A kill switch, also known as an e-stop, is a security mechanism used to shut off a device in an emergency situation in which it cannot be shut down in the usual manner.
When it comes to VPN technology, a kill switch (also stylized as killswitch) is an advanced security feature.
What does a VPN kill switch do?
If your VPN connection drops for any reason, the VPN kill switch turns off all Internet access on your device. Otherwise, your IP address would be leaked in the time it takes the VPN to re-establish the connection.
You can find it under different names, such as Internet Kill Switch, App Kill Switch, or Network Lock.
Do I need a VPN kill switch?
The kill switch is an indispensable part of a VPN service’s set of features. You need it to stop IP and DNS leaks, especially if you’re a privacy-concerned user.
For example, a VPN kill switch will protect you if your VPN gets disconnected while you’re downloading or uploading a torrent.
Check out the best VPNs with kill switch for Windows.
How to test VPN kill switch
- Launch your VPN app and connect to a VPN server.
- Open your torrenting client and start a task.
- Disconnect from the VPN.
- If all network traffic has stopped, then the VPN kill switch works.
If you’re looking for more accurate results, you can set up a VPN on a virtual machine or use a packet sniffer like WireShark to monitor Internet traffic.