Although it’s a no brainier that a VPN service can help mask your online identity, it’s no surprise that even the most robust technologies are bound to fail sometimes. Sadly with VPNs, even a slight interruption in connections can cause your network to leak your true IP.
Now you might be wondering why a leaked IP is so concerning.
Well… picture this…
You’re in a foreign country, let’s say somewhere in the Middle East and you want to access a geo restricted site. Now we all know geo restrictions in the Middle East are dealt with quite swiftly, therefore any drops in your VPN connection can wreak havoc on you.
To counter this very situation, many VPN clients including Nord offer a built in kill switch feature with their service.
In this blog I’m going to discuss what a kill switch is and how you can enable the NordVPN’s kill switch feature for both mobile and desktop applications.
To learn about all the cool features Nord has to offer, check out our NordVPN review.
What is a VPN Kill Switch and how it works?
If you’ve searched for “what is a VPN kill switch”, then chances are you have no idea what it is or what it does. The fact that VPN providers label their internet cutoff feature as kill switch makes it even more confusing.
Now I don’t know who came up with the term “Kill switch”, because I would have preferred something slightly less contorted.
A VPN kill switch is an advanced cutoff feature for your internet connection that automatically prevents you from accessing the internet in case your VPN connection abruptly drops.
This feature might not sound pragmatic, however when you consider it only takes a millisecond to expose your identity, a kill switch can be a major life saver.
Now you might be wondering how it works…
Well…online privacy has to do a lot with IPs and a VPN kill switch monitors exactly that. Whenever it detects a change in IP or the status of your VPN connection, a kill switch automatically restricts all in and outbound requests from your network until your VPN connection restores back to normal.
Kill Switch technology of NordVPN
Being all about privacy and security, NordVPN offers a built in kill switch feature with their VPN service. Essentially NordVPN offers two versions of its Kill switch feature. One for desktops (Windows & Mac) and other for mobile devices (iOS & Android).
The desktop version of Nord’s kill switch has two options. One is an app kill switch and another is an internet kill switch. The app kill switch restricts certain specified application from connecting to the internet whereas the internet kill switch disables the entire system wide internet connection.
Mobile version of Nord’s kill switch on the other hand is a bit more primitive than its desktop counterpart. In a sense that it doesn’t support selective app killing and is only limited to disabling the system wide internet connection.
How to enable the kill switch feature of NordVPN
Enabling the kill switch option of NordVPN client is super simple and pretty self-explanatory. However, since you guys are new to the concept of kill switch, I’m going to list the steps below for both desktop and mobile clients.
- Launch the NordVPN Windows application and head on over to the Settings option located at the top next to Map and
- Within the Settings option, select General.
- Now underneath General, scroll down until you see Internet kill switch and App kill switch and choose which ever one you prefer.
- If you choose Internet kill switch, you will be presented with a dialogue box explaining what the feature does. Simply click yes to enable internet kill switch on your Windows machine.
- If you choose App kill switch, you will be presented with a new window, which you can use to select applications you wish to kill in an event of VPN failure.
Enabling the kill switch option on NordVPN’s Mac client is pretty similar to the Windows client I mentioned earlier. However, for the sake of this blog I’m going to list the steps below.
- Launch the application and head on over to
- Now you will see an option for kill Switch.
- Enable it and you should be good to go.
To enable kill switch on iOS, follow the steps below.
- Launch the NordVPN iOS application.
- Head on over to my account and settings by clicking the icon located at the top left.
- Now underneath my settings, you should see an option called kill switch.
- Enable it using the toggle button and you’re done.
NordVPN kill switch android
Enabling androidvpn kill switch is a bit different than iOS, which is why I’m going to list the steps below.
- Before you start, you must have a device running Android version 7.0+.
- To enable kill switch, head on over to System Settings and hit More underneath the wireless and networks section.
- Now tap on VPN to see NordVPN and all the other VPN clients installed on your device.
- Now tap the gear icon next to NordVPN, and switch on “Always-on VPN”.
NordVPN kill switch Reddit
Even though NordVPN’s kill switch is quite powerful, the provider is not very consistent with this feature. By that I mean… Nord VPN offers two application just for Mac OS. One is available on the iTunes store while the other is available on Nord’s website. What’s even more confusing is that both application have different versions of kill witch.
I found one Reddit comment, which better explains the conflicting kill switch of Nord.
As if the redundant Mac apps we’re not enough, another Redditer couldn’t find the kill switch feature in the Nord’s Android app.
Consumers use VPN services for all sorts of reason. However one thing they all have in common is a concern for privacy. Whether it’s for torrenting or just browsing geo restricted sites, the need to stay anonymous is crucial than ever.
Even though robust VPN providers like Nord offer a Kill switch feature with their VPN service, most users don’t know what a NordVPN kill switch is or how they can enable it. This is why I have covered all the aspects of NordVPN’s kill switch in this blog, which should help you stay more secure from now on.