Automatic Kill Switch

With NordVPN your sensitive data will not be exposed even for a second

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In case your VPN connection drops, NordVPN Kill Switch will automatically block your device or terminate certain programs from accessing the Internet outside the secure VPN tunnel. This way, none of your sensitive and private data will be exposed even for a brief moment.

Many Internet users have already noticed the potential risks of having their online data exposed to ISPs, government institutions or cyber criminals. Therefore, a VPN service is no-brainer for those who are concerned about their online privacy and security.

Unfortunately, even the most stable and reliable VPN connection can drop once in awhile. When it happens, user by default is connected to the web through the regular connection provided by Internet Service Provider (ISP).

It can be particularly risky for political activist, journalist, and bloggers, who are living and working in the countries with authoritarian governments along with the high level of Internet surveillance and censorship. When it happens, they can be easily identified and monitored without even knowing that the VPN connection has failed.

To eliminate this issue, we at NordVPN have adopted a Kill Switch technology, as it automatically stops either selected programs or the whole computer from accessing the web once a VPN connection drops.

What is VPN Kill Switch and how does it work?

The primary purpose of the Kill Switch is to protect your online activity and IP address from being suddenly exposed in case of a dropped connection from a VPN server.

Kill Switch is an advanced VPN feature that prevents you from accessing an unprotected Internet connection when your online traffic is not forwarded through VPN.

In other words, an enabled Kill Switch constantly monitors your online traffic for any changes in status or IP address. If it notices such a change (for example, your VPN connection fails), it will instantly stop your device or terminate the specified apps from connecting the Internet until the VPN connection is restored or you have closed the VPN app.

NordVPN Kill Switch Technology

Even though NordVPN’s connection is stable and highly reliable, we do not take any risks to compromise our users’ privacy and security even for a brief moment. Therefore, we decided to incorporate the Kill Switch technology with our VPN service to protect our users’ online activities from being temporarily exposed in case of interrupted connections.

There are two key differences of the Kill Switch feature in our NordVPN applications:

  • PC version for Windows and macOS allows to specify which applications should be shut down if the VPN connection drops out. That prevents the applications from sending unprotected traffic to the web. However, we are on the way to improve our Kill Switch feature, so it could terminate Internet connection on all supported devices instead of shutting down the apps.

  • Mobile version for Android* and iOS disables the system-wide Internet access in case the VPN connection suddenly disconnects. That way, it protects all active apps without terminating them.

* At the moment Kill Switch technology is available only on Android 7 or later and has to be enabled in System Settings menu.

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