If you are interested in VPNs, you have probably come across the term “kill switch.” The kill switch is often considered a significant advantage of any VPN provider that provides one. Still, most of our readers do not seem to know what a kill switch does and why it is superior to use one.
A VPN kill switch is an element that automatically disconnects your system, phone, or tablet from the internet if your VPN connection stops. This means there is no chance that your IP address and other sensitive data could be exposed. So, the privacy and security, and anonymity of your internet would not be compromised.
VPNs frequently have the kill switch feature activated by default, but you can select to deactivate it if you need. If you turned it off, you could continue to use the internet as usual, even if your VPN is not connected. If you switch it on, you cannot send any information via the internet if your VPN is disconnected.
- Why do VPNs have a kill switch?
- How does a VPN kill switch work?
- Types of VPN kill switches
- When does a VPN kill switch start?
- Why should you make use of a VPN kill switch?
- Who should utilize a VPN kill switch?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why do VPNs have a kill switch?
Many people use a VPN to protect their privacy. They wish to stay unknown while browsing the web, and a VPN can help with that. If your VPN temporarily breaks down, you would be left unprotected. Your information will be sent onto the internet without the extra protection of a VPN tunnel. As a result, your actual IP address will be visible to the outer world. This is where the kill switch comes to the rescue.
A VPN kill switch makes sure that you will never go online exposed. If your VPN breaks down while you are browsing, the kill switch will stop your connection to the internet. As long as the VPN experiences connection problems, you would not browse, stream or download anything. Since your complete internet connection is put to a stop, your real IP address will stay protected, and your security and privacy will remain intact. Hackers would not be able to get to your personal information. Mainly, the kill switch makes sure that the VPN protects you when it does not work quite as it should.
How does a VPN kill switch work?
A VPN kill switch works by frequently monitoring your connection, detecting problems, blocking your access to the internet, and repairing your connection as soon as it is protected.
Here is a complete guide on how VPN kill switch works:
- A VPN kill switch constantly monitors your connection to your VPN server by scanning for alterations in status or IP address.
- A VPN kill switch will then immediately detect any alterations that could stop your VPN from working properly.
- Depending on what type of VPN service you are using, your VPN kill switch will block apps or your complete device from accessing the internet.
- When the issue is resolved, your VPN kill switch will restore your internet connection without doing anything.
Types of VPN kill switches
There are two types of virtual private network kill switches: application-level VPN kill switch and system-level VPN kill switch.
1. System-level VPN kill switch
System-level VPN kill switch notes when you are disconnected from the VPN service. It then sends that data to your system to stop connecting to the internet via your mobile data or wifi. When enabled, a system-level VPN kill switch fully blocks your internet connection to your system until the VPN connection is restored. This makes it very efficient at preventing IP leaks.
A system-level VPN kill switch is straightforward to set up. If it is not switched on by default, you must select a checkbox on your VPN.
2. Application-level VPN kill switch
Application-level VPN kill switch may not sound as safe as a system-level VPN kill switch, but it is possibly the better choice of the two as it is limited to the application you select. Application-level VPN kill switch works by letting you choose the specific apps you need to prevent from connecting to the web when the kill switch activates.
Whichever website you have selected will then stop working in the event of a VPN connection breakdown to protect your information. This is very practical if you want to cover your IP address while using certain apps. It is bendier than the active kill switch because it provides you more control over how the switch operates.
When does a VPN kill switch start?
A VPN kill switch will turn on when it detects that your VPN connection has a breakdown.
Here are a few cases of when this might occur:
- When your internet connection is disconnected from your VPN server
- If you choose to switch servers.
- If you experience untrustworthy network connections such as using the public internet.
- If your system does an update suddenly and then reconnects to the internet without opening your VPN app.
- If you use a new firewall and forget to add an extension for your VPN, the firewall then blocks your VPN.
Why should you make use of a VPN kill switch?
Even the most trusted VPN services experience irregular connectivity breakdowns. If you are relying on a VPN to keep your data secure, you will likely have an added security measure to protect your information in case your VPN breakdowns. This will guarantee that you will get the best level of privacy and security you need at all times. A VPN kill switch is your last node of defense to ensure that your IP address is covered.
Who should utilize a VPN kill switch?
While an irregular breakdown in connectivity of your VPN may not be the end of the world for most people, there are specific groups of people who need this level of security and privacy at all times. Here is the list of those groups who use a VPN kill switch:
- Torrent users
- Users of peer-to-peer transfer software
- Users having secret documents
Frequently Asked Questions
Many premium VPN kill switches are enabled by default. But if you need to disable it, all you have to do is go to the Settings in your VPN, locate the kill switch or Network lock button and switch it off.
There are various ways how kill switches are implemented. It might be done via a rule in the firewall or with priorities and drivers. The failure rate will rely on the implementation above anything else, so you should look for a premium VPN service with well-made software.
It is not. It is the only way to ensure that none of your traffic ever goes through insecure tunnels. However, this means that your internet connection will depend on your VPN provider’s uptime.
A kill switch is a valuable feature that helps to protect user information. When talking about VPN kill switch, it protects your personal data when the VPN connection breakdowns. You would not be able to go online unprotected, and websites would not be able to discover your real IP address.