What is a VPN Kill Switch?

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Jalluri Sirisha
Written by
Jalluri Sirisha

Updated · Oct 03, 2023

Jalluri Sirisha
Computer Networks Expert, VPN Expert | Joined June 2023 | LinkedIn
Jalluri Sirisha

Sirisha is a networking enthusiast with a bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering. She... | See full bio

Teodora Dobrilova
Edited by
Teodora Dobrilova


Teodora Dobrilova
Editor-in-chief, Social Media And Digital Marketing Expert | Joined October 2021
Teodora Dobrilova

After getting a master's degree in Literature, Publishing, and Mass Media, Teodora spent most of her... | See full bio

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A VPN kill switch is a modern security feature to protect digital data. It immediately prevents you from accessing the internet until the restoration of your VPN connection.

VPN has this common issue of disconnecting suddenly, which could compromise your security. Your final line of defense, the VPN Kill Switch, will prevent the internet from accessing any programs you use.  

Even with the help of a VPN, the possibility of leaking your data is still possible. Adding extra protection will solidify your security and privacy, so you won't have to worry when your VPN disconnects abruptly. 

Learn more about this VPN feature that will tightly protect your personal information. 

Key Takeaway

🔑 Kill Switch features additional security to VPN apps by blocking all networks when the connection drops. 

🔑Poor Internet connection is one of the most common reasons a VPN disconnects abruptly.

🔑 The VPN Kill Switch allows user to continue their online activities without accidentally leaking their data.

🔑There are 2 types of VPN Kill Switches: passive and active protocols.

🔑 When a VPN suddenly stops, the Kill Switch will ensure your data remains hidden and you stay anonymous. 

🔑 NordVPN is the most popular and trusted VPN for users.

VPN Kill Switch: What It Is and How It Works

A VPN Kill Switch is an advanced feature of a VPN app. Its primary purpose is to protect your data when the VPN connection suddenly drops.

This extra feature will protect users from unwanted IP address leaks and other personal data. When the VPN is unstable, the kill switch will block the internet to avoid the risky connection. 

There are more reasons why a VPN drops the connection, and here are some of them: 

Poor Internet Strength 

A weak Wi-Fi signal is one of the most common reasons VPN connections drop; a VPN disconnects when the internet is slow.

Router Settings

If the VPN keeps dropping connections, it might be due to the firewall settings. Experts say it is best always to enable your firewall to avoid data leakage. 

Network Congestion

Your VPN connection may need to be fixed if there is a lot of Internet traffic. Your device will also be more vulnerable due to frequently occurring network timeouts.

Device Sleep Mode Settings 

Gadgets often put apps into sleep mode to extend battery life, which tends to turn off all idle apps, including your VPN.  

A VPN Kill Switch ensures your device is safe by preventing it from connecting to the Internet. Visibility won't occur, not even in an unexpected connection loss.

👍 Helpful Article: 

VPN users have become a standard security Internet companion to 1.6 billion people globally.

VPN Kill Switch: Understanding How it Works

Users may reduce the risk of their private data being leaked by activating the Kill Switch feature, which adds additional levels of protection while using a VPN server. 

The VPN Kill Switch prevents your IP address, location, and digital data from being exposed. Until the restoration of your VPN connection, this feature ensures your privacy.  

⚠️Security Warning:

Remember that using a VPN server alone does not guarantee complete protection. You will be safer with the VPN Internet Kill Switch feature. Even if the connection breaks, it can continue its operations. 

Here's how the VPN Kill Switch works:

1. Monitors the VPN Server

A VPN server scans every movement of the server’s connection, while the VPN Kill Switch monitors the server's connections by checking the VPN status for changes. 

2. Detects Any Changes in the VPN Provider

Kill Switch notifies the user after detecting any changes that can result in a connection loss.  

3. Blocks the Internet

Kill Switch protects your online information by disconnecting the device from the Internet whenever it notices a connection drop. This would stop hackers from accessing your information.

4. Restores the Internet Connection

VPN Kill Switch will reconnect to your device's connection as soon as the VPN connection is established again. It also decreases the time it takes for your device to load.  

Infographic of How The VPN Kill Switch Works

Types of VPN Kill Switches

Knowing what type of VPN Kill Switches will help users find the most effective VPN subscriptions. 

📈Market Trend:

According to Statistics, it has a $44.6 billion market size as of 2023. The growing numbers made them create different types of VPN Kill Switches as well. 

Here are the two protocols of Kill Switch: 

1. Active Kill Switch Protocols

This protocol only activates after an interrupted connection. When there are connection issues, these Kill Switches investigate the connection drop. 

2. Passive Kill Switch Protocols

This protocol takes effect as soon as your VPN connection is disconnected.  This kill switch will reduce the risk to your data privacy.

These are the two types of passive Kill Switch protocols:

  • System Level: This level disables Internet connection for your entire device until the Kill Switch is finished.
  • Application Level: The selected apps are only disconnected from the Internet if the VPN connection fails.

These two protocols are safe; however, the passive Kill Switch is more effective and secure. Passive Kill Switch protocols are present in the majority of VPN applications.  

Pro Tip:

Use a VPN kill switch as your final defense measure to ensure your IP address remains anonymous. If your VPN is down, no one gets hold of your data.

Importance of VPN Kill Switch

There are over 1 billion users of VPN worldwide who are enjoying the numerous benefits of VPN Kill Switch. With this data, VPNs continue introducing critical consumer security features, including VPN Kill Switches. They act as the primary guard when users lose connectivity.

Find out more about the VPN Kill Switch importance here: 

Improves the Security Level

Using a VPN increases the user's time while online. You might not notice when your connection drops and your digital data leaks.

Kill Switch improves the security of your VPN by alerting the user who is blocking the network so that they can stop using the default settings to hide your IP address.

Using the Kill Switch would make things much safer by preventing data leaks and safeguarding the IP address. 

Protects Your Device on a Public Network

There is a significant chance of being the target of hacking when using public Wi-Fi in coffee shops, libraries, airports, or other public places.

Your privacy will be protected wherever you go if a VPN Kill Switch is activated.  

Keeps Sensitive Data Secure

A VPN connection ensures your data is secure even when disconnected. Any leak of sensitive data is less likely with a VPN Kill Switch.

Trusted VPNs with Kill Switches

VPN Kill Switches have this feature to protect the user's data privacy. Here are the most trusted VPNs to check out. 

NordVPN Kill Switch

NordVPN is one of the most popular and trusted VPNs. It has a Kill Switch for IOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. This app ensures its users maximum security and privacy

The good news is you can disable NordVPN whenever you want.  



This offers an Application Level Kill Switch for more flexibility.

Kill Switch cannot be disabled on IOS.

Surfshark VPN Kill Switch

Surfshark is the best mobile application, enabling applications without altering the device settings. It also works with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. 



It is simple to use for beginners who need to familiarize themselves with VPN software.

Surfshark does not offer an Application Level Kill Switch.

ExpressVPN Kill Switch

ExpressVPN is easy to use on most devices. It encrypts your data from any network, hence its name “Network Lock.



The application prioritizes speed services as it would have an optimal server for your video scream. 

Users need premium access to have a more secure VPN Kill Switch.


VPNs protect the IP address of the users; however, it is only partially secure as they are prone to connection drop. 

Enabling the Kill Switches feature on VPNs can be helpful as it adds more protective layers and monitors any changes. It also provides encryption of the private data of the user. 

Kill Switch is a safety feature that prevents your device from sending IP addresses to stay anonymous online. It disconnects your device from the Internet to remain hidden.


How do I turn off the VPN Kill Switch?

You can turn off your Kill Switch by going to the settings and clicking Privacy. 

When should you use a VPN Kill Switch?

You should use a VPN kill change when your VPN connection drops. 

How do I bypass the VPN limit?

You can bypass the VPN limit by using another VPN. However, some VPNs offer unlimited data without any limitations. 

Can you make your Kill Switch?

You can make your Kill Switch, although it would require expertise to be secure. 


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