A Visual Private Network (VPN) protects your online security and privacy by hiding your IP address, encrypting your data tunnel, or bypassing governmental restrictions to essentially stop your online activities from being tracked or monitored by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or spying eyes. The target of a kill switch remains the same as that of a VPN and it is the last line of your defense.
What is a VPN Kill Switch?
A VPN kill switch is a special feature that further protects users’ online security when VPN is used.
When the tap in your kitchen breaks down, what will you do as you try to install a new one? Undoubtedly, the first measure you’ll make prior to installation will be to temporarily turn off the main switch to stop the water fountain from rushing out of the pipe. Then, the main switch will return to be on as soon as a new tap has been well installed.
In the case of VPN, a kill switch plays a role as an emergency stop to call for a sudden halt for your network connection when your VPN connection is cut mostly due to uncertain causes that will be discussed in the section below.
Without a kill switch feature on your VPN, once the VPN connection is cut, your data will be directly exposed to your ISP. Sometimes, it occurs so abruptly that you even don’t know that. Kill switch is a special VPN feature that automatically disconnects your device (computer, phone, or tablet) from the Internet until the VPN connection is restored. Therefore, kill switch is usually regarded as the last line of your defense, compensating for the unexpected failure of your VPN.
Does Your VPN Get Disconnected and Why?
Your internet connection can NEVER be 100% guaranteed to be stable or smooth because so many elements are concerned.
Your VPN connection gets disconnected possibly because of:
Unstable WiFi Connection
Any interference such as base station height and angle, equipment maintenance, a high building that occurs in your internet connection will possibly make your network connection become unstable. That perfectly explains why unstable internet is usually met when public WiFi is used in public places like a driving bus or café but a stable internet connection is usually embraced in your office or at home. Therefore, a kill switch is more needed when VPN is used for network connection in public places. One word, if your WiFi connection bounces, so will your VPN connection.
Incompatibility of Firewall/Anti-virus Programs with VPN
If your firewall or anti-virus programs go against with your VPN, your VPN connection may suffer from instability or even failure. Your VPN configuration should be added to the list of your firewall or anti-virus programs so that it won’t be prohibited.
Server and Network Issue
A network connection is so much correlated with local network situations. Congested network or local server lockdown will lead to VPN disconnection or sudden breakdown.
If a VPN connection is cut with or without a reason, your online activities and data will be immediately exposed to your ISP or other ulterior eyes. That means your data will possibly keep leaking until you find it out. But that’s too late.
How does a Kill Switch Work on VPN?
The VPN kill switch continuously tracks your connection between your device and a VPN server and your IP address that is the unique identifier for you to stay online. If the connection accidentally fails, the kill switch will immediately stop your device or the specified apps installed in your device from accessing the internet. Your connection to the internet stays blocked until the VPN connection is reestablished.
In summary, VPN kill switch conforms to the following working procedure:
Why a VPN Kill Switch is a Must?
Why you need a VPN kill switch derives from the fact why you need a VPN. The kill switch feature ends your last possible chance to compromise the security of your data.
To Maintain Privacy and Anonymous Browse
VPN protects your privacy by hiding your IP address that fails to be known by your ISP who is able to track and monitor your online activities based on your IP address. With IP address masked, you can browse anonymously, to avoid being tracked by other parties.
To Stop Data Leakage During Unexpected Connection Interruptions
When your VPN connection gets disconnected incidentally, your network connection remains unchanged. Without a VPN server connection, your device will be directly connected with the internet without any security measures or shields. A VPN kill switch is used to block the “naked” connection as soon as the VPN connection gets cut.
To Better Protect Your Social Media Accounts
Nowadays, social media accounts get most attacked because too much information concerning your identity and privacy is displayed on them. The content you display is easily taken advantage of by the wrong hands. Don’t believe your social media accounts are safe or the content you share through social media is valueless. You know what, over 500K Zoom accounts are sold on dark web during COVID-19 according to FoxNews. You never know how many hackers there behind your screen on the internet are until you’ve been attacked.
What Type of VPN Users Need a Kill Switch Most?
Kill switch is a feature embedded in a VPN. It is needed by everyone and is especially valuable for users with an increasing demand for reliable privacy protection, including business owners that should protect their commercial secrets, journalists, and activists living in autocratic states or even ordinary VPN users wishing to increase their security level.
Besides, torrent downloaders demand a kill switch on a VPN. Torrent downloading calls for reliable VPN connection and complete anonymity online because even a slight data leakage will lead to infringement, fine or lawsuit.
In addition, the following situations as you stay online require kill switch as well:
- As you shift between WiFi and cellular;
- As you let your devices be in sleep mode;
- As you turn on or off your internet connection.
Do All VPNs Have a Kill Switch?
It’s obviously not. Some VPNs feature kill switch for higher security while some don’t. So, prior to choosing a VPN service provider, it’s best to regard kill switch as an essential consideration to be taken.
SkyVPN features a kill switch that monitors your VPN connection and will automatically block your internet connection if the VPN connection drops. The kill switch feature is enabled by default. You can disable it at any time. Up to now, the kill switch feature has been on SkyVPN Windows only.
SkyVPN Kill Switch Securing Your Private Data from Accidental Exposure
SkyVPN encrypts your data tunnel and protects your browsing online by hiding your IP address. As the last line of your defense, SkyVPN kill switch helps to secure your private data from accidental exposure.
Up to now, the kill switch function can be achieved by SkyVPN for Windows, and is provided to both free version and subscription version. For the free version, the kill switch feature can be only compatible with internet connection only. For the subscription version, however, you can enable the kill switch function to specified apps on your devices.