How to stop a VPN connection from slowing down web traffic on Windows 10

If a VPN connection is slowing down your internet, then use this guide on Windows 10 to create a "split tunneling" to direct web traffic through your local internet connection.

Windows 10 VPN Use default gateway on remote network option

When you connect to a private network using a VPN client on Windows 10, you’ll notice that your internet surfing experience begins to slow down dramatically.

The slow internet connection can be attributed to the fact that when you’re connected using a VPN connection your computer will automatically add a new default route to your network connection. When this happens, your web traffic will get routed through the VPN connection and through the private network, instead of using your internet connection.

In this Windows 10 guide, you’ll learn how to prevent your web traffic going through the VPN connection by creating something called “split tunneling”, which will allow you to maintain connectivity to the private network, while making sure web traffic flows through your internet connection, therefore increasing your web surfing speeds.

How to configure a VPN connection to make your internet faster

The following steps will help you to prevent a new default route from being created during a VPN connection.

  1. Use the Windows key + X keyboard shortcut to open the Power User menu and select Network connections.

  2. Right-click the VPN connection adapter and select Properties.

    VPN Connection properties

  3. Click the Networking tab.

  4. Uncheck the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) option.

  5. Make sure Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) is checked and select the option.

  6. Click the Properties button.

    VPN Connection Networking options on Windows 10

  7. Click the Advanced button.

    VPN Connection TCP/IP properties on Windows 10

  8. On the IP Settings tab uncheck the Use default gateway on remote network option.

    Stop internet traffic through VPN connection

  9. Click OK.

  10. Click OK again.

  11. Click OK once more to close the VPN connection Properties.

Once you completed the steps mentioned above you will have created a split tunneling on Windows 10 that allows you to stay connected on two different networks.

However, you need to understand that disabling Use default gateway on remote network will let you access the remote location, but only to the network that matches the network ID from the IP address you have received. This means that depending on your remote network requirements, you may want to consult with your network administrator to verify these changes won’t affect your connection.

While for many users changing these settings makes more sense than sending web traffic through a VPN connection, there is a good reason for this default behavior. It’s for security reasons as it allows companies to control the flow of the internet with firewalls, filters, and other security solutions to monitor and meet the organization’s network policies as if employees were physically connected to the network. In addition, in most cases using the default settings won’t affect VPN users as most of the time they only engage on one network at a time.

Although, we’re focusing on Windows 10, the same concept works for Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and pretty much all versions of the operating system.