VPN Tunneling for Private P2P Connections
Free VPN software solutions for anonymous connections & transfers.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) works by ‘tunneling’ over an existing network (for instance, the Internet) for secure and private connections. VPN is notably similar to tunneling networks such as Tor and I2P, with the main difference being that VPN users typically need to create a new network (and add users running the same software) or join existing ones. VPNs allow for secure remote access to the network from wherever there’s an Internet connection.
Technically VPNs have nothing to do with P2P filesharing in the general sense of the phrase. Having said that, some VPN software allow users to establish their own private networks consisting of friends from contact lists, and directly support many existing IM protocols such as MSN, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, Google Talk and even support secure chat rooms. So if you’re concerned about big brother peeping in on your MSN or Yahoo transfers, VPN software may be the solution.
Most free VPN software is not browser-based — instead it creates its own network in the style of a ‘virtual’ ethernet adapter through the Network Connections:
VPN software will almost always require an allowable connection through your firewall software. Some VPN software will automatically configure itself through the firewall (such as Hamachi) while others will require a manual addition (unless your firewall detects it during installation and permits you to put it on the ‘allow’ list).
Free VPN software:
Wippien features VPN through your existing contact lists (MSN, ICQ, AIM, etc.). All file transfers and connections are secure and encrypted. Wippien also supports IRC, and even has its own private chat where you can join other Wippien users. To set it up to use an existing IM account, Wippien first requires a “Jabber” account, which you’ll be able to do on the setup page. If you don’t have an one, simply create one on the setup screen by clicking “I need new Jabber account” and enter the required fields - it’s that easy! (see below)
To import existing IM contact lists into Wippien, simply click the GREEN PLUS icon and select “Add/Remove Accounts”. This will launch another screen where you can select either MSN, AIM or any other supported IM account. For the example below we chose MSN.WIPPIEN.COM to import our MSN contact list:
Hamachi is a traditional VPN in the sense that it requires a connection to an existing Hamachi VPN network (or the creation of new ones). It comes with a ‘free’ option during the install, but you can choose either the ‘Basic’ (free) account or ‘Try Hamachi Premium’ - the choice is yours.
During the initial startup, Hamachi may seem to be taking it’s sweet time - this is normal - the process takes a few minutes to connect. Once connected, you’ll be able to add your own networks or join existing Hamachi ones. It works with your existing firewall, and requires no additional configuration. Hamachi is the first networking application to deliver an unprecedented level of direct peer-to-peer connectivity.
SSL-Explorer is the world’s first open-source, browser-based SSL VPN solution. This unique remote access control solution provides you with a means of securely accessing intranet applications and resources using a standard web browser. Our notes: Installation is somewhat lengthy, but a great image-based quick start PDF guide comes with the installation package. Being relatively new software, SSL Explorer is still in beta stages of development so check back often for software updates.
VPN-X is a Java/Cross-platform P2P/SSL/TLS VPN solution. Each user receives a unique ‘virtual’ IP address, and can connect with other users (clients) through the software; all network data is encrypted. Great for connecting two (or more) computers over long distances - friends can browse each others’ files & folders, set up LAN games, and chat. Download the VPN-X client here.
OpenVPN is a full-featured open source SSL VPN solution which can accomodate a wide range of configurations, including remote access, site-to-site VPNs and WiFi security.
tinc is a free Virtual Private Network (VPN) daemon that uses tunneling and encryption to create a secure private network between hosts (nodes) over the Internet.
iPIG uses powerful 256-bit AES encryption technology, and the iOpus Private Internet Gateway (iPIG) creates a secure tunnel that protects your inbound and outbound communications (Email, Web, IM, VOIP, calls, FTP, etc.) at any Wi-Fi hotspot or wired network. OK, this one’s not free (only the first 10MB of data is free).