Routing traffic in Meshnet
Learn how to use the traffic routing feature of Meshnet on all compatible operating systems.
Meshnet's traffic routing feature allows you to use another device's public IP address for your internet connection, essentially turning that device into a VPN server. With a single click, you can obtain either your home IP address or the IP address associated with your own VPN server. Additionally, while routing traffic, you can seamlessly connect to a remote local area network (LAN) and manage other devices as if you were physically present on the same network.
This article covers the availability and functionality of the traffic routing feature and details its usage on available systems.
When you choose to route traffic through a Meshnet peer, the selected host device acts as a VPN server. Your device, which acts as the client, is assigned the public IP address of the host and connects to the internet using it instead of your standard IP address. This functionality allows you to protect your connection and obtain a known, specific IP address.
Figure 1. Traffic routing flow
To visualize this process, consider the following example illustrated in the diagram:
- 1.A phone (client) has a public IP of
- 2.Then, it routes traffic through the home computer (host) with a public IP of
- 3.As a result, the phone (client) accesses the internet using the same public IP address as the home computer,
The traffic routing connection automatically uses the same NordVPN DNS addresses (
22.214.171.124) as a standard VPN connection. They are used for efficient query processing and to prevent DNS leaks.
With local network permissions granted, traffic routing allows you to establish connections with other devices within the host's LAN. You can interact with the devices on the remote LAN using their original IP addresses. This networking configuration empowers you to remotely manage a variety of appliances that would otherwise be inaccessible, such as IP cameras and network-attached storage (NAS).
Figure 2. Routing traffic with the Local network permission enabled
Using the model above as an example, while routing traffic from your laptop through the home computer, you can access the local web server using its LAN IP address, as shown:
The traffic routing feature is available on all devices compatible with Meshnet. However, due to technical constraints, only certain devices have the capability to serve as hosts.
The table below acts as a reference point to check whether your device can act as a traffic routing host or only as a client.
The App Store version of the macOS NordVPN app doesn't provide the required functionality for your device to act as a traffic routing host.
A list of available devices you ran route traffic through is shown in the Devices in Meshnet list in the connection menu (Windows and macOS) and the Route traffic menu (Android and iOS).
Even though traffic routing opens a multitude of opportunities, it is vital to be aware of the potential situations that could arise while using this feature. When using traffic routing, be cautious that: