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How Can a VPN Kill Switch Protect You from IP Leaks?

Last updated: April 23, 2024 10 min read
VPN Kill Switch Protect You from IP Leaks

A VPN Kill Switch is like a guardian for your personal information. It instantly shuts your device’s connection in case of any network disruptions. Learn possible reasons for your VPN disconnections and understand how a VPN kill switch protects you against IP leaks. We will also discuss the different types of VPN kill switches available today.

Understanding How VPN Kill Switch Protects You from IP Leaks?

A VPN kill switch acts as a safeguard, keeping your IP address safe during sudden network interruptions. It constantly monitors changes in your IP address and internet connection status. If your network or IP address experiences any change, the kill switch instantly turns off your device until the VPN connection is restored.


Consider a scenario where you use a VPN to perform online transactions on public Wi-Fi. If, for any reason, the Wi-Fi connection drops, your VPN might disconnect, putting your data at risk. This creates the need for a kill switch feature.

A kill switch terminates your internet connection in case your VPN connection drops. It will only be restored when the server connection recovers. This protects all your sensitive information, thus preventing data leaks on insecure connections.

Let’s learn how a kill switch protects your online identity and the main reasons behind VPN disconnections.

5 Main Reasons Why VPN Connection Drops


Users may face VPN disconnectivity for several reasons, including unstable connection, strict firewalls or VPN blocks, heavy traffic on the network, third-party software interference, etc. Let’s discuss more about these causes and see how you can stop such connection drops from happening.

1. Unsteady Connection

If your web connection is unstable, you’ll keep experiencing irritating disconnections and reconnections. Using a VPN integrated with a kill switch can help protect sensitive data from exposure by preventing IP leaks on shady networks.

2. Network Overcrowding

When you connect to public Wi-Fi, such as in a restaurant, airport, or cafe, you’ll most likely experience overcrowding on your network. In such instances, your connection will repeatedly go on and off because of multiple devices connected to the same network. Get ExtremeVPN and connect to its robust kill switch to keep your data protected when you go online.

3. Strong Firewalls or Censorship

Strict internet censorship or firewalls imposed by your government could be another reason why you face connectivity issues. Choose a VPN service that can circumvent geo-blocks to defeat firewalls. ExtremeVPN makes it super easy to defeat such government firewalls.

4. Software Interference

Sometimes, a third-party antivirus or software can cause disruptions in your web connection, resulting in a VPN connection drop. Ensure you shut down those applications before establishing your VPN connection. 

5. Server Failure

You may experience network disruptions when your VPN server is in maintenance or has technical issues. Either wait until the server maintenance is finished or connect to another available server in such circumstances. You can also contact our VPN customer support team to resolve technical issues.

Importance of a Kill Switch

Many individuals use a VPN for online protection. VPNs encrypt your online activity, keeping you anonymous while browsing and protecting you from online monitoring or tracking. However, VPN connections can face disruptions, exposing your internet activity and personal details like your IP address.


Fortunately, renowned VPN services like ExtremeVPN employ a reliable kill switch feature that cuts off your device’s internet access if your VPN connection drops suddenly, preventing accidental data leaks. Nonetheless, the kill switch ensures that you stay offline until your device re-establishes a secure connection with your VPN.

A VPN kill switch is critical, as users often don’t notice subtle server connection dropage. This means you could be online without VPN protection without even realizing it.

How Does the VPN Kill Switch Function?

Internet kill switch

Below are five steps on how a VPN kill switch can protect you from IP address leakage:

  • Continuous monitoring: Your kill switch will constantly monitor the state of your VPN connection, alerting you to changes in your IP address or network status.
  • Connection drop alert: The kill switch responds instantly when it notices a disconnection from your VPN.
  • Internet traffic block: It blocks all traffic from outside the VPN tunnel on your device.
  • Protection and security: A kill switch severs your connection in a way that your sensitive information as the IP address, credentials, locations, or other data, stays protected from likely surveillance or attacks.
  • Automatic restoration: As soon as the connection between your device and the VPN server re-establishes, the kill switch will automatically restore your web traffic so you can surf safely without fear.

Different Types of VPN Kill Switch

VPN Kill Switch Protect You from IP Leaks

There are several types of VPN kill switches. Let’s explore each of its types briefly in the following. 

1. System-level Kill Switch

The System-level kill switch, commonly known as the Internet Kill Switch, operates at the system level and blocks all the web connectivity on your device in case of a VPN connection drop. Until your connection is restored, all your internet traffic will remain blocked in the VPN tunnel. The System-level kill switch facilitates an automatic and complete protection method for all web traffic to your devices. 

2. Application-level Kill Switch

This kill switch type works at the application level and enables you to set particular applications to close during the VPN connection drops. The Application-level kill switch works similarly to the VPN Split Tunneling feature, allowing several apps to run using the same VPN connection. 

This kill switch helps you to protect only particular apps using a VPN. For instance, you can close your web browser, torrent client, or email client to prevent data leakage. 

3. Permanent Kill Switch

A permanent kill switch enables you to surf the web only when you establish a secure connection with a VPN. A permanent kill switch also works when you wish to cut the connection with the VPN server manually. As the name suggests, your device won’t receive internet coverage during restart or shutdown.

If you are a privacy enthusiast, we recommend using a permanent kill switch, which provides consistent and constant online protection and encryption. If you need encryption only at certain times, say you connect to a public Wi-Fi, a temporary kill switch will best suit you.

4. Temporary Kill Switch

A temporary kill switch helps you stay private only when your VPN connection drops. It, however, does not work when you disconnect your connection with a VPN. Moreover, a temporary or regular kill switch does not protect your device from IP leaks during the restart or shutdown.

Considering the information mentioned above, if you wish to remain protected at all times online, a permanent kill switch is what you should go for.

VPN Kill Switch: Why Should You Use It?


If you value privacy and security, you must subscribe to a VPN service like ExtremeVPN with a robust kill switch feature. Here’s why you should consider utilizing a VPN kill switch:

  • Privacy-enthusiast users: A kill switch is a must for privacy-focused individuals: if you care about online privacy, then a ‘Kill Switch’ is necessary to protect your data if a VPN connection drops. Since a kill switch terminates your internet connection in case of any emergency, it eliminates the risk of being tracked by a third party or hacker. Especially if you frequently use public networks, you need a VPN kill switch to protect sensitive information.
  • P2P/Torrent users: Frequent torrent downloaders and P2P file-sharers can benefit greatly from a kill switch. It enables them to hide their IP address from the public, going online anonymously and securely.
  • Frequent travelers: A kill switch ensures data safety while connecting to public Wi-Fi networks at hotels, airports, or cafes. Your data will be protected even if your VPN connection drops or becomes unstable.
  • Journalists and activists: People who deal with sensitive information or operate in areas of strict internet censorship would find a kill switch useful since it will help them to keep their privacy intact and remain safe from interception or monitoring of their data.
  • Remote workers: By blocking temporary violations of the VPN connection, the kill switch ensures the possibility of accessing the remote work network and maintains a secure connection.

Lastly, using a VPN kill switch seems to have no drawbacks or downsides. Therefore, opting for a robust VPN like ExtremeVPN with a reliable kill switch feature is advisable.

Drawbacks of Using a VPN with No Kill Switch


Using a VPN without a kill switch is like driving a car without a seatbelt – a risky move. The following are the particular dangers that could cost you when not using a VPN kill switch:

  • Visible and traceable IP address: If your VPN connection drops, your IP address, browsing history, and personal information become visible to your government, ISP, or other immoral entities, exposing you to online surveillance and tracking.
  • Public Wi-Fi risks: Commonly, public Wi-Fi networks are the soft targets for hackers. While a VPN is important for a secure connection, your activity may become visible on public Wi-Fi without a kill switch. Consequently, making you vulnerable to exploitation by cybercriminals and hackers.
  • Identity theft and virus exposure: The absence of a kill switch makes it easier for hackers to exploit your connection, infecting your device with malware and stealing personal information, often leading to identity theft.
  • Censorship risks: Without a VPN kill switch, your IP address may get leaked, exposing your real identity to your ISP or govt. Watchdogs. This is particularly serious in countries with severe internet regulations, such as Turkey, China, Russia, etc. In these countries, voicing or publishing provocative content online can put you in legal trouble, even in jail.

ExtremeVPN Kill Switch: Make Your Connection Invincible


ExtremeVPN offers a robust system-level kill switch and smart split tunneling. It keeps an eye on your network connection and IP address, automatically disconnecting you in case of an internet coverage disruption. You stay offline until it securely reconnects with the ExtremeVPN server.


Having a VPN kill switch is essential for protection against IP leaks. It keeps a constant eye on your network connection, immediately disconnecting your device if the VPN link is lost, thus preventing data exposure. A kill switch is also helpful when using public Wi-Fi or encountering repetitive connection disruptions. This functionality benefits those prioritizing security, like travelers, P2P users, remote workers, and journalists. ExtremeVPN’s robust kill switch protects against identity leaks and secures sensitive data.

Enjoy ExtremeVPN risk-free for 30 days with a guaranteed refund offer. Want to know more about it? Contact our customer support anytime, 24/7, via our official website or email. Get ExtremeVPN on your device today!


How do I check if my IP is leaked? Up
You can test whether your IP address leaks by performing a DNS Leak Test. You need to carry out a standar or extended test to find the servers there. If your IP address is showing on the DNS server list, it means your IP address is not protected.
Can VPN circumvent IP block? Up
Absolutely! Get an ExtremeVPN subscription and bypass IP blocks like a ninja. It employs the advanced AES-256-bit encryption algorithm for top-notch encryption and anonymity. While connected with ExtremeVPN, your network will transform into an anonymous tunnel that will appear as normal traffic to bypass the IP block. 
What are the main causes of VPN disconnections? Up
Unstable internet connection, strict government firewalls, network overcrowding, and server failure are some possible reasons for your VPN disconnections.

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About the Author

Minhal is a content writer specializing in cybersecurity and tech news. With a background in journal...
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