Peer-to-peer vs relay

Published in
3 min readSep 21, 2016


In Lima Preferences, you can now check if your Lima device is connected in peer-to-peer or through relay. If you’re connected through relay, transfer performances are lower.

If nothing is indicated, it means that your Lima is connected via peer-to-peer.

Peer-to-peer vs Relay

Peer-to-peer means that your devices talk to each other directly. They are functioning as a server and a client at the same time.

Thanks to Lima, all your devices can become a node in your private network so they can serve your files as a source when the Lima app is running. The main source remains your external hard drive attached to Lima but all the local data kept on your other devices can also be used to serve your files.

We developed a peer-to-peer decentralized VPN so that all your devices are able to talk with each other directly, whether you’re home or in Bali. When you’re opening a file on one computer at home, the file content won’t go through the Internet but will stay in your local network. This also improves the speed of the transfer, as your local network is way faster than your Internet connection.

If you open this file from Bali, the file content goes through the Internet. To be able to do so, your devices need to contact your Lima (or another of your devices) to get the content, and to go through your Internet router at home. We implemented several ways to go through a router in our technology ZVPN.

In some cases where our technology cannot find a way to talk in peer-to-peer, we redirect the encrypted transfer through relay servers. This is something we do for free to make your experience as good as possible in any situation. Note that none of your files are stored on those servers: the server merely acts as the messenger from one device to the other.

However, when your Lima is in relay-mode, accessing your files might be slower. You can improve this by following the steps on this page.

How to improve the transfer of my files if Lima is connected through relay?

#1 Enable UPnP IGD on your Internet router

Almost all Internet routers have a feature called “UPnP”, which is a standard technology for applications (like Lima) to open ports on your router automatically. Usually, you can make sure this feature is enabled through the Web interface of your router.

This choice is the easiest. When enabled, you just need to reboot your Lima (unplug it then plug it back) and wait for a few minutes.

If you do not know if your router handles such feature or how to enable it, please contact your Internet provider which should be able to help you. A search on your favorite web search engine might help too ;)

If this does not work, you can try the following:

#2 Redirect manually the TCP port 25211

First, you need to make sure your Lima has a static IP address. You can do so in your Internet router web administration page. You need to find your Lima MAC address (it must starts with ‘80:0E:24’) and configure your router DHCP server to give the same LAN IP address for this MAC address.

You can then redirect the TCP port 25211 to your Lima IP and the same port 25211.

Finally, you just need to reboot your Lima (unplug it then plug it back) and wait for a few minutes.




Access your files from all your devices. Keep those files safe at home. Just the way it should be.