Overview About Split Tunneling

In this article, we will teach you how does split tunneling works.


Split Tunneling is a feature of a Virtual Private Network or VPN. It allows you to direct a portion of your internet traffic through an encrypted virtual private network. Split Tunneling leaves the rest to be transmitted via a different tunnel on the public network. It is a state-of-the-art feature with certain uses this article will cover in detail.

People can choose which tunnel their internet traffic is sent on a website-by-website basis or through an app-by-app basis. For example, consider a situation where a person wants to interact with devices or machines on the open network while encrypting his/her internet traffic. 

Essentially, split tunneling provides people more power over how they send their data. They can either opt for the faster, slightly safe tunnel or the slower, much safer tunnel. Nonetheless, to understand why tunnels with encryption are slower, you must know how split tunneling functions in VPNs.



How Does Split Tunneling Work?

To comprehend how split tunneling functions, you must know how VPN services function. Basically, when a person is connected to the internet, his/her browser links with his/her Internet Service Provider’s server. It subsequently asks for a server of the website for certain content. However, this is an excessively simplified way of explaining it.

When a person utilizes a VPN service, there is an additional server that his/her web traffic passes through. The computer first links with a VPN server that accesses the web. Thus, you must use a VPN to hide your IP address and bypass geo-restricted web pages or platforms wherever you are located.

With split tunneling, people can instruct the Virtual Private Network to only route internet traffic from particular apps or URLs. A VPN routes the traffic via a secured channel, while other web traffic will route through the public network. 


Various ways to implement split tunneling

  • Application-based: There are VPN services that allow you to choose particular applications to connect via the Virtual Private Network. Utilizing this method, the VPN will route those selected apps, while all other web traffic passes through the typical network.
  • URL-based: One of the popular methods of implementing split tunneling is through particular website URLs. This method lets you specify which website URLs need encryption via the VPN. Nonetheless, this is typically done through a browser extension of the VPN.
  • Inverse split tunneling: With this method, the opposite is true. All traffic is transmitted via the VPN and users choose exactly which applications or website URLs don’t pass the VPN.


VPN Split Tunneling Benefits

This section will detail the split tunneling benefits for people on private & corporate networks:


Users Can Keep their VPN Switched On

Some apps, services, and platforms simply will not work with VPN enabled. These particular apps, services, and platforms might require people’s home IP addresses for verification. Or they may block traffic from popular VPN servers.

If you always enable your VPN for complete protection, you might need to turn it off every so often. Turn it off when you need to utilize one of these applications or platforms. Nonetheless, it’s a nuisance, and it endangers you from leaking information if you leave the VPN off.

However, split tunneling stops people from doing that by enabling them to specify which applications or services go through the tunnel of VPN.


Speed Up Internet Connection

Utilizing a VPN service is slower compared to connecting straight to the internet. The additional hop to the Virtual Private Network server will take some time, and the VPN encryption causes a delay as well.

Among the fastest Virtual Private Networks, people will typically see a slowdown in web connection of between 10% & 30%. It slows down when linking from the US (Chicago) to the UK (London). However, by utilizing split tunneling, web users can boost the performance of websites & applications that don’t need to go through the VPN.


Reduce The Consumption of the Mobile Bandwidth

If your cellular data plan has a fixed data cap (bandwidth cap), you will reach the limit faster if you use a VPN. Actually, you will consume your cellular data plan between 4% & 20% more while using a VPN. Nonetheless, by using split tunneling, people can choose which apps pass through the VPN tunnel. Thus, they can avoid utilizing more mobile bandwidth than they need to.


Avoid Data Limits

Most premium Virtual Private Networks provide unlimited data usage. However, free Virtual Private Networks often have a monthly limit to the amount of data that travels through their networks.

Several free VPN services with data limits support split tunneling. Wherein, people can stretch their VPN data allowance.


Protect Torrenting Traffic

A VPN service is important for torrenting securely, safely, and concealing the identities of people from copyright trolls. Nonetheless, to secure Peer-to-Peer (P2P) activity and access fewer sensitive services at the same time, you can utilize the split tunneling feature. It encrypts torrenting activities whilst leaving all other browsings untouched.


Protect Gaming Activities

The use of Virtual Private Network services has become more typical in the online gaming world. A lot of gamers are concerned about revealing their real true location, while other gamers want to keep away from DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks.

Utilizing a VPN conceals IP addresses, so gamers will not expose themselves. Nonetheless, gaming is extremely data-intensive. But, split tunneling lets gamers protect their gaming activity while sending the rest of their traffic elsewhere.


Acquire Local Area Network (LAN) Resources

VPN services can have an impact on people’s ability to access local area network (LAN) resources. However, it is not as much of a problem as tons of websites get along. If a person uses a top-tier Virtual Private Network service, it is probable the VPN offers an option to access local area network devices. Nonetheless, if you use a VPN that does not function with devices on your LAN, the viable solution will be split tunneling.



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Here are the main reasons why you must use a VPN:

  • Your activities are hidden from your ISP, the government, and from the apps you are using.
  • You can access additional movies and TV streams.
  • ISP attempts to throttle are thrwarted thus reducing buffering issues.
  • Geographically restricted content like Netflix and Hulu can be unblocked.

A VPN works be replacing your ISP-assigned IP address and creating an encrypted tunnel. We recommend the no log service offered by IPVanish. It works well on a Firestick and offers the fastest possible speeds.

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Access Applications and Websites That Hinder VPN Traffic

By turning VPN split tunneling on, people can permanently secure their web connection safely while routing apps that do not work via the VPN out of the encrypted tunnel.


Control Content with Geo-Restrictions

It’s typical to use a VPN service to go around content with geographic restrictions on streaming platforms such as Netflix. Nonetheless, it’s likely you will still need to access entertainment content that’s inaccessible to your region. However, split tunneling lets you choose which apps utilize your IP address and which will utilize the VPN server’s IP address.


Lessen Corporate Network Load

Using split tunneling reduces the load of the VPN server on the company and speeds up the internet connection for its employees.


Why Do You Need Split Tunneling?

Have you become aware that your internet connection sometimes slows down when connecting to a server utilizing a Virtual Private Network? That’s because the web traffic passes through an intermediary server. Thus, it takes longer for data packets to go through between these points.

When routing only a portion of the web traffic via an encrypted tunnel of the VPN, it lets you use all other bandwidth completely for other activities.

For example, if you’re streaming Netflix or Hulu and your employer called you that you must work on something confidential that is running on a safe server. Linking to a VPN service means you will obtain slower speeds that can result in buffering while you stream your favorite movie or TV show.

However, split tunneling lets you use the secure tunnel of the VPN only for transmitting sensitive information, while still letting you use complete bandwidth for Hulu or Netflix.


Is Split Tunneling Secure & Safe for VPN services?

Undoubtedly, split tunneling with a Virtual Private Network or VPN adds additional security. As with any technology, people always caution against excessive dependence on a single feature. Nonetheless, there is tons of debate regarding whether the split tunneling feature slows the overall encryption and provides a backdoor for cybercriminals to exploit.

If you use split-tunneling to watch or unblock entertainment content while keeping the highest internet speeds, everything is going just fine. Nonetheless, if your main use of a VPN focuses on data security as well as identity protection, the split tunneling feature might be an unnecessary liability.


What are the Drawbacks of Split Tunneling?

Without correctly configuring the VPN service to split the tunneling feature, your private information will be at risk. Private data becomes visible to hackers, third parties, ISP, and the government through DNS leaks. Without great active firewall protection, third parties could bypass the gateway-level security of a person and could access the corporate network.

Remote users that download corporate private network content are also endangering the materials. While the split tunneling feature lets them link to the specified network, the office’s safety protocol is not protecting the user’s PC once he/she disconnects from the VPN.


Pros & Cons


  • Reduces the probability of bandwidth throttling
  • You can access public & private networks at the same time
  • Remote users will obtain access to company resources from anywhere 



  • Incorrect configuration of the system firewall and the split tunnel VPN lead to personal as well as corporate exposure
  • Exposed to the possibility of danger of DNS leaks
  • Third parties might access corporate networks 


Leading VPN Services for Split Tunneling

There are a few of the best VPN platforms available today for split tunneling. Some prices of the VPN reflect current promotions. Nonetheless, the Split tunneling feature allows people to have better control over how they channel their internet traffic via their devices, while linked to the VPN. This feature allows people to choose the applications that they would prefer to travel through their Internet Service Provider (ISP), rather than the VPN. 

Nonetheless, Surfshark service provides this feature on its application for Android-based devices. A split tunneling feature is a revolutionary tool where people control how the web traffic through their apps is routed while having absolute security & privacy through the Surfshark VPN service. 

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How to Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick

If your Firestick still has the older interface, read this article to learn how to update it: Update Firestick Interface.

You can download Surfshark directly from the Amazon App store. It will be easy for you to find Surfshark with your Firestick’s Find feature. Refer to our screenshots below.

1. Go to the Home screen of your Firestick.

step 1 Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick


2. Navigate towards the Find tab. Press the Search button from the resulting dropdown.

step 2 Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick


3. Type in the keyword of SurfShark and select from the suggestions that will appear.

step 3 Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick


4. Click the official SurfShark icon from your search results.

step 4 Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick


5. Press the Download (You own it) button.

step 5 Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick


6. The SurfShark VPN installer will download on your device.

step 6 Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick


7. SurfShark VPN’s app will automatically install itself on your Fire TV stick.

step 7 Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick


8. Press the Open button after completing SurfShark VPN’s installation process.

step 8 Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick


9. Please wait for the SurfShark VPN to load its user interface.

step 9 Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick


10. You can now log in with your SurfShark VPN account credentials.

step 10 Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick

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Is VPN Split Tunneling Feature 100% Safe?

Yes, the split tunneling feature is completely safe


How to Stop the Split Tunneling Feature?

It is all very simple. Just head back to your VPN service’s Settings or Options and then disable or turn off the split tunneling feature.



The VPN split tunneling feature can be a great way of maintaining your sensitive information secure without declining the speed of the internet connection. However, split tunneling does make web traffic less private compared to using a Virtual Private Network for everything.

Nonetheless, always remember to turn on a VPN every time you use the internet. Feel free to let us know what you think of our Everything You Need to Know About Split Tunneling article in the comments section below.

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