What Is Split Tunneling and Kill Switch In a VPN?
- December 19, 2023
- 6 minutes Read
- Security & Privacy
Split tunneling allows you to use VPN with specific applications, whereas Kill Switch acts like a failsafe mechanism when your internet connection drops.
Split tunneling and kill switches are the two most important security features of a VPN.
With split tunneling, you can use specific apps like banking apps and streaming apps with a VPN, and all other applications of your device will use normal internet.
Kill switch, on the other hand, saves you from IP leaks during sudden network drops or internet issues. It hides your real IP by disconnecting you from the internet and automatically re-establishes the VPN connection when the internet is back.
Now, let’s have a detailed understanding of these two important security features.
How Does Split Tunneling Work?
In a VPN, split tunneling separates your internet traffic. Some of it travels through a secure VPN tunnel, while the rest goes straight to the internet. This setup lets you use the VPN for remote network access, like corporate email and files, while still browsing the web or streaming media using your regular internet connection.
Is Split Tunneling Bad for VPN?
Split tunneling in a VPN has both benefits and risks. It allows some of the data to be routed through an encrypted VPN connection while other apps and data have direct access to the internet, which can reduce the bandwidth cost for an organization.
However, it also comes with security risks, such as the potential for a DNS leak and the difficulty of enforcing consistent policies across all users and devices, leading to data leaks if not properly configured.
Does WireGuard Support Split Tunneling?
Yes, WireGuard lets you choose which apps use the VPN and which don’t through its split tunneling feature. You can create different profiles with different settings and easily switch between full and split tunnel options.
What Is the Disadvantage of Split Tunneling?
Although split tunneling is a great feature that gives you more control over your VPN usage, it comes with some disadvantages, too.
Here are the drawbacks of split tunneling:
1. Privacy and Security Risks: Using split tunneling exposes some of your internet traffic to potential security threats like malware and hackers. Encryption and policies do not protect the traffic not routed through the VPN. Additionally, there’s a risk of DNS leaks that can unintentionally reveal your traffic details to malicious actors.
2. Compatibility Issues: Split tunneling may lead to compatibility problems with specific VPN protocols or devices, potentially creating security vulnerabilities.
3. Complex Configuration: Managing and configuring split tunneling can be more intricate than full tunneling. Users need to define different VPN client profiles with various Allowed IPs and switch between them.
4. Potential for Data Leaks: Improper configuration of split tunneling can result in data leaks, as traffic might bypass the VPN’s encryption and end up on the public internet.
5. Enforcing Consistent Policies Difficult: Enforcing consistent security policies across all users and devices becomes challenging with split tunneling. It allows users to choose which traffic goes through the VPN and which goes directly to the internet.
6. Reduced Protection for Unsecured Traffic: Since split tunneling only encrypts a portion of the traffic, unsecured traffic remains exposed to potential security threats.
How Does Kill Switch Work?
A VPN kill switch automatically disconnects a device from the internet if the VPN connection drops, preventing any unencrypted data from being transmitted.
The kill switch works by continuously monitoring the VPN connection, and if it detects a drop in the connection, it immediately blocks all internet traffic until the VPN connection is restored. This feature is crucial for maintaining the privacy and security of online activities, especially when using public or untrusted networks.
How to Use a Kill Switch?
To activate a VPN kill switch, go to your VPN client settings and turn it on. A VPN kill switch is a handy feature that cuts off your device from the internet if the VPN connection suddenly breaks.
This ensures that your online activities stay protected within the VPN tunnel. There are two types of kill switches: application-level and system-level. The application-level kill switch lets you decide which apps use the VPN, while the system-level kill switch blocks all network traffic on your device if it detects a dropped VPN connection.
Can I leave the VPN Connected All the Time?
It is generally recommended to always leave your VPN on to ensure maximum online security and privacy. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and protect your data from being intercepted by third parties, including your internet service provider (ISP), hackers, and advertisers.
However, leaving your VPN on may cause problems, such as draining your device’s battery more quickly. Some VPNs are also known for slowing down your internet connection, although this is not true for all VPNs. So, it’s important to choose a good and trusted VPN that automatically configures it for optimal experience.
What are the Advantages of Kill Switch?
Here are some potential benefits of using a VPN kill switch:
- Data Protection: A VPN kill switch safeguards your digital data by blocking internet access if your VPN connection unexpectedly drops. This prevents accidental exposure of your sensitive information.
- Privacy Maintenance: In the event of a VPN connection drop, the kill switch ensures that your online activities remain within the VPN tunnel, safeguarding your privacy and preventing exposure outside the protected network.
- Unauthorized Access Prevention: A kill switch helps to revoke unauthorized access to your device or system by cutting off internet access when the VPN connection is lost.
- Enhanced Security: Especially beneficial in high-risk situations, such as accessing sensitive data or using public networks, VPN kill switches add an extra layer of security to protect users in various scenarios.
- Compatibility Across Platforms: VPN kill switches are compatible with different platforms like Android, iOS, and Linux, offering protection across a range of devices and operating systems.
Split tunneling and a kill switch are two crucial security features a good VPN must have. Make sure you choose the right VPN that comes with these two features. Symlex VPN provides an active kill switch with intelligent split tunneling to give you more access. Get Symlex VPN today and enjoy the best privacy and security .