What is a VPN Kill Switch? (and do you *really* need one?)

What is a VPN “kill switch”. If you’ve been researching Virtual Private
Networks or "VPNs" recently you’ve probably come across this term a number of times in all the marketing
you’ve seen. For the next minute, I’ll explain what a
VPN kill switch is and why you should or shouldn’t care about having one. Thanks for joining me today. My name is Josh and this is VPNVideoReviews. The term “kill switch” seems to be a bit ominous
but it’s a feature that has become extremely popular among VPN users who guard their privacy. In short, a VPN kill switch is a feature which
automatically shuts off your internet connection whenever your VPN gets disconnected.

It’s a safety element designed to make sure
your data and privacy don’t get accidentally compromised. Let’s say you log onto your computer and
you forget to start your VPN before you begin surfing the internet. Or, perhaps your VPN somehow gets disconnected
while you’re online. In both of those cases, the time spent without
an encrypted connection compromises and exposes your personal data. A kill switch ensures that this never happens. Kill switches function in different ways with
different VPNs. Some services install kill switches at the
application level, meaning you have to have your VPN app open for it to work.

Other kill switches function at a system level,
meaning that your computer won’t be able to access the internet until the VPN program
is running and connected. As you can see here, VyprVPN is an example
of one that gives you the option of either or. I’ve run across yet other VPNs like NordVPN
that will literally shut down certain applications on your computer should your VPN connection
ever get severed. I don’t believe one of these is any better
than the other, it’s all up to your personal preference. Now, the only remaining question is whether
or not a kill switch is an important feature for you to consider when buying a VPN service.

The truth is, for the average internet user,
I think a kill switch can be overkill. Being exposed and unencrypted for a short
period of time doesn’t mean sudden doom and instantaneous identity theft. It really doesn't. However, I do believe that there’s no reason
not to get a VPN kill switch. Can it be annoying at times? Sure. But using this feature not only keeps your
internet traffic secure, it also reinforces good habits of making sure you keep your VPN
connected at all times. So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this brief explanation
of a VPN kill switch. For more information on securing yourself
online, take a look at the rest of our FAQ videos or jump on over to our VPN setup tutorials. Before you leave, don’t forget to give this
video a thumbs up and I always welcome feedback in the comments below. Thanks so much and stay safe!.

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