Simple VPN – Hamachi vs Remobo vs Wippien

I use to love Hamachi, it use to simply work and it was very secure. The only problem is it got picked up by log me in and therefore hasn’t been developed in the way I would have liked. The Windows version has been developed but the linux and mac version are lagging behind in the lab. I also would like to see a Android app like how someone created a Windows mobile version.

So I looked into alternatives because to be frank, I still don’t really understand PPTP VPN or IPSEC VPN.

The two I’ve seen which are similar to Hamachi is n2n, Remobo and Wippien.

  • N2N – I just don’t quite get. It sounds fantastic but not at a mature enough stage right now. It requires a lot of manual effort to get up and running. And to be fair it didn’t work for me.
  • Remobo – Has a Gui but for some reason it won’t auto-loggin on ubuntu in so I have to enter the details each time I reboot. This is not great when you have it running on a server with limited access like no monitor. Once they fix that problem and finish the command line version, I may consider switching.
  • Wippien – Seems pretty good it uses xmpp to do the connection but you can’t join the network on the linux version because you can add new users. So unfortunately I wasn’t able to use it or test it. Very frustrating because I had high hopes for this one.

So right now, I’m going to stick with Hamachi but my eyes are certainly looking else where. Wippien and Remobo once mature and add real support for Linux, then Hamachi should be worried, theres some stiff competition coming.

The official XBMC android remote control

I downloaded the official Android XBMC remote a little while after using another android remote control for quite a while.

When I first saw it I thought whats so special about this remote which makes it the official xbmc remote?

Well that was before one day I was watching Breaking Bad catching up with the seasons and my phone rang but not only that the show paused and a little xbmc popup came up saying exactly who was ringing with a little icon. I was so shocked I actually missed the call. This was followed with a text message from my voicemail service saying I had a new message. It was so seamless and I had no idea the android remote had this built in, so I looked through the settings and found these interesting options.

  • Statusbar notification
  • Show incoming SMS
  • Show incoming calls

If that wasn’t impressive enough, the check list for features is something out of a dream. Here’s a couple of the most interesting ones.

  • Control XBMC’s volume directly with your device’s volume buttons
  • Manage multiple XBMC instances
  • On incoming call, display who’s calling on TV screen and pause video until call is over
  • On incoming message, display on TV screen
  • Setting that prevents your phone locking the screen. You can apply it either for remote control only or all screens (or disable it completely)
  • Cover art is shown where available
  • Play and queue albums, songs, genre selections and much more directly without having to turn on your TV. For instance it’s possible to queue/play all songs from an artist but of a certain genre.
  • Displays movie poster and actor thumbs where available.
  • Play trailer from details page where available.
  • Coming soon theres also some more really interesting features…
  • Boxee compatibility
  • Download media locally to device’s SD card
  • Stream media to device
  • Rating support in Now playing
  • Last.FM integration

All this functionality has really made me give up the wii-mote as the preferred method of controlling XBMC. I’d suggest a couple more things like trans-coding (so you can take away a copy which isn’t multiple gigabytes), send to xbmc (bit like send to xbmc or xbmcfox), a locale plug-in (might be handy), a proximity sensor option (if you walk out the room for example it will pause or even stop after a while xbmc) and the ability to see additional media or even fansubs on the device its self.