What is a VPN Kill Switch?

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated March 27, 2023

The best VPNs offer many advanced security features that allow you to trust your internet connection as long as you’re connected. One such feature is a kill switch, which may have you wondering, “What is a VPN kill switch?” Keep reading to learn why you should always compare VPN services, such as Surfshark vs. NordVPN, to ensure that it has this feature. After all, VPNs do far more than just mask your real IP address to protect your online activity.


  • VPN software is essential to ensuring you aren’t the victim of an unsecured connection. It does this by rerouting internet traffic through VPN servers and hiding your IP address.
  • A kill switch is a VPN feature that acts as your computer’s last line of defense by preventing unprotected connections even if your VPN connection drops.
  • A VPN kill switch ensures your data and online activity remains protected at all times.

Explaining VPN Kill Switches

A VPN connection is the difference between being wide-open or having strong online security, which you can learn by asking just what does a VPN hide. Besides additional security, a VPN can do a few more things. First, just make sure you understand the basics of VPNs, such as learning how to turn off a VPN.

Insider Tip

VPN kill switches are an essential part of your computer’s security system.

What is a VPN Kill Switch?

This is an essential security feature that ensures your digital security. The kill switch feature will serve you well if you have an internet connection. The kill switch prevents your device from making unprotected connections by monitoring your remote server connection. So even if your VPN connection drops, you’re still protected. If you’re wondering about increasing the level of security on your phone, look for a VPN with a mobile version of its software. For more information, just ask, “What is a VPN on iPhone?”


Not all VPN providers offer the same features, so do your research accordingly.

Benefits of Having a VPN Kill Switch

Using a VPN service with a kill switch gives you higher levels of online privacy because it will prevent your computer from connecting or transmitting your data until the encrypted tunnel is restored. This helps immensely in that it ensures that your private data and online activity are never left unintentionally exposed to hackers, your internet service provider, government agencies, or other third parties.

STAT: In 2019 only 15.3 percent of respondents were using a VPN at work, by 2021 the share of respondents increased to 61 percent. (source)

What is a VPN Kill Switch FAQs

Why should I hide my real IP address?

This isn’t just an advanced security measure you can take. Hiding your IP address keeps your identity safe and allows you to browse without worrying about your data being stolen.

When does a VPN kill switch feature engage?

The VPN kill switch will engage for a few reasons. The most common is that you’re experiencing VPN disconnections. If enabled, it’ll block all unsecured internet connections until the encrypted tunnel has been restored.

Are there different types of VPN kill switches?

Yes, there are two different types of these kill switches, including a system level VPN kill switch and an application level VPN kill switch

Why is an unencrypted connection so dangerous?

The main benefit of encryption is the ability to establish a secure connection. Without it, anybody can see the data going back and forth and even modify elements of it.
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