Monolithic silica columns and their use in high peak-capacity HPLC separations are reviewed. Monolithic silica columns can potentially provide higher overall performance than particle-packed columns based on the variable external porosity and variable through-pore size/skeleton size ratios. The high permeability of monolithic silica columns resulting from the high porosity is shown to be advantageous to generate large numbers of theoretical plates with long capillary columns. High permeability together with the high stability of the network structures of silica allows their use in high-speed separations required for a second-dimension column in two dimensional HPLC. Disadvantages of monolithic silica columns are also described.