Once you know what Hamachi can do for you, there really is no reason not to use it. Hamachi is the best tool I’ve seen for the PC in a very long time. ADHEREL
So, what does Hamachi do? Well, it establishes a completely virtual, completely secure, wide-area LAN.
I know, I know, you’re all saying, “But LAN is LOCAL Area Network. How can it be a wide-area network, or WAN, and still be local?” Well, I guess, technically it does establish a WAN, but with all the minimal headache and hassle of a LAN.
Here’s how it works. First of all, if you have 2 or more computers that need to have better access to one another and that are in separate locations, Hamachi is for you. Note, this also includes you gamers out there who wish to connect up to your friends to play online and are tired of all the hassles of establishing accounts with game servers and the like. Hamachi makes it a dream!
The next step is to go to http://hamachi.cc/ and download the latest verion of Hamachi and install it on all the computers that you want to get connected. There is a brief tutorial but the hardest part is figuring out a name for each PC that is going to use it.
Once that is done, create a new network on one of the machines. Give it a name and a password. Be sure to give it a secure password, something with letters and numbers, upper and lower case, and some special characters. Then go to the other machines and join that same network using the same name and password. Voila! You now have connected the machines as though via a LAN!
What Hamachi does is, when you sign on, it connects to a Hamachi server to get some information on the networks, etc. Then it makes the connections for you. No muss, no fuss. The connections are outbound, so there’s no punching holes in firewalls. One you are on a network, the connection is secured via encryption so no one can sniff your traffic. Each machine on the network is assigned a 5.x.x.x IP address, which is non-routable over the internet. It is very secure and opens up your possibilities just like a VPN would.
As a road-warrior, I use Hamachi extensively. When I am on the road, signed on to the hotel’s broadband connection, I am connected to my machines at home just like I was there. I can access shared resources, use Remote Desktop (securely, mind you, and with no opening of the firewall). It’s a dream!
A few stumbling blocks to note, and they are extremely minor. Sometimes, and very rarely, Hamachi can lose it’s connection and not get it back automatically. I don’t know why this happens, but here is how I get around it. I always have 2 or more computers at home running Hamachi. If one loses its connection, I sign onto the other one via Remote Desktop. Then from there, I sign on to the other computer via Remote Desktop. So, I am on computer 2 THROUGH computer 1. From there, I can check out why Hamachi lost its connection and restart it, or reconnect. Since the two computers are on the same LAN physically, I can Remote Desktop between them without Hamachi.
Also, if you are used to accessing shared folders via the computers’ names, it may be best to use the 5.x.x.x address. See, when you use the name of the computer, Windows has to search its connections to find which computer has that name. Sometimes it can take several minutes for it to find the right computer over a virtual LAN. But if you use the 5.x.x.x address, such as \\22.214.171.124\SharedFolder, it’s a lot quicker at finding the computer and displaying the files for you. Just right-click on the computer you wish to connect to on the Hamachi console and selece Browse.
Finally, if you are going to use Hamachi for gaming, which means you’re going to be opening up your virtual LAN to other people, be sure to take proper precautions. Allowing someone access to your Hamachi network is the same as letting them plug into your home LAN. Turn off filesharing, or at least password protect everything. Turn on the firewall on the Hamachi network interface. And for God’s sake, don’t share your pr0n folders!
Hamachi is far and away the best piece of software I’ve seen in a long time. It allows me to be home when I’m not home. I can configure servers without setting up “remote administration,” I can start programs and jobs manually, I can transfer files with ease. It truly is a lifesaver.