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NordVPN automatic Kill Switch

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vpn kill switch data protection

The Kill Switch is an advanced security measure, which prevents your data from leaking to the web.

What is a VPN Kill Switch?

The VPN Kill Switch continuously monitors your connection to the VPN server. If the connection accidentally drops, the Kill Switch blocks your device (or the apps you have specified) from accessing the web.

NordVPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a VPN tunnel, hiding your IP address, and shielding your private data from third parties. But the Kill Switch is the last line of your defense, which secures your private data from accidental exposure.

Your connection to the internet stays blocked until the VPN tunnel is restored or you disable the Kill Switch.

NordVPN software has two versions of the Kill Switch feature



NordVPN apps for iOS, Linux, and macOS (IKE version) have an integrated Kill Switch, which prompts a system-wide network lock in case a VPN connection drops. Android 7.0 or later also offers an in-built Kill Switch available in the device’s settings. Meanwhile, the Windows app allows you to choose between the system-wide and app-level Kill Switch.



In NordVPN apps for Windows and macOS (OpenVPN version), you can 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 Kill Switch is a must

Keep the Kill Switch always on, as it does not impact your connection quality. If you prefer otherwise, here is the rule of thumb.

kill switch for online activists

Kill Switch on: always

If you’re a political activist, journalist, or blogger, who lives and works in a country ruled by an authoritarian government. Your freedom and personal security may depend on keeping your online activity secret.

kill switch for work

Kill Switch on: when working

If you have to handle sensitive or classified information when you work, make sure it’s always encrypted. NordVPN with the Kill Switch on is the best way to protect yourself against data leaks and unexpected connection interruptions.

kill switch for password security

Kill Switch on: sometimes

Losing access to 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.

Causes of VPN disconnections

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 service. In many cases, it happens because of software interference or unstable internet connection.

wifi unstable

Unstable internet connection

It’s simple – interruptions in your internet connection can cause interruptions in your connection to the NordVPN server.

Factors like weak Wi-Fi signal or frequent timeouts and disconnections can lead to VPN connection failures.

In the same vein, switching between Wi-Fi and mobile will not cause problems. However, if your device constantly bounces between Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile internet, the chances of VPN disconnection increase.


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.

Similarly, if your device (computer, phone, tablet, etc.) has auto updates turned on – which we recommend – it may reboot itself and stay without the protection of the VPN tunnel. To prevent that, turn on the Kill Switch and auto connect options.

servers unstable

Server and networking failure

NordVPN is as reliable a VPN service as they get. Our server timeouts and failures are very uncommon – but they are possible.

NordVPN has over 5500 servers in over 50 countries. These servers are kept in secure locations with constant supervision. And yet, they are physical boxes, vulnerable to damage as any other physical object.

Once, during a construction accident caused by a third party, one of our cables was cut, causing disconnections.

You can’t predict everything that can go wrong – that’s why we all need the auto Kill Switch.

Kill Switch technology: how it actually works

The Kill Switch works by observing, detecting, blocking, and restoring. Let’s break it down.

1. Observes

The Kill Switch continuously observes your connection to a NordVPN server, looking for changes in the status or IP address.

2. Detects

If the connection drops, the Kill Switch instantly detects this change.

3. Blocks

Depending on whether you’ve enabled the internet or the app Kill Switch, the Kill Switch blocks your device or some of the apps from accessing the internet.

4. Restores

When the tunnel to a NordVPN server is reestablished, the Kill Switch restores your internet connection.

3 main cases when the Kill Switch saves you from a security disaster

Use the Kill Switch to make
your security bulletproof