What is Nebula and how it works?

What is Nebula and how it works?

Valdemar Zavadsky
Valdemar Zavadsky
March 8, 2023

Estimated read time: 7 minutes

Need for secure connection

Need for secure connection

You never know what you need until you start to doubt the security of the internet network. Once you’ve encountered issues with network monitoring, malware risks or stealing data, then you begin to consider utilization of some kind of protection.

The logical solution is to use the VPN (virtual private network) from one of many available providers. Generally, it offers security and remote access to company data from anywhere as it establishes a secure connection between two sites as all data traffic goes through an encrypted virtual tunnel.

Or you can use Nebula

The purpose of Nebula network is to create a secure connection between computers across the internet. It combines the benefits of well-known concepts such as encryption, security groups or tunneling. Nebula is a scalable networking framework that offers highly performant reliability and security.

What is Nebula?

Scalable overlay networking tool

For business owners, the internet is essential, so Nebula enables to connect computers anywhere in the world and share information safely. It is easy to download and install and it works as a portable application, so you can take it with you on your USB stick or smartphone wherever you go. But all this may sound similar to any other VPN from various providers, so what are the advantages of Nebula? Let’s see…

Nebula is simple, secure and fast!

Nebula is simple

Nebula service is a lightweight and easy to use solution. It enables you to seamlessly connect computers anywhere in the world. Nebula is portable and compatible, can be also well used on mobile devices - it runs on Linux, MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Using Nebula is the easiest way how to connect thousands of computers hosted by different providers and located all over the world.

Nebula is secure

Nebula was originally created by Slack developers to ensure the trustworthy and reliable connection among people all over the world. After years of R&D and deploying it, Nebula was shared as an open source software. Nebula was designed to be secure from the ground up – it uses strong encryption provided by the Noise Protocol Framework, it includes firewall with port/protocol filters and the host identity is verified by digital certificate issued by certificate authority.

Nebula is fast

Nebula mesh network is designed to be as efficient as possible without compromising security or reliability. It uses the mesh VPN architecture which uses peer-to-peer connections where every node or peer in the network can connect directly to any other peer without going through a central concentrator or gateway.

  • Thanks to mesh architecture it avoids the performance or traffic bottlenecks.
  • The encrypted tunnels are created per-host and on-demand as needed.
  • It uses “lighthouses” which finds the most efficient route between the individual hosts.

Lighthouse technology

Lighthouse technology

In Nebula network, the lighthouse node or simply "lighthouse" is an important component – it’s a public access node. The lighthouse nodes are responsible for tracking the other nodes, they are used as directors of the traffic. Once the location has been provided from the lighthouse, the two nodes can communicate directly using the best route to one another. By contrast, using traditional VPN, the connections between any two PCs must pass through its central server creating traffic bottlenecks – in these cases Nebula becomes more efficient.

Future in the Nebula network

We’ve listed some of the Nebula’s advantages and benefits. It is time for you to check it yourself – it is time to use better solution then “just the VPN” – it is time to use the Nebula with its global overlay network VPN solution.

The perfect example of a new product based on the advantages of Nebula is Shieldoo™️.

Try Shieldoo™️

Cyber security is becoming more and more important, which is why we provide you with essential information in a wide variety of articles on our blog. We also developed a new tool Shieldoo™️ based on Nebula from Slack which can help you to provide secure connection between end-users and servers. You can try your own private network here.


What is Nebula VPN?

It's an open source scalable overlay networking tool created by Slack.

What is mesh VPN?

A mesh network is a group of devices that act as a single Wi-Fi network. Mesh VPN uses a peer-to-peer architecture where every node or peer in the entire network can connect directly to any other peer without going through a central concentrator or gateway.

This approach can be less expensive and easier to scale than traditional VPNs.

How secure is Nebula?

Nebula is secure. Its solution uses encryption, firewall with port/protocol filters and digital certificates.

Do you need your own certificate authority to run Nebula?

No, Nebula comes with it's own build-in CA which you can use to generate certificates.

How the certificate provides security?

The certificates generated by the certificate authority provides the necessary “sign” to ensure the communication is secure.

The Nebula Certificate Authority (CA) consists of two files - the CA certificate and associated private key. A CA certificate is distributed to every host on the network and has to be trusted by each of them.

Does Nebula use the security groups?

Yes, Nebula incorporates many of the available security features and existing concepts such as encryption, security groups, certificates or tunneling.

The security groups are user defined groups preferred by the cloud provider. It serves as a form of virtual firewall which controls the traffic that is allowed to reach.

About author

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