How and why to enable the kill switch on IPVanish

The reason most of us sign up for a VPN provider such as IPVanish is for the privacy and security they can afford us online. As one of the best VPN providers around, IPVanish excels at both and in addition to the core security features most VPN offer, IPVanish has a few extra features too.

One of these is a really useful Kill Switch feature and in this guide, we will explain exactly what that is and how you can enable it.

What is a Kill Switch

A kill switch is an additional security feature which is available on a handful of the best VPNs around, including IPVanish. It works as a failsafe to ensure that if your VPN connection drops for any reason, your device will not continue to send or receive data and so potentially expose your IP Address.

When you switch on a VPN’s kill switch it takes administrator controls over your internet connection. If your VPN connection accidentally cuts off, it will automatically cut your entire internet connection until such time as the VPN has reconnected, either manually or automatically.

It is a really useful feature which eliminates the risk of an IP leak and helps to keep users safe from hackers and other online snooping.

Why use a Kill Switch

Despite the fact that IPVanish is, by our reckoning, the best VPN provider around right now, even they experience server cuts every now and then. All VPNs do. If you are active online when that happens, you run the risk of an IP leak. This means that your connection automatically returns to your actual IP Address.

But a kill switch prevents this from happening and so should be an essential tool for all VPN users who value their online privacy and security. It is not vital for everyone, but for some users they are essential. We would particularly recommend them for:

  • People using a VPN to evade online censorship
  • People using a VPN to evade online surveillance
  • Anyone else who needs to be anonymous online
  • Torrent users
  • Kodi users
  • Anyone using sensitive documents or materials

Are there different types of Kill Switch?

There are two main types of Kill Switch.

System Level Kill Switch

A System Level Kill Switch is one which will simply cut the entire internet connection to all apps and programs until such time as a VPN connection has been re-established. It is a simple and effective form of kill switch but offers no flexibility for users who might not want certain online activities to be cut.

Application Level Kill Switch

An Application Level Kill Switch is a slightly more finessed tool which allows users to select specific apps and programmes which they want the kill switch to cut off if the VPN connection goes down. This gives users the ability to kill everything if they so wish or select specific programmes or apps to be cut.

The Kill Switch tool used by IPVanish is an System Level Kill Switch.

How to enable the Kill Switch Feature in IPVanish

IPVanish currently offers a Kill Switch feature with their Windows and Mac OS X apps. The feature is not switched on by default which means that you need to enable it manually if you want to enjoy the extra security benefits it offers. Fortunately, this is a simple process and can be done by using the following simple step-by-step guide for each app.


  1. Open IPVanish on your computer
  1. Click the Settings button, which looks like a gear wheel, on the left side of the window.
  1. Click on the Connection
  1. Check the box in the Connection menu labelled Kill Switch.

Mac OS X

  1. Open IPVanish on your computer
  1. Click IPVanish VPN on the menu at the top of the app.
  1. Select
  1. Click on the Connection
  1. Check the box in the Connection menu labelled Kill Switch.

Other VPNs which offer a Kill Switch feature

IPVanish is not the only VPN provider which offer a Kill Switch feature with their VPN service. If you like the idea of having a Kill Switch, but for some reason don’t want to choose IPVanish, some of the other VPNs you could opt for include:

David Spencer

Author: David Spencer

David is VPNCompare's News Editor. Anything going on in the privacy world and he's got his eye on it. He's also interested in unblocking sports allowing him to watch his favourite football team wherever he is in the world.

Away from writing, he enjoys reading and politics. He is currently learning Mandarin too... slowly.

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