A kill switch is a must-have VPN feature that helps to protect your identity, information, and browsing activity should your connection to a VPN suddenly drop.
If a VPN does not include a kill switch as standard then you should never, ever use it.
Fortunately, NordVPN offers a kill switch across its entire range of native applications and an ‘app kill switch’ on its Windows and macOS apps. They are not automatic, though—you have to enable them yourself and this is what we are going to cover in this guide.
Make sure you keep reading because if you are using NordVPN you need to enable it manually. In some cases, the VPN is installed with the kill switch turned on by default. We do not know which versions and for which device… but we do know how to check and turn it on.
What is a Kill Switch (A Quick Explanation)
Imagine you are connected to a VPN because you are doing something sensitive that you want to protect from prying eyes and all is going well. All of a sudden, your connection to your VPN drops and you have no idea it has done this.
This is bad news for two reasons:
- Because you are no longer protected and all your traffic, information, and IP address are out there in the open and vulnerable.
- You will continue your activities unknowingly. For example, you carry on torrenting in blissful ignorance of the current situation. Whether it breaks the law or not, you are now at huge risk.
This is something that a kill switch could have saved you from.
A kill switch steps in when your VPN connection drops and helps to protect your data by “killing” your entire internet connection, stopping any traffic or data transfers.
NordVPN is an extremely stable and reliable VPN. That said, disconnections do happen with all services—NordVPN included. The best and only protection against this is a kill switch.
How to Enable the NordVPN Kill Switch
Using the Windows desktop application, we are going to show you how you can turn the kill switch on. Regardless of what app or device you are using, it is simply a case of flipping a switch in ‘Settings’.
1. From the main NordVPN window, click ‘Settings’ in the top-left
2. Find ‘Internet Kill Switch’ (fourth down) and switch it from ‘Off’ to ‘On’
Remember to read the fine print – you will lose Internet access and will need to disable the Kill Switch or re-connect in order to get your Internet access again.
What About the App Kill Switch?
You can choose to use either the Internet Kill Switch or the App Kill Switch. It just depends on your personal preference and what apps you use.
The Internet Kill Switch will ‘kill’ your entire internet connection, including your connection to any apps (e.g. Skype), so if you are using the Internet Kill Switch you don’t need to use the App Kill Switch.
If you want more granular control, however, you can enable the App Kill Switch and choose which apps it should ‘kill’ your connection to if your VPN connection drops.
You can add anything that utilizes an internet connection such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Skype, Slack, Microsoft Office, uTorrent… you get the idea!
Here’s a scenario where this would come in handy:
You’re playing a casual online game, watching Netflix on your second monitor and torrenting at the same time. You lose your connection to NordVPN and the App Kill Switch goes to work and kills the torrent client. You still retain all connectivity—you won’t lose your game progress and you’ll still be able to watch Netflix with the VPN on. Only your torrent client will stop running.
Try NordVPN Out Today
Have you been researching NordVPN and now you are ready to purchase a subscription?
Now you know NordVPN comes with all the features like a kill switch!
You can try out NordVPN risk-free for 30 days. If at any point you are dissatisfied by NordVPN, you can simply contact customer support and ask for a full refund within 30 days.