Split Tunneling with Private Internet Access

The VPN Split Tunneling feature in Private Internet Access lets you choose which applications can bypass the VPN tunnel. Split tunneling is available on Private Internet Access for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

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What is Split Tunneling?

Split tunneling allows PIA users to set rules to route some software directly through their ISP, bypassing the VPN even when the VPN is on. Normally, when you use Private Internet Access, all internet-based connections from your computer are tunneled through our VPN server before being sent to their final destination. Split tunneling allows you to choose specific applications to exclude from your PIA VPN connection, thereby allowing them to access the internet from your original IP address instead of a Private Internet Access IP address.

Split tunneling puts you in control of your internet connection and lets you choose which applications can bypass the VPN tunnel.

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Why use Split Tunneling?

Split tunneling can be useful for anyone that has a specific program that can't be connected via VPN. Using split tunneling will allow you to exclude from the VPN apps that may block VPN IP addresses or are sensitive to bandwidth and latency.

Split tunneling can also be used for nested networks, bypassing the VPN for individual hosts and networks, or even to enable IPv6 for specific hosts and networks. It's even possible to use PIA's split tunneling feature to implement a per-app killswitch!

Private Internet Access makes it easy to use split tunneling to exclude specific software from the VPN tunnel and allow it to operate normally. Examples of software that users have requested split tunneling for include media management applications such as Plex, gaming platforms such as Steam, and streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu.

For more examples of split tunneling configurations on different operating systems, check out our helpdesk article on Split Tunnel App Examples.

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