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LAN over Lokinet: Using Lokinet for network security

The benefits of using an onion-router to bridge your LANs
10 February 2022Alex Linton

Most of the time when we think about onion-routers, we think of them as being tools to securely connect to and access the internet. It’s an obvious way to use onion-routers, and it’s why most people go looking for an onion router in the first place. So much so that exit nodes are probably the biggest development milestone in Lokinet’s history (so far, at least). 

Onion-routing protocols like LLARP can do a lot more though — they can bring the benefits of using onion-routing to connect LANs as well. 

What’s a LAN? 

Before we jump into it, let’s explain what a LAN actually is for those who don’t already know. LAN is short for local area network, which is a collection of connected devices that can talk to each other via their private local address. 

For example, you can have a LAN in your home which allows multiple devices on your home network to share one internet connection, share files with each other, or even play multiplayer games together (LAN parties). Because of the popularity of wi-fi, there are a huge number of devices that can connect to a LAN — everything from coffee machines to security cameras (think anything ‘smart’).

Here’s where things get a bit trickier: you can use the internet to connect multiple LANs together and create a web of interconnected local networks. 

This can come in handy if you have multiple office locations who need to share data or if you need to access a file from your home computer while you’re not physically there. 

Lokinet: A fast and secure portal into your LANs

The internet is a type of network called a wide area network (WAN). It’s the biggest, most popular WAN in the world — so much so that people often use the terms ‘internet’ and ‘WAN’ interchangeably. In reality, there are other WANs — some (really) large businesses have the resources and infrastructure to operate their own WANs, for example. We don’t often think of it this way, but Lokinet is a WAN too — a WAN that’s using LLARP to route information. 

Because of the immense flexibility of LLARP—it can carry anything that fits inside an IP packet—it can easily be used to safely, securely, and anonymously connect your LANs together. So you can remote into your home computer from anywhere around the world with peace of mind, or even work remotely even while handling sensitive information. 

Lokinet is an incredible tool for connecting local networks together simply and securely over the internet. This has some deeper implications for more exciting things—like multicast—but we’ll get to that later.

But wait…Lokinet doesn’t have multicast, does it? 

No, it doesn’t…yet! Multicast is in the pipeline for Lokinet, and it’ll completely transform the landscape of advanced networking when it rolls out. 

In the meantime, the flexibility of Lokinet does offer a pseudo-multicast solution using Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) tunnels. GRE lets you stuff multicast packets inside an IP packet (which Lokinet can carry) — so if you have multiple multicast-enabled LANs, Lokinet lets them securely share that data with each other across the internet. Keeping in mind this isn’t ‘real’ multicast, it’s just a pipe that networks can use to transport multicast traffic.

Stay tuned for more about the future of multicast and Lokinet — we’ll be discussing that in an upcoming article!

Low-key networking

Lokinet is extremely easy to plug-and-play — its defaults are already set up to keep you private, secure, and anonymous, so adopting Lokinet could be game-changing for network admins. 

Using Lokinet to connect and access LANs is just one great networking application of LLARP and Lokinet — Lokinet is built to be used with…pretty much anything you can think of. If it uses IP, it can use Lokinet. 

Lokinet’s mission is to make it easier to choose privacy — not harder. Lokinet can already do so much, and there are probably a million uses we haven’t even thought of yet! 

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