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Subnet routers: how do they work?

2 minsJune 20 2024
Alex Kretzschmar
Alex Kretzschmar

The most straightforward way to use Tailscale is to install the client on every node that you want to add to your network. But there are some cases, like embedded devices or existing VPCs, where a direct installation on each node isn’t feasible. That’s when you can turn to a subnet router.

In simple terms, a subnet router allows devices to communicate using our powerful NAT traversal technology whether they are running Tailscale or not. In today’s installment of our Tailscale Explained series, I walk you through how Tailscale subnet routers work, and how to install and configure subnet routers on Windows and Linux.

If you’ve been looking for a way to dip your toe into the Tailscale waters, a subnet router makes this simple. Perhaps you’re about to migrate a large network and want to try us out without installing the Tailscale client on every device. Or maybe you have an entire AWS VPC to hook up. In cases like these, a subnet router is a fast and easy way to get started.

Tailscale is free for personal use, and devices behind a subnet router do not count toward your pricing plan’s device limit either. Try today and connect up to 100 devices and 3 users for free.

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