Friday, May 22, 2009

Leaf Networks - better than Hamachi


I've written about Hamachi as a lightweight VPN solution in the past and for a year or more I used it every day to access files at home and provide an in to friends and relatives machines who I do tech support for. Not having to worry about opening ports on routers etc. is fantastic but recently Hamachi got unreliable and now I can't make it work for more than a few weeks without upgrading (due to their new license) which is a pain as suddenly you can't VNC to the machine you need to upgrade!
Anyhow - I've been playing with Leaf for a few days and it seems a much more solid solution. It also has the advantage of having routing built in so you can use it to expose other machine on the target network over the VPN tunnel. As well as allowing LAN play across the internet for XBox games that don't support Windows Live I imagine any embedded devices you don't want to expose to the world over an open port would be usable from wherever you've got your laptop (insecure wireless in a coffee shop, for example).

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5 Comments:

  • I beg to differ. At least Hamachi can be run as a service. If someone logged off the remote computer where leaf is running, you can no longer access it - with hamachi as long as the computer's on, you're good to go.

    By Blogger Oskar, at 2:07 PM  

  • It's reasonably trivial to make any app run as a service under Windows.

    However - I like the fact that it doesn't run as a service. For providing tech support for non-technical friends and family it's OK as they rarely have multiple users and for me I like to run it only when I need to use it.

    By Blogger Phil Crawley, at 2:12 PM  

  • I just installed this on my machine as well. SO far I love it. Just enable the VPN permission for your other machines with other usernames and BAM! your in and running. Sharing files is great, but now I dont have to foreward all those ports on my game servers when I want to let friends in to play :) This seems to be great so far. Still some TCP things I wish I knew about it though. Their explanation of how it works is a bit vague.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:16 PM  

  • LogMeIn have just released a new version of Hamachi, they have killed it for me, I used it in an advanced configurations as a bridge/routed tunnel between multiple LAN's. It was great. But LogMeIn have killed it, they removed features, dropped gamers from their support and left their Hamachi1 customer (paid or free) high and dry. No linux client, no Mac client, the list of missing features goes on and on.

    I've been in contact with Leaf, asking about some features and they said, to may amazement and joy that what I wanted could be added to their product trivially and that the next release would have it.

    So from LogMeIn who I feel kicked me in the teeth (even as a paying customer) to Leaf who couldn't have been more helpful.

    By Blogger Jason, at 8:35 PM  

  • Hamachi has let me down so many times over the years, and i have to agree that leaf networks with some setting up worked straight out the box most if not all of my games work for pc lan except the games for windows live ones like resident evil 5 which i have no idea how to setup over leaf

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:29 PM  

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