mac versions are console only at this time while the Windows version ships with a shiny graphical user interface. Before  we dive into setting up the application I'd like to take a moment to describe why you'd want to use it in first place: it provides you with access to a virtual LAN over the Internet.

Lan over the Internet has many uses but it was especially designed for gamers in mind. Now you can play games in lan modus over the Internet, no need to carry your computers to your friends anymore. Can't join a lan party because you have work to do at home some of the time? No problem, just fire up Hamachi and join the fun in your spare time. Hamachi works great with most games with no configuration whatsoever. It is also ideal for games that only come with a LAN multiplayer modus. With Hamachi, you can play those games with your friends who connect from their locations remotely so that the game believes everyone is connecting from the same local area network.

Let us take a look at this in detail:

Hamachi adds a new network adapter at installation; if you are using firewalls you may have to adjust your firewall rules. (By default Hamachi uses the port 12975) You have to enter a nickname at first start and will receive a unique IP in the range of 5.x.x.x. Enter the preferences before you start a network, you have to adjust some settings in there (click on the button configure hamachi and select preferences).

You should setup a master password for security reasons. You have the option to run Hamachi at Windows startup which I do not recommend unless you and your friend(s) are always online and want to use the service. You should Block Vulnerable Microsoft Services in the Security tab and probably block new network members by default  (you may want to wait until all your friends are known in the network)

It is time to create your first virtual network, to do so click on Power on (if you have not done so already) and select Create or Join Networks. One person has to create the network while all others join the network. Choose create a network and give it a name and a password. Voila, your vpn is active and you see the name of it in the main window.

Once a friend connects to it you see the IP of that friend and the nickname beneath the channel name. The light should be green which indicates that everything is running fine. Right-Clicking a name allows you to ping the computer or chat with that friend. I recommend a voice application software like Skype or Teamspeak for troubleshooting purposes, you are probably going to use one of those anyway when playing games. You should be able to ping the other connections (right-click, select ping) which indicates that everything should be fine and ready to go.

You can also do other things with Hamachi, here is a personal selection:

Hamachi Troubleshooting Guide. (Taken from Hamachi forum):

  • Ensure that everyone can ping everyone, use peer's right-click menu for that. If ping times out, you will need to check personal firewall settings and make sure it is not blocking pings and game traffic on Hamachi connection. Guides for configuring some popular firewalls are available in HowTo section.
  • Launch game and select LAN mode. Make someone host a game. With majority of games everyone else should see hosted game on the list and be able to join it right away.
  • If the above does not work, try connecting to the hosting server by its 5.x.x.x IP
  • If again it does not work and you are positive that personal firewall is configured correctly, then the game might not be coping well with the presence of two network connections (physical and Hamachi) or generally unhappy about 5.x.x.x addresses. Example of the game of the first kind is AOE series, of the second kind - CS

Update: Note that Hamachi is no longer available as a free product. While you can download and use a free trial version, it is now offered as a subscription based service that costs you $29 per year for a standard network with up to 32 members, or $119 per year for a premium network with up to 256 members.


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  1. wowstuff said on October 21, 2009 at 4:58 am

    and one would USE this vpn between xp how? network shares?

  2. Arjun said on October 15, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Mr. author,
    pls send a solution to the last torubleshooting option — the 1 bout playing CS.. me n my frnds r happily shown green to each other on hamachi, and ping fine..but we cant see a server when it is created by one of us in the LAN section in CS..pls help! u shall giv all of us tremendous pleasure!

  3. LivingNC said on August 19, 2009 at 11:45 am

    i have spent hours on the net searching for a solution for the problem i have…no luck!

    i have downloaded HAMACHI on 2 PCs…

    i have created groups and joined groups from one computer to the other for testing…

    BUT, i have not been able to share files/folders…

    i keep getting a message which seems to be a popular message but there have been no solutions on any of the forums for this problem…

    chatting seems to be working fine…

    BUT, i seem to be getting error messages such as:

    1. Request timed out.
    2. The Path ‘\5.x.x.x’ does not exist or is not a directory

    i have used HAMACHI before whilst working for a company and years after decided it be best way to share files and folders from multiple PCs and Laptops…

    How can you help me solve this problem ?

  4. Aditya said on April 3, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    My hamachi askd to comfigure firewall and when i click yes it never finishes configure. can some1 help me plz email me if u have help adityaramlochan@hotmail.com

  5. lol sauce said on December 29, 2008 at 10:00 am

    VPN have been around forever… All Hamachi Does is make it much easier to use.

  6. Piglett said on April 3, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    My mac vil not install Hamachi i try to press the install file and i only get a text up. please help me?

  7. brilthor said on December 4, 2006 at 12:42 am

    Darkcraft is mistaken in his interpretation of the article; he is equating “lan over internet” with a routed vpn; two very different beasts. although both are technically vpns the product described in this article was in no way created for large corporations; nor is any other mac-layer vpn solution, they are too unstable and insecure. The author of the article is quite correct; the primary purpose of a, as he put it, “lan over internet” style vpn is gaming; or other similar network applications which benefit from broadcast traffic

  8. xFilthyxJesusx said on September 20, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    I completely agree with cooldude75ph

    But what lies are you talking about…..Darkcraft?

  9. Darkcraft said on September 20, 2006 at 10:29 am

    This thing has been around for ages…old news.

    And VPNs were never designed for gamers, they were created so that large business’ could have people who were not able to connect directly to their LAN access to their servers.

    This stuff has been around for years. The only reason Hamachi is so good is because you don’t need to go to heaps of effort to create a VPN.

    Next time do some research before publishing lies on your website.

  10. cooldude75ph said on September 20, 2006 at 5:43 am

    For me, TightVNC + Hamachi is the best Remote Desktop combo ever!

  11. xFilthyxJesusx said on September 20, 2006 at 4:01 am

    This has been around for awhile and I knew Ghacks would be on it soon.

    Now all that needs to be done is a portable version of this. Then I’ll consider it the best program ever.

  12. Justin said on September 19, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    wow, I’ve been wondering if something like this was possible. If not for games, just for filesharing with a select group of people.

  13. Arqueiro said on September 19, 2006 at 11:30 am

    another very nice sweet from ghaks i will try it, post comments later, cya



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