Tired of playing the same game again and again? Are you sick of taking down those computer simulated players (bots) again and again? Are you missing your hostel LANs … or are you wishing that on your network there would be more people willing to play Counter Strike or AOE. Its true – there can be no substitute for the human mind.
Now a new cadre of gaming is here: VPN Gaming. A Virtual Private Network (VPN), is basically a virtual LAN over the internet; usually by the means of a software medium – a VPN client. The de facto standard for this is usually a free client-based VPN like Hamachi; which is free for individual users but limits the VPN connections to 8, the paid version can get you around 128 users.
If you are not technologically inclined, worry naught, these clients are pretty easy to install and use. So once, it is installed and you are online, all you need is to create a virtual network, give it a password (since you want to control who accesses your network) and ask your friends to join in. Voila!! Now you and your friends are on the same LAN despite being in different geographies. Its downhill from there on, just fire up your favorite game and ask people to join your multi-player game. Here’s a simple installation and use guide -
The installation is pretty much a click through process. The following are a few screenshots that can act as a guide for newbies. Remember, for the more security buffs, there is an option of disabling the more vulnerable services of Windows over this connection.
During the installation, Hamachi lets you choose which version of its services will you be availing. If you are just trying out the client or do not want to fork out money for the licensed version, then I suggest you select the non-commercial license. Once the software has installed, it will give you a small run though of the application, believe me its one of the shortest demos I have seen, and one of the most informative ones!!
This is how the application looks once it is fired up. Hamachi gives you a different ip address (it also creates a logically separate network connection on your machine). I have created one network and joined another network. Both of these are shown on my screen, any peers which are online and using Hamachi are also listed (in the screenshot none of them are online currently). The moment any of them is online, you can ping them as if they were online over a global ip.
Say hello to LAN gaming again :-)