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What Is Bypasser on Surfshark?

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Surfshark’s Bypasser lets you control your connectivity by choosing the sites you want to visit through your VPN connection, the apps you wish to protect via the VPN tunnel, and what sites/apps you want to be excluded from the VPN’s protection.

So, how does the Surfshark Bypasser work? What are the key benefits of using this feature? Keep reading to find out!

How Does Surfshark’s Bypasser Work?

surfshark bypasser settings

The Bypasser feature on Surfshark (previously known as the Whitelister) creates two simultaneous connections: your regular connection and the VPN connection.

This helps you manage which apps and websites are encrypted in a VPN tunnel and which can work without VPN interference.

In other words, you can access local sites and use your home devices on your actual IP address with a regular connection. The VPN connection, on the other hand, encrypts your data and safeguards your online anonymity.

Route via VPN vs. Bypass VPN: What’s the Difference?

surfshark split tunneling

There are two options to use Bypasser on Surfshark: Route via VPN and Bypass VPN. Although they typically achieve the same result, they’re different in how they work.

Here’s a quick table breaking down the differences between Route via VPN and Bypass VPN:

Route via VPN Bypass VPN
Data from selected sites/apps are routed via the Surfshark VPN server Data from selected sites/apps are routed via your regular internet service provider
User’s IP address is masked when accessing selected sites/apps User’s IP address is visible when accessing the selected sites/apps
It provides additional security and privacy when accessing selected sites/apps Data from selected sites/apps aren't encrypted
Relatively slower because it uses the VPN server to encrypt all the internet traffic Faster since it uses your standard internet connection and undergoes minimal encryption

Route via VPN

With Route via VPN, only the chosen websites and applications can use the VPN connection.

So, let’s say you’ve only decided to use Surfshark for Hulu, Netflix, and torrenting clients like BitTorrent. In that case, you’ll select these apps in the “Route via VPN” settings to only protect them while other applications and sites run through your regular internet connection.

Bypass VPN

This is simply the opposite of the feature explained above. Here, the chosen websites and applications circumvent the VPN connection to work with your regular internet connection.

For instance, if your VPN connection is causing specific sites like YouTube to slow down or show content from other regions, you add it to the Bypass VPN list.

That way, it bypasses the VPN tunnel to work with your regular internet connection.

What Are the Key Benefits of Surfshark’s Bypasser?

surfshark bypasser

The explanations above may have hinted at what Surfshark’s Bypasser can do.

But there’s more:

Retain Connection to Your Home’s Wireless Devices

Your IP address changes when connected to a VPN, making it challenging to access wireless devices (such as printers) that require your real IP address.

Surfshark’s Bypasser allows you to retain your connection to these devices by running them through your regular internet connection.

Exclusion of Data-Heavy Apps

Using a VPN often slows your internet speed due to the heavy encryption layers meant to keep your data safe.

Most of the time, these speed lags are negligible with a speed-optimized provider like Surfshark. But you may notice the buffering on some apps with heavy data needs, like YouTube, especially if you’re not on a high-speed connection.

Thankfully, the Bypasser allows you to exclude these apps from using the VPN so they can run at normal speed.

URL Bypasser

This feature will enable you to use split tunneling on a website-by-website basis

Most VPN providers only offer the app exclusion, making Surfshark a tad above the rest with this innovative feature.

So, you can choose to bypass the VPN on your online banking website while unblocking Amazon Prime Video content via Surfshark’s secure tunnels.

How to Use the Bypasser on Surfshark?

surfshark get started

Surfshark’s Bypasser is available on Windows and Android devices but missing in the Linux, macOS, and iOS apps.

I’ll create quick guides to set this feature up across the available devices.

How to Setup Surfshark’s Bypasser on Windows?

Follow the steps below to enable the split tunneling function on Windows:

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Screenshot MS 1 1
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  1. Download the Surfshark Windows PC app.
  2. Launch the app and log in with your account credentials.
  3. Open your Surfshark app and tap on the “Settings” cog.
surfshark settings
  1. Click “VPN settings.”
surfshark vpn settings
  1. Scroll down to the “Bypasser” tab.
bypasser setting on surfshark
  1. Choose your preferred split tunneling option and toggle the icon to activate it. I’ll toggle “Bypass VPN” for this demonstration.
activating bypass vpn on surfshark
  1. You now have to select the applications to use your preferred Bypass option. So, click “Select Apps.”
locating select app on surfshark settings
  1. Tick the squares next to the applications you like to use without VPN interference.
selecting apps to bypass on surfshark settings
  1. If your preferred application is unlisted, click “Add apps” to upload the application’s executable file.
add apps on surfshark
  1. Connect to your preferred Surfshark server and browse securely.

If you only want to bypass specific websites and not apps, here’s how to do it:

  1. Scroll back to “Bypasser” and activate “Bypass VPN.”
surfshark bypass vpn setting
  1. Click “Select websites/IP addresses.”
surfshark websites ip addresses
  1. Input your preferred websites or IP address and click “Add websites or IP addresses.”
surfshark website bypasser
  1. Return to “Bypasser” and confirm the selected websites.
confirm website bypass on surfshark

That’s it! The IP addresses and websites you choose will now bypass the VPN coverage.

How to Setup Surfshark’s Bypasser on Android?

Here are the steps to set up split tunneling on your Surfshark Android app:

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  2. Download the Surfshark Android app from your Google Play Store.
  3. Launch the app and log in with your account credentials.
  4. Navigate to “Settings.”
  1. Tap “VPN settings.”
  1. Scroll down to the “Bypasser” tab and tap on it.
  1. Toggle your preferred bypasser option (Route via VPN or Bypass VPN). The setup process for both is the same. I’ll choose “Bypass VPN” for this example.
  1. Tap“0 Apps selected.”
  1. Tap on the boxes next to the applications you want to bypass your Surfshark connection.
select apps on surfshark
  1. Surfshark will confirm that the applications have been successfully whitelisted.
app bypass confirmation on surfshark
  1. Return to the previous screen to check the number of applications that will bypass the VPN connection.
surfsharks app selected

Alternatively, here’s how to select websites that should bypass the VPN:

  1. Follow steps 1-7 from above, then tap on “0 websites selected.”
0 website selected on surfshark settings
  1. Select “Add Website.”
add website button on surfshark bypass vpn settings
  1. Type in or paste URLs. Tap “Save” after each one.
  1. Return to the previous menu to check the number of selected websites.
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Final Take

There’s no doubt that the Surfshark Bypasser is revolutionary.

This feature allows you to use two IP addresses simultaneously without compromising online anonymity. It lets you control your connectivity by deciding which data you’d like encrypted.

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