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Meet Meshnet — an encrypted private network solution

The NordVPN team never stops exploring new horizons and innovating their services to provide users with the best experience. The time has come to introduce the latest feature in our portfolio — Meshnet.

Dovilas Bukauskas

Dovilas Bukauskas

Meet Meshnet — an encrypted private network solution

What does Meshnet do?

You can think of your Meshnet as a decentralized or DIY virtual private network that you create using the NordVPN app and the private devices of NordVPN users you trust. Instead of connecting to a server managed and configured by NordVPN, you can form encrypted connections with devices that you or your friends own.

  • With Meshnet, you connect to a specific NordVPN user-owned device that you’ve formed a prior connection with.
  • Without Meshnet, you connect to one of the thousands of servers operated by NordVPN according to parameters that you choose (country, special feature, etc.).

Once you route your traffic through a Meshnet device, your traffic will be encrypted just like it is when connected to a NordVPN server, but instead of getting a NordVPN server IP address, you’ll have the IP address of the device you’re routing your traffic through.

What you need to know when using Meshnet

There are a few key differences that set Meshnet connections apart from your average NordVPN connection:

  • Private devices: Meshnet opens boundless new possibilities in how you use NordVPN. You can configure a home or office server to connect to, you can connect directly to your parents’ home computers, or all manner of other uses. However, keep in mind that when you connect to a device via Meshnet, you’re connecting to a device whose performance specifications and security level NordVPN cannot guarantee.
  • Mutual consent: Adding a device to your Meshnet requires the consent of the user on that device. Once you’ve added that device to your Meshnet, you can connect to it at any time. However, that device’s user can also withdraw their consent at any time.
  • Routing capabilities: Meshnet is available for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Linux, but only Windows and Linux devices can route traffic through them at this time. We are working on expanding these capabilities.
  • Device limits: Each user can add 10 of their own devices to their Meshnet and can pair with up to 50 other devices.

The most common use cases of Meshnet

Meshnet can unlock unprecedented possibilities for users with specific needs in mind. Some of the most common use cases will depend on one or both of these two key characteristics:

  1. Meshnet can form local area networks (LANs) with remote devices;
  2. Meshnet enables you to browse using the IP address of another NordVPN user’s device.

Here are just a few of the many ways to take advantage of this:

1. Remote file access

When Meshnet forms an encrypted connection, those devices can treat each other as if they were on the same local network. Depending on your device and operating system, this can unlock all sorts of connectivity features, including direct file sharing. If you form a Meshnet connection between your laptop and PC and then configure file sharing, you can access your home hard drive from anywhere.

2. Encrypted peer network

With a more populated Meshnet, a team of colleagues can share files between one another’s devices remotely to facilitate seamless project work.

3. LAN gaming

Some video games allow users to form LAN connections between locally networked devices. This lets players compete with their friends privately, and often with better connectivity. A Meshnet network connection with your own server can be used just like a LAN connection to form a fun match between you and your friends wherever they are.

4. Private IP address access

When you connect to a NordVPN server, you browse the web using the IP address of a server you may potentially share with hundreds of other connections. Meshnet, on the other hand, allows you to use the IP address of whichever private device you connect to. This opens up interesting private functionalities for yourself and your friends.

How to use Meshnet

  1. Open the NordVPN app on your device and turn on Meshnet.
  2. Add devices you’d like to connect to by sending invitations to other NordVPN users or by enabling Meshnet on your other devices.
  3. Access other devices by selecting their IP address or name from your NordVPN app connection screen.

For more detailed instructions, read our Meshnet user instructions.

Meshnet is available on NordVPN’s Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux apps.

Find out more about Meshnet below!

Dovilas Bukauskas
Dovilas Bukauskas Dovilas Bukauskas
Dovilas loves to simplify complex technical cybersecurity topics for broader audiences by working closely with developers and admins at Nord Security. This helps him create applicable tips that we can all use to stay more secure every day.