How we created the best split tunneling for our VPN


Imagine being able to stream your local Netflix library while redirecting the rest of your traffic through a server halfway around the world. Most VPNs require you to route everything through the network, making it impossible to access anything using your local IP address. But no private internet access. Take a look and see your dream in action: unique split tunneling options for Linux, Windows and even our browser extensions.

And VPNs that are capable of maintaining simultaneous connections cannot match PIA’s advanced split tunneling options. let me show you how split tunneling with Private Internet Access takes your online security and privacy to another level.

What is Split Tunneling and how does it work?

Split tunneling is used to route some traffic through a secure VPN tunnel while sending other traffic

via your usual network. By default, a good VPN is supposed to route all your traffic through the VPN, even when split tunneling is available. Usually it is disabled by default, so you need to enable it.

Basically, split tunneling divides your traffic into the following categories:

  1. Crypt: The VPN encrypts your traffic and reroutes it through its secure servers for added privacy and security. This may slow down your speed a bit, but it provides safer access to apps and websites.
  2. Usual: The VPN does not encrypt your traffic, so you must rely on the security measures in place on apps, websites and through your ISP. You will have faster access to local sites and services, but less secure than using a VPN.

You should only run trusted apps, sites, and services outside of your VPN.

The benefits of split tunneling

Get more options with PIA’s split tunnel feature.

With split tunneling, you can keep using apps that don’t work with VPNs and apps that work at the same time. Indeed, you can run apps that are not compatible with the VPN outside the VPN and filter those that are compatible.

Split tunneling helps you maintain fast speeds for streaming, and it gives you secure access to international content. Basically, you can protect yourself while downloading YouTube videos from anywhere in the world and watch Netflix at the same time without sacrificing your speeds.

Speaking of speed, PIA lets you exclude certain applications from the VPN tunnel while forcing everything else to use the encrypted connection. This is really useful for online gaming, where latency and fast internet are crucial, and for banking apps, which don’t always work well with VPNs.

Good split-tunneling functionality makes life much easier for anyone who relies on VPNs for increased online protection.

Standard and Reverse Split Tunneling

We leave our split tunneling feature disabled by default to let you control whether you want to customize your VPN protection. All you have to do is enable the feature in your VPN Settings. Don’t worry, it’s easy to light. Simply flip the switch in the Split Tunneling section.

What you might not know is that unlike many VPNs, PIA offers both standard and reverse split tunneling:

  • Standard split tunneling sends all online traffic through the VPN, except apps/sites and IP addresses you specify to run outside the secure channel. You can activate it by choosing Use VPN on the All other apps drop-down menu in the Split Tunneling settings for PIA.
  • Reverse split tunneling runs all traffic outside the VPN unless you specify certain apps to use the VPN. This function is also located under the Split Tunneling setting for PIA, you just need to select Bypass the VPN on the All other apps menu. Test it for yourself risk-free, with our 30 day money back guarantee.

most common forms of split tunneling offered by VPNs are application-based and IP-based split tunneling. PIA offers both of these options – and more, but we’ll get to that a bit later. First, let’s cover the basics.

    ✅ App-based split tunneling

PIA makes it easy to select the application you want to run in/out of the VPN tunnel. When you click Add an app In our app’s split tunneling settings, you’ll see a list of all available apps. Scroll down and select your app. Once it’s added to your list, you can choose whether or not the app runs inside or outside the VPN.

Adding apps to split tunneling is easy with PIA.

One thing that sets PIA apart from others is that our split tunneling supports Windows Store apps. Other VPNs do not support split tunneling with these apps because they use an app package (.appx) file format created by Windows for their app-based operating systems (Windows 8, 10 and 11), instead of the standard executable file (.exe).

A few VPNs offer workarounds for Windows Store apps, but they take time. PIA split tunneling feature works with Windows Store apps as is – you don’t have to do anything special.

    ✅ IP based split tunneling

PIA allows you to choose specific IP addresses to include in split tunneling. The option of Add IP addresses is to the right of Add apps in the split tunneling settings. You can manually add an IP address to run outside the VPNwhich is a useful feature if you need to access suspicious business networks using VPN.

You can bypass entire IP addresses and subnets with PIA split-tunneling.

The best part is that you get a lot more options than just an IP address. You can add entire subnets and even specific IPv6 addresses to bypass the VPN. Along with a host of amazing VPN features, we’re the only VPN provider to offer so many IP-based split tunneling options.

Advanced Split Tunneling – Full Feature List

Sure, we offer split tunneling for Linux, Windows and macOS versions prior to Montereybut did you know that you can also use standard split tunneling on our Android app?

PIA also supports website whitelisting on our browser extensions.

We didn’t stop there – we have gone beyond our limits to offer even more advanced features you won’t find anywhere else.

    ✅ Reverse Tunneling

Reverse split tunneling is an advanced feature that most VPNs don’t haveso let’s take a deeper look.

With standard app-based and IP-based split tunneling, everything goes through your regular open network. You have full control over which apps to route through the VPN.

With reverse split tunneling you also have another option. You can choose to send everything over our secure network, except apps and IPs you want to run outside the VPN.

You can access local printers and other trusted network devices without individually selecting all the apps you want to run through the VPN. This is extremely useful if you only need one or two apps or IP addresses to work outside the VPN.

Using reverse split tunneling can save you a lot of time, and you don’t have to worry about missing an app’s coverage in the extensive screening process.

    ✅ App based Kill Switch

Define the rules of a given application for Only VPN activates PIA’s app-based Kill Switch, which prevents leakage outside the secure channel — even if your connection to our servers drops. It’s a simple and effective way to increase your online anonymity and prevent data leaks.

    ✅ Routed Packet Splitting for Linux

Linux is often overlooked by VPNs when providing dedicated VPN apps, let alone stable split tunneling features. Fortunately, PIA offers you both. We provide feature parity for Linux and even offer unique split tunneling functionality for the operating system.

With PIA, you can decide whether all docker or virtual machine packets bypass the VPN or pass through it. Each container is isolated, so you can manage dockers individually. Since most VPNs don’t provide split tunneling or proper UI for Linux, this is an advanced feature that you won’t find anywhere else for a while.

The default for the Name servers the parameter for split tunneling on PIA is Follow the rules of the app. It ensures that DNS server settings change for each application to redirect DNS queries to the correct servers. It’s like there’s no VPN at all. PIA goes further, allowing you to run all DNS queries through our VPN.

When you change Name servers at VPN DNS onlyyour DNS queries always go through our DNS servers. This feature is available for Windows and Linux and is exclusive to PIA.

Customize your protection with Private Internet Access

PIA lets you customize your online security with options beyond standard split tunneling. Our advanced split tunneling lets you add Windows Store apps, choose which apps you want to run outside and inside the VPN, and it’s fully compatible with Linux.

Ready to see how PIA VPN offers the best of both worlds? You can try PIA split tunneling risk free.

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