A very useful VPN feature, split tunneling allows VPN users to choose which services they would like to be routed through the VPN and which they would like to connect directly to the internet. This feature is very useful especially if you would want to unblock Netflix and still would want to use other services without using your VPN. In this article, we will discuss in detail about split tunneling.
What are the best split tunneling VPNs?
In this part, we have summarized our top recommended split tunneling VPN picks.
- ExpressVPN – one of the best VPNs with split tunneling and could be used on Windows, Mac, Android and even your router.
- Surfshark – great value VPN. Come with super-fast servers and amazing functions.
- PureVPN – This VPN is easy to setup especially its split tunneling for Android and Windows. It also has the ability to unblock services from around the world.
- AirVPN – great with split tunneling. It allows you to set up and also configure manually split tunneling on Windows, Mac and Linux
- Ivacy – this is the cheapest and most affordable VPN that offers split-tunneling on Android and Windows.
Our recommendations are based on VPNs that have a feature, split tunneling. Aside from that, we have ensured that all our recommendations come with reliable features such as:
- Privacy and security
- Large server network
- Fast connection speeds
- Value for money
Best Split Tunneling VPN services
As mentioned earlier, ExpressVPN is well-known and best VPN that comes with split-tunneling features that are compatible with Android, Mac, Windows, iOS and your router. Using their split tunneling feature is easy and simple. You will be able to find this on most devices in the Settings menu or in Options for Windows and Preferences for Mac. Once you have agreed to allow to use the VPN app, you will be presented with apps checklist that are arranged by name and by ability
to manually navigate their files. For those who are using router/s, through ExpressVPN, you will also be able to use their split tunneling feature.
ExpressVPN has about 160 servers in about 94 countries all over Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe, Africa and Middle East. This VPN service provider is based in British Virgin Islands which means they do not have to adhere to any data retention laws of the 5 eyes and 14 eyes countries.
Though ExpressVPN is more expensive compared to other VPN service providers, you could be assured that you get what you are paying for. They offer high quality services and features that could handle bypassing geographical restrictions including Netflix. They are also implementing and maintaining a strict no logs policy which is perfect for those who would like to do P2P downloads and torrenting.
Surfshark is also based in British Virgin Islands which means you do not have to worry about your information or online activities data being stored, retained and submitted to any government of the 14 eyes countries. They have a wide range of servers spread all over the world and they also offer split tunneling feature which they call Whitelister. Through it you could select apps and sites which you would like to go through your VPN connection. This means, you could watch your favorite movie or show even if it is not available in your current location and at the same time do online banking.
This VPN service provide also allows their subscribers to connect unlimited devices simultaneously and they offer a 30-day money back guarantee to their new subscribers. Surfshark, indeed is a great value VPN.
PureVPN is compatible with most operating systems such as Android, Windows, macOS and iOS. Take note, however, PureVPN’s split tunneling feature is not yet available on Apple devices and is only available to Windows and Android devices.
PureVPN is based in Hong Kong and is one of the most affordable VPNs. They have about 2000 servers located in about 141 countries all over the world. They allow their subscribers to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. Moreover, this VPN comes with a kill switch which means, you do not have to worry about your data and information leaking in case your VPN connection suddenly disconnects. Lastly, with PureVPN, you do not have to worry as their split-tunneling feature is easy to setup.
AirVPN comes with a split tunneling feature that works on Windows, Linus and macOS. You could find this in Preferences on desktop application and it might require its users to put in their IP/Host/Range manually instead of selecting it from a list.
This VPN service provider is based in Italy and they offer servers in about 21 countries worldwide. They also do not keep logs which means if you love to download P2P and torrents, you are safe to do so. Furthermore, through this VPN you could be assured that you will be able to bypass restrictions including China’s.
AirVPN offers a three-day trial for 2 euros but if you are planning to subscribe, you surely will have great savings with their longer subscriptions.
Ivacy is the most affordable VPN that offers split tunneling in this list. For as low as $1.50 a month, you will be able to access the mentioned advanced feature of this VPN. Unfortunately, this is only available to Windows and Android devices.
This VPN service provider is well recognized for its achievements in the VPN industry. They are actually one of those who pioneered the split-tunneling feature but unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, it is not yet available for Apple users.
Ivacy is based in Singapore and has about 1000 servers in about 56 countries worldwide. They have high quality security and privacy features including their strict no logs policy. Furthermore, this VPN service provider ensures that their subscribers’ connection is fast and for their new clients, they offer a 7-day trial or a 30-day money back guarantee.
What is split tunneling?
Virtual Private Networks or more commonly known as VPN is a tool that allows its users to access restricted content and ensures that online connection is secured and data are kept private. For most, VPN acts as a tunnel where online traffic is kept secured while it passes between client computer and the remote VPN server.
By default, VPNs would usually route 100 percent of your online traffic through a VPN server. However, through split tunneling, VPN users could select a specific traffic or data through VPN server and the remaining shall pass through normally through Internet Service Provider (ISP). In other words, you will be allowed to select what and which apps or websites you would want to go through your VPN and which ones you would want to pass through your ISP.
Choosing exceptions will create interesting traffic and you may be interested in specific traffic for many reasons. One of which could be security or it could also be due to convenience as well.
Why do you need a split tunneling VPN?
Though one of the main purposes of VPN is to secure internet traffic and protect data from prying eyes, this could be inconvenient to others as VPNs are usually considered as bottleneck on bandwidth as all of traffic is automatically transmitted which slows the internet down.
By controlling interesting traffic, you could connect devices and apps to a VPN and at the same time link other traffic to your local network to access devices that are connected to LAN. This only means you could get the best of both worlds. Those programs or websites that carries sensitive information, data and online traffic could use the services and features of VPN while others that are not as sensitive, could use full internet speed.
Also, some subscribers might want to access the American version of Netflix or download files with the use of a VPN but at the same time not sacrificing bandwidth.
Split tunneling is also popular in the business world especially to those who are working remotely. Through this feature, they will be able to access professional services from unsecured network at home but at the same time access lets them do other private activities such as streaming music from Spotify.
Is split tunneling difficult to set up?
Though there are still other VPNs that do not include split tunneling feature, it is easy to use. Users do not need to configure operating systems manually to customize what they want and need from their VPN.
Can you use split tunneling VPN on mobile?
Mobile VPN is very important especially if you are conscious about online privacy and security and using the right VPN on your mobile phone could help you unblock games from other countries without having to worry about risks. Keep in mind, however, that using VPN on your mobile could increase your data usage between 5 to 15 percent depending on the encryption level applied. Countries such as China, Iran, Iraq, India usually impose censorship on video games on some games such as Pokemon Go, PUBG, etc. Luckily, through ExpressVPN, you could use their split tunneling feature on your Android phone. Unfortunately, this feature is not yet available on iOS.
Is split tunneling safe?
Some businesses and organizations fear that unsecured tunnels could act as gateway for attacker/s and malware to hit their networks. This concern is actually being debated until today. Hence, for business use, it is not suggested for employees to use split tunneling when on public or unsecured network.
Types of split tunneling
1. Inverse split tunneling- reverses standard by pushing information through VPN by default.
2. IP-based routing- this dictates the information packet to go directly to its destination. However, administrators could use policy based routing as split tunneling.
For those who have a bit of knowledge or has the desire to learn could opt to cover all devices they have through the use of a DD-WRT-VPN service directly on the router.
By using split tunneling feature of VPN, you could get the best of both worlds of being able to unblock content abroad at the same time access your local services. Here is a summary of best VPNs we highly recommend:
1. ExpressVPN – one of the best VPNs with split tunneling and could be used on Windows, Mac, Android and even your router.
2. Surfshark – great value VPN. Come with super-fast servers and amazing functions.
3. PureVPN – This VPN is easy to setup especially its split tunneling for Android and Windows. It also has the ability to unblock services from around the world.
4. AirVPN – great with split tunneling. It allows you to set up and also configure manually split tunneling on Windows, Mac and Linux
5. Ivacy – this is the cheapest and most affordable VPN that offers split-tunneling on Android and Windows.