There are multiple advanced security features that a VPN offers. Amongst them is a kill switch, known to add an extra layer of security on your desktop and mobile devices. If you use the best VPN with a kill switch, we assure you that your actual IP address will not reach any unsecured network. That’s because the kill switch will shut down your internet connection if the VPN connection drops. In short – you’ll be anonymous at all times!
Imagine browsing the internet with a VPN, and the connection suddenly drops. Meanwhile, you continue browsing the internet without knowing. Sounds scary, right? Unfortunately, most of us using a VPN have been through the terror. If that happens, your data is exposed to your ISP and hackers who can use it anytime.
That’s why you need a VPN with kill switch to keep your data and browsing activities safe. However, to determine the best option, we tested 50+ VPNs claiming to offer the best kill switch in their service. Among them, we found only the six best VPNs with a kill switch actually equipping a robust one.
So in this guide, we will show you how an internet kill switch works, what benefits it offers, and recommend some of the best VPN services with a kill switch.
Why Do I Need a VPN with a Kill Switch?
A kill switch monitors your connection continuously to the remote server. In case it drops accidentally, the kill switch blocks internet access for specific apps or your device. Your internet connection is safer when you use it with an enabled kill switch. This means that it secures your data from being exposed accidentally.
A kill switch maximizes security on the networks of all privacy-conscious users. Following are a few reasons why you need the best VPN for kill switch:
- Data protection: A kill switch helps keep your information safe and avoid all data-stealing attacks during unforeseen connectivity issues.
- Maintain user anonymity: You can always stay anonymous and protect unencrypted information if your VPN suddenly stops working.
- Avoid unencrypted connections: If you use P2P websites to download files regularly, a kill switch is necessary to terminate downloads on unsecured connections.
- Advanced security: A kill switch provides an additional layer of protection to protect your IP, location, and other personal data from being accidentally exposed.
6 Best VPNs with a Kill Switch Feature – [In-Depth Analysis] 2022
Undoubtedly, finding the best VPN with a kill switch is daunting. After extensive testing, you can find the kill switch VPNs we deem the best below. Please note that the kill switches these VPNs offer are robust, and we guarantee your data will not be leaked!
1. ExpressVPN – Best Kill Switch VPN with a Powerful Network Lock
ExpressVPN is the best VPN with a kill switch called ‘Network Lock.’ It offers the most effective kill switch feature, robust encryption, advanced security, fast speeds, and thousands of servers.
The kill switch is available on Windows, Mac, routers, and Linux. The feature is enabled by default. Network Lock becomes active once you connect to a VPN server. This process may take a few seconds, after which you’re secure on your connection.
If you don’t know how to enable ExpressVPN’s kill switch, here is a quick guide: Visit the Settings of your ExpressVPN app, and you’ll find Network Lock in the General tab. Checkmark the boxes, and you’re good to go! On Android, you’ll find the feature under Network Protection.
Besides a kill switch, ExpressVPN has various other robust security features. Its AES 256-bit encryption ensures network protection and keeps your activities protected. It offers TrustedServer technology (RAM-only servers) which wipes off all your data at each reboot. ExpressVPN’s no-logging policy ensures that your data is never collected, stored, or sold to any third-party organization.
ExpressVPN allows users to connect up to five devices simultaneously. So, you can install the software on multiple operating systems, like Linux, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Android. You can even get ExpressVPN on FireStick, Roku, Kodi, PS4, and Xbox. You can also get this VPN on routers and protect all your devices within one go.
In short, ExpressVPN is the best VPN with a kill switch, costing only $6.67/mo (Save 49% and get 3 extra months FREE with 12-month plan) and offering a 30-day money-back guarantee. This way, you can test the VPN’s kill switch for an entire month and find the answer yourself.
Read our complete ExpressVPN review for more details.
- Robust app kill switch
- Kill switch is available on macOS, Windows, Android, and Linux
- Other robust security features included
- RAM-only servers
- Five multi-logins
- Doesn’t offer an iOS kill switch due to Apple’s restrictions
2. Surfshark – Affordable Kill Switch VPN
Surfshark is a wallet-friendly VPN service with a kill switch. Amazingly, even at a cheap price of $2.30/mo (Save 81% on 2 Years + 2 Months Free Plan with Surfshark Antivirus), its automatic kill switch is quite robust.
Unlike ExpressVPN, Surfshark’s kill switch is available on iOS, along with Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. And it’s pretty easy to enable on all devices. We could activate it on our Windows devices using only three steps: Open the Surfshark app > click on Settings > VPN Settings > Toggle On the kill switch.
There are multiple other security features as well that Surfshark offers to keep its users secure. To start, the VPN protects your IP address through its DNS/IP leak protection feature. Its CleanWeb blocks all intrusive ads, trackers, and malware links before they load. It has a separate section for MultiHop servers that route your traffic through various servers before reaching your destination.
The best thing about Surfshark is its unlimited multi-logins. This allows you to enjoy a VPN connection on as many devices as you like on a single subscription. You can install Surfshark on Roku, macOS, Android, FireStick, iOS, routers, Xbox, and various other operating systems and devices.
If you’re a bit hesitant about opting for an affordable VPN service, then you can always try Surfshark out through its 30-day money-back guarantee. On iOS and Android, you also get a Surfshark free trial for 7 days.
Read our exclusive Surfshark review for more details.
- Super-affordable VPN service
- Powerful kill switch on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux
- 7-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee
- Unlimited multi-logins
- Easy setup guide
- Live chat support needs improvement
3. NordVPN – Secure VPN with a Built-in Kill switch
NordVPN is a super secure VPN known to be virtually impenetrable. It too offers a next-level kill switch feature that is tested to not fail no matter what.
In the event that a VPN connection fails, NordVPN’s Linux, iOS, and macOS clients activate a system-wide network lock. Keep in mind that the NordVPN Kill Switch feature will not be enabled automatically when you download the app. To enable it, navigate to the app’s settings.
What differentiates it from other kill switches is that NordVPN has two versions of this amazing feature: A system-wide internet kill switch and an App kill switch. The former works like every other kill switch. However, with the App kill switch, you’ll be able to designate which apps you want the Kill Switch to prohibit in your Windows and macOS devices.
Aside from the kill switch feature, NordVPN offers an entire arsenal of top-notch security features. For starters, it offers a server network of 5500+ servers in 59 countries, state-of-the-art security, and blocks malware, trackers, shady websites, and malicious ads. NordVPN even offers an audited no logs policy.
Furthermore, NordVPN offers apps for operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS and supports 6 device simultaneous connections. This means that you can also get NordVPN on PS4, Roku, Kodi, FireStick, Smart TVs, routers, and other devices pretty easily.
All in all, NordVPN is a great choice for your security. It comes at a cost of just $3.99/mo (Save 70% on 2 Years Plan + Extra Subscription) and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. To learn more about how NordVPN works, view our detailed NordVPN review.
- Offers security features including Nordlynx, AES 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, etc.
- Two separate kill switches – one for Windows and the other for iOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and macOS
- Offers double protection with a Double VPN
- The OpenVPN configuration is not simple
- Torrenting is only available on a few servers
- The kill switch feature is not enabled by default
4. IPVanish – VPN with a Customizable Kill switch
IPVanish is one of the leading VPN providers in the industry that offers a customizable kill switch feature. Having this customizable option is perfect for those who frequently use public networks.
IPVanish’s kill switch is compatible with macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS apps. On its Windows app, it allows users to customize this feature’s settings. For example, you can configure it to block LAN traffic when the VPN disconnects.
Other than an industry-standard kill switch, IPVanish offers 2000+ servers across 75+ locations and protects your privacy with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption and OpenVPN protocol. It even supports advanced features like Split tunneling.
Overall, IPVanish has good reviews of its internet kill switch. It has also resolved certain issues on its Android version which were reported in the earlier version. The latest build has a new and improved kill switch feature.
IPVanish supports unlimited simultaneous connections just like Surfshark. This means that you can enjoy its connection on all popular devices and operating systems. As per our tests, we could use IPVanish on FireStick, Roku, macOS, Android, Kodi, and Xbox.
- Customizable kill switch for Windows
- No logs policy
- Good app compatibility
- Unlimited multi logins
- 100% owned server infrastructure
- The app interface is Old and clunky
- Poor customer support
5. CyberGhost – User-friendly Kill Switch VPN
CyberGhost is an easy-to-use VPN service with robust online privacy features including a kill switch. It not only has a fully automated kill switch, but it also allows you to hide your VPN-related activities completely, which is perfect for places where VPN use is restricted and for users who need that extra layer of security.
CyberGhost’s kill switch feature is available for Windows, macOS and iOS, and Android. The feature is enabled by default which we believe is very useful. We tested this feature thoroughly and it worked great every time.
CyberGhost is a top privacy brand delivering its services through 7700+ servers distributed in 90 countries all around the world. The famous Romania-based provider is also famous for its powerful features such as Unlimited bandwidth and traffic, Ad/malware blocker, DNS & IP Leak Protection, and much more.
Much like other VPNs, it too offers great apps for operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS. With its seven simultaneous connections, you can also connect devices like Roku, FireStick, PS4, routers, and Kodi with CyberGhost.
- User-friendly apps for devices
- The global server network is massive
- Security characteristics that are unique
- Strong protocol and encryption options
- Profiled servers that have been optimized for diverse uses
- Good and consistent speeds
- Some servers tend to work slow
6. Private Internet Access – Reliable VPN with a Kill Switch
PIA is a reliable VPN with a kill switch, ideal for streamers and torrenters. It is a super-secure VPN service that also comes with a built-in kill switch and P2P servers.
The cool thing about PIA VPN is that its Kill Switch is enabled by default so there is no need to turn it on manually. This feature is available on all mobile apps, not just desktop apps, and functioned flawlessly in our tests.
In terms of network coverage, PIA currently offers 35000+ servers in 80 countries worldwide. Not only that, but PIA also offers a lot of security features like powerful encryption and top-notch protocols to keep you totally safe and secure. These include AES 256-bit encryption, MACE (ad-blocker), DNS leak protection, and more.
In terms of compatibility, you can use PIA with Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, and a ton of other operating systems as well. As for devices, you can connect PIA to FireStick, Roku, Kodi, routers, and more using its 10 simultaneous connections.
- Kill switch for desktop and mobile devices
- Powerful encryption
- Massive server network
- Headquarters located in 14 Eyes jurisdiction
Let’s Compare Some of the Best Kill Switch VPNs
Here is a quick comparison of the top six VPN providers with kill switches in 2022:
|Security||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256-bit||AES 256-bit|
|Leaks||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC|
|Servers||3000+ in 94 Countries||3200+ in 95 Countries||5500+ in 59 Countries||2000+ in 75+ Locations||7700+ in 90 Countries||35000+ servers in 80 Countries|
|Pricing||$6.67/mo (Save 49% and get 3 extra months FREE with 12-month plan)||$2.30/mo (Save 81% on 2 Years + 2 Months Free Plan with Surfshark Antivirus)||$3.99/mo (Save 70% on 2 Years Plan + Extra Subscription)||$3.99/mo||$2.23/mo||$2.19/mo|
What is a Kill Switch & How Do Kill Switches Work?
A kill switch is a mechanism that’s used to disable or shut down a program or device. A kill switch normally prevents data theft or of a machine or shuts down the machine in an emergency.
A few VPN services even come with kill switches that stop you from going online if you’re not connected to a VPN. You can gain back your internet access when your connection to the VPN server is established again.
Following are the main processes involved in how a kill switch works:
- Scanning: The kill switch examines your real-time connection to the VPN server.
- Detection: The kill switch immediately detects interruptions in your VPN connection.
- Blocking: The VPN kill switch blocks all online access or prevents a few apps from going back online.
- Reconnection: The kill switch restores your online access when the VPN successfully reconnects to the VPN server.
Why VPN Keeps Disconnecting?
If your VPN keeps disconnecting and reconnecting, then the data packets are likely being blocked/lost between your VPN server and device. This can be because of issues with the VPN client, your network connection, or your router.
Unfortunately, frequent VPN disconnections may spoil your fun greatly if you cannot access your desired geo-restricted content. Therefore, you should perform some tweaks to overcome VPN disconnection issues timely.
Here is the list of major reasons that do not allow your VPN services to work properly:
- VPN protocol selection
- Network congestion/ poor signal strength
- Firewall or router settings
VPN protocol selection: Surprisingly, connections seamlessly perform when the network uses the TCP protocol compared to the default UDP protocol. If your connection is unstable, there is no harm in switching the protocol.
Network congestion / poor signal strength: When numerous people use the same Wi-Fi connection to access the internet, the strength of Wi-Fi connections may decrease to a certain degree. The same goes for VPNs as well. This is because the strength of Wi-Fi connections also greatly influences the performance of VPN services.
This is the reason a VPN connection is disconnected quite often.
Firewall or router settings: At times, firewall or antivirus software may considerably hamper the VPN connection speeds. Therefore, you should disable these features to check the performance of your VPN service. If your VPN connection becomes stable once you have disabled the security features, you should not apply these settings to your VPN services.
How Do I Know if my VPN has a Built-in Kill Switch?
It is sometimes tricky for newbies to explore network lock features in their VPN software. This is because every VPN service mentions kill switch by a different name. However, upon digging deep, you can find the privacy advantage appropriately.
You might be wondering how you can find an internet kill switch hassle-free. For example, if you are using ExpressVPN, you can click on Options and find the kill switch called “Network Lock” under the General tab.
This way, you can find out your desired privacy benefit accordingly. If you use VPN services other than ExpressVPN, you may read the FAQs section on official sites.
Can I Use a Free VPN with a Kill Switch?
Yes, you can use a free VPN with kill switch. Multiple free VPNs are offering a kill switch. But, the question is, are they good, and why should you get a paid VPN when you can get it for free?
A kill switch is solely a feature of a robust and reliable VPN service, but none offer their services for free. So if you’re concerned about your privacy, you need to invest in the best secure VPN. Thankfully, most VPNs with kill switches have budget-friendly plans that are light on the pocket.
Moreover, the best VPN with a kill switch, like ExpressVPN, allows users to test its product through its 30-day money-back guarantee. This enables you to get a refund in case you don’t vibe with the service.
Testing Methodology: How to Choose the Best VPN with a Kill Switch?
This guide reviews the best VPNs and explains why a kill switch is quite important. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to choose the best VPN with a kill switch easily.
Here is our selection criteria on which we tested all these kill switch VPNs:
- Kill switch function: While every trustable VPN offers a kill switch, a few also allow you to customize this feature. In addition, the top VPNs provide flexibility to users with different security preferences.
- Security: VPN services are all about providing security. Any additional security feature that adds value to the overall protection is considered beneficial. The VPNs on our list above offer DNS/IP leak protection and utilize robust encryption protocols to provide the highest quality security.
- Speed: We carefully tested and ensured that every VPN we list offers a fast service for activities like streaming, torrenting, and gaming.
- Compatibility: While some may think that only desktops are vulnerable to cyberattacks, we have had a different experience. It’s crucial to protect all gadgets by connecting to a VPN server.
FAQs – Best VPNs with a Kill Switch
So now that you know all about kill switches, let’s go through some of the most frequently asked questions about VPN kill switches.
How do I turn on ExpressVPN kill switch?
Following is a step-by-step guide that will show you how to activate a kill switch. We’re using the Windows app for this.
- Launch your ExpressVPN app.
- Open the menu.
- Tap on Options.
- Navigate to the Network Lock settings.
- Check the Network Lock option.
- Press OK.
- Connect to any server.
Which free VPNs have a kill switch?
ProtonVPN is the best free VPN with kill switch that offers a high level of security protection. It has also become one of the best free VPNs for mobiles and PCs. ProtonVPN is available for both macOS and Windows.
However, it can never match the security and efficiency of the best VPN with a kill switch like ExpressVPN. Also, since it’s headquartered in the US, there are chances of data monitoring as the country comes under the 5 Eyes.
What are the different types of Network Lock or kill switch in a VPN?
There are primary types of kill switches: Internet kill switch/System level kill-switch – It shuts down all internet connectivity to your preferred device until the switch is reset (reconnect to the VPN). The app-level kill switch – It will close an app or more when the kill switch is triggered (you can specify the apps).
Does VPN include a kill switch?
VPNs mostly have a kill switch activated by default. However, you can choose to deactivate it whenever you want. If you turn it off, you can use the internet normally even if your VPN is not connected. But if you switch it on, you cannot send any data through your internet connection if your VPN is disconnected.
What is a VPN automatic kill switch?
If you lose your VPN connection, your kill switch can automatically disconnect the device from your internet to ensure that your privacy remains intact until the VPN connection is restored. A kill switch will prevent your IP address, identity, or location from being exposed accidentally.
Are there VPN kill switch alternatives?
Yes, there are various third-party tools you can use to monitor your internet connection and disable online access if the VPN disconnects. However, you do not require any of these tools if you have a premium VPN with the best kill switch – like ExpressVPN.
What happens if VPN disconnects?
If your VPN doesn’t have a kill switch and gets disconnected suddenly, then your internet traffic will become public and unprotected, which can get you in trouble.
An Internet kill switch is an integral feature that you should look for when selecting a VPN. It adds an extra layer of security and provides a safety net in case your VPN app stops functioning. This guide has mentioned the best VPNs with kill switch feature. Each of them has good reviews and has a kill switch feature built-in to their apps.
A kill switch can be beneficial if you are a privacy-conscious user. Whether it is torrenting, surfing the web, conducting financial transactions, or any other task, a kill switch will prevent IP leakage and preserve your privacy at all times.
Among all VPNs, we’d suggest you opt for ExpressVPN as it has the most potent kill switch available on popular operating systems and devices. So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself the best VPN with a kill switch today!