tinc VS Nebula

Compare tinc vs Nebula and see what are their differences.

Nebula

A scalable overlay networking tool with a focus on performance, simplicity and security (by slackhq)
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tinc Nebula
19 141
1,867 13,950
- 1.7%
5.6 8.8
3 months ago 5 days ago
C Go
GNU General Public License v3.0 or later MIT License
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
Activity is a relative number indicating how actively a project is being developed. Recent commits have higher weight than older ones.
For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.

tinc

Posts with mentions or reviews of tinc. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-10-13.
  • Would we still create Nebula today?
    14 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 13 Oct 2023
    But both Nebula and tinc max out at around 1 Gbit/s on my Hetzner servers, thus not using most of my 10 Gbit/s connectivity. This is because they cap out at 100% of 1 CPU. The Nebula issue about that was closed due to "inactivity" [2].

    I also observed that when Nebula operates at 100% CPU usage, you get lots of package loss. This causes software that expects reasonable timings on ~0.2ms links to fail (e.g. consensus software like Consul, or Ceph). This in turn led to flakiness / intermittent outages.

    I had to resolve to move the big data pushing softwares like Ceph outside of the VPN to get 10 Gbit/s speed for those, and to avoid downtimes due to the packet loss.

    Such software like Ceph has its own encryption, but I don't trust it, and that mistrust was recently proven right again [3].

    So I'm currently looking to move the Ceph into WireGuard.

    Summary: For small-data use, tinc and Nebula are fine, but if you start to push real data, they break.

    [1]: https://github.com/gsliepen/tinc/issues/218

    [2]: https://github.com/slackhq/nebula/issues/637

    [3]: https://github.com/google/security-research/security/advisor...

  • Which overlay network?
    6 projects | /r/selfhosted | 13 Jul 2023
    11 projects | /r/selfhosted | 28 Jan 2022
  • Tailscale/golink: A private shortlink service for tailnets
    10 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 13 Dec 2022
    From a purely networking perspective, there are far better solutions than tailscale.

    Have a look at full mesh VPNs like:

    https://github.com/cjdelisle/cjdns

    https://github.com/yggdrasil-network/yggdrasil-go

    https://github.com/gsliepen/tinc

    https://github.com/costela/wesher

    These build actual mesh networks where every node is equal and can serve as a router for other nodes to resolve difficult network topologies (where some nodes might not be connected to the internet, but do have connections to other nodes with an internet connection).

    Sending data through multiple routers is also possible. They also deal with nodes disappearing and change routes accordingly.

    tailscale (and similar solutions like netbird) still use a bunch of "proxy servers" for that. You can set them up on intermediate nodes, but that have to be dealt with manually (and you get two kinds of nodes).

  • Tunneling to Synology NAS without opening ports.
    3 projects | /r/synology | 3 Aug 2022
    Two other options are Tinc https://tinc-vpn.org/ or Nebula https://www.defined.net/nebula/
  • Port Forward Security & Alternatives
    9 projects | /r/selfhosted | 21 Jun 2022
    And there is Tinc; the OG overlay network. I don't have experience with this. Seemed a bit of a pain to setup. https://tinc-vpn.org
  • WireGuard multihop available in the Mullvad app
    3 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 12 Apr 2022
    For what its worth I have used the open source Tinc VPN [1] for mesh multihop routing for ages. It is nowhere near as fast as Wireguard but I could envision Tinc incorporating support for Wireguard if the author were so inclined. Like you mentioned Tinc does not mesh with other VPN's AFAIK.

    [1] - https://tinc-vpn.org/

  • You may not need Cloudflare Tunnel. Linux is fine
    1 project | news.ycombinator.com | 8 Apr 2022
    This is actually very simple in concept and is just as simple or even simpler to do with tinc (https://tinc-vpn.org).

    Since I can use tinc in bridge mode, I can run tinc on the upstream server and on a local machine which then provides access to several physical machines without running extra software on each of those machines, which is particularly useful for machines that are resource limited, like my Macintosh LC II and LC III+:

    http://elsie.zia.io/

    It'd be nice if it weren't so difficult to get public addresses.

  • Tinc Is Not Catan
    5 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 9 Feb 2022
    I clicked expected some broken analogy between https://tinc-vpn.org/ and the Catan board game, but instead it is a Catan implementation. Fair enough.
  • Graphviz: Open-source graph visualization software
    40 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 17 Jan 2022
    will generate a real-time network graph using the Graphviz DOT language. It's a cool feature that I find quite useful.

    [0] https://tinc-vpn.org/

Nebula

Posts with mentions or reviews of Nebula. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2024-04-30.
  • List of ngrok/Cloudflare Tunnel alternatives and other tunneling software and services. Focus on self-hosting.
    61 projects | dev.to | 30 Apr 2024
    Nebula - Peer-to-peer overlay network. Developed and used internally by Slack. Similar to Tailscale but completely open source. Doesn't use WireGuard. Written in Go.
  • JIT WireGuard
    10 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 13 Mar 2024
    (I am a Nebula maintainer.) We recently merged support for gVisor-based services, although it's very new, and I don't know of much experimentation that's been done with it yet: https://github.com/slackhq/nebula/pull/965
  • Ask HN: What Underrated Open Source Project Deserves More Recognition?
    63 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 7 Mar 2024
    Nebula, originally from Slack[0].

    Wireguard rightly gets a lot of attention, but Nebula is a really simple and easy to deploy mesh network that is often overlooked.

    It does lack a management GUI and that stuff is very much DIY.

    [0] https://github.com/slackhq/nebula

  • Nebula is Not the Fastest Mesh VPN (But neither are any of the others)
    4 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 18 Feb 2024
    Fair enough about the android mobile client... My use case only involves meshing linux appliances across various networks so we only need the nebula core binaries which are under MIT license

    https://github.com/slackhq/nebula/blob/master/LICENSE

  • Nebula is an open-source and free-to-use modern C++ game engine
    6 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 9 Jan 2024
    That's not at all confusing with Slack's Nebula. https://github.com/slackhq/nebula
  • A word of caution about Tailscale
    12 projects | /r/selfhosted | 9 Dec 2023
    Sounds like a bunch of your pain points are just related to needing an online CA or ICA. But, looking through the Nebula docs I don't know that it supports things like CRL addresses where you could host the CRL, or OCSP responders. Someone got support for an OCSP responder but never submitted a PR with completed code: https://github.com/slackhq/nebula/issues/72
  • Free Tech Tools and Resources - Multi-clock Display, Networking Tools, Digital Forensics & More
    2 projects | /r/SysAdminBlogs | 17 Nov 2023
    Nebula is a scalable, cross-platform overlay networking tool focused on performance, simplicity, and security. This portable tool is equally adapted for linking a small number of computers or scaling to connect tens of thousands. It integrates encryption, security groups, certificates, and tunneling into a powerful, cohesive connectivity solution. Thanks for the recommendation go to jmeador42.
  • Would we still create Nebula today?
    14 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 13 Oct 2023
    Replying to my own comment as I can no longer edit it:

    The folks over at Slack had an interesting discussion regarding the the "battle of the VPNs" article published by Netmaker I sourced in my parent comment:

    https://github.com/slackhq/nebula/discussions/911

  • Tailscale vs. Narrowlink
    7 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 11 Aug 2023
    Interesting. I thought recognized the logo, apparently seems to be a commercial support offering of https://github.com/slackhq/nebula and they support the "nebula" iOS app. I had been using for nebula/defined in the past.
  • Which overlay network?
    6 projects | /r/selfhosted | 13 Jul 2023
    Nebula: Is super easy to get running. It uses an interesting angle, working on the service and not just the device level. Unfortunately their NAT support seems to be still quite problematic and I am not going to maintain all those forwarded ports manually. There is a PR to support PCP but even if that ever gets applied I am not sure how well that will play with older routers. While it should be battle proven at slack, the community seems to be not that active. It still has the in-house tool that just got released.

What are some alternatives?

When comparing tinc and Nebula you can also consider the following projects:

OpenVPN - OpenVPN is an open source VPN daemon

ZeroTier - A Smart Ethernet Switch for Earth

Netmaker - Netmaker makes networks with WireGuard. Netmaker automates fast, secure, and distributed virtual networks.

SoftEther - Cross-platform multi-protocol VPN software. Pull requests are welcome. The stable version is available at https://github.com/SoftEtherVPN/SoftEtherVPN_Stable.

tailscale - The easiest, most secure way to use WireGuard and 2FA.

headscale - An open source, self-hosted implementation of the Tailscale control server

yggdrasil-go - An experiment in scalable routing as an encrypted IPv6 overlay network

Pritunl - Enterprise VPN server

netbird - Connect your devices into a single secure private WireGuard®-based mesh network with SSO/MFA and simple access controls.

InfluxDB - Power Real-Time Data Analytics at Scale
Get real-time insights from all types of time series data with InfluxDB. Ingest, query, and analyze billions of data points in real-time with unbounded cardinality.
www.influxdata.com
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SaaSHub - Software Alternatives and Reviews
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www.saashub.com
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