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In recent years, VPNs have evolved from a niche data security tool an everyday product You will see advertisements on any YouTube channel or podcast that is vaguely adjacent to the tech. But while there are many viable VPNs that are commercially available, their features differ, and some are better than others for certain online activities.

For example, some VPN services include a feature called a “kill switch”. As the name suggests, a VPN kill switch will automatically terminate your internet connection if your VPN stops working. This prevents your ISP, website trackers, government agencies and someone else to monitor the web traffic if you suddenly lose your VPN’s data encryption protection, don’t see what you’re doing.

The question arises: Do you need a VPN kill switch?

As with all things, the answer is “it depends”. Anyone can benefit from a VPN kill switch, but it’s not a requirement for everyone, and there’s a pretty strong line between users who definitely need one and those who probably don’t need to worry too much.

High-risk individuals like political activists, journalists, and cybersecurity experts who use VPNs to hide their online activities should have a kill switch ready at all times.

However, for the average American who only uses a VPN to access region-locked Netflix content, a VPN kill switch is not required. However, if you live in a country with strict censorship laws or internet restrictions that make access to blocked content illegal, consider using a VPN with a kill switch. The same goes for anyone who, hypothetically, would use a VPN to hide their illegal file sharing downloads.

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Likewise, kill switches are less important for those who connect primarily via secure, private WiFi networks in their own four walls. However, when you are on open networks that many strangers can access, such as B. in cafes, Hotelsor dormitories and libraries – should have a kill switch. You should also have a kill switch set up if your home router is configured with a VPN.

I think the bottom line is, if you endanger your VPN’s encrypted connection – even temporarily – in any way, consider using a VPN with a kill switch.

Fortunately, many VPNs have some kind of kill switch available. ExpressVPN is often one of the most highly recommended VPNs with a kill switch, and the feature is enabled by default. Many other VPNs have a kill switch that you can enable, including:

  • AirVPN
  • CyberGhost
  • IPVanish
  • Private internet access
  • HMA
  • NordVPN
  • OpenVPN (requires manual configuration)
  • Private internet access
  • PureVPN
  • Switch VPN
  • VyprVPN

Regardless of whether it is a kill switch, the ability to hot-swap between proxy servers or Confirmation that you are using a VPN with no protocol, please take the time to research each service before purchasing. Oh and skip the free VPNs—they are junk.