vpns with split tunneling feature what is vpn split tunneling

Are you looking to download securely and privately without slowing down the network? You might stream content online often and want your connection to be private and secure. VPNs can provide unrestricted access to global content and excellent security features. VPNs can increase ping and decrease network speed when connected to distant servers.

Are you short on time?

These are the top VPNs that offer split tunneling.

  1. NordVPN – The best split tunneling VPN on Windows and Android
  2. Surfshark – The best VPN service for certain websites
  3. ExpressVPN – The best VPN for Mac users
  4. Private Internet Access– Strong and fast VPN with split tunneling
  5. IPVanish is a great alternative.

You can get the best of both. There’s a simple and convenient way to do this. Split tunneling VPN is the best option. Split tunneling is not available on all VPN services. This guide will cover split tunneling in detail and highlight five of the best split tunneling VPNs.

What is VPN Split Tunneling?

Before we get into the details about how it works and the pros and cons of it, or if it is even necessary, let’s start with the basic question: What is split tunneling? Split tunneling is a VPN feature which divides your Internet traffic.

You can run two networks simultaneously with split tunneling. Split tunneling allows you to send a portion of your connection through a VPN tunnel, and route the rest through your local network.

This is different from the default option that connects to the Internet via one connection. This is a great feature that you should have. It allows you to get fast internet and protect some of your traffic.

Main Types Of Split Tunneling

Split tunneling can be described in three main ways. These are the three main methods of splitting tunneling:

  • App Based Split Tunneling This allows you to choose which apps you wish to run through your VPN’s servers. You can also have all traffic from the VPN’s servers routed through your regular network, even those you don’t choose.
  • URL Based Split Tunneling The tunnel is created using a VPN browser extension. This allows you to choose the URLs that you want to be routed through a VPN tunnel.
  • Inverse split tunneling – This type is opposite to the others. Inverse split tunneling allows you to select URLs and applications that you do not want to pass through a VPN tunnel. All traffic goes through the VPN servers automatically.

Split Tunneling: The Pros

Split tunneling, like any VPN feature, has its pros and cons. Let’s start with the best benefits of split tunneling.

Simultaneous Multi Network Access

Split tunneling allows you to access multiple networks simultaneously. This means that you can access services or sites remotely from your local network while still working on your local network.

Split tunneling offers a very user-friendly experience. Split tunneling is very convenient because you don’t need to disconnect and reconnect your VPN every time you switch connections.

You can, for example, download or stream something using VPN split tunneling connection.

At the same time, stay connected to your local network and enjoy a full-speed browsing speed.

Better Network Performance

You can also enjoy enhanced security and performance, as well as the previously mentioned advantage. You will experience faster network speeds and less latency than if you were connected through a full tunnel.

This will reduce bottlenecks and allow you to route only a portion of your connection. You’ll have a better connection overall because neither your VPN nor your local connections are sent entirely through the same server.

Cons of Split Tunneling

We’ve already discussed the benefits split tunneling can bring your network. It’s only fair that we also look at the negatives. Here are the top disadvantages to split tunneling.

Not as Safe as a Full Tunnel

Split tunneling is not the best option if privacy and security are your main goals. There are security issues associated with VPN split tunneling that you need to be aware of. This can expose your sensitive information to hackers who want to dig deeper.

Let’s say your VPN split tunnel or local connection is compromised. An attacker will be able track the network back to your computer easily. Split tunneling can be as dangerous as full VPN tunnels because it allows for more privacy and has the potential to open backdoors.

Often Time-Consuming To Set Up

It can take a long time to set up the settings and permissions depending on the type of split tunnel you use. It will be up to you to decide which URLs or apps you want to use through the split tunnel, and which through your network that is unprotected.

How to Use Split Tunneling

Now that we have a better understanding of split tunneling and its workings, we can move on to the crucial topic of how to use it. We’ve summarized the essential steps to make this process easy and smooth. We believe NordVPN to be the best VPN for split tunneling. In this article, we will show you how to split tunnel with NordVPN.

These steps are the same regardless of which one of five VPNs you choose to use. Let’s now look at how to use split tunneling VPN.

  1. Start the NordVPN App.
  2. Click on the tab “Settings”.
  3. Add VPN split tunneling to your VPN and turn it ON.

We love the NordVPN split tunneling feature. It’s both very efficient and easy to use. You can quickly adjust settings and add or delete apps. You can also disable or enable apps. You can now have two types of split tunneling in one app.

Best VPNs with Split Tunneling


NordVPN is a top-rated VPN service that offers split tunneling for Windows and Android. NordVPN is a top-notch VPN provider and split tunneling is just one of the many features. You will also find DNS leak protection, kill switch on most platforms .

NordVPN supports 5,200 servers across 59 countries. There are no bandwidth or speed restrictions on NordVPN servers. All servers are RAM-based. The NordLynx protocol is also available. It’s arguably the most efficient protocol.

NordVPN places a strong emphasis upon security and privacy. The service is located in Panama. It has a strict customer privacy policy. They do not collect any user connectiondata, and they are frequently audited by independent auditors. NordVPN has a security solution called CyberSec. This is a very useful anti-malware/phishing feature.

NordVPN logo

  • 5200+ global servers in 59+ countries
  • CyberSec malware and ad-blocking protection
  • Next-generation encryption with double VPN servers
  • Obfuscation technology that masks VPN traffic
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Works with Netflix and good for streaming
  • Lightning fast with P2P support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee


SurfShark has a split tunneling feature called the Whitelister. It’s a twist on traditional tunneling, but SurfShark is unique. It is available for Windows and Android devices. You can add apps or websites to the Whitelister and block them from routing through the VPN tunnel. However, the service made it clear that they will soon be adding more support.

You can also count upon a great, well-rounded VPN service. SurfShark is very fast, but also very user-friendly. It offers more than 3,200 servers in 65 countriesAll servers can be used P2P and have private DNS.

All of this costs less than a few dollars per month. SurfShark is the most affordable VPN service, especially when you choose a long-term plan.

Surfshark VPN logo horizontal

  • 3200+ global servers in 60+ countries
  • CleanWeb ad-blocking feature
  • Secure and strong encryption with OpenVPN
  • Whitelister, Multi-hop VPN and kill switch
  • No-logs policy
  • Works with Netflix and good for streaming
  • Great speeds
  • 30-day money-back guarantee


ExpressVPN is a split tunneling VPN provider that offers great value. Split tunneling is available for Windows, macOS and Android. This VPN is one of few that supports both split tunneling as well as inverse split tunneling.

It is possible to set it up using one of the 3,000+ servers located in 94 countries. ExpressVPN offers a wide range of protocols including the inhouse Lightway protocol.

This VPN is considered one of the best in the business. It offers private DNS for every server, strong network encryption and doesn’t store any connection logs.

  • 160+ Locations and 3000+ Servers
  • Strict No-Log policy
  • Unlimited streaming (Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer)
  • Strong military-grade AES256-bit key encryption
  • Split tunneling, Kill Switch and RAM-disk Servers
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Support for Windows, MacOS and Linux
  • Reliable connections and fast speeds

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is one of the best VPNs available. It offers excellent split tunneling features. Split tunneling is supported on nearly every platform. This supports Windows and macOS as well as Android split tunneling. PIA is a top-rated provider for the wide range of devices it supports.

The rest of PIA’s service, however, is comparable to the best in business. This VPN provides over 35,000 servers in 78 countries. These servers are lightning fast and don’t have data bandwidth caps. Connect up to 10 devices and enjoy split tunneling across all your devices. You also get strong encryption and a variety of solid protocols.

PIA Logo Horizontal

  • Block ads, trackers, and malware
  • Can be used with 10 devices simultaneously
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • 3200+ Servers in 29 Countries
  • No Traffic or Request logs
  • 7-day money-back guarantee


IPVanish is the best VPN for mobile users. It is a very simple and solid VPN, which makes it easy to use. It supports split tunneling via its Android app. There are more than 1,600 servers available in over 75 locations. Split tunneling allows you to use advanced encryption or multiple connections.

Split tunneling features of IPVanish are easy to set up and use. The cost of the service is very affordable. It comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee and allows you to connect to unlimited devices for one subscription. The service is extremely powerful and can unblock all major streaming services worldwide.

IPVanish logo

  • Apps for all plarforms and OS
  • 1600+ servers in 75 cities around the world
  • Access to SugarSync Storage
  • Zero traffic logs
  • Unmetered device connections
  • P2P and torrenting support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

VPN Split Tunneling FAQs

What’s a Full Tunnel VPN?

Full tunnel refers to the entire connection being routed through VPN servers. This term is closely related to split tunneling. Split tunneling, which is a subset of full tunneling but only one part of your network routed through a VPN server, is the opposite. The rest is routed via your regular IP address.

How can you tell if a VPN uses split tunneling?

Visit a website that displays your IP address to see if the VPN is split tunneling. It should show your local network, not your VPN server. This means that the data packets were not properly routed. You can use VPN split tunneling with Windows 10 devices by using a PowerShell command to check and enable it.

Which is better?

Split tunneling or full tunneling may not be the best option for you. Here’s a quick rule of thumb. Split tunneling is better if you need additional security and don’t want to slow down your connection. You should make sure your network is protected and private by using a VPN.

Which VPN protocol is best for splitting tunneling?

WireGuard split tunnels are the best VPN tunneling protocol. WireGuard is one the most efficient and fastest VPN protocols. It’s also very safe and highly adept at protecting sensitive and private information.

Is Split Tunneling Worth It?

Split tunneling is a great feature that you should have for many reasons. Split tunneling combines security, speed, and convenience to provide a fantastic VPN user experience. Split tunneling is well worth the effort. This option is worth exploring, but you should be aware of both the pros as well as the cons.

We recommend that you sign up for NordVPNSurfshark if you are an Android or Windows user. Split tunneling with expressVPN would be the best option if you are a macOS user. Each of the five VPNs that we have discussed is capable of offering you a great Split Tunneling feature on which to rely.


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