What Is Split Tunneling VPN and How Can It Help You

skyvpn split tunnel

Virtual Private Network helps people in a lot of aspects when they browse online, from visiting restricted content to protecting data and privacy. VPN plays a role as a tunnel encapsulating the data transmitted between the client device and a VPN server in all cases.

Although VPN helps people stay anonymous online by hiding their IP addresses, it doesn’t fit in all cases. Specifically, VPN doesn’t work well or fails as you deliver food, get Uber, or try to use nearby printers. All the above cases belong to the range of Local Area Network (LAN). That is why split tunneling is called for on a VPN.


What Is Split Tunneling?

As an advanced feature in VPN, split tunneling compensates for VPN’s “all-or-nothing” disadvantage.

VPN split tunnel allows partial devices, websites, or applications to go through the encrypted tunnel while the rest of the devices, websites, or applications directly get connected to the internet. With split tunnel used, you can protect the traffic that is closely correlated with your online security and privacy on one hand; you can get access to LAN on the other hand.

As a VPN is used without a split tunneling feature, you keep all your traffic going through the encrypted tunnel established by a VPN. Yes, all your activities are well-protected thanks to the functions of a VPN. However, as you get delivery food on GrubHub, it can’t be accessed due to the current VPN connection. To access it, you should disconnect your VPN first and order food on GrubHub. Unfortunately, as you disconnect your VPN to use local service, all the other data will be suffering from cybersecurity risk and extremely likely to be stolen or misused. As you return your VPN to be connected again, all your data will be safe again but your local services aren’t available again. To obtain the perfect balance between cybersecurity and local service, you should constantly shift between “Connect” and “Disconnect”. How sweaty!

VPN service with split tunneling allows VPN users to visit public networks with their daily work and life smoothly running. Moreover, because internet traffic doesn’t go through VPN servers, a bottleneck can be alleviated, and bandwidth saved.

By the way, there’s a term in the split tunnel, that is, interesting traffic. It refers to the traffic that needs to go through a VPN tunnel, mostly including sensitive information, closely correlated with cybersecurity and privacy.

How does Split Tunneling Work?

Normally, there are two types of split tunneling: conventional split tunneling and inverse split tunneling.

Conventional split tunneling allows all connected devices or applications to be protected by VPN except individual devices or applications.

Inverse split tunneling conforms to a contrary style, protecting the chosen devices or applications alone while all the rest get directly connected with the internet.

Either conventional split tunneling or inverse split tunneling, users are allowed to set on a VPN application.

Do I Need Split Tunneling?

Absolutely yes. Split tunneling is an advanced feature optimizing your application of a VPN.

Based on the definition of split-tunneling VPN, it allows you to enjoy streaming video and to get your food delivery at home, through the same device.

When you use a VPN that doesn’t support split tunneling, you would meet the following cases:

  • You can’t visit foreign resources or local network services at the same time;
  • Your bandwidth will be consumed to slow down your VPN connection;
  • You can’t access LAN devices such as the local printer.

When you use a VPN supporting split tunneling, however, you’re allowed to:

  • Use local IP address to watch streaming videos;
  • Securely download files without slowing down your other network activities;
  • Safely access the internet and local devices at the same time.

Are There Any Security Risks When Using Split Tunneling?

It’s hard to say.

Conventional VPN connection protects all your online activities from being monitored by spying eyes through the unique established tunnel with encryption. Split tunneling VPN, however, provides two tunnels, one for important or sensitive data protection, the other for local network services. Therefore, the split tunneling VPN provides users more freedom to customize their browsing style.

Not all your online activities are worth protecting by a VPN. Not all websites need to be accessed by overcoming restrictions. After all, using full tunneling usually leads to a congested network, which is the most upsetting.

Therefore, to achieve an optimal balance between speed and security, remote VPN and local network, VPN connection, and an internet connection, split tunneling should be picked up and carefully set up to customize your traffic tunnels based on your demand. In addition, you should constantly modify your settings as your environment changes, which is especially important while you go on business or traveling when the internet becomes unstable.

Split Tunneling vs. Full Tunneling: Better Have Than Nothing

Split tunneling vs. full tunneling, the former is customizable while the latter is all-or-nothing. For VPN users, it’s better to have an advanced feature than nothing.

Split tunneling VPN can release the pressure of internet traffic by allowing partial traffic to depend on VPN. All the rest of the traffic doesn’t consume any VPN bandwidth, including local network services. Users can get the best browsing experience and network performance and corporations can save bandwidth.

Full tunneling VPN encapsulates all the data transmitted between the user’s device and VPN server into a single tunnel. It’s an instant and easy VPN solution that can be used by everyone. For those who expect a simple VPN solution to protect their online security and privacy, full tunneling VPN works well if the VPN connection speed meets users’ demands. For corporations, split tunneling VPN is a must since they must achieve a balance between security and speed. After all, high speed leads to high efficiency and more profits.

How do I Enable & Use Split Tunneling?

First, you should select a VPN service and configure split tunneling on the VPN client software in full accordance with your online needs. You can install different versions of VPN client software on different devices with configuration completed. Different VPN services conform to different split tunneling types. Some let you exclude specified applications, traffic mode, or devices.

On the list of items that should be excluded from VPN, streaming video service, or online gaming top the first because they consume large traffic and call for low latency. Therefore, the streaming box should be excluded from the VPN list unless you want to beat the ban to watch more videos exclusive in specified regions.

Use SkyVPN, The Best Split Tunneling VPN, for Perfect Balance between VPN Speed and Performance

SkyVPN is a truly split-tunneling VPN that allows users to customize their network traffic in a smart and simple way.

  • Protect the chosen traffic without losing access to local network services
  • Minimize the bandwidth and speed up a VPN connection
  • Customize your traffic tunnels for optimal balance between VPN speed and performance
  • Easy, simple and user-friendly

Download SkyVPN now to obtain the best network performance and the highest online security.


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