7 Useful Free Linux Network Tunnels

Tunneling is a way to cross terrain or boundaries that cannot normally be crossed.

Similarly, in networking, tunnels are a method for discretely transmitting data across a network using protocols that are not supported by that network. Tunneling works by encapsulating packets: wrapping packets inside of other packets. Tunneling involves six key processes: encryption, encapsulation, header addition, transmission, decapsulation, and decryption.

Network tunnels provide a direct connection between a remote server and the local network, and the transmission of data is undetectable by the public network.

One big advantage of tunneling is that it allows remote workers and field teams to safely work offsite without compromising personal or organizational security. Other practical use cases include remote support, disaster recovery, safe supply chain management, network monitoring, and more.

All of the programs in this roundup are free and open source software.

We’ve not prepared a ratings chart for this roundup. This may change in the future.

Click the links in the table below to learn more about each tool. The software is listed in alphabetical order.

Network Tunnels
6tunnelTunnelling for applications that don't speak IPv6
ClashTRule-based tunnel in Go
iodineTunnel IPv4 data through a DNS server
isatapdCreates and maintains an ISATAP tunnel
Ping TunnelTunnel TCP connections to a remote host using ICMP echo request
TuntoxForwards TCP connections over the Tox protocol
VTunCreate virtual tunnels over TCP/IP networks
Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

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