Want a LAN type experience with your pals from home? Check this out.

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Sully, Feb 6, 2010.

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  1. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I used to use Hamachi for some file sharing or gaming LAN style with a few buds of mine.

    On windows 7 there are some issues with Hamachi. I could not resolve them completely.

    A year ago I tried a product called Lan Bridger. It is a beta program. At that time it had some routing issues or something.

    I tried the latest version out again this week, v095b. It works beyond what I can believe.

    Lan Bridger creates a typical virtual NIC. One machine is the server, and it hosts Lan Bridger. You should forward port 40001 UDP for ease of use, but is not completely necessary.

    Once you create a HOST machine for Lan Bridger, it creates a public profile text file. You give this to your pals, and they install and start Lan Bridger and they JOIN a network. You must choose which network to join by pointing Lan Bridger to that public profile file. You enter a password.

    Lan Bridger now uses the HOST machine to directly tunnel all computers in the Lan Bridger network together. Nothing new here ... or is there? For a free program it does something Hamachi could not do, it truly does create a local environment. Open VPN works too, but not like this.

    When you are connected with Lan Bridger, it uses by default 10.x.x.x, as we know is a reserved local segment. Or you can choose to use 192.168.x.x, another reserved segment. You can tell the HOST machine to be 192.168.x.1 or whatever scheme you want, so that you don't forget what the ip address scheme is. All machines connecting will recieve the next number in line.

    The great thing about Lan Bridger is that it actually broadcasts over 10.x.x.x or 192.x.x.x, not some other ROUTABLE ip segment. What does this mean? Well, for one thing it means that any program, take for example the game Crysis, that MUST be send over 10.x or 192.x to work in LAN, will work. This is the only app so far that I have found that achieves this.

    If you don't understand what I just said, the easier explanation is this:

    You have a machine SOMEWHERE being the Lan Bridger HOST. Pass out the public profile it creates to a friend/family. Each of you joins this existing Lan Bridger HOST, and now everyone is connected, just as if you were in the same room, literally. The host machine only connects everyone together, so no data flows through it if you don't explicity do something with/to it.

    Maybe this is no big deal for many here, but I absolutley am loving the simplicity and the true reserved segment broadcasting.

    Sul.
     
  2. GlobalForce

    GlobalForce Regular Poster

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    Not an option for me til they release a Nix version. Sounds HOT though, thanks for posting.
     
  3. quintile

    quintile Registered Member

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    That sounds intriguing, Sully,

    I would like to know more, am not knowledeable about networking,
    can you do this across the country?

    Then when you do get your people on the lan, can anyone else just break into it?
     
  4. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Yes, if the computer it runs on has a static ip address that never changes, you simply have Lan Bridger being hosted on it, and give out the public profile to your friends. They then start Lan Bridger and join that host using the public profile to tell Lan Bridger where the host is (ip address) and the security key it needs.

    If you don't have a static ip address, there are services around that will give you a psuedo one, so that the public profile can use that instead. You can also edit the public profile if needed with notepad to change the ip address.

    I don't believe anyone else could attache to it without the security key, much less the password, which is not stored in the public profile as far as I can tell. If it is, it is encrypted.

    If you don't know much about networking, simply find a guide about how to set your router to "port forward" UDP port 40001 to your machines internal ip or mac address. You can change that port in Lan Bridger if you need to.

    Once your port is opened, be a host on Lan Bridger. It creates a private and public profile. Send a buddy the public profile, tell him/her the password, and have them join. Firewalls need rules of course, and I have simply trusted Lan Bridger for the moment. Further playing will probably let me make some hard rules though.

    Sul.
     
  5. quintile

    quintile Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info, Sully!

    Use linux mostly, but maybe they will get a prog also. :)
     
  6. irritableshade

    irritableshade Registered Member

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    Hi folks!

    I'm one of the developers of LAN Bridger (I handle the UI, mostly), and I wanted to say thanks for trying it out.

    We've been working on a new beta version (0.9.6) that we're aiming to release by the 20th. We're hoping it'll make the whole experience using the app much more streamlined. We've also fixed up some connectivity issues among peers in networks, so it ought to work a little better for gaming than it does right now.

    We're definitely interested in releasing on Linux and we've made sure our code is fairly portable. We run a special version of LAN Bridger on Debian to power some of the backend services, and we're intending to release a full blown Linux client as soon as we can. Unfortunately we don't know exactly when that'll be, but rest assured we're not going to ignore it.

    Again, thanks for giving LAN Bridger a spin. We're glad to hear you like it, and we're doing our best to make it better. :)

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  7. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Nice.

    You need to release some infos on what exactly to do with a firewall though. I have Outpost Pro running on my host machine at work, but it is blocking something to do with the dhcp portion.

    It would also be nice if one could hard-code a static ip into the virtual adapter, if you are using a custom ip on the host.

    And, maybe I could think of a dozen or two other things lol.

    Nice job, we have used it a lot tonight messing with the retarded file sharing in 7.

    Sul.
     
  8. irritableshade

    irritableshade Registered Member

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    Not sure what would be up with Outpost Pro. Any chance you could drop me a PM with a few more details? (Does LAN Bridger give an error? What does Outpost say when it's attempting to block or allow the traffic?)

    Great idea about letting users specify a static IP-- I'll see what we can do to put that on our feature roadmap.

    I'm not really sure what Microsoft was thinking with Windows 7's file sharing. It seems to get more and more convoluted with each new major Windows version. o_O We've got a few ideas in mind to make file sharing simpler across LB in a future release--glad to hear LB is able to make it at least a bit more tolerable in the interim.

    Don't hesitate to get in touch with whatever else you'd like to see LAN Bridger do-- we've got a planned feature list a mile long, but we're always open to adding and accelerating features based on feedback.
     
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