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As the name suggests, a Kill switch is basically a fail-safe mechanism. Think of it as a circuit breaker in your home. Whenever something goes wrong, it automatically trips and prevents any electrical damage from happening.

In the world of VPNs, a Kill switch is a pretty nifty feature that can disconnect you from the internet in case your VPN connection drops to prevent your real IP address from leaking online. A VPN Kill switch will not allow you to use the internet until your VPN connection restores.

Why would anyone need a VPN Kill switch?

Like most VPN users, I’m sure you download torrents with it and use it to share sensitive information. But have you ever thought of what could happen if your VPN connection drops abruptly? Well, all it takes is just a second for anyone to get a hold of your IP address.

torrent-ip-addresses

Once anyone has your IP address, it can be used to track you down. Don’t believe me? Visit WhatIsMyIP.com, type in anyone’s IP address and you’ll be able to see their real geographical location. Scary right?

whatismyip-screenshot

Types of VPN kill switches

There are essentially two types of VPN kill switches — An active Kill Switch Protocol and a passive Kill switch. Both types of Kill switches are pretty self-explanatory. The active Kill switch basically sits and waits until you disconnect from the VPN server and then prevents your device from connecting to the internet until you are able to establish a secure connection with the VPN server.

Passive VPN Kill switch, on the other hand, is much smarter. Unlike the active Kill switch, a Passive Kill switch doesn’t wait to revive any information regarding your VPN status. Instead, it can instantly disconnect you from the internet the moment you lose connection with the VPN server.

Bottom line

A Kill switch is an essential feature that any VPN service should offer. It is absolutely essential to ensure security, privacy, and anonymity. But unfortunately, not all VPNs come with a built-in Kill switch feature. To the best of my knowledge, only a selected few VPNs offer it. If you are having trouble finding a VPN that offers this feature, you might find this list of best VPNs with Kill switch useful.