Since I’m no good at prologues, I will get right to the subject. I guess that was a prologue, though. Turns out I am a bit good at them. It wasn’t particularly good, but oh well, it serves its purpose. So, without further ado, I present to you… Hamachi!
Hamachi is “a zero-configuration virtual private networking application with an open security architecture and NAT-to-NAT traversal capabilities.” That’s basically computer talk for “LAN over the internet”. It’s great for making resources on your PCs available over the internet without having them open to everyone (or just playing games that only support LAN with your friends).
If you’ve tried other solutions such as OpenVPN, you know that they can be somewhat hard to set up, especially if you want to make non-trivial connections. Hamachi has no configuration files, complicated settings or other hassles. It has a sort of instant messenger window where you add PCs to your network and they are instantly connected. Adding PCs is as easy as giving them the network name and password.
While not open source, it is freeware and contains no spyware (that I have seen) and its protocol is open (you can read about it here).
Overall, it’s a great program, so give it a try if you haven’t yet.