VPN killswitch – All you need to know! [2021]

VPN Killswitch

A VPN killswitch is a built-in feature present in some VPN-software. It protects you from accidentally leaking your real IP-address. If your VPN connection gets interrupted the killswitch will cut your computer off from the internet and as a consequent your IP-address can’t be leaked.

What are the benefits of a killswitch?

If your computer notices that your VPN can no longer connect to the server, your computer could choose to jump back to your untunneled connection and connect directly to the internet with your real IP-address completely visible.

This means that all activity can be linked to you. Or at least to the person whose name is on the subscription.

When you need it

If you are “just” sitting on a chat or watch Netflix while this happens, you may not care that your IP-address is fully visible.
But … should you do something slightly more sensitive in nature (eg downloading torrents) it can put you in a precarious position.

If one of the reasons you use a VPN and just when you need it, it didn’t help.
All because of a technical detail.
Well then it was pretty pointless to use a VPN right?

This is where the killswitch function comes in handy.

Netflix meme

How does it work?

As soon as the killswitch detects that you are no longer connected to the VPN-server, it cuts all communication between your computer and the internet.
That way, it ensures that you do not accidentally leak your real IP-address.

Can be turned off

Should the function create any problems with buffering or temporary interruptions, it is possible to turn off this function in all programs we have tested.

NordVPN killswitch
This is the off setting in NordVPNs software

Do I need a killswitch?

Well, you need to ask yourself: Is its important for me to protect my IP-address from being visible?
It doesn’t need to be all the time, it can be only at certain activities, situations or even some locations you may feel uncomfortable revealing your true IP-adress.
If yes then a killswitch should be on your priority list.

If, on the other hand, you “only” doing things such as unlocking geo-blocked series and movies on Netflix or wasting time on Reddit, you might be fine without a killswitch.

But there is no downside to having a killswitch so don’t disregard a certain VPN only because it has the feature.

Won’t slow you down

A killswitch does not impair your speed or stability.
It will not affect your connection at all.

The only time you will notice the feature is when it prevents the computer from switching to the untunneled connection.
In other words: If its not saves you from leaking your IP address you wont know its there.

How can I make sure my killswitch is working correct?

Killswitch torrent trick

An easy way to test if your killswitch is working is to use the “torrent method”.
You can easily see if the torrent continues to download after you stoppad the VPN connection.

Torrent-method

  • Aktivate your VPN
  • Start downloading a torrent
  • Switch to the speed tab in your torrent software and wait to reach a steady speed.
  • Stop the VPN-connection but leave the software running.
  • Did the speed go down to zero?

If the speed went down to zero, it means that your killswitch works. Congratulations!

In some torrent software you will see a ”tail”.
You can safely ignore it. That’s because the tail is a median, and it can takes a few seconds before the average is down to zero. Even though the actual speed was down to zero long before.

Witch VPNs has a killswitch?

Will be propagated once we are done testing VPNs