Many old games had solid LAN gaming systems (like Red Alert 2) and were fun to play with friends. But now that we have the Internet, would it be possible to set up a virtual LAN to play those games online with friends?

6 Answers 6


You need a virtual private network (VPN) for this. It will trick your games into thinking you and your friends are all on the same network.

Although it looks like it was bought out recently, it still appears to be free; Hamachi does exactly this. Everyone logs into Hamachi and it creates a new network adapter that acts as a private network. Games as old as Warcraft 1 work with this system.

  • I'm not 100% on this, but doesn't Hamachi only support TCP/IP? With a traditional VPN you might have to tunnel IPX over the VPN to get some of the really old games going. Mar 30, 2012 at 2:09
  • I've used IPX with hamachi in the past, I would assume it's still supported. There are also free apps that can create a virtual Serial/Parallel Cable over TCP/IP so you can direct connect, but this means 2 players maximum.
    – NibblyPig
    Mar 13, 2019 at 11:12
  • You don't need. You can use. Or just do it the easy way.
    – Mazura
    Jul 28, 2022 at 2:09

Yes, it is completely possible.

As a matter of fact, there are several different kinds of software that already exist that do this. Though I know several more exist here is a list of the ones I am aware of:

I am only familiar with older versions of Hamachi as I have not used it often since the software was acquired by LogMeIn.

Because there are so many solutions, I recommend that you start with those I have mentioned as well as looking for others and see if you can find the one you would prefer. At one point there were several websites dedicated to just showing these networks and what games were being played on them. I dont have any information on those sites anymore but I am sure there are others here who might have some knowledge.

As a side note, I have heard of issue where some older games would not work with this kind of software though I would hope others have found ways to fix this now.


I had the same problem as you and searched the internet for days to find out how i could play Lan on my old Command and Conquer games.

Be sure to get any software that can link you and your friend to a same network.(I use Hamachi)

Next chek for your game (Ex: Red Alert 2 /Tiberian sun) If you can use an IPX converter because those game use XX.XX.XX.XX format not the current XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX. You can find an easy freeware to download and put in your game files that does this without having to change something. (I use one but i don't remember where i downloaded it. )

Also your old game could not be up to date to play Lan such like RA2 or TS on windows 7/Vista Look for a patch.

Then you should be able to see you friend in Lan mode in your game's lobby.

Extra tip: If you play those CnC old games and you can see anyone in the Internet mode's Lobby You need to go to XWIS Website ( xwis.net ) Create an account then go to your game nickname page, add a custom nickname for the specified game. Your password for online login should be on the same page. Use the password and your nickname to connect to XWIS server and play internet mode.


Yup, you can do this with a VPN.

There's a step-by-step guide here, you can set it up without too much hassle on a Windows machine.

  • 1
    Whilst this may answer the question, it would be preferable to quote the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – Jupotter
    Mar 30, 2012 at 19:15

For Red Alert 2, any LAN emulator like Hamachi will work, because RA2/YR supports the usage of non-IPX systems.

Get this .dll, copy it in your game directory (where the executables of RA2/YR are) and then you will be able to play the game via TCP.


There are multiple programs to make 'direct connections', but for public gaming (with a list of online servers/rooms, to play not only with known friends), since Tunngle and Evolve have closed, currently only pLan (.. OpenVpn) and gameRanger are the options.

While GameRanger currently has disadvantages like games autostarting and -closing, rooms auto-locking, amount of players being limited to one ingame-server, and strict game selection, pLan needs players a lot, please join us to play together.

  • 1
    Hi Ilias, can you limit your answer to information relevant to the OP's question, and expand on the possibilities of the software you mention?
    – Joachim
    Mar 23, 2019 at 9:54
  • @ Joachim i corrected some sentences (i'm listing 2 options and giving info on them, if you think that the last 6 words amiable wish is too much to post, i'll be afraid to disobey). </br> @Studoku, my post is the only questionable here, the thread will and even are miss more programs to note. i apologize for my case, but not much of random people that can give useful info. here have the "10 rep." to post it.
    – ilias
    Mar 23, 2019 at 12:33
  • "Tunngle and Evolve have closed" +1
    – Mazura
    Jul 28, 2022 at 2:07

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