What is VPN split tunneling?
VPN split tunneling is an advanced feature that lets you choose which apps need virtual private network (VPN) protection and which can access the internet directly. The first group benefits from the safety of the secure tunnel of your VPN, while the second group enjoys faster speeds and access to local services. Split tunneling is available on Windows, Android, and Android TV NordVPN apps.
How does VPN split tunneling work?
VPN split tunneling lets you maintain two connections at the same time. Your VPN app divides your internet traffic into two categories — one part gets encrypted and rerouted through secure VPN servers, while the other is left untouched and allowed to interact with the internet directly. You choose which apps can be trusted to bypass VPN protection in your VPN app’s settings.
Different types of VPN split tunneling
Inverse split tunneling encrypts your whole connection by default, with only trusted programs permitted access to the internet directly. It’s the safest form of split tunneling.
With app-based split tunneling, only the selected apps will benefit from VPN protection. The rest of your internet traffic is unencrypted.
Want to access some websites with your real IP? URL-based split tunneling lets you specify which URLs you want to exclude from the VPN connection. This feature is available on NordVPN’s browser extensions.
Which split tunneling types do NordVPN apps use?
Do I need split tunneling?
Since connecting to a VPN server can lock you out of your own country’s websites and services, you may be tempted to turn NordVPN off to see what’s happening at home. Don’t leave yourself exposed — use VPN split tunneling to protect the data that matters while you surf at your leisure.
However you use it, VPN split tunneling is a very handy tool — but just like every tool, it has its time and place. Keep in mind that others (including your ISP) may be able to see your unencrypted internet traffic, so always use virtual private network protection when handling sensitive data.
When should you use VPN split tunneling?
How to enable split tunneling on NordVPN
Frequently asked questions
What is split tunneling?
What are the benefits of split tunneling?
What is the difference between a full tunnel VPN and a split-tunnel VPN?
How do I know if I have enabled VPN split tunneling?
How do I turn off split tunneling on NordVPN apps?
- Windows: click on the cogwheel icon in the top-right corner of the map screen, select Split tunneling, and set the blue slider at the top of the menu to the Off position
- Android: click on the cogwheel icon in the top-left corner, tap VPN connection, select Split tunneling, then remove the apps from the Trusted apps list
- Android TV: open the Settings, select Trusted apps, and remove the apps from the list