(Image credit: Shutterstock) Split tunneling: the advantages Split tunneling is a handy tool that could solve several VPN issues. Some apps and websites do not work well with VPNs, for example. Banking sites can complain if you are not where they expect it to be; corporate networks can be more difficult to access; streaming platforms may block you or display different content if it looks like you are in a different country. Normally all you can do is log out, go to the site or app you need and reconnect to the VPN wh en you're done. But with split tunneling, you can define a streaming service app (for example) to always use your usual connection, ensuring that you will never be blocked just because the VPN is active. The feature may also allow you to '' access remote network devices such as printers or storage space. Exclude them from the tunnel and they will still be available no matter what happens with the VPN. Split tunneling can also make a real difference in performance. If you only need the VPN for a few websites, why slow down streaming platforms by directing them through thetunnel? Use split tunneling to pass streams through your ISP connection and you will see the maximum possible speeds. Split tunneling: the cons Split tunneling saves you a lot of VPN time and hassle, but it also reduces your security. Anytime you look at an app or website and decide that its traffic doesn't need to go through the tunnel, you're taking a risk (even if it's only low) with your online privacy. . The problem is, it is very difficult to know if you are making the right decision. Even experts will not always have the information they need. For example, suppose most of the system uses your standard internet connection. You realize, however, that you are using a sensitive business application, so add it to the 'route through the VPN ' list. It looks likethat you are now protected. But what if the application has multiple processes running on your PC? What if, in addition to the main application, there is a background service that manages connections, checks network status, and checks for updates? It might even more important that this process use the tunnel, but there's no way to configure it if you don't even know this traffic exists. The reality is you can guess at when an app should use the tunnel and when it doesn't. But that's still just a guess and there's no easy way to tell for sure.