If you are concerned about online privacy and have done your research to find the best way to protect it, you are probably aware of how helpful a VPN service truly is when it comes to protecting your internet traffic from eavesdroppers. VPNs also let you mask your identity so that you can enjoy anonymity. However, even VPNs can fail at some stage and if your VPN connection drops, your real IP address and identity can become exposed, and the privacy of your data can be compromised. In some cases, a leaked IP address can have devastating consequences, particularly when you are accessing banned content in countries with oppressive regimes, or if you are accessing torrent websites, which could lead to fines and other legal issues.
To avoid any issues and keep your information protected, even if the VPN connection drops, many VPNs have included a kill switch in their client. One of of the most popular providers, known for its security is NordVPN. In this article, we will focus on NordVPN’s kill switch and will tell you how you can enable it on your desktop and mobile apps. Before we go trough the instructions that you need to follow, we will discuss further what a VPN kill switch is and will tell you how it works. This will help you to understand further how this feature works and why it is important to enable it.
What is a VPN kill switch?
This is an advanced feature that shuts down your internet connection automatically if the VPN drops, to prevent that your real IP address gets exposed. While getting disconnected from the internet all of the sudden could be annoying, it is better than getting your identity exposed. When you connect to a VPN server, your real IP address is masked and replaced with the IP address of the server you are connected to, which keeps your identity hidden. If the VPN stops working, your real IP address would be exposed. This is why it is important to have a kill switch that restricts incoming and outgoing traffic until the VPN connection is restored.
NordVPN’s Kill Switch
Since NordVPN has a strong focus on privacy, it is not strange to see that it comes with a kill switch as part of its service. There are two versions available of the kill switch feature. One is for the desktop version and the other one is for mobile platforms. The desktop version has an app kill switch and an internet kill switch. The app kill switch prevents specific applications from connecting to the internet. The internet kill switch disables the entire internet connection.
Then we have the mobile version, which is slightly less advanced than the desktop version. It doesn’t offer the chance to select app killing selectively and it only allows you to disable the entire internet connection.
Enabling NordVPN’s kill switch feature
It is simple to enable NordVPN’s kill switch, but to make things even easier, we’ll go through the steps for every platform supported.
Windows users need to start by launching the NordVPN Windows app and then go to the Settings option, which is located at the top, next to Map and then select General. Then. scroll down until you find the Internet kill switch and App kill switch and choose which ever one you prefer. If you select Internet Kill switch, you will see a dialogue box that provides information about each feature. You just need to click to enable internet kill switch on your Windows device. If you select App kill switch, you will see a new windows, which can be used to select applications that you want to shut down in case the VPN fails.
In Mac, the kill switch option can be enabled in a similar way as in Windows. Just open the app, go to Settings, look for the Kill switch option and enable it.
If you have an iPhone or any other iOS device, just follow these steps:
- Open the app, launch the NordVPN iOS app
- Click the icon at the top left and go to Settings
- Under Settings, look for the kill switch option
- To enable the option, simply toggle the button.
Android users need to follow the below steps to enable the kill switch on their devices:
- First of all, you need to make sure that the device is running Android 7.0 and above
- In order to enable kill switch, go to System Settings and select More under the wireless and networks section
- Select VPN to get an overview of NordVPN and the rest of the VPN clients installed on your device.
- Select the gear icon next to NordVPN and enable it by selecting Always-on VPN.
VPNs are powerful tools to protect your privacy, but if you want to boost the security of your traffic, make sure that your kill switch is enabled. NordVPN offers a high standard of protection and it becomes even stronger when the kill switch is active. This feature is a must-have if you are torrenting or in any moment when keeping your real IP address and location safe is crucial.