As internet privacy rights become more skewed, people are understandably searching for ways in which they can retain some anonymity online. A VPN or Virtual Private Network is an essential piece of software if you want to keep your online browsing data hidden from third parties and your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
VPNs encrypt users’ online activity. This is beneficial for several reasons: firstly, it prevents ISPs from storing data and creating personal profiles about users’ internet activity. Secondly, should your network become compromised and accessed by a hacker, a VPN will make your data hard to decrypt. Using a VPN means that you’re less likely to be a victim of fraud or identity theft, as you’ll always be navigating the web under a secure connection.
All VPN providers should provide encryption and the ability to surf the net with extra security and freedom. However, there are extra essential features that you should look for when choosing which VPN to buy. One of these is a kill switch.
So, what is a kill switch, and which VPN providers have a kill switch as one of their security features? For everything you’ve wanted to know about this integral feature, here at VPNSurfers, we’ve got you covered.
When you connect to a VPN server, all of your internet data gets hidden in an encrypted VPN tunnel. This means your activity is hidden from your ISP and any spies who may access your network. What’s more, with a VPN, your real IP address and location are never revealed. This is important since every device has a unique IP address, and websites and advertising companies can collect this information to build user profiles.
Using a VPN to surf the net is, therefore, essential if you want to remain anonymous online. However, there are times when your VPN connection drops, which can sever your connection to a VPN server. This can be caused by a misconfiguration with your router, or due to a low wi-fi signal strength. Should your VPN connection drop, you’d be surfing the web with no protection, leaving your IP exposed and your device vulnerable to hackers.
When your VPN connection fails, the kill switch will kick in. If you get disconnected from your VPN, the kill switch will cut your internet connection entirely, to make sure that your traffic isn’t redirected through your regular network and you don’t continue to browse online without any form of protection. Essentially, a VPN kill switch works by blocking your internet connection until the VPN connection has been restored.
VPN kill switches are essential features for all VPN surfers. However, it’s not always apparent as to whether your VPN connection has dropped. Having a kill switch activated is integral if online anonymity is your main reason for using a VPN service.
A lot of people see the kill switch as an extra bonus feature, and not something that is essential. However, here at VPNSurfers, we feel as though kill switches are fundamental aspects of good VPN providers.
Whether you already have a VPN that you use regularly, or you’re looking to install one, you should check your settings to see whether it comes with the kill switch feature. Many providers offer this service, although it is often overlooked and not utilized by users.
There are some providers such as ExpressVPN, that have the kill switch activated upon installation. With other providers, you’ll need to enable it yourself. Assuming that your VPN has an easy to use app or client, you should be able to find the kill switch feature and switch it on.
Without enabling the kill switch, when your VPN connection goes down, your internet traffic will be unprotected. Your IP address won’t be hidden and you’ll be at risk of carrying out a lot of online tasks on an unsecured connection. This is dangerous if you’re sending confidential emails, carrying out banking, or torrenting.
Therefore, we can’t stress enough the importance of enabling the kill switch feature if your VPN has one. Knowing that this function is activated in the background will allow you to use the web with peace of mind, knowing that your data and IP will never be exposed should your VPN connection drop.
Any VPN provider that’s worth its weight in gold will have a kill switch. With so many free and paid for VPNs available, it can make it difficult to know which are worth using. At VPNSurfers, we believe that a product you pay for will always be better than a free one, which is why we’re steering clear of free VPNs with kill switches.
We’ve tried and tested some of the best VPN software in the industry, to compile this list of the best VPNs with a kill switch.
One of the most frequently asked VPN-based questions on Google is, ‘Does NordVPN have a kill switch?’ The answer is yes, and its kill switch service is available on both the mobile and desktop versions of its VPN.
If you’re looking for extra secure browsing, then NordVPN is a great choice. NordVPN has a kill switch feature that is available on its dedicated apps and clients for Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, and Android. While the kill switch is enabled by default upon download in the iOS mobile app, users must manually activate it on other clients by visiting the settings. Luckily, Nord’s desktop clients and mobile apps are easy to use, so activating the feature is easy.
NordVPN offers fantastic overall user protection thanks to its first-rate security features. Users can enjoy secure surfing thanks to the military-grade AES-256 bit encryption. What’s more, NordVPN offers customers the choice of several protocols, including its very own NordLynx which combines security and speed.
What’s more, NordVPN offers fantastic global server coverage. You can choose from popular VPN server locations including Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Sweden, and the UK.
One of the best VPN companies for all-around security, ExpressVPN has an internet kill switch that is automatically enabled in its VPN applications.
ExpressVPN is a dependable VPN provider that supports Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and several other major operating systems. The best thing about ExpressVPN’s kill switch option, known as the Network Lock, is that users don’t need to enable the kill switch after they’ve installed the VPN. Regardless of whether you are using the mobile or desktop version of ExpressVPN, the Network Lock will be automatically activated.
Every time you connect to a VPN server, the Network Lock will be running in the background. Should your internet access drop, your wi-fi connection change, or your computer shut down, the Network Lock will kick into action and ensure your anonymity is not affected.
The kill switch isn’t the only privacy protection that ExpressVPN offers. With DNS leak-protection, industry-standard encryption, and Perfect Forward Secrecy, Express provides one of the most secure VPN services for online security. Thanks to its impressive server network, your online traffic will remain anonymous as you visit geo-blocked sites from around the world.
IPVanish provides users with a reliable kill switch feature that is available on both its mobile and desktop software.
IPVanish works with several operating systems, but only its clients for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android have access to the VPN kill switch. To switch it on, all you need to do is access the client or app settings and activate it.
Depending on what you need a VPN for, you can access IPVanish’s split tunneling service. This tunnels your internet traffic on certain apps or websites through an encrypted tunnel, while the rest goes through your regular ISP network. Split tunneling is a great VPN service for people who require privacy for certain online activities but don’t want to encrypt all of their online data. However, IPVanish’s kill switch will still disconnect your entire internet connection if your VPN connection drops.
A reliable provider that has impressive VPN services, IPVanish is definitely one to consider if you want to support all of your devices with a VPN that has an effective internet kill switch.
With unlimited device connections available, you can guarantee that all of your platforms have a secure VPN connection at all times.
Surfshark is an impressive VPN provider, thanks to its fantastic security features that include an effective kill switch. Should your VPN server connection drop, instead of allowing your internet connection to become compromised, Surfshark’s kill switch will cut off your internet access completely.
Surfshark is compatible across all major platforms, which means you can protect all of your and your family’s devices at once. Its Windows and macOS computer clients are extremely user friendly, as is each version of its mobile applications. To activate the kill switch, all you need to do is go to the app settings and click a button to switch it on.
There is good customer support with Surfshark, in the form of a live chat and email service. Should you have any issue with its VPN apps, you can also find information, articles, and guides on the help section of the provider’s website.
A VPN provider that is big on security, it’s no surprise that ProtonVPN has a kill switch that is available on all of its plans.
The ProtonVPN kill switch is available for Mac and Windows. By activating this service in the client settings, should your connection to a VPN server ever go down while you are using the computer version of this provider’s VPN, your online traffic won’t be exposed and visible for ISPs and third parties to see.
Although ProtonVPN doesn’t have kill switches on its Android and iOS devices, there is the Always-on option. This feature ensures that if your device disconnects from the VPN, a secure VPN connection to a server will be established as quickly as possible. Although this isn’t as effective as a kill switch, it’s a good way to ensure your connection isn’t exposed for a long amount of time.
In addition to both of these features, ProtonVPN offers users access to its Secure Core network, which offers an extra layer of security to the VPN connection when you’re surfing the web.