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Per-App VPN Whitelisting for Android Users

VPNs encrypt your online traffic, keeping your information secure and your privacy protected. The downside of encryption is that it can slow down your connection, which means that you are likely to experience delays when you are streaming content or playing an online game. If you are watching videos on YouTube or listening to your favorite playlist on Spotify, speed would be more important than privacy. After all, government agencies and eavesdroppers may not be too interested on what you listen to or what viral videos you watch.

Android is a highly popular platform and its Lollipop version (Android 5.0) features a useful solution that allows you to whitelist individual apps when you are connected to internet with a VPN. This option ensures that traffic from a specific app is not routed through the VPN tunnel. Although this is not available in the standard VPN settings app, it can be implemented through third-party VPN clients.

In order to take advantage of Android’s whitelisting solution, users can rely on OpenVPN for Android, a highly-rated, free app created by Arne Schwabe. Trusted by thousands of users, the app offers a great solution to enjoy the whitelisting functionality. With the whitelisting option, you can determine which apps should connect using the VPN, leaving the rest of the apps connecting to the standard internet connection. You can also take the opposite approach and select apps that should not be connected to the VPN. It is possible to add as many apps as needed.

The selection of the apps that communicate over the secure tunnel can be done using the OpenVPN for Android app. It can be expected that in the future, other VPN clients apps will integrate support for the whitelisting feature. Ut would be interesting to see what innovative and flexible interfaces may be created by developers to implement this functionality.