the fast, reliable localhost tunneling solution

Why not use pwnat?

2013-02-15, 00:01

What's the advantage over

pwnat, pronounced "poe-nat", is a tool that allows any number of clients behind NATs to communicate with a server behind a separate NAT with no port forwarding and no DMZ setup on any routers in order to directly communicate with each other. The server does not need to know anything about the clients trying to connect.

Simply put, this is a proxy server that works behind a NAT,
even when the client is behind a NAT, without any 3rd party.

There is no middle man, no proxy, no 3rd party,
no UPnP/STUN/ICE required, no spoofing, and no DNS tricks.

More importantly, the client can then connect to any
host or port on any remote host or to a fixed host and
port decided by the server.


  1. Bjarni Rúnar Einarsson said on 2013-02-18, 22:39
    If pwnat works for you, by all means use it! It looks like a pretty cool tool. :-)

    If I understand their website correctly, pwnat lets people who have the pwnat client access a server which is also running pwnat. That means everybody who wants to communicate has to install pwnat and learn to use it. For some use cases that is probably fine (and will be more efficient than PageKite), but for others it is simply unworkable.

    PageKite on the other hand, makes your server visible to people with nothing but a standard web browser. This makes reaching your site as "user-friendly" as accessing any other site on the public web. Depending on how far you are away from the relay server, PageKite may be less efficient than pwnat, but in some cases it will actually be much faster, due to lower connection times and tunnel compression.
  2. Börnör said on 2014-08-28, 04:28
    They are for different uses. pwnat can be used to help clients behind nat join P2P network (e.g. custom multiplayer game) or just communicate from arbitrary program. no browser needed.
  3. Sebigboss said on 2014-12-14, 13:00
    Do NOT use pwnat or pagekite under any circumstances.
    Use VPN instead.
    pwnat is to show "a proof of concept" to penetrate NAT gateways and therefor it should be declared "malicious". There is no secure connection to your network except classical VPN connections.
  4. Duncan X. Simpson said on 2016-02-05, 20:12
    @Sebigboss VPN is not always feasible, or even easy to set up. How does "proof of concept" mean "malicious"? And encryption can happen on many levels. So your comment is completely invalid.
  5. 8lueJed1 said on 2016-07-06, 18:15
    @Duncan The words "proof of concept" do not mean malicious, however, the words "penetrate NAT gateways" do.

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