What is Split Tunneling?


Split tunneling is a VPN feature that separates your internet traffic and sends some of it through a VPN tunnel while sending the other data through a different tunnel on the open network. Split tunneling often allows you to pick which apps to protect and which ones to allow a regular connection.

At the point when you want to save access to local network devices while staying quiet, this feature is useful. Like this, you have synchronous access to both local and unfamiliar networks. You can likewise save some data transmission by utilizing it.

Different Types of Split Tunneling

Split tunneling utilizing VPN is conceivable in various ways. You may either pick which applications and sites go through the VPN or allowlist applications and sites to go straight through the VPN. They are listed underneath:


1. Inverse split tunneling

Similar to allowing listing is inverse split tunneling. You specify which websites and apps you want to access the internet directly. To connect directly, employ split tunneling if a social media app isn’t working properly. For everything else, you would utilize the VPN. As you go along, you can choose what to link to directly, thanks to this.


2. App-based split tunneling

App-based split tunneling selects which data to send through the VPN based on each application, as opposed to working with specific data. Users have the option to add complete programs to the system list, in which case the service will consider the potential sources of sensitive data. All data from such applications will subsequently be routed through the VPN’s network to ensure the security of the data.


3. URL-based split tunneling

A VPN can be told to exclusively handle data from particular websites using a URL-based technique. The VPN encrypts all your network traffic when you access these websites throughout your session. Typically, URL-based split tunneling with a VPN will need a browser extension.


4. Dynamic split tunneling

By adding a second layer, dynamic split tunneling controls what information is sent through (or past) the encrypted tunnel. Dynamic split tunneling leverages the Domain Name System and ACLs to allow or reject data entrance to the VPN (DNS). It can read domain names in this manner and decide what traffic to block.

Benefits of Split Tunneling

  • Speed Up Your Connection

Connecting to the internet directly is faster than using a VPN service. The additional hop to the VPN server requires some more time, and the VPN’s encryption also adds to the delay. Split tunneling allows you to increase the speed of programs and websites that don’t need to go through the VPN.


  • Safe Torrenting

A VPN is necessary for anonymous torrenting and protecting your identity from copyright trolls. Split tunneling enables you to encrypt your torrenting activity while keeping the rest of your browsing private if you want to protect your P2P activity and access less sensitive services at the same time.


  • Access Geo-Restricted Content

When using streaming services like Netflix, it’s normal to use a VPN to get around geographical content limitations. You could still need to access regionally-restricted content or local search results. You can pick which programs use your home IP address and which use a VPN server’s IP address by using split tunneling.


  • Access to multiple networks

VPNs can access websites that are inaccessible to users outside of a specified location in addition to protecting your online behavior. Split tunneling enables you to use your VPN to access geo-restricted websites while using your regular internet connection to access local services. For instance, you could want to look into a product that is only offered abroad. However, you also want to look through local survey data. You can carry out both of these tasks at once using split tunneling.


Cons of Split Tunneling


  • Privacy risks

By turning on split tunneling, you instruct your VPN to encrypt only a portion of your online traffic and data. Due to the lack of cybersecurity safeguards on regular or public internet connections, this configuration exposes the rest of your online activities to hackers.


  • Complex setup

Split tunneling that is dynamic, app-based, or URL-based might be challenging to use. Each link and domain must be manually added to your VPN’s list, so it understands which connections to encrypt and which to skip. Additionally, you must be meticulous. Not adding some websites to your VPN could expose sensitive communications.


Split tunneling using a VPN can be extremely effective in protecting your confidential information without sacrificing internet performance. However, since not all of your online activity will be secured, it necessarily results in less private traffic than when you use a VPN for everything.

Therefore, avoid split tunneling and instead use your VPN for all of your traffic if online security is your top priority. Split tunneling is worth a try, though, if you don’t feel the need to encrypt everything you do, and you want a little extra security without slowing down your load speeds.