HELP FILE

Hamachi Network Types

    Hamachi provides three network types for flexibility in meeting diverse use case scenarios. They differ mainly in network topology.

    For information about subscription types, see Hamachi Subscription Types.

    About Mesh Networks

    In a mesh network, every member is connected to every other member.

    Organizations without a physical LAN can use the mesh network type to set up a virtual corporate LAN.

    Mesh is also the typical choice for gamers, because network games constantly have to broadcast their current status to all other participants in the game.



    Figure 1. Mesh network
    Note: Mesh is the only network type that can be created directly from the Hamachi client interface.

    About Hub-and-Spoke Networks

    In a hub-and-spoke network, one or more computers act as hubs, while other clients connect as spokes. Spokes connect to hubs, but never to each other.

    Hub-and-spoke is typically used when a workstation (spoke) needs to connect only to servers (hubs). For example, in a library, the catalog is a hub while workstations accessing the catalog are spokes. Hub-and-spoke is ideal if you want strict control over connections between network members.



    Figure 2. Hub-and-spoke network
    Important: If you set every member of a hub-and-spoke network to be a hub, you essentially turn the network into a mesh network. Similarly, if you set only spokes, your members will be unable to make a connection.

    About Gateway Networks

    Use the gateway network type to provide transparent access to your entire network from a centralized Hamachi gateway. Members of a gateway network, such as mobile workers, will see one computer acting as a gateway towards an entire LAN, thus making all network resources accessible.



    Figure 3. Gateway network
    Tip: Theoretically, a hub-and-spoke network would also be a good choice for enabling mobile LAN access; however, all shared resources would also need to be running the Hamachi client and be set up as hubs. This is fine insofar as these shared resources are servers with a Hamachi compatible operating system; however, the gateway network remains the best option since Hamachi currently cannot be installed on network devices such as printers, routers, access points, etc.
    Important: Mac hosts cannot act as gateway nodes.

    Characteristics

    The gateway network type is a hybrid of the meshed and hub-and-spoke network types:

    • As in a hub-and-spoke network, one computer acts as a hub (the gateway), while members act as spokes
    • There can only be one gateway, which is typically a permanently online server connected to the LAN
    • The number of members is virtually unlimited since even network devices that are not running the Hamachi client can be considered members
    • Each member (Hamachi client) will see the gateway and the other members of the gateway's LAN
    • Hamachi clients will not see each other in a gateway network

    Restrictions

    For technical and security reasons there are strict rules for both the gateway and members:

    • The gateway cannot be a member of any other Hamachi network
    • The gateway cannot be a workstation that is the member of a domain
    • The gateway must not be a DNS and/or DHCP server since the Hamachi network bridge interferes with the DNS and DHCP services.
    • Members can join more than one gateway network, but can only be online in one network at a time. Gateway members can also be members of multiple non-gateway networks

    Role of the Hamachi Client in a Gateway Network

    • Gateway network members and the gateway device itself must be running the Hamachi client
    • Network devices that are physically connected to the LAN do not need to run the Hamachi client to be made accessible to gateway network members

    Addressing

    Gateway networks integrate smoothly into the LAN in terms of addressing. 25.x.x.x addresses are not available for a gateway network. Instead, the local address space is used.

    Article last updated: 3 October, 2022