Does a VPN routes all the traffic? (12 Things To Know)

When it comes to using a VPN, many people are unsure of what exactly happens to their internet traffic. Do all of their packets get routed through the VPN? Or is only some of it redirected? In this article, we will discuss what happens when you use a VPN and how they affect your internet traffic.

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What internet traffic does VPN route?

When you are using a VPN service on your phone or the computer, all the traffic on your device gets routed through the VPN app. This means that the VPN will now protect and encrypt all your data between your computer and the VPN server. This also increases your privacy when you browse the internet.

How does VPN route traffic?

When you connect to a VPN server, your computer or phone will create a secure connection with the server. Once this connection is active, all of your traffic will be routed through this tunnel. This protects your data from any eavesdroppers and is also encrypted.

Internet Switch

Does local network traffic go through VPN?

When the VPN connection is active, it will usually block the local connections. This means that local sharing, printers, or other local connections are not going to work. However, some VPN software includes options for you to allow for your network activity.

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Does VPN work both ways?

Yes, VPN will work both ways. This means that the traffic from the server to your device will be protected and encrypted, as well as any traffic from your computer to any other server on the internet.

Computer Spy

How do sites know I’m using a VPN?

Some websites can detect when you are using a VPN. They do this by checking your IP address and comparing it to a list of known VPN addresses. If the website sees that you are using a VPN, they may block you from accessing their site or show you a different version of the site.

They will typically show a message that says the site is not available in your current location. However, some websites do not block access when you are using a VPN.

How does my ISP know that I use a VPN service?

When you connect to a VPN server, your Internet traffic will be encrypted, but your ISP can detect that you’re utilizing a VPN by looking at the way the data appears.

If you want to avoid this, you should use a VPN service that offers obfuscated server connections. These servers will mask the fact that you’re using a VPN and will make it look like regular traffic.

Internet Connection

What does a VPN not hide?

A VPN does not hide your IP address. Your ISP can still see the IP address that you are using, but it will be hidden from any other website or service.

VPN also does not protect you from malware or phishing attacks. It is always important to use good antivirus and anti-malware software when you’re browsing.

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Can I choose what apps are using the VPN connection?

In general, some VPN services will let you decide what apps are using the VPN connection and what apps are going to bypass the VPN service altogether. However, not all VPN services offer this feature, and even with the companies that provide this feature, it is not available for all devices.

This capability is also known as split-tunneling. The advantage of using a split-tunneling VPN is that you can select to protect only the apps that are essential to you, while leaving the others unprotected. This can be very useful if, for example, you want to show the web with a local IP to get localized results, while at the same time, protecting your internet browsing and email applications.

Connection Choice

Does VPN hide traffic from the router?

When you are using a VPN service, all of your traffic will be routed through the VPN app. This means that the VPN will now protect and encrypt all your data between your computer and the VPN server. This also means all the traffic that goes through the router is hidden. The router detects activity, but it is unable to obtain information about it.

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How to keep the VPN on all the time?

If you want the VPN to be on all the time, you need to make sure that it is always connected. For this, most VPN apps will have an option in the settings to keep the VPN always on.

You can also configure your VPN to auto-connect when you restart or power on your device. This way, your computer or mobile phone will use the VPN connection from the start of your working session.

Finally, to avoid losing your privacy and exposing your internet traffic if the VPN server gets disconnected, you should also enable the so-called kill-switch feature.  This will block all the internet traffic on your device if the VPN server is not available or until your VPN application connects to a different server.

Poor Internet Connection

What happens if the VPN gets disconnected?

If for any reason, your VPN connection gets dropped, your internet traffic will be exposed and unencrypted. This means that anyone who is monitoring your network traffic can see what you are doing on the internet. To avoid this, most VPN applications have a feature called kill-switch. As we mentioned earlier, this will block all the internet traffic on your device until the VPN server is available again.

Does the VPN protect all the apps on the phone?

Yes, the VPN, when active, will protect all internet traffic generated by the applications installed on your device. However, if any of your applications are malicious, the VPN will not be able to protect you in any way.

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Final thoughts

A VPN routes all traffic on a device, except for certain apps that can be selected to bypass the VPN. This is known as split-tunneling and provides added security for essential applications. If you’re using a VPN service, make sure to enable kill-switch protection in case your connection drops.

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Radu Negrean
Radu Negrean

Radu Negrean is a UX designer with a strong passion for online privacy. He contributes to the Privacy Tutor blog, advocating for enhanced security and privacy for all online users.

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