Meshnet is here!
Meshnet is a feature that allows you to create encrypted tunnels between devices. If you’ve used a VPN before, it’s a similar process.
VPNs create secure channels between a device and a VPN server. Meshnet does the same thing, but it routes traffic through another Meshnet-enabled device, allowing you to essentially create your own VPN server.
With Meshnet, you could use your smartphone while on holiday, and still appear online as if you’re browsing with your home computer.
Is this a new feature? No, Meshnet capabilities have been built into NordVPN applications for a while, but now the feature is entirely free to use. This means that you can create your own private VPN completely free of charge.
Why is Meshnet free now?
We believe that everyone should be able to access the security and convenience of a VPN. However, not everyone is ready to invest in a premium service like NordVPN. That’s why we’ve introduced Meshnet as a free feature.
NordVPN offers many benefits, from global server locations to built-in security features, but not all users need all these functions. For those who are just looking for security and remote traffic routing, Meshnet has a role to play. The service allows users to route encrypted traffic through almost any device of their choosing. For example, they can connect to a home computer while abroad, or route traffic through the device of a friend who lives overseas, using the IP addresses of these devices.
In the same spirit of accessibility, we’ve also made NordVPN’s entire Linux application available under an open source license. This means that anyone can examine and experiment with our code. These decisions are all driven by the same key goal: to make our services widely available to those who need them and to be as transparent as possible.
How can we afford to make Meshnet free?
For many, a free service can seem like an unsustainable business model at best, and a suspicious one at worst. As the old saying goes, “If you don’t pay for something, you’re the product.” That doesn’t apply to Meshnet, however, and here’s why.
First, in everything we do we are driven by a central purpose: make the internet a safer, freer place. We’ve been pursuing that goal with our VPN, password manager, and B2B solutions, and we will continue to do so. But making Meshnet free to everyone is a huge step towards furthering our ultimate goal, as it gives everyone a chance to enjoy the benefits of having their own private VPN.
Second, while NordVPN relies on a global server network which is costly to maintain, Meshnet can be made free because it requires less infrastructure and less maintenance. Opening it up to a wider audience doesn’t require us to develop new systems and invest more than we already have. This means we can give back to our community.
Meshnet use cases
Here are just a few of the use cases for Meshnet.
- Browsing abroad. Have you ever been on holiday or traveling for work, and struggled to access accounts and online services? If a website notices you logging on from an unusual location, it may assume that you’re a hacker and block you as a security measure. With Meshnet, you can easily get around this problem by routing your data through a device in your usual location — a computer in your home, for example. Even if you’re browsing on the other side of the world, websites will only receive location data related to that home computer.
- Your own VPN. Meshnet allows you to turn a device into a VPN server. If you have a family member or friend abroad, you could let them route their traffic through your computer, allowing them to access the internet in their home country while traveling. Likewise, if you’re connecting to risky public Wi-Fi, you can route your own traffic through a device at home, keeping your data safe from prying eyes.
- Secure file sharing. Want to send a photo or video to a friend? If you transfer it as an attachment on social media messenger apps, the file quality will be compressed. Sending it by email is fine — until you realize the file size exceeds the attachment limit set by your email service. That’s where Meshnet comes in. Just make sure that both you and your friend have Meshnet enabled on your devices, connect them with an encrypted tunnel, and share the file.
- Multiplayer gaming. If you want to play a cooperative game with someone, you can link your devices through Meshnet. No need to plug in cables, or even be in the same area: your data will flow between devices, moving along encrypted tunnels, for a safe and seamless gaming experience.
Make sure to check out our video on creating your own VPN using Meshnet below.
Still not sure if Meshnet is right for you? It’s totally free, so you can download the NordVPN app today and try it out, to see for yourself how useful it can be.