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What is split tunneling?

Split tunneling is a computer networking term for technologies that allow you to easily access networks of different security levels without any fuss.

VPN split tunneling: what is that?

VPN split tunneling – called Whitelister on the Surfshark VPN app – is the software capability to have only some of your internet traffic go over VPN while the rest uses the internet as usual. And you’re the one to decide when it happens.

Does your banking website not work with a VPN? Perhaps you’re having issues with Outlook or some other app? Simply add them to the split tunneling and they’ll use the internet as if you didn’t have a VPN at all. At the same time, apps and websites not on Whitelister will benefit from the usual levels of VPN protection.

VPN split tunneling: what is that?
Whitelister on Surfshark VPN

Whitelister on Surfshark VPN

Whitelister is Surfshark’s take on split tunneling: the ability to make only some of your traffic go via a VPN while allowing specific websites and services to reach the internet directly.

The big upside of Whitelister is that you don’t need to constantly connect and disconnect from the VPN when you’re using different services. 

3 Benefits of Whitelister split tunneling

Choose which apps are protected by VPN

Choose which apps and websites are protected by VPN

Use banking with VPN

Use banking, online gaming and other services without shutting down VPN

Access connected devices

Access connected devices - like printers - without interruptions

What are the advantages of split tunneling?

  • Full speed on safe websites  
  • Protect the services and websites that need it the most
  • Use different IP addresses at the same time 
  • Access your connected devices

Is using Whitelister safe?

Using Whitelister is safe as long as you’re careful. If you opt to allow specific apps or websites to bypass the VPN connection, you have to take note that this traffic will not be secured by our industry-leading encryption. If you want to keep all your data encrypted, then it’s better to opt-out of using this feature. However, if you’re on a private connection (using your mobile data or password-protected, internal Wi-Fi/LAN at home or other trusted place), excluding a few apps or websites should be fine.

How to make Whitelister work for you

To benefit the most from VPN split tunneling, you should first work out which apps or websites should be sent via Surfshark. Then, you can allow a few others to bypass the VPN connection when you’re using a trusted Wi-Fi or mobile data.

Here are a few examples:

  • Keep your sensitive data (like P2P downloads) secure via an encrypted VPN tunnel.
  • Exclude data-heavy apps or websites that don’t need protection from connecting via VPN to improve speed.
  • Access network devices – like a printer – with no hassle while the VPN is on.

So let’s say you’re at home, using a Windows computer. You want to protect all your traffic, except YouTube loads slower with a VPN on. That’s where split tunneling comes in! Allow www.youtube.com to bypass the VPN with Whitelister, and everything else will stay secure under our iron-clad encryption.

Surfshark features unique split tunneling options

Surfshark is not like your average VPN. Some other VPNs let you whitelist apps, but they provide no solution when you want to access specific websites outside your VPN connection (like your banking website) while keeping all your other traffic protected. Surfshark’s Whitelister gives you full control by making it easy to exclude any website from your VPN connection. No more hassle switching your VPN on and off. Just add the website url to Whitelister and you’re good to go.

How to use Whitelister in Surfshark?

  1. Sign up for Surfshark & create an account. 
  2. Download our Windows or Android app (we’re adding Whitelister to others soon!)
  3. Go to your app, click Whitelister and start adding apps or websites. That’s it! 

Get a VPN with split tunneling

Create your Surfshark account today