What is a VPN kill switch
A VPN kill switch is an advanced security feature designed to protect your digital data from accidental exposure. If your VPN connection accidentally drops, the VPN kill switch will block your internet access until the VPN connection is restored.
NordVPN software has two versions of the Kill Switch feature
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.
For Android, iOS, Linux, and macOS
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 (Always on VPN) for Android 7 or later by going to Settings -> Wireless and networks -> More -> VPN -> enable “Always on VPN.” This will enable a system-wide Kill Switch.
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.
The VPN Kill Switch is a must
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:
For additional security
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.
For data privacy
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.
For personal secrets
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.
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 VPN service. In many cases, it happens because of software interference or an unstable internet connection.
VPN Kill Switch technology: how it actually works
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.