NordVPN Meshnet: virtual LAN, file sharing and Internet traffic routing

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 20, 2022

NordVPN launched Meshnet today, a new option baked into the company's NordVPN application. Meshnet allows users to connect directly to other devices, owned by themselves or by family members, friends or colleagues.

nordvpn meshnet

NordVPN highlights three main use cases for Meshnet:

  1. Internet traffic routing -- Internet traffic may be routed through a connected device, e.g., a family member's laptop at home, a work PC that is online all the time, or a friend's device. Traffic routing is available on Linux and Windows machines only at the time of writing.
  2. Gaming -- Meshnet is a virtual LAN network, which means that all connected devices may play LAN games without the use of LAN cables or being present in the same location.
  3. File Sharing -- Users may send or receive files using Meshnet.

Many modern computer games require Internet connectivity for multiplayer. Most older games and even some new games support LAN connections for multiplayer, some do support LAN, but no Internet multiplayer. Programs like Hamachi and other virtual LAN applications were used in the past to play LAN games online. Meshnet adds a new option to the list of services that provide the functionality.

The latest version of the NordVPN application includes Meshnet already. It is based on NordLynx, NordVPN's protocol, and linked devices are limited to 60 in total. 10 of the devices may be owned by the NordVPN customer, 50 may be external devices of other NordVPN users.

nordvpn meshnet app

A click on the Meshnet icon in the desktop version loads introductory pages that explain the feature. Devices are identified by a unique "Nord" name and a custom IP address that is assigned to each device.

NordVPN highlights the dangers of routing traffic through another device, namely, that activity may be monitored and that traffic of others that are routed through the device appear as the user's to the Internet Service Provider.

Meshnet displays all devices, those in control of the customer and external devices, on the screen. Options to link new devices are provided on the. The setup and most of the configuration is handled by the NordVPN application automatically, which simplifies setup significantly.

Closing Words

NordVPN Meshnet adds a new feature to NordVPN, which gives customers new options besides connecting to VPN servers. The service is free and 60 devices is generous and sufficient for many use cases.

File sharing, gaming and Internet access are the three main use cases when it comes to Meshnet. One of the main downsides is, that all users need a NordVPN account and subscription to use the new service. While that is not a problem for devices that a customer owns, it may be a roadblock for gaming or file sharing.

Check out the Meshnet page on NordVPN's website for additional information. Meshnet is the second major service addition that NordVPN launched in 2022. The first was Threat Protection.

Now You: what is your take on Meshnet?

NordVPN Meshnet: virtual LAN, file sharing and Internet traffic routing
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NordVPN Meshnet: virtual LAN, file sharing and Internet traffic routing
NordVPN Meshnet is a free addition to the VPN service that enables customers to use it for virtual LANs, file sharing and Internet traffic routing.
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  1. Anonymous said on August 18, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    Heywood Jablowme.
    I’m in the same boat. Tried to actually share files, couldn’t get it to work. The chat team suggested a few things none of which worked. I expected to be able to click through to a shared folder or something like that but it would see you need to be a very technical person to actually get it to work.

  2. Heywood Jablowme said on July 20, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    I have no idea how to actually make it work. I have meshnet running on several devices I own, I can see them all, bit have no idea how to send files between them
    Contacting Nord (as usual) doesn’t help.

  3. Mick said on June 21, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    Lol. They’re just trying to copy zerotier. I wouldn’t touch anything nordvpn does

  4. homie said on June 21, 2022 at 2:30 pm

    I would bet my last peso that cybercriminals have either already compromised Meshnet or very
    close to.
    Given NordVPN’s track history, it’s a fool’s gambit.

  5. Anonymous said on June 21, 2022 at 5:55 am

    So basically it does was ZeroTier (Mesh, L2) and Tailscale (Mesh/Routing/FileSharing L3) already can?

  6. Anonymous said on June 20, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    They announce this like the greatest feature ever, I mean, it WAS cool 15 years ago with Hamachi, I remember how I used Hamachi and then I used Tunggle which was better at anything than Hamachi, but it died like in 2018. But it was mostly for old games rpg or strategy games or emulators, but today? it is not needed anymore, look how even Retroarch doesn’t even need these kind of stuff to play p2p, same with fightcade.
    Last time I remember using it was for Minecraft but it was like in 2010, so like I said, this was cool 15 years ago.

    And for sharing files, there are so many alternatives already, the best one seems to be opensource and free, no account needed or anything bill or nothing like Syncthing, which can be used locally and with anyone on the internet.

    So it seems like perfect of people who already use NordVPN and want to waste more money but I don’t see any benefits for people who want to share files or anything like that.

    1. Hitomi said on June 21, 2022 at 1:14 pm

      Same, every gamer remembers Hamachi and Tunggle vividly. What made Tunggle so great was the I think ability to chat and add friends, making it easier to organize a virtual LAN party but over the internet.

      Did they die because many users were pirates or because their free plan was their downfall? Many people used it legally with the free plan.

      For filesharing, use magic-worhole:

      Works on *NIX and win and often penetrates uni firewalls well.

      If you want to go the hard way:

  7. Paul(us) said on June 20, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    I would applaud the Meshnet possibility’s when it was for any other (within reason of course) VPN organization than NordVPN.

    NordVPN is the most unreliable/ UN-trusty/UN-safe VPN service there is by far.
    Not only is NordVPN giving away all your private data to any democratic country there is but also to dictators.
    In the past there been lying to us about failure in there VPN connection over and over again, for some failure where going on, for even a decade.
    Also NordVPN where hacked many times. To name a few hacks – in 2017 (Server compromised), 2018 (data centers where accessed), 2019 (An expired internal private key was exposed) etc..
    NordVPN is not shearing any data about that sort of things with there costumers until NordVPN is found out.
    Also there horrible overpriced.

    1. Genisis said on June 20, 2022 at 11:42 pm

      Sorry to hear that your experience is completely opposite of mine. I have used them for years and never had any issues and their speed is fantastic.

      1. Fred said on June 21, 2022 at 9:13 am

        Oh, the irony.

        Like you I have rarely had issues with Nord in the few years I’ve used them however their chat is telling me they are having global issues as I type this and their app won’t open nor can I log in to their website.

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