Tuesday, June 28, 2016

How to Enable VPN Split Tunneling in Windows 10

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, can be integral to accessing business resources. Using proprietary software and protecting private information are common reasons people use a VPN. A VPN provides access to programs not installed and information not stored locally. Enabling split tunneling allows network traffic to utilize two different types of connections. One connection uses the local network connection to access the Internet while the other uses the VPN to access resources otherwise unavailable. 

Enabling VPN split tunneling in Windows 10 can be done using a simple PowerShell command, unlike Windows 7 where the option for the VPN connection is normally set by navigating through network settings.


How a VPN Works

Simply put, a VPN is used to create a direct secure connection between two different networks. When using a VPN, a virtual tunnel is created between two devices for the purpose of securely transferring data back and forth. This secure connection allows mobile employees encrypted access to systems in another location. There are other reasons to use a VPN, such as keeping critical data off of mobile devices (including laptops), to reduce data exposure due to theft and loss, and more.


The virtual tunnel created runs on top of the Internet. A VPN connection is a secondary network connection created in network settings. Once the connection has been established, it can be connected to at any time using the necessary credentials. When connected to a VPN, all Internet traffic is routed through the VPN by default. Split tunneling allows regular Internet traffic to pass through the on-board LAN / WAN connection while also passing access to necessary resources using the VPN connection.

Enabling VPN Split Tunneling in Windows 10

In Windows 10, split tunneling can be enabled by running a simple PowerShell command. 
  • Search for PowerShell and click on the result to open the Windows PowerShell application.


  • If the name of the VPN connection is unknown, type "Get-VPNConnection". The name(s) of each VPN Connection will be displayed with their details.


  • Type the command "Set-VPNConnection" -Name "Connection Name" -SplitTunneling $True" to enable split tunneling on the desired VPN Connection.


  • To verify split tunneling has been enabled, retype the "Get-VPNConnection" command. 


Another way to enable split tunneling, in both Windows 10 and Windows 7, consists of:
  • Right clicking the VPN connection and selecting Properties.
  • Clicking on the Networking tab.
  • Selecting the TCP/IP version 4 connection then clicking Properties.


  • In the Properties pop-up, click the Advanced button.
  • In the Advanced TCP/IP settings window, uncheck the box next to "Use default gateway on remote network" to enable split tunneling.


  • Click OK three times to save the setting.
Regardless of why a VPN is used, split tunneling can be helpful to keep different types of activities separate. Enabling split tunneling by navigating to the VPN settings has the same affect as using the PowerShell command, it simply comes down to familiarity with the processes and which options are available. Some Windows 10 devices may not provide access to the split tunneling setting under the network settings. In this case, changing the settings using the PowerShell command is the only option so knowing how to do this is critical.

As always, knowing two or three ways to accomplish the same thing saves time and maintains sanity!


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