What Is A VPN Kill Switch And How Does It Work?
A VPN kill switch is a feature that automatically disconnects your computer, phone, or tablet from the internet if your VPN connection drops out.
This means there’s no chance that your IP address and other sensitive information could be exposed if your VPN stops working. So the security and anonymity of your internet connection won’t be compromised.
If your VPN connection is ever interrupted, Network Lock will immediately stop traffic from entering or leaving your device. By halting all online activity, Network Lock keeps your personal information from being exposed to your internet service provider (ISP) or other prying eyes.
VPNs often have the kill switch feature activated by default, but you can choose to deactivate it if you want. If you switch it off, you can continue to use the internet as normal, even if your VPN isn’t connected. But if you switch it on, you can’t send any data via your internet connection if your VPN is disconnected.
What Are the Leading Causes for Disconnections?
Part of the reason that VPNs are gaining in popularity is that they tend to be very reliable. Even so, VPN connections do occasionally experience problems, which can frustrate users.
The three leading reasons for a lost connection are:
- Firewall and/or router settings: Your firewall, antivirus, or anti-spyware program settings may cause your connection to drop frequently. To test, disable these features and try to connect. If the connection stabilizes with the features disabled, you’ll need to add the VPN network as an exception before you launch them again.
- Choice of VPN protocol: ExpressVPN says connections are more stable when the network runs on the TCP protocol as opposed to the default UDP. So, if your connection proves unstable, a good trouble-shooting test is to switch your protocol.
- Inadequate signal strength/network congestion: Because VPN services allow users to connect to distant servers, it’s an easy mistake to think the local Wi-Fi conditions are unimportant. Unfortunately, the strength of your Wi-Fi connection directly affects the reliability of your VPN connection. Low signal strength will likely cause your connection to drop due to excessive data losses. In addition, heavy utilization of the internet connection — like what occurs at coffee shops, airports, and busy libraries — can cause your VPN connection to become unstable as well.
A VPN kill switch is your last line of defense to make sure that your IP address is never uncovered. It also makes sure no one can access your unencrypted data if your VPN goes down.
Hers’s Why We Recommend ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN, which comes highly rated by users and reviewers, works on devices including Windows, Android, iOS, Linux and routers. Based in the British Virgin Islands, it costs around $8.32 a month if you take out a 12-month plan. With a network of more than 2,000 servers in 94 countries, Express offers top-notch coverage in Europe and the US. It also works pretty well in Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Africa. It uses its own DNS servers and employs high-end encryption tech to ensure your security and privacy.
ExpressVPN offers access to more than 3,000 servers in 160 locations across 94 countries, alongside maybe the widest platform support you’ll find anywhere.
We’re not just talking about native clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, plus iOS, Android, and even BlackBerry. There’s a custom firmware for some routers, DNS content-unblocking for a host of streaming media devices and smart TVs, and surprisingly capable VPN browser extensions for anything which can run them.
All that functionality could sound intimidating to VPN newbies, but ExpressVPN does more than most to help. An excellent support website is stuffed with detailed guides and tutorials to get you up and running. And if you do have any trouble, 24/7 live chat support is on hand to answer your questions.
The good news continues elsewhere, with ExpressVPN delivering in almost every area. Bitcoin payments? Of course. P2P support? Yep. Netflix unblocking? Naturally. Industrial-strength encryption, kill switch, DNS leak protection, solid and reliable performance, and a clear no-logging policy? You’ve got it.
Downsides? Not many to speak of. The ExpressVPN service supports five simultaneous connections per user (increased recently from three), and it comes with a premium price tag. But if you want a speedy service, crammed with top-notch features, and with all the support you need to help you use them, ExpressVPN will be a great fit. While they don’t have a free trial, ExpressVPN has a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t happy with the service.
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