What Is A Killswitch?

The VPN Kill Switch is a tool that prevents your device from establishing unwatched connections. It monitors your connection to the remote server on a regular basis. If it disconnects by accident, the VPN Kill Switch blocks access to the internet (or specific apps) for your device until the link is restored. Want to know how this technology works? Then read our mega guide and learn everything there is to know about killswitches.

Ben Grindlow

Ben Grindlow is the founder of ProXPN, a company that provides reviews about VPN products and services. Ben's interest in cybersecurity and privacy led him to start ProXPN, which has become one of the most well-respected VPN providers in the world. Ben is passionate about his work, and he is constantly exploring new ways to improve ProXPN's in-depth guides.

Last updated: 10:10AM 7/5/2022

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Are you seeking for a Virtual Private Network service that will best meet your requirements? After that, you will likely get familiar with the term VPN kill switch very fast. This attribute is undeniably one of the benefits and qualities of a reliable virtual private network (VPN).

In addition to the protection offered by the VPN, the kill switch adds an additional layer of safety to all of your internet activity. It goes without saying that you have to be familiar with the functionality of a kill switch before you can put it to use. In this post, we will provide a comprehensive explanation of what a kill switch is, how it operates, and the reasons why you should use one.

Can you explain what a kill switch is?

The phrase “emergency stop” is the closest thing to the original meaning of “kill switch.” Contrast that with the emergency switch located in the closet housing your meter. If there is a short circuit, the breaker will blow, which will immediately prevent access to any source of energy. This eliminates the risk of fires as well as damage to your home appliances.

A “death switch” is another option for protecting sensitive data that may be implemented in software. Consider the confidential data of giant corporations, the essential components of major defense programs, and even the software on your own smartphone.

When this occurs, the kill switch guarantees that any data, information, or devices that have been compromised are rendered useless as soon as they are in the possession of an unauthorized user. Therefore, sensitive and confidential information is shielded from the hands of nefarious individuals.

How does the kill switch function on a virtual private network (VPN)?

A virtual private network (VPN) kill switch, in essence, serves the same purpose as the emergency stopper located in your meter cupboard. Does something go place that results in you losing access to a server that operates a VPN?

In order to protect you from potential harm, the kill switch will disconnect you from the internet. You must first be familiar with the functions of a virtual private network (VPN) before you can comprehend the dangers that are posed by using one.

Why does the killswitch help you with privacy?

Regarding privacy, each and every gadget has its own unique IP address. Your actual location and the personal information you provide can be determined from the IP address that is associated with your online activity.

  • A regional blockade is applied based on an IP address, which means that you cannot simply watch American Netflix content from another country, for example. Not only is this dangerous, but it also prevents you from accessing certain location-based content. Not only is this dangerous, but it also prevents you from accessing certain location-based content.
  • When you use the internet, data is continuously being transmitted from your gadget to other electronic ones. This poses a security risk. This information can be snatched out of thin air by third parties who are not supposed to have access to it. Your data travels over the internet in an encrypted form thanks to the use of a virtual private network (VPN).

It is essential that your device maintains its connection to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) server in order to take use of these features. This relationship may be severed for a variety of reasons, some of which will be discussed in greater detail later on in this article. Do you find that you are unable to recognize something happening until it is too late? If this is the case, both your privacy and your safety may be compromised. Because of this, a kill switch has been devised for your virtual private network (VPN).

The best VPN service that has a kill switch

Before we go any further into the how and why of a kill switch, we’d like to introduce you to some of our favorite VPN providers that really offer this function. These services have been chosen because they provide a high level of security and privacy for their users.

This is due to the fact that not all VPNs are equipped with a kill switch that is fully operational. We have assembled for you the very finest VPN services that are equipped with a kill switch option. Aside from that, they provide a multitude of additional benefits, which, for more information on, we would like to direct you to our individual evaluations of VPNs.

1. NordVPN

The kill switch offered by NordVPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. In contrast to the VPN service providers listed below, NordVPN gives users the ability to choose which applications should be particularly prohibited in the event that they lose connection to the VPN server.

Therefore, you hold a great deal of power over this. Another useful feature is that the function is turned on by default in all of NordVPN’s applications. In order to save you the trouble of looking for it. Despite having a large server network, NordVPN is a relatively affordable virtual private network (VPN). Learn more by reading our evaluation of the NordVPN service.

2. Surfshark

The kill switch for Surfshark is not always active, but it is straightforward to locate inside the options. As is the case with ExpressVPN, Surfshark possesses a system-level kill switch that disconnects users from the Internet the moment the VPN connection is lost.

In addition, it is compatible with the majority of well-known operating systems. In addition, Surfshark provides users with access to VPN servers located in a diverse selection of countries and the capacity to connect an infinite number of devices simultaneously. You may learn more by reading our review of Surfshark.

3. CyberGhost

The moniker given to the kill switch used on CyberGhost’s VPN service is The Ultimate Kill Switch. If you lose connection to the VPN server, you will not be able to access the internet until the connection is reestablished.

Naturally, CyberGhost will make an effort to reestablish the connection as quickly as humanly possible. CyberGhost also provides a variety of modes that may be selected according to the purpose for which you use the internet, such as gaming or streaming. You are able to use CyberGhost’s VPN on seven different devices at the same time.

4. ExpressVPN

The kill switch offered by ExpressVPN is known as Network Lock, and it is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and any router. It is tucked away in the app’s General menu, where you can discover it. The virtual private network will quickly put a halt to any and all online communication the moment your connection is lost.

Access to the Internet will not be reinstated until after the connection has been repaired. Other benefits of using ExpressVPN include its lightning-fast connection speeds, its extensive network of servers located in a variety of locations, and its support for simultaneous use on up to five separate devices. Learn more by reading our review of ExpressVPN.

Different kinds of killswitches

The kill switch of a VPN is triggered if there is a disruption in the connection to the VPN server. After that, the kill switch will immediately prevent access to the internet, or at least to specific sections of it. What exactly is prevented from access when the VPN connection drops depends on the settings you have chosen and the VPN company you use. A lot of VPN services give users two options to choose from:

  1. At the level of the system, the connection to the Internet will not be accessible at all until your VPN connection has been successfully reestablished. Therefore, you are unable to connect to the Internet in any way.
  2. At the application level, only a select few apps or programs will be inaccessible to you until you have successfully reconnected to a VPN server. Internet browsers, email clients, and download clients are examples of the kind of programs that, in the absence of a Virtual Private Network connection, possibly present the most risk to users.

After you have configured the block, the kill switch will continue to perform careful monitoring of your VPN connection. Does your device connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) server once more? After then, there is an instantaneous lifting of the barrier.

You can regain access to the Internet at any moment by manually turning off the kill switch. This will restore your connection. Even if this is your very first time using your VPN, you should make it a habit to activate the kill switch whenever you connect to the service. Kill switches for virtual private network services might be one of two varieties, each of which uses a distinct protocol.

Protocol for the Active Kill Switch

This protocol actively examines the network in order to identify a VPN connection that has been broken. Is there a potential issue with the link that it identifies? Following the transmission of this information to your device by the kill switch, the connection will subsequently be severed.

Protocol for the Passive Kill Switch

The passive kill switch, in contrast to the version described above, does not wait for information to come from the network. When the signal coming from the VPN server cannot be located, kill switches that use a passive protocol will immediately disconnect the device from the Internet. This version is more secure than the previous one since there is less time that passes between when the connection is lost and when your Internet connection is blocked.

The VPN connection is not working, what are the potential dangers?

Why would you want to activate the kill switch on your VPN? It is helpful to know what takes place if your VPN does not have a kill switch in order to get a better grasp on this topic. We saw before that a virtual private network (VPN) is typically utilized in order to secure one’s security and privacy.

You will no longer be able to take use of these benefits if you are unable to maintain a connection to the VPN server. Your genuine Internet Protocol address is immediately viewable, and the encryption of your web activity has been disabled. In spite of the lost connection, do you continue to use the internet? If so, you are putting both your safety and your privacy at jeopardy.

A virtual private network (VPN) that does not have a kill switch option or that has this feature disabled might expose users to a number of dangers. The most significant dangers, which you are also exposed to if you do not use a virtual private network, are as follows:

  • Your actual IP address is made available once more, which makes it possible for others to determine where you are physically located.
  • Your actions while using the internet may be linked back to you, which is why you always see adverts that are specifically tailored to you.
  • Using public wifi networks exposes users to severe dangers. The connection to the free wifi is frequently unsafe, which means that anybody may access your device and steal your data, despite the fact that it appears to be quite convenient.

Reasons why your VPN connection keeps dropping

It does not matter how robust your VPN connection is; it will never be foolproof and will always run the risk of being unavailable at some time. There might be a few reasons for this.

Cause 1: Unstable internet connection

If the quality of your internet connection is weak or unreliable, you run the risk of losing the connection to the VPN server you use. This may occur for a number of reasons, such as when you are connected to a WiFi network that transmits a poor signal, when you are too far away from your router, or when you decide to switch networks.

Cause 2: VPN not working

It’s also possible that the VPN server was to blame for the disconnection. This can occur for a number of reasons, including when the server experiences issues with signal strength and interference. However, a single server may potentially be linked to an excessive number of VPN users.

The connection frequently becomes sluggish and perhaps totally severed altogether. You may prevent the latter by selecting a VPN company that has a wide number of servers, since this will ensure that no single server is ever too busy to handle user traffic.

Cause 3: The configurations of your device

There is a possibility that the VPN connection will not function properly if you use your device with certain settings (optimally). Consider adjusting the settings on your router, firewall, and antivirus software.

Does this software consider your VPN to be a security risk? If you try to connect to a VPN server after that, they will make it impossible. You may circumvent this problem by going into the settings of your device and adding the VPN client there as an exception.

Cause 4: The virtual private network (VPN) was not activated.

Is the plug even inserted into the outlet? When using a gadget that is not functioning properly, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is. The same is true for computer software.

It’s possible that your VPN connection is just not working, as straightforward as that may sound. As soon as you turn on your VPN connection, the kill switch will restore your connection to the Internet. There are a few potential causes for your VPN connection to be down, including the following:

  1. Your device has been restarted, and the VPN connection will not be established automatically.
  2. You switch VPN servers, and immediately afterward you notice a drop in connection quality.
  3. Your software gets updated, and your machine reboots, but it does not connect to your VPN.
  4. Someone else uses your device without turning on the VPN because they borrowed it from you and forgot to do so.

Conclusion about the killswitch for VPN’s

Okay, at this point, we’ve covered everything there is to know about the kill switch option that comes with VPNs. If you are interested in purchasing a virtual private network (VPN), a kill switch is one of the most critical things you should search for.

Especially if you want to minimize the amount of time spent online using your own IP address. As soon as you access the Internet after doing so, you may do so with the knowledge that your real IP address will be concealed. After all, if you leave the kill switch feature on, you won’t be able to connect to the internet even with a VPN connection since it will prevent you from doing so.

Frequently asked questions

A VPN Kill Switch is a tool that stops your device from establishing unwarranted connections to the server. It examines your connection to the other server on a regular basis. If it drops by mistake, the VPN Kill Switch prevents access to the internet (or certain apps) for your device.

CONCLUSION. A VPN kill switch instantly disconnects your connection from the Internet if your VPN connection goes down. The functionality is a further layer of security, preserving your information and keeping you anonymous even if the VPN shuts down.

If you turn off your VPN, you can continue using the web as usual even if your VPN isn’t connected. However, if you switch it on, you won’t be able to send anything via your internet connection if your VPN is halted. A kill switch is important for overall protection for those who want to make full use of a VPN service.

A killswitch is a single-button emergency shutoff switch that switches off the bike with a click. It serves as a simple safety mechanism by allowing the driver to switch off the bike when it’s inconvenient to do so manually. It shuts down all operational systems without causing any damage to the system.

Kill Switch is switched on by default, with a VPN profile installation. If you want to turn it off, go to the app’s Menu > Settings > Kill Switch.

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