An open source alternative to Hamachi

If you’re not familiar with it, Hamachi is a very handy personal VPN tool that allows you to do things like connect the file system/s of your home computer/s or network to your work machine/s. It’s really very slick and extremely useful, especially if you’re sitting behind a firewall that’s blocking more easily accesible methods of connecting to remote machines. To help illustrate this, imagine you could access your home music collection from work, instead of having a copy of some of it on a thumbdrive/mp3 player/portable disc that you cart to work with you.

Hamachi is not open source, however, and that gives some folks pause since it’s hard to assess how secure the tool is, plus while it’s free for personal use there are no guarantees that it will remain so.

If you’re troubled by these issues, consider tinc as an alternative. It’s not nearly as easy to configure as Hamachi is, but it’s also free, is open source, and runs on more platforms than Hamachi does. Two thumbs up from me, though I did swear a good bit when I was first getting it running.

40 comments on “An open source alternative to Hamachi

  1. 0rca May 6, 2007 6:04 pm

    Have been using Hamachi since release, and it is very cool. Don’t really have any worries over security (if Steve Gibson said OK, then I ain’t gonna argue), but long-term future is a concern, and occasionally the entire service drops for several hours. So I looked into other solutions, including OpenVPN and tinc. While I could probably get either of these products running eventually, I doubt anyone else in the company would be able to. For me, Hamachi’s key benefit isn’t the security or technology….. it’s the ease of use. I can talk a completely computer-illiterate salesman through setup in just a few minutes.

  2. dlh May 8, 2007 9:42 am

    Hi,

    Yeah, fair and true enough, that – ease of use most often wins out over other considerations.

  3. TAC June 3, 2007 12:36 am

    Too bad LogMeIn bought Hamachi, sucked the life out of it and now want hundreds of dollars a year for just a few computers to use it. Oh well, chalk this one up to capitalism I guess. I’m still looking for an alternative.

  4. kwukduck June 19, 2007 6:02 am

    It’s not exactly fully OpenSource, but it uses OpenVPN’s core elements and is built upon that, with a nice GUI.
    works way better then hamachi, more stable, faster, less cpu usage, works peer-to-peer.
    Realy zero-config. unlike tinc or openvpn, which suck at configuring.
    uses XMPP/Jabber accounts, you can use your own existing or create a new one.
    Plus wippien is REAL freeware, no nags, no limits.

  5. DuckDuck November 3, 2007 12:10 am

    I am running a search between Hamachi/VNN/Nantix/Leaf/Wippien/etc and this KwukDuck person is astroturfing and spamming over the Internet and appears to be focusing on trashing Hamachi. Which probably means that Hamachi is better !! .. LOL, thanks for a fat tip, very helpful.

  6. Someone November 17, 2007 8:45 pm

    Hey DuckDuck,
    can you name then all?
    ive looked at leaf, looks cool, and wippien also
    anyways
    can you list them all, i want hamachi alternatives, not like openvpn hard to configure
    i want the ones you know that are like hamachi or better
    like wippien, leaf..
    so far,
    Hamachi, Wippien, Leaf, anyother?
    make me a list thanks :D

  7. Nisarg January 18, 2008 1:59 pm

    Hamachi really disappoints when I use it from my office. The speed really sucks. Not only it takes ages to connect to the remote peer, but it also fails to connect altogather.
    Wippien looks interesting – but there seems no Linux version of it.
    So what am I Leaf(t) with now?

  8. dlh January 18, 2008 3:31 pm

    Hi Nisarg,

    You could try tinc, which I link to above. There’s also openvpn.net. Both of them are more complex to get running, but they’ll run on linux.

  9. DesertSmurf August 24, 2008 6:51 am

    Let me tell you something, you are the man for showing me this solution… I’ve passed up that website one or 2 times because it looked insignificant.
    I really appreciate you taking the time to inform everybody because I REALLY needed an open source solution.
    Thank you Dave.

  10. Orca October 18, 2008 5:32 pm

    A good time to re-visit this topic, I think. We still use Hamachi, but their recent change in licensing policy is forcing me to look around. The usual concern of not having my own mediation server is just amplified by having to pay hundreds of dollars a year.

  11. Raze November 19, 2008 6:33 pm

    Can anybody like put some + and – things with all this alternatives. Would make things more easy. At least for one of the program.

  12. RF November 19, 2008 10:28 pm

    You are correct, socialVPN is open-source (GPL v2).

  13. jrm November 24, 2008 4:07 pm

    I know with Wippien you can actually create your own Link/Mediator which you can’t with others. If you do that it does need a public IP. but using the client you don’t need a public IP. Some of the above (OpenVPN, I think as well Tinc) a public IP is required. This is why I have chosen to use Wippien, becuase if I want more security, or the mediator site goes down to often, which it hasn’t, I can just create my own (by putting the provided program(s) on a server with a public IP). A downfall is that there isn’t a fully functional Linux version, still in its early testing. Also no version for Mac, and I am not sure if or when the developer will create one.

    Thank you,

    jrm

  14. fellowweb February 22, 2009 11:00 am

    Great post!

    In the end, I will probably look for an alternative to Hamachi since their approach to cross-platform availability of the service seems to have gone. I haven’t seen new versions for Mac OS X nor Linux for months/years.

    What solution have you guys eventually decided for?

  15. dlh February 25, 2009 1:17 pm

    I’ve been using remobo, since I only need a mac and windows connection – it’s been good so far.

  16. Frank February 25, 2009 9:17 pm

    I am trying to figure out what is the most secure easy VPN solution to use? I hate the idea that a central server aids the connection between the computers. Does Remobo use a central server, or is it direct peer-to-peer. I am trying to connect 2 computers, my home computer which houses lots of files, and my office computer. I own the business so there are no limitations. I basically want to use one of these VPN solutions to sync folders of data.

    Anyone know which of these solutions allows a direct peer-to-peer connection without the middle man? I know the VPN is supposedly secured and encrypted but I’ve read elsewhere that there is still a middle man, and security is lessened because of this.

    Can someone chime in on what is the best solution for me? 2 computers, to share a folder, that’s it.

  17. Andy Barlow March 2, 2009 11:48 am

    I am looking for a solution to this:

    3 Client Computers with direct peer to peer connectivity. Will Tinc do this job?

    Will all 3 machines (being in seperate places) need 3 fixed IP’s or a dyndns.org domain?

    Definatly looking for opensource app too thats mutliplatform (Windows XP and Linux).

  18. orenb March 8, 2009 5:19 pm

    Repeating Frank’s request…

  19. Frank March 25, 2009 11:55 pm

    I considered live.com, but isn’t there a security issue with live.com in the middle? I want something that is a true peer to peer, without the middle man. Any exist?

  20. Isaac Sloan July 10, 2009 2:36 pm

    Comprehensive List of Zero Config VPN clients. Hamachi Alternatives

    Remobo - Fast, client for Windows, OSX and Linux.
    Leaf - Good client but only for Windows.
    Wippien - Slightly less developed but works with Windows and Linux.
    Social VPN – Open Source, Linux and Windows
    Gbridge - Looks easy enough to use. Only Windows.

    • dlh July 13, 2009 5:50 pm

      Hi Isaac,

      Thanks a lot for the informative reply! I edited it to add links to all the sites for those tools.

  21. Crazy Noob September 6, 2009 7:02 am

    Comprehensive list of 8 VPN’s that can be used as hamachi alternative
    Hamachi Alternative List.. That include brief review of every one as well so do check it out..

  22. Crazy Noob September 6, 2009 7:04 am

    These are mostly the ones that have been tested used for gaming, also includes few that are for other stuff like sharing etc but can also be used for gaming.

    • dlh September 8, 2009 8:47 am

      Hey – the link you were trying to post didn’t come through – if you come back can you paste it in? For whatever reason lots of folks show up here looking for info on alternatives to Hamachi. thanks,

  23. Cristu December 20, 2009 8:17 pm

    hey guys. I would love an hamachi alternative, as fast as hamachi, where you could create a + then 15 (+ then 50 if possible) people network, and they could group talk or separate talk.

    any sugestion?

  24. nivS January 27, 2010 4:33 pm

    Cristu, if you are just looking for chatting/text writing among several persons IRC have existed for 20 years or so. You can setup your own server if you like to control who has access etc. A popular client is mIRC.

  25. db July 24, 2011 9:47 pm

    try teamviewer. not open source, but it is free.

  26. GG January 16, 2012 11:01 am

    Teamviewer is a VNC repeater / alike session and it is not free if not for a very limited usage.
    Ammyy.com is the same.

    Mediation is necessary in most cases where you cannot configure firewalls.

    Any conclusion?

    I also found ntop / n2n which seems ok and easy.

  27. dlh February 24, 2013 1:15 pm

    Since this post still gets traffic from google years later, I’ll point out that over on neogaf folks are recommending Evolve, which includes a gaming-oriented vpn service. Details are here:

    https://www.evolvehq.com/welcome

  28. Brendonfox May 30, 2014 12:57 am

    Hey, another very good alternative is: RHUB remote support servers. It works well.

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