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NordVPN Gets a Free Version: A Milestone for Encrypted Personal Networks

NordVPN is going through one of its biggest transformations with a recent product update, which includes a new and easy file sharing functionality through Meshnet as well as an open source Linux application. It also makes Meshnet free of charge for anyone.

Now, even without a NordVPN subscription, users can benefit from all the advantages NordVPN’s Meshnet offers them. Meshnet allows users to create a peer-to-peer VPN tunnel between devices with NordVPN installed.

“We are continuously expanding the capabilities of NordVPN. This release marks a significant change in openness by both making part of the service free as well as open sourcing a substantial part of our client software,” says Vykintas Maknickas, product strategist at NordVPN.

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What are the biggest updates?

Making Meshnet available for free. From now on, users no longer need a NordVPN subscription to enjoy all the advantages Meshnet offers. Meshnet creates a peer-to-peer VPN tunnel between desktop or mobile devices. That allows them to avoid internet limitations by routing their internet traffic through any remote device in the world, as long as it has NordVPN installed. Any Windows, Mac, or Linux® device can turn into their personal VPN server. This means that people can enjoy all the benefits they have at home or provided by other users despite their current location.

Added File Sharing. Using Meshnet, people can now instantly share files from one device to another. Take a screenshot on your mobile device. Pick the NordVPN app in sharing options and choose the device you want to send your screenshot to. It’s that easy. Share photo or video files of unlimited size without losing quality. Users can share any files they want without limitation. Any file sent this way goes through an end-to-end encrypted peer-to-peer VPN tunnel, making it the most secure option to share. Users can send or receive files from their own devices as well as from their family members, friends, or colleagues — anyone who has NordVPN installed. The new feature requires two-way consent, so users never have to put their privacy at risk.

Going open source. NordVPN has released three of its products under an open-source license, which includes the entire NordVPN Linux® application, Libtelio — a networking library used across NordVPN apps on all operating systems, and Libdrop — a library that’s used to share files over Meshnet. This means that the source code of these products is now publicly available, allowing developers to review, audit, and contribute to the code. By making these products open source, NordVPN is demonstrating its commitment to transparency, community collaboration, and trust in its products.

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What can users do with NordVPN’s Meshnet?

NordVPN has revamped its Meshnet documentation page to include the most popular use cases of this feature. The most important are the following:

Internet traffic routing. With Meshnet enabled, users who are traveling can route their traffic through a laptop left at home, allowing them to browse the internet with their own IP address. Whereas a regular NordVPN service routes your internet traffic through VPN servers, in the meantime changing your IP address to that of the server, Meshnet lets you create your own VPN server through your own or your friends’ devices, no matter where they are in the world.

Secure Remote Device Access. When you use Meshnet, you don’t need to make your shared folders public to access them remotely. You also don’t need to make your IP camera available to anyone to use it from your work computer. Meshnet creates a peer-to-peer VPN tunnel between your devices so you are the only person who connects to your home network.

Gaming. Meshnet works as a virtual local area network (LAN), so users can play multiplayer games with their friends without needing LAN cables, even if they live in a different neighborhood or country. With Meshnet, users can all connect to the same server from various locations.

With Meshnet, users can conveniently bypass internet limitations by routing their internet traffic through any remote device in the world that NordVPN can be installed on. Any Windows, Mac, or Linux device can be used as their personal VPN server. This means that people can enjoy all the benefits they have at home or provided by other users despite their current location.

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