Split tunneling is the best option if you want extra security for some activities without slowing down internet speeds or clogging bandwidth. It enables you to access local resources like network printers and shared drives while retaining privacy for internet traffic that requires it.
With split tunneling, you decide which apps and URLs to route through your VPN’s secure tunnel. However, it can be a complicated process to configure and implement.
What is split tunneling VPN? Split tunneling allows VPNs to encrypt specific traffic while letting other apps connect to the Internet directly. You can use applications that need a secure connection, such as online banking services, search engines, and websites that function best when they know your location.
Although all VPNs offer sufficient security, separating your network connection enables you to more precisely control what data is transferred over the encrypted tunnel and what is sent outside of it. By sending harmful links or attachments that can infect your device, hackers who conduct data breaches or phishing attacks are less likely to cause harm.
The exact way this is handled differs between types of split tunneling, but the general idea is to list apps or URLs that will go through the VPN and those that will not. It can be as simple as picking the apps you want to be protected by the VPN and everything else going through your regular connection, or it can be more detailed, with each URL being filtered and encrypting only particular sites and not all of them.
Defining app-based rules increases the complexity of managing your VPN, and you could accidentally set an app to bypass your VPN tunnel. However, this is much better than sending your internet traffic through unencrypted connections, which would risk your business’s sensitive data.
If you’re familiar with VPNs, you know they encrypt data and route it through a tunnel to the Internet. It allows users to operate on a private network over public networks, such as the Wi-Fi in coffee shops, restaurants, or at home, without risking data leaks or hacking. However, VPNs can cause bottlenecks in bandwidth usage and slow down Internet connections. It is where split tunneling comes in handy – it allows users to operate on a VPN while also accessing apps, websites, or services that require a complete connection to the Internet.
Using app-based or URL-based split tunneling, you can choose which apps and sites will go through the VPN tunnel and which will connect directly to the Internet. It is ideal to use specific apps, such as banking or medical apps, where the data contained is compassionate. Alternatively, you can split tunnel streaming apps to keep access to shows available in your region or download torrents safely.
A split tunneling VPN is essential for remote employees who must stay connected to their corporate network while working from the office or on the road. It allows them to work on their assigned projects while protecting data and avoiding risks from insecure public Wi-Fi networks and malicious sites that could compromise productivity. However, to make the most of the technology, you should review and update routing rules based on your unique apps, resources, and risk tolerance.
In addition to the added privacy benefits of a VPN, many organizations choose to deploy them for performance reasons. As mentioned above, encrypting network traffic takes up bandwidth otherwise free for other online activities. That’s why an organization needs to optimize its VPN solution for the specific needs of its employees.
VPN services provide various split-tunneling solutions to ensure users can keep a high internet speed while using the advantages of security and accessibility. Most types of split tunneling allow you to choose which apps or websites go through the VPN’s encrypted tunnel and which connect directly to the public Internet, prioritizing privacy where you want to while maintaining a fast network connection elsewhere.
For example, you should route a VPN tunnel through applications or URLs requiring heightened privacy, such as banking apps, medical software, or proprietary corporate networks. You should also route traffic through the tunnel for geo-blocked sites and services.
Your VPN’s client software acts as a traffic cop, inspecting every packet to determine if it matches your custom split tunnel policies. That allows you to enforce more robust network security policies for sensitive traffic while granting your employees uncompromised privacy for less essential activities.
When a VPN is used, everything connected to your device is routed through a secure tunnel. It includes apps, websites, and data you access directly. The benefit of this strategy is that it maintains all of your data encrypted, making it impossible for hackers to snoop on your information; nevertheless, it can cause internet speeds to drop, especially when using resource-intensive apps like streaming services.
With split tunneling, you can decide which websites and applications should use a VPN tunnel and which can access the Internet without one. For example, you can set up a VPN browser extension to have any URLs related to shopping, travel, or banking go through the VPN tunnel. In contrast, all other internet traffic goes over your regular connection. It can be a massive benefit if you work abroad, for instance, as it ensures that your financial and health data remain private and that you can still watch your favorite shows on Netflix.
This customization can also help improve security for digital workplaces, where employees are distributed across offices, remote locations, and mobile devices. Routing rules can be fine-tuned to provide better security and productivity by defaulting corporate laptops to full tunnels. At the same time, personal devices can use split tunneling with only business traffic encapsulated. It can also be helpful when complying with regulations, such as GDPR and HIPAA, which require sensitive or regulated data to only flow through secure channels.