March 1, 2024

How Split Tunneling VPN Works and Why You Should Use It

You may manage which apps are sent through a VPN and which are not by using split tunneling. Most top commercial VPN services offer this feature, including ExpressVPN.

VPN offers many benefits, like unlocking geo-specific content on Netflix or paying less for tickets at Ticketmaster. But it can also slow down your internet speed.

Security

What is split tunneling vpn do? When you utilize VPN split tunneling, only some traffic travels through the secure tunnel; the rest goes straight to the websites and services you choose. While respecting the privacy of other apps and websites that do not require security, it enables you to visit websites that require your location, such as streaming material from several areas and ticket-buying websites.

It also makes it easier to download large files and access network printers without slowing down your internet speeds or requiring you to fire up the VPN app. However, it’s important to note that this does not increase your security – the traffic to these other apps will still be unencrypted and exposed to hackers.

For business users, split tunneling can reduce the load on corporate servers and data centers. It also lowers hardware costs. Additionally, split tunneling can reduce the risks of employees accidentally sending sensitive information over an insecure connection.

Whether you’re a business user or want to take advantage of the benefits, enabling split tunneling is easy and convenient. Many VPNs offer a simple interface where you can select which apps and websites should go through the VPN, while others go directly to the web. You can customize this further by determining which URLs should be excluded from the tunnel, such as streaming video websites, online banking apps, and TikTok.

Speed

Depending on your VPN provider, the encryption of a VPN can take up a fair amount of bandwidth. As a result, it can impact your connection speed significantly.

It can be problematic if you use specific apps that need fast connections, such as torrent clients or streaming platforms. Inverse split tunneling allows you to set up your VPN to only encrypt data for specific apps, preserving your original connection speeds.

Inverse tunneling is also helpful for businesses that handle sensitive information. A typical business VPN will inspect traffic to ensure safety and block dangerous websites or protect against malware. Employees connecting to the internet directly from their computers can bypass these safeguards and put the entire organization’s network at risk of hacking or malware attacks.

Using inverse split tunneling enables employees to continue to work with these sensitive apps without the risks. It can also save the company money by enabling them to connect to the internet from outside of the office at a more economical rate.

Convenience

One of the reasons why people use VPNs is that they help them secure their online data and bypass geo-blocking. However, using a virtual private network to encrypt and route your internet traffic occasionally results in issues like bottlenecks and slower speeds. You can avoid these issues with split tunneling by exempting certain websites and applications from the encryption and tunneling process.

This feature is handy for travelers, allowing them to bypass local restrictions without sacrificing speed or security. For instance, you can add the website to the list of apps using split tunneling if you’re traveling and want to access Netflix’s geo-restricted material. It will allow the app to pass through the VPN and bypass local restrictions while allowing you to usually access other websites and services, such as your bank account or weather forecasts.

While VPNs are generally used to protect against government spying and bypass Internet censorship, they can also help improve web browsing and download speeds by alleviating bandwidth bottlenecks and conserving bandwidth. However, some online activities, such as streaming, social media, and online banking, require high privacy and speed, which VPNs cannot guarantee. Split tunneling offers an excellent solution to these dilemmas by allowing users to choose which online activities should be routed through the VPN and which shouldn’t.

Cost

It’s no secret that VPN services can slow your internet speed a little due to the extra hop and encryption they perform. Maintaining a high-speed connection for tasks like streaming 4K movies or gaming can be a pain. Split tunneling allows you to prioritize security for the apps and websites needing it while routing traffic outside the encrypted tunnel to improve your internet speeds.

Another advantage of using split tunneling is that it can help you bypass restrictions on specific apps and sites. 

Another downside of splitting your tunnels is that it opens up a vulnerability to hackers. The unsecured tunnels expose your IP address and other information to websites or apps that don’t use the VPN, which bad actors can use to track you online. However, this risk can be mitigated by carefully choosing which apps and sites to route through the VPN and which to connect directly. NordVPN’s guide on this subject has more details.

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