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Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better, Third Edition by Gina Trapani, Adam Pash

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Hack 70: Create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with Hamachi

Level Advanced

Platform All

Cost Free

You can perform actions between computers on your local network that you can’t from out on the Internet, such as listen to a shared iTunes library or access files in shared folders. But using the free, virtual private network (VPN) application Hamachi (https://secure.logmein.com/products/hamachi2), you can securely access your computer from anywhere on the Internet as if you were home on your local network.

This hack uses LogMeIn Hamachi to create a VPN between a PC and a Mac and to listen to a shared iTunes library over the Internet.

What is Hamachi VPN?

The free Hamachi desktop application gives you a secure, zero-configuration LAN over the Internet. Any application that works over a local network can be used with Hamachi over the Internet, such as Windows file sharing, iTunes, Remote Desktop, FTP, VNC, and gaming. All Hamachi’s connections are secure, encrypted, authenticated, and peer-to-peer. Although Hamachi acts as a mediator between your computers and creates the tunnel for its communication, Hamachi’s servers don’t listen in on or log your activity.

You might use Hamachi in the following situations:

  • You’re on the road with your laptop and want secure access to your PC’s files.
  • Your office or dorm-room computer is behind a restrictive firewall that doesn’t allow you to reach it from the Internet.
  • You want to add encryption to insecure network protocols such as VNC.
  • You want ...

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