A lot of online games for PC have been designed with the idea of local multiplayer (whether it’s with split-screen gaming, or something else) in mind. Rather than always hooking up to the internet, you can just get together with your buddies, connect each system to a LAN router, and play your hearts out in the multiplayer game of your choice. Sadly though, if you’re away from your friends, the only option is to hook up to an online public server. There’s always the choice of creating your server, but it requires port forwarding on your router, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea. As such, Virtual LAN Creators come to mind, and the name Hamachi is the first one to pop up. Hamachi has been around for quite a while now and is the preferred choice of many gamers.
That being said, Hamachi comes with its drawbacks. The biggest one is that on a free account, a specific Virtual LAN can only have 5 clients at most, including the host as well. Furthermore, users have been experiencing a lot of lag and latency spikes. It destroys one’s gaming experience. In my experience, when I host my server using port forwarding, my friends get a ping of 20-30 ms, whereas, on Hamachi, their pings easily cross 100 ms. As such, one has to resort to better and more effective Hamachi alternatives. So, if you’re also interested in Virtual LAN gaming and are fed up with Hamachi, read on, as we bring to you our list of the top 12 Hamachi alternatives you can use in 2023.
The Best LogMeIn Hamachi Alternatives in 2023
ZeroTier might be a name you haven’t heard of, but it is one of the best Hamachi alternatives for creating your own virtual LAN. With support for practically all operating systems, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux, ZeroTier is everywhere. ZeroTier is an open-source app that comes with free Android and iOS apps. The software manages to deliver the capabilities offered by the best VPN services, SDN, and SD-WAN with a single system. What’s more is that software is super-easy to use, and there is no need for any sort of port forwarding.
Since this is open source, you get a huge amount of community support. You can always pay for the advanced plan to get extra support along with other benefits. Honestly, ZeroTier is one of the simplest yet most advanced virtual LAN creators, that promises low ping, an easy user interface, and works great for gaming as well as other VLAN features.
Download (Free, Professional Plan – $10/month)
2. PlayHide VPN
Another software like Hamachi, PlayHide VPN is a service developed based on OpenVPN and it doesn’t require you to set up port forwarding. One attractive aspect of PlayHide is the fact that you can get started without even creating a dedicated account. The client app is lightweight and straightforward. To ensure security while using the app, PlayHide VPN also prompts you to disable the SMB feature. It is worth noting that PlayHide is open-source and you can check the source code of the app on GitHub. Overall, if you need an app that just works, PlayHide VPN is your best bet.
Download PlayHide VPN (Free)
What started as a project back in 1999 for the macOS, and later expanded to PC gaming in the fall of 2008, GameRanger is one of the most trustworthy LAN gaming solutions available to users and is one of the top alternatives to Hamachi. While the client may be shy with the overall number of features offered in comparison to its competitors, the level of security and stability of GameRanger is unmatched. This is because, unlike other Virtual LAN gaming clients that utilize various drivers to emulate LAN gaming, GameRanger does it internally via its client. The upside is that there are very low pings and high security.
One thing to be noted is the fact that while Hamachi can be used to play any LAN game over the internet, GameRanger only works with its list of supported games. This is because support for each game has to be added to the GameRanger client. Overall, if your game is supported and you’re looking for a simple alternative, you won’t find anything better than GameRanger.
Download (Free, Silver Membership – $19.95/year, Gold Membership – $39.95/year)
If you’re looking for the easiest-to-use Hamachi alternative to create a Virtual LAN for hosting private gaming sessions, look no further than NetOverNet. This simple yet powerful tool allows you to connect multiple devices using the internet. While most of the software previously mentioned in the list leaned towards gaming, NetOverNet is essentially a simple VPN emulator, that can further be used for gaming purposes.
With NetOverNet, each device has its login/password for a connection and is accessible in the user’s virtual network by an IP address defined in the private area. And despite it not being developed from the gamer’s perspective, the client does perform fairly well for gaming purposes.
Also, using this client, one can get direct access to remote computers that are a part of the virtual network, thus allowing you to use the client for data sharing across all systems. In other words, it is a go-to alternative to Hamachi for creating your own VPN. That being said, the number of max clients you get is just 16 on the advanced payment plan. All in all, this doesn’t work for public sharing but works quite well for anyone wanting to host private LAN gaming sessions.
Download (Free, Base – $5/month, Advanced – $10/month, XXL – $150/month)
Another impressive Hamachi alternative that you can check out is Wippien. If you’re a gamer who doesn’t like to install unnecessary and huge bloat onto their systems, Wippien is for you. Don’t be misled by the weird name, the tool itself is really simple to use. It uses the WeOnlyDo wodVPN component to establish a P2P connection with each of the clients to establish a VPN. What’s more is that not only is the app completely free, but it is also open source. That being said, the application works well only with Gmail or Jabber accounts, and it doesn’t support other email services for registration.
As far as the gaming uses are concerned, you can directly use it for any game that makes use of a local network for multiplayer gaming. And the best part? Coming in at just 2 MB, the software is one of the lightest VPN creators out there, which, take my word for it, works well.
Parsec is another Hamachi alternative that has redefined how we play video games together. While at the outset, it looks like Parsec is all about Arcade gaming, it’s much more than that. Parsec allows you to create virtual LAN gaming servers using its local co-op feature.
It uses the peer-to-peer connection with NAT traversal techniques to optimally connect different computers on the internet. On the Parsec platform, you can play multiplayer games with anyone in the world at a significantly low lag. The company uses its proprietary technology to allow users to play games at 60FPS across a host of devices.
I can assure you that Parsec does not have any kind of latency problems like Hamachi. Apart from that, you can find gamers on the internet and play a range of Arcade games together using its matchmaking service. Play games with anyone, anywhere in the world. So if you are looking for the best Hamachi alternative then definitely try out Parsec.
Download (Free, Hourly charge depending on usage; Generally starts at $0.50/hour)
Next up is the generic VPN creator, FreeLAN. Most of you must already be familiar with the name since FreeLAN is one of the most famous and simple applications to use for creating your Virtual private network. What’s great about this software is that it is completely open-source and can be customized to create a network following various topologies such as client-server, peer-to-peer, or hybrid.
You can adjust it all according to your preferences. That being said, the software offers no GUI and you need to manually configure the FreeLAN config file to run the application, guides for which can be found here. Furthermore, the community behind this project is highly active, so you’ll never run out of support.
As far as the gaming front is concerned, games run smoothly without any lag, and there are no sudden ping spikes. Overall, it is one of the most extensive yet simple-to-use VPN creators out there and works well as a free alternative to Hamachi.
SoftEther, which stands for “Software Ethernet”, is one of the world’s most powerful and easy-to-use multi-protocol VPN software. The VPN Solution currently supports Windows, Linux, Mac, FreeBSD, and Solaris. Similar to ZeroTier, SoftEther is completely open-source and offers great features and flexibility. Yes, the interface is pretty basic, but the features aren’t, and it’s a great Hamachi substitute.
The software makes use of SSL-VPN Tunneling on HTTPS to pass through NATs and firewalls and features resistance to highly-restricted firewalls as well. What’s more is that it offers AES 256-bit and RSA 4096-bit encryptions, if you’re worried about your privacy. It does feature a learning curve to it, but honestly, SoftEther is a pretty jam-packed VPN solution. The best part is that the software is completely free, so I’d suggest giving it a shot anyway.
9. Radmin VPN
Another great alternative to Hamachi is Radmin VPN. It’s a great software for creating virtual VPNs, and many users stand by its name. Free Radmin VPN does not limit the number of gamers and thanks to the high speed you won’t notice any lag issues, and you will be able to play your favorite games as if you were playing on the LAN. The service offers speeds up to 100Mbps, and also provides you with a secure VPN tunnel.
Radmin offers encryption as well, which keeps your connection safe and privacy ensured. The software, unlike its alternatives, is quite easy to set up and manage for both IT Pros and home techs. You should check it out, even if you just want a Hamachi alternative for Minecraft.
Unlike all the other software like Hamachi on this list that has a proper team behind them, P2PVPN has been developed by a single developer simply for his thesis. Oh, but don’t think that it is useless. While featuring a simple interface and basic features, it manages to carry out the task of creating a VPN quite effectively. The software is usable for end users and doesn’t require a central server.
It is open source and is written completely in Java to ensure compatibility with older systems as well. However, the last update that the software received was back in 2010, so in case you run into any bugs, chances are, you might have to resort to some other service in the list. Nonetheless, being free of charge, P2PVPN is still a solid recommendation for basic users wanting to play Counter-Strike 1.6 or some other old-school game over VPN.
11. Port Forwarding
As mentioned previously, Port Forwarding is the best method to simulate Virtual LAN for multiplayer gaming. That being said, the process behind it can be tedious for some, and it differs for everyone. Most manufacturers offer a solution within their firmware to do port forwarding, but it differs from router to router. The general procedure is to go to your router’s settings by entering 192.168.1.1 and then heading over to the port forwarding section.
Do note that you’ll be required to port forward for each game separately, that is why most users don’t opt for that option. That being said, port forwarding offers the best speeds overall, and you can allow unlimited users to connect to your system on the Virtual LAN. For more guides on how to port forward your router, make sure to head over here.
The final VPN alternative of Hamachi in this list is Tailscale, a fast and modern VPN that helps in creating a mesh network similar to the ones found in Hamachi. Tailscale is based on WireGuard protocol, meaning the VPN traffic will be encrypted and has end-to-end encryption for the entire part of the software. Furthermore, for added security, Tailscale also supports two-factor authentication.
Another great thing about Tailscale is that rolling the software out takes minutes, and devices can connect directly from any network environment. Users do not have to worry about port forwarding and firewall, thanks to NAT Traversal which allows direct connection of devices to each other. Furthermore, through the Tailscale SSH, users can manage devices on a network and control connections between them, without any additional setup.
Enjoy Virtual LAN Gaming with Hamachi Alternatives
Hamachi has been around for quite a while now and has a vast user base for Virtual LAN gaming. Sadly, the 5 person limit and ping spikes have ruined the service lately, forcing users to opt for alternatives. As such, our list of Hamachi alternatives should work well to help you enjoy your multiplayer gaming sessions easily. While there are other options available as well, we’ve covered the most stable and reliable options. That being said, if you feel that we might have missed out on a Hamachi alternative, make sure to let us know in the comments section below.
While you’re here, if you’re looking to play some fun smartphone games with your friends, you should check out the best multiplayer games for Android as well.