What is a VPN Kill Switch? Does Your VPN Need It?

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What is a VPN Kill Switch? Does Your VPN Need It?

You have probably come across the term “VPN kill switch” while researching for a Virtual Private Network to subscribe. Alternatively, you might already nave a VPN but never knew such a feature existed.

If you are wondering what a VPN kill switch is, it is an added feature which typically comes with any reliable VPN to guard your online privacy.

 

WHAT A KILL SWITCH DOES

A VPN kill switch is a safety element which is designed to automatically shut off your internet connection whenever your VPN gets disconnected. Take it as your Plan B. This feature usually comes as a back-up feature to your VPN to ensure you data and privacy does not get compromised in the event your VPN connection fails and your true IP address and internet traffic is exposed.

In many cases, you might have started your laptop but forgot to turn on your VPN prior to browsing the internet. Alternatively, you might be surfing online but unaware that your VPN connection dropped.

When this happens, your internet activities will not be encrypted and leave your personal data exposed. Hence, the kill switch is an important back-up feature for your privacy.

 

HOW KILL SWITCHES FUNCTION

  • Some VPN providers might install the kill switch at the app level, where you will need to have your VPN app open for it to work.
  • Kill switches could also work at system level, where your laptop would not be able to access the internet until the VPN program is running and connected.
  • Some VPNs might give you the option to select one or the other.
  • Other VPNs might completely shut down your laptop applications on occasion of a failed VPN connection.

 

DOES YOUR VPN NEED A KILL SWITCH?

Say you have been surveying VPNs, but you find out that some of them do not offer this privacy feature. Would it be an important factor to consider when subscribing to a VPN provider?

Typically, for a regular internet user, doing away without the kill switch is still acceptable. Of course if you are using your VPN for perfectly legal reasons (such as not downloading pirated torrents which we do not encourage!), having your internet traffic unencrypted temporarily would not be a matter of life or death which will result in immediate total chaos.

Nevertheless, any good VPN provider which truly values your internet privacy should already be implementing a VPN kill switch. Using the feature will not only keep your browsing secure, but also reinforce a good habit for you to make sure you are always connected to your VPN.

 

BolehVPN features DNS leak protection and VPN kill switch, which are useful features that bring you a high level of security.

 

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