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 drops, the VPN kill switch will block your internet access until the connection to the VPN server is restored.
Why you need a VPN kill switch
Dropping your VPN connection for even a millisecond can lead to data being lost and your IP being exposed. Here’s why you should keep the Kill Switch on at all times.
Types of VPN kill switches
There are two types of VPN kill switches watching over VPN connections today — those that protect only certain apps and those that guard your whole system.
The Kill Switch offered by NordVPN software
NordVPN’s Kill Switch is not activated by default — you need to first turn it on in the app settings. To find out more about NordVPN’s Kill Switch, visit our Help Center.
The NordVPN Windows app lets you choose between an app-level and a system-level kill switch.
The newest version of NordVPN for macOS lets you specify which apps you want the Kill Switch to shut down.
On Android 7 (or later) devices, VPN connections have native kill switches thanks to Android’s “Always on VPN” feature.
VPN Kill Switch technology: How it actually works
The internet Kill Switch feature monitors your VPN connection and shuts down internet access if irregularities occur. Let’s have a deeper look.
The Kill Switch continuously observes your connection to a VPN server, looking for changes in the status or IP address.
If the connection between the server and the VPN client drops, the Kill Switch instantly detects this change.
Depending on the type of kill switch you’ve set for your VPN connections, Kill Switch blocks some or all of the apps from accessing the internet.
When the tunnel to the VPN server is reestablished, the Kill Switch restores your internet connection.
When does a VPN kill switch get activated?
VPN connections may be terminated for a number of reasons. It’s not always the fault of your VPN provider — in many cases, your VPN connection drops because of software interference or an unstable internet connection.