An oh so essential option in the use of a VPN, the Kill Switch is the best bulwark to preserve your privacy and your personal information. In this tutorial, we will see why is it so important and how to enable it.
If you have a subscription to a VPN service, you’ve probably already taken a look at its options to take a look at its features, whether on your computer or your smartphone. Surely you have therefore already come across the activation of a certain Kill Switch without really knowing what this option could correspond to. Know that this is probably the most important option when using a VPN service, a real safety valve that ensures you an inviolable confidentiality on the Internet, especially in the event of a problem of connection.
Kill Switch? Kesako
Nothing to do with the next generation of Nintendo console, the Kill Switch consists of a kind of automatic circuit breaker that disconnects the internet connection from your computer, your phone or your tablet in the event that your VPN connection is interrupted. In this way, you are assured that your IP address and all other connection information remains preserved if your VPN cuts the connection with a remote server. This is to effectively maintain your security and anonymity on the internet.
Although most VPN services on the market offer the Kill Switch function activated by default, it is quite possible to deactivate it, even if we do not recommend doing so. Of course, you can continue to use the internet normally in this case, but personal data could leak during the network switch and make you potentially traceable.
Why is the Kill Switch essential when using a VPN?
The Kill Switch is the last bastion against the traceability of your connection, the primary role of a VPN. Be aware that even the most reliable VPNs experience occasional drops in connectivity. If you’re using a VPN to secure your sensitive information, chances are this extra security measure is a non-negotiable point. It is particularly recommended in certain cases or certain professional and personal activities, from anonymous torrent sharing to political activism on the Internet.
Using a VPN is a first step, the Kill Switch completes your protection for:
- Make your public IP address completely invisible even in the event of a problem with the VPN
- Hide your location on apps or programs using location tools
- Completely invisibilize your activity on the Internet
- Completely protect your anonymity when using public Wi-Fi
How to activate Kill Switch mode on your VPN?
As said above, if some VPN services do not have this option that can be activated, it is because it is either activated as standard, or simply non-existent. Needless to say, we absolutely do not recommend VPNs in the latter case, which are often free and therefore unreliable services.
Take for example the case of NordVPN. The Kill Switch option is not activated by default and requires going through the dedicated menu in the VPN options. On the desktop version, this is what it looks like after validating the alert message.
NordVPN also allows you to activate the Kill Switch only on specific applications such as your internet browser or other programs using your connection on your machine.
Now consider another service like Surfshark. The Kill Switch option is not found this time in the advanced settings, nor in a dedicated menu, but in the tab Settings > Connectivity.
Note however that there are sometimes differences between the mobile and desktop versions of certain VPNs, when the Kill Switch mode is present on the Desktop version, this is not necessarily the case on the Mobile version and vice versa. So be sure to find out about the service you want to use to find out if support for this mode is present.
How do you know if the Kill Switch is working on your VPN?
Whichever compatible VPN you have or which you choose, you have the means to test yourself if it works correctly. Here are the steps to follow:
- Launch the VPN and connect to a server.
- Browse a site using your bandwidth like an SVoD service (Netflix, Prime Video, etc.) or use Torrent file sharing software.
- Block the VPN app using your firewall, but don’t stop your online activity.
- If your internet cuts out, the Kill Switch works perfectly, otherwise your VPN service may be considered unreliable.
In case you don’t know which service to choose. Here is a VPN lite with a Kill Switch mode on the PC and mobile version:
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