The VPN Kill Switch is an advanced security measure that prevents your data from leaking to the web.
The VPN Kill Switch is a feature that prevents your device from making unprotected connections. It continuously monitors your connection to the remote server. If it accidentally drops, the VPN Kill Switch blocks internet access for your device (or specific apps).
Your internet traffic is safer when you use Kill Switch, meaning that it secures your private data from accidental exposure. It’s the last line of your VPN defense.
Your connection stays blocked until the encrypted tunnel is restored or you disable the VPN Kill Switch.
You can disable the internet access or specify which applications should be blocked if the connection to a NordVPN server drops. Blocking selected apps is recommended for advanced users, who have a full grasp of every app running on their device. The system-wide Kill Switches are the safer option.
Kill Switch is integrated into NordVPN Linux, iOS and macOS apps and prompts a system-wide network lock in case a VPN connection drops. If you use the OpenVPN protocol on your Mac, you’ll be able to specify which apps you want the Kill Switch to shut down.
You can also enable the native Kill Switch feature for Android 7 or later by going to Settings -> Wireless and networks -> More -> VPN.
NordVPN’s Kill Switch won’t be automatically activated when you download the app. You need to go to the app settings to turn it on. On our Windows and macOS apps, you’ll also be able to specify which apps you want the Kill Switch to block. To find out more about NordVPN’s Kill Switch, visit our Help Center.
Keeping NordVPN’s Kill Switch on at all times won’t impact your connection quality. So you should activate it the first time you set up your app and leave it there. Here’s why:
If you’re a political activist, journalist, or blogger, who lives and works in a country ruled by an authoritarian government, a VPN Kill Switch will serve as a second line of defense. Check out NordVPN’s other features that might help in a situation like this.
If you have to handle sensitive or classified information for work, make sure it’s always encrypted. NordVPN with the internet Kill Switch on is the best way to protect yourself against data leaks and unexpected connection interruptions.
Getting locked out of your social media is not the end of the world, but it’s still a nightmare. Turn on the Kill Switch before typing in your passwords or other data that, if intercepted, could compromise your privacy.
If you use NordVPN, the probability of a connection failure is low. Moreover, if a connection drops, the issue does not necessarily lie with our VPN service. In many cases, it happens because of software interference or an unstable internet connection.
Unstable internet connection
Interruptions in your internet connection, weak Wi-Fi, timeouts, constant switching between mobile internet and Wi-Fi hotspots can disrupt your connection to the NordVPN server.
Software and devices
Your firewall or antivirus might block the NordVPN app from establishing a VPN tunnel. This can be fixed by adding NordVPN to the firewall’s list of exceptions. If you don’t have auto-connect on, NordVPN might not connect after a reboot, so make sure it’s also activated.
Server and networking failure
Our server timeouts and failures are very uncommon – but they are possible. NordVPN has over 5200 servers. They are kept in secure locations with constant supervision. And yet, they are physical boxes, vulnerable to damage like any other physical object.
The internet Kill Switch feature works by observing, detecting, blocking, and restoring. Let’s break it down.
The Kill Switch continuously observes your connection to a NordVPN server, looking for changes in the status or IP address.
If the connection drops, the Kill Switch instantly detects this change.
Depending on whether you’ve enabled the app or the internet, Kill Switch blocks your device or some of the apps from accessing the internet.
When the tunnel to a NordVPN server is reestablished, the Kill Switch restores your internet access.