Routing traffic in Meshnet
Learn how to use the traffic routing feature of Meshnet on all compatible operating systems.
In today's shrinking world, remote work is becoming more popular. Having instant access to your home IP address from any place in the world can open heaps of possibilities. For example, you can access IP-restricted work or online resources from anywhere. However, the process of setting up remote access to your home IP address can take time and effort. From setting up a VPN server in your home to configuring VPN client software on your devices — the preparation process can get tiresome swiftly. With Meshnet’s traffic routing feature, you can have access to your home IP address with a click of a button.
Alternatively, you can have a virtual private server (VPS) located in another country. Traffic routing allows you to gain the IP address of your VPS by routing your internet through it. This makes accessing IP-restricted or geo-restricted websites a breeze.
This article covers information about the functionality of traffic routing and includes instructions on how it can be used on all compatible operating systems.
The traffic routing feature of Meshnet gives you the ability to route all of your internet traffic via a compatible peer device. When you initiate a connection to the peer device, it is established using NordLynx technology. The usage of this VPN protocol results in a fast, safe, and encrypted connection between the peer devices.
When routing traffic, you get assigned the public IP address of the host device and connect to the internet using it instead of your standard IP address. The host device acts as a VPN server.
The diagram above illustrates the following configuration flow:
- 1.A mobile device has a public IP of
- 2.Then, it routes traffic through the home computer with a public IP of
- 3.After that, it is assigned the home computer’s IP address of
- 4.Lastly, it reaches the internet using the public IP address of
Traffic routing is available even when the host device is connected to a VPN server. In such cases, instead of the IP address given by the internet service provider (ISP), you will be assigned the IP address of the VPN server to which the host is connected.
Additionally, traffic routing can be chained between several devices. This means that you can route traffic through a peer device that is already routing traffic through another device.
With local network permissions enabled, traffic routing allows you to access the local network of your host device. While traffic routing is active, your device can interact with devices on the host’s LAN. You can communicate with them using their standard local IP addresses. The devices can vary from routers and cameras to network-attached storage (NAS) systems or a home server.
To reach any device on your home network, you must first know its LAN IP address. Once you have that information, you can reach it using the same methods as if your devices were physically connected to the same network.
This feature is especially useful if you want to manage your home devices while being away. All you need is a traffic routing-capable device in the network. By routing traffic through this device, you can remotely manage all devices on your local subnet.
Using the model above as an example, you can route the internet traffic from your laptop through the computer in your home network. Then, to access the web interface of the local server, enter its LAN IP address into your internet browser, as shown:
The traffic routing feature is available on all devices that are compatible with Meshnet. However, due to technical limitations, not all devices allow internet traffic routing through them. This is why the devices are classified into two categories — hosts and clients.
Hosts are devices that can route traffic. Traffic routing is possible through devices running the following platforms:
- Windows 10 (64-bit) and Windows 11
The App Store version of NordVPN doesn't provide the required functionality for your device to act as a traffic routing host.
Only the devices mentioned above will appear in the Devices in Meshnet section of the connection menu in the Windows or the macOS NordVPN app.
On iOS and Android, the host devices are displayed in Meshnet’s Route traffic menu.
Client devices are those that rely on host devices to route traffic. Any device using Meshnet can act as a client. All of these devices are visible on the Your devices and External devices tabs of the Meshnet menu.
- For detailed guidance on starting and stopping traffic routing across different platforms, refer to these articles:
- For additional information on traffic routing use cases, explore the how-to guides in Traffic routing.