A VPN (Virtual Private Network) kill switch is an important security feature offered by some VPN services. It blocks your device’s internet access when the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, preventing identity exposure and data leaks. Having a kill switch enabled ensures your real IP address and traffic data are not exposed if the VPN disconnects.
It’s crucial to use a VPN provider with a reliable and functional kill switch. Without it, you risk exposing private data if the VPN fails, which can happen occasionally even with the best services. A kill switch gives you an added layer of protection and peace of mind.
II. What is NordVPN Kill Switch?
NordVPN offers a customizable VPN kill switch called “CyberSec” to block internet access if the VPN connection fails. It’s available on all supported platforms including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux.
The NordVPN kill switch continually monitors the VPN tunnel. If the connection drops for any reason, the kill switch will instantly disable the device’s internet access to prevent IP leaks. There are two versions of the NordVPN kill switch:
- App Kill Switch – Blocks internet access for specific apps if the VPN disconnects.
- Full Kill Switch – Blocks ALL internet access on the device if VPN drops.
Key benefits of the NordVPN kill switch include:
- Prevents identity leaks if VPN fails unexpectedly
- Stops devices transmitting data over regular network connections
- Easy to toggle on/off in the NordVPN app
- Customizable for app-specific blocking
III. How to Enable NordVPN Kill Switch
Enabling the NordVPN kill switch is simple and takes just a few clicks in the app. Here are step-by-step instructions for different devices:
- Launch the NordVPN app
- Click ‘Settings’ and select ‘CyberSec’
- Toggle ‘Kill Switch’ to the on position
- Choose App Kill Switch or Full Kill Switch
- Click ‘Quick Connect’ to start protected browsing
- Open the NordVPN app
- Tap the ‘Settings’ cog icon
- Slide the button for ‘Kill Switch’ to on
- Select App Kill Switch or Always On kill switch
- Connect via VPN profile to enable the kill switch
- Tap the NordVPN app to open it
- Tap the menu icon in top left
- Under ‘Advanced’, toggle ‘Kill Switch’ on
- Choose App Kill Switch or Total Kill Switch
- Connect to a VPN server to activate the kill switch
- Start the NordVPN Linux app
- Click ‘Settings’ and open the ‘Kill Switch’ tab
- Check the box for ‘Enable Kill Switch’
- Choose between Killing All Connections or Selected Connections
- Connect to VPN server to enable the kill switch
If the NordVPN kill switch isn’t working properly, here are some troubleshooting tips:
- Reboot device and check kill switch is still enabled
- Whitelist services that must bypass VPN like software updates
- Switch between App vs Full kill switch options
- Update the NordVPN app and OS to latest versions
IV. Using Little Snitch as Kill Switch with NordVPN IKEv2
An alternative way to setup a kill switch with NordVPN on macOS is using the popular firewall app Little Snitch. This takes advantage of the NordVPN IKEv2 protocol.
Little Snitch manages system firewall rules and can block all network traffic on a Mac instantly. Using it alongside the NordVPN IKEv2 connection gives you an ultra reliable kill switch.
Here is how to configure it:
- Install Little Snitch firewall and grant permissions
- Open Little Snitch preferences and enable Silent mode
- Connect to a NordVPN server using IKEv2 protocol
- Create a new Little Snitch rule to block all non-NordVPN traffic
- As long as the rule remains, loss of IKEv2 will cut all connectivity
The benefits of using Little Snitch as a NordVPN kill switch include:
- Functions independently from the NordVPN app
- Very quick to engage network blocking when VPN drops
- Gives you finer control over individual apps
A few things to check if you have issues:
- Whitelist essential system services like software updates
- Check the Little Snitch rules properly block all non-IKEv2 traffic
- Try a different NordVPN IKEv2 server if connection problems
Using a VPN kill switch is vital to avoid exposing your real IP address and online activity if your VPN connection fails. The NordVPN CyberSec kill switch offers robust protection across all major platforms that’s easy to setup.
You also have the option on macOS to use Little Snitch as reliable and independent kill switch alongside the NordVPN IKEv2 connection type. Both options give you an important added layer of privacy and security from data leaks if the VPN drops out.
I highly recommend always choosing a premium VPN provider like NordVPN that offers a properly implemented VPN kill switch. Never compromise online privacy by using a free VPN or one with no kill switch capabilities. Along with strong encryption, an effective VPN kill switch technology like that found with NordVPN keeps you anonymized and your data secure at all times.