What Is a VPN Kill Switch And Why You Have To Use One

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 17th August 2020

VPNs are useful tools that protect you while you’re browsing online. VPNs work by rerouting your internet connection through a secure third party server. This essentially masks your presence while you’re online since it isn’t easy to determine the original IP address of a device that is connected to a VPN network. 

Reasons for Using a VPN

They can protect you from the prying eyes of hackers who might be trying to hijack public networks and they can also hide your browsing activity from your internet service provider (ISP). This is important since some providers try to limit certain activities such as streaming. However, if you’re connected to a VPN, your VPN provider won’t be able to tell what you’re doing online and they won’t be able to justify limiting your connection. VPNs can also bypass geographical restrictions on content. This is possible since VPN providers usually have access in several different locations across the globe.  If you are in a location where the content that you want to see isn’t allowed, you can simply connect to a VPN server in a country or city where the content is allowed.  

In addition, VPNs can help people to bypass censorship in countries that try to limit internet access. This is a problem in countries such as China and Iran where governments try to suppress the information that people have access to. 

There are clearly multiple benefits of using a VPN, especially if you value privacy. However, part of the effectiveness of a VPN has to do with how the VPN client software works. There are certain features that ensure that your privacy is maintained regardless of the stability of your internet connection. Picture a case where your VPN connection is interrupted for some reason. If you don’t have quality VPN software, then your IP address could be leaked and your privacy could be compromised. This can be prevented by using VPN software that uses a kill switch.

What is a VPN Kill Switch?

A VPN kill switch is a hardware tool that disconnects your device from the internet if it detects a break in your internet connection. This prevents your IP address from being leaked. It doesn’t make sense going through the trouble of setting up a VPN if you just leak your IP address anyway. In some cases, this may be out of your hands but with a kill switch, your VPN client software will intervene without you having to worry about having your privacy compromised.

Other Security Factors to Consider

While a kill switch is important, you should make sure that your VPN provider offers this along with other security measures meant to keep your browsing activity private. One such thing is making sure that your provider doesn’t log your activity. This ensures that there is no data kept on your browsing activity. You should also make sure that they offer DNS leak protection. In addition, you should also be careful about the headquarters of your VPN company. Depending on where the company is located, the provider may be required by law to provide data to the authorities if this is requested.

Final Thoughts

A VPN is an important tool that can help to keep your browsing activity private. This is reinforced by VPN clients that offer security measures such as a kill switch. We can’t control errors such as an abrupt VPN disconnection but safety measures such as a kill switch can ensure that your data truly belongs to you. 

Categories: Tech