I use a VPN tunnel to connect to a remote network on Snow Leopard. I set it up with the system settings for VPN and it works fine. Unfortunately, the VPN tunnel is used for all connections. Some ports (like the one I use for IMAP) are not open in the remote network.

Can I use VPN for some applications (like Firefox and Terminal) and my regular connection for others? Is there a third party app to fine tune the VPN settings?


  • If it´s only about Firefox and Terminal, have you considered using SSH and a SSH-Proxy instead of VPN (if possible)?
    – Asmus
    Commented Apr 11, 2011 at 20:17
  • I have considered that. For the sake of security, a direct SSH connection is not possible. Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 10:25
  • How are you using the VPN connection? I mean if you only access certain hosts, then I might have a solution..
    – nuc
    Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 11:14
  • I use it for the Terminal (SSH), Firefox (I need it only to access scientific journals via my institutes network) and CyberDuck. I access many hosts, both local and remote. I'm curious, what would be your solution? Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 12:32
  • @emempe in which way do you think a VPN connection will be more secure than a SSH one? SSH would cover your Terminal sessions, could create a Proxy for Firefox (FoxyProxy would make that super-easy) and CyberDuck can use SFTP. All this doesn´t require a VPN than re-routes all of your network traffic in my opinion.
    – Asmus
    Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


In general, the network settings are global, and apply to the whole machine, including all applications.

VPNs will work great to access machines on a known network (eg: 192.168.1.x = home, 10.1.1.x = work via VPN)

What kind of VPN is it? It's possible that the VPN has grabbed the default route, meaning that all network traffic that isn't on your local network will go via the VPN.

You can run netstat -nr in Terminal to see your routing table.

You can use sudo route change default to change the default route to your local network's router (eg for me) so that it will route external connections. Connections to your VPN network should still go through the VPN.

Hopefully this helps!

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