VPN split tunneling: Picture train tracks branching in two directions, one into a tunnel, the other not.

What is VPN split tunneling?

VPN split tunneling lets you route some of your device or app traffic through the VPN while other devices or apps maintain direct access to the internet.

Use split tunneling to protect your browsing without losing access to local network devices.

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Why do I need a split-tunneling VPN?

A basic VPN routes all your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel to protect your data from hackers and third-party snoops.

Without a VPN with split-tunneling capabilities, you may run into situations where:

  • You can’t access foreign and local internet services at the same time
  • Transmitting all data through the VPN uses up your bandwidth
  • You can’t access LAN devices while you’re connected to the VPN

With a split-tunneling VPN, you can:

  • Stream foreign movies while using web services from local IP addresses
  • Download safely without affecting the speed of other web services
  • Access your network printer while surfing the internet securely

Are there any split-tunneling risks?

If you don’t configure your split-tunneling settings properly, there is a risk that your ISP or a third party could access some of your sensitive information.

To protect your online activity, use only VPN-protected connections when you handle sensitive data, downloads, or torrents.

Device Split Tunneling With the ExpressVPN App for Routers

How does ExpressVPN split tunneling work?

ExpressVPN split tunneling has two configurations:

  1. Split Tunneling: Protect all connected devices or applications except for those specifically excluded.
  2. Inverse Split Tunneling: Protect only selected devices or applications. Everything else flows outside the VPN.

VPN split tunneling on ExpressVPN apps

The ExpressVPN for routers interface, showing devices that are connected and not connected to VPN.

ExpressVPN app for routers

You can toggle VPN protection ON or OFF for every device connected to the ExpressVPN App for Routers. Use split tunneling to maintain access to your local network devices, like your printer.


The ExpressVPN app for Mac interface, showing only selected apps being protected by VPN.

ExpressVPN apps for Mac and Windows

With the split-tunneling feature in the ExpressVPN apps for both Windows and Mac, select which apps use the VPN and which apps don’t when you’re connected to ExpressVPN.

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