NordVPN turns its virtual LAN service Meshnet into a free product
NordSecurity, parent company of NordVPN, NordPass and several other products, announced today that it has turned Meshnet, its virtual LAN service, into a free product.
The company launched Meshnet in June 2022 as a way for NordVPN customers to create a virtual LAN with all their devices and invited devices. The main limitation was that all users who wanted to connect devices to Meshnet needed a NordVPN subscription. This requirement changes with today's update.
While it is still necessary to use a Nord account to sign-in to the application, it is no longer necessary to have a NordVPN subscription. NordVPN customers get access to Meshnet in the VPN app, but there is also a standalone app that Meshnet users may download to use the product.
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Meshnet may remind users who have been around for a long time of products such as Hamachi or Garena. These were popular applications to play LAN games with friends over the Internet. The apps could be used for other purposes, including file sharing and collaboration.
NordVPN divides Meshnet's main uses cases similarly:
- File Sharing -- to send and receive files directly, without storing files on Internet servers. Teams may use it to use documents and files from a central, private location.
- Gaming -- the ability to play LAN games using the virtual LAN, even when players connect from all over the world.
- Internet traffic routing -- the option to route Internet traffic through a device, e.g., a computer at home, while traveling.
Meshnet creates a virtual network that devices from all over the world may connect to. The product supports up to 10 devices of a user and up to 50 devices of other users.
NordVPN notes that Meshnet uses the company's own NordLynx protocol.
It all begins with the installation of Meshnet on the client device. It is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. Meshnet displays a sign-in prompt on start and an option to create a new Nord account. A short explanation of the service's functionality is displayed on the first sign-in.
Meshnet displays the local hostname and IP address then once it is connected. Users find options to "share files", "route traffic" and "link devices" directly in the interface. Link devices is of particular interest, as new devices get added to Meshnet using the feature.
A user may link up to 10 of their own devices, provided that the same Nord account is used for sign-in. To get other users to link their devices, it is necessary to send them invitations to do so.
Local area network games should work out of the box for all connected devices. The two other features, internet routing and file sharing, need to be enabled explicitly in the application before they become available.
NordVPN's documentation on Meshnet offers more details.
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