Learn what Meshnet is and how it differs from traditional networks.
NordVPN's Meshnet is a type of virtual network that allows multiple devices to connect and communicate with one another directly, even when they are located in different parts of the world. Meshnet makes it possible for people to access resources and services on each other's devices, both for personal and business purposes.
Without Meshnet enabled
With Meshnet enabled
Figure 1. Traditional network setup
As depicted, when using a conventional network architecture:
- You have to set up port forwarding on your router to access the device hosting your private game server or storing your resources. This is because routers typically block incoming traffic to safeguard your network from malicious attacks.
- Accessing a work PC remotely with a secure and encrypted connection requires an office VPN.
- Reaching a remote PC behind a carrier-grade NAT (CGNAT) gateway can be challenging. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use CGNAT to share a single public IP address among multiple devices in a local network. This setup prevents ISP customers from using port forwarding, making their devices not directly accessible from the public internet.
- To allow only specific types of traffic to access your web server, you need to configure a firewall.
Figure 2. Meshnet setup
When using Meshnet, the following benefits are available:
- You do not need to configure firewall rules or set up port forwarding to establish a connection with a remote device.
- The need for access to an office or other network VPN is eliminated.
- The limitations of CGNAT are bypassed by creating a direct connection between your device and a remote PC, which can be accessed through its Meshnet IP.
Meshnet aims to make setting up and managing a private network easy. By installing NordVPN on each device you want to connect, you can create your own network, which can be expanded to accommodate up to 10 of your own devices and up to 50 external devices.
The encrypted connections Meshnet creates ensure that data transmitted between devices is reliably protected, providing secure communication for gaming, remote work, file sharing, and other network-based applications. Additionally, Meshnet uses the NordLynx protocol, known for its speed and improved connection.
Meshnet comes with powerful built-in features that allow you to share files between devices on the network and route your online activity through another Meshnet device so you can access the internet using the IP address of that device.