How can the TCP traffic initiated by a specific application be forced to go through a SOCKS proxy, regardless of the remote IP or port?
A VPN would direct all outbound traffic on a host through an interface (
tun0 typically), so it's an overkill solution. But in a split tunnel configuration, instead of doing that by default, the VPN client offers a SOCKS proxy for specific applications. While browsers support connecting through a SOCKS proxy, many other applications don't.