UPDATE May 18, 2021: The Permanent Kill Switch feature has exited beta and is available to the public. Everyone can use Permanent Kill Switch on the ProtonVPN Windows app.
ProtonVPN is pleased to introduce a new feature for our Windows app: a Permanent Kill Switch that protects your device at all times, preventing you from accidentally connecting to the internet without the privacy and security of a ProtonVPN connection.
In this article, we discuss what Permanent Kill Switch does, how to enable it, and how it differs from our regular Kill Switch feature.
What is Kill Switch?
Our Kill Switch feature blocks all external network traffic to and from your device until the app automatically re-establishes a connection to the same VPN server. This prevents your real IP address from being accidentally exposed on the internet if your VPN session is disrupted (for example, when you change your WiFi network or encounter technical issues).
Kill Switch only engages when you start a VPN connection and is disabled when you manually disconnect the VPN or shut down your device.
What is Permanent Kill Switch?
Permanent Kill Switch prevents all outgoing and incoming connections outside the VPN interface. This means that your Windows device will not be able to access the internet unless you connect to one of our VPN servers. This includes if you manually disconnect the VPN and when Windows is shutting down and starting up.
When Permanent Kill Switch is enabled, you cannot access the internet unless you connect to a ProtonVPN server.
How to use Permanent Kill Switch
A Kill Switch icon is now located in the Quick Settings bar of the ProtonVPN Windows app. Click on it to show all Kill Switch options. You can enable the Kill Switch, enable the Permanent Kill Switch, or turn Kill Switch Off (this disables both types of Kill Switch).
How does Permanent Kill Switch work?
Both our Kill Switch and Permanent Kill Switch features use the Windows Filtering Platform, deploying specific filters to block connections outside the VPN interface. Kill Switch uses dynamic filters to block all incoming and outgoing connections when an existing VPN connection drops. It only allows our app to try to reconnect to the last server used.
Permanent Kill Switch uses persistent filters that force all outgoing internet connections to go through the VPN interface. If the VPN is not connected for any reason, no internet connections are possible.
Our team is always developing new ways to improve security and protect your privacy. Permanent Kill Switch achieves both these aims while also being very easy to use.
Permanent Kill Switch provides an additional way to protect your privacy online by ensuring that you never accidentally access the internet without the protection using a VPN brings.
Thank you for your continued support.
Permanent Kill Switch is currently available on our Windows and official Linux CLI (beta) apps.
When Permanent Kill Switch is enabled, your internet connection is blocked at all times unless you are connected to a VPN server. This includes if you manually disconnect the VPN and when Windows is starting up and shutting down.
Which option is right for you will depend on your needs. Both Kill Switches will protect you against accidental VPN disconnections. Permanent Kill Switch provides additional protection by ensuring you never accidentally access the internet without the VPN enabled.
However, the regular Kill Switch might be better suited to your needs if you want to access the internet without a VPN (for example, if you want to access a streaming service in your own country).