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Always stay secure with the Permanent Kill Switch for Windows

Posted on March 31st, 2021 by in Service Updates.


UPDATE May 18, 2021: The Permanent Kill Switch feature has exited beta and is available to the public. Everyone can use Permanent Kill Switch by signing up for a Proton VPN Free plan for Windows.

Proton VPN 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 Proton VPN 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 Proton VPN server. 

How to use Permanent Kill Switch

A Kill Switch icon is now located in the Quick Settings bar of the Proton VPN 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).

Read more about how to use Permanent Kill Switch for Windows

Enable Permanent 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.

Final thoughts

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.


What platforms is Permanent Kill Switch available for?

Permanent Kill Switch is currently available on our Windows and official Linux CLI (beta) apps.  

What does Permanent Kill Switch do?

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.

Should I use Kill Switch or Permanent Kill Switch?

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).

Douglas has worked for many years as a technology writer in the cyberprivacy and cybersecurity sector. He is now very pleased to work for a company with a mission that he passionately believes in.


  1. J

    Latest version of IOS is out, when should we see the iOS app implement kill switch?

  2. RageAgainstIntruders

    The current vpn I have, the network connections starts before loading the vpn soft. Is it yours the same?

  3. RageAgainstIntruders

    Is your app turned on before the network connection or not?

  4. Gaurav

    I would love a permanent Kill Switch on my Macbook as well.

  5. Rob

    Hi! Great write up. This is certainly an interesting implementation of the kill switch! I like it a lot.

    I have a couple questions though (have not yet had the chance to try this out).
    – What is the contingency if the app cannot connect to the last server used, if that server is unavailable?
    – Is a simple “Network Reset” in Windows enough to undo the changes made by ProtonVPN? (I don’t think that’s a bad thing if so, I’m more curious than anything)

    Thanks for your time!

  6. Justas

    Proton team, would be awesome to get any, at least finger in the air, estimate when we could expect permantent kill swtich on mac app. I am waiting for this speicific feature to give ProtonVPN another try. I like it, but can’t live without permanent kill swtich.


  7. Jamie Banks

    I have found the kill switch and turned it on, but I can’t work out how to set it to permanent. Do you have any thoughts on how I might do so?

  8. Don Oechslin

    Thank you, and the entire team. Excellent work… the best in the world.

  9. Justas

    That’s awesome. Really looking forward for this feature to come to Mac. Currently this only feature stops me from using ProtonVPN. Also maybe a control of shared on LAN services on/off toggle.

  10. Faith Tamkin

    I do have a VPN, but dont have much understanding of it. Does the company that provides my telephone line and broadband connection, know that I have a VPN ? If I just use that I have constant problems with sending out, a vast variety of excuses why email cannot be sent, which in my opinion is censoring of what I can send or cant send.
    It can take up to 10 or 12 minutes to get an email sent. Pasting it into Protonmail and sending, it is gone in a second. But even sending from Protonmail.com without VPN is sends in a few seconds.

  11. K

    Thank you.

  12. Max

    Very nice feature, finally! Thanks for the great job.
    A small feature request, an IP checker: If I already have a ProtonVPN connection via the home router, the permanent skill should not block, as the IP is already a ProtonVPN one. It should only block once I leave the home network.

  13. Carl S

    When you say “permanent,” you mean permanent until you switch it off. In can be turned of manually if necessary, right?

  14. David Ho

    I found the said VPN always loses functions and very difficult to reconnect in the UK.

  15. Me

    I use this feature on Linux and like it a lot.

Comments are closed.

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