How to enable the NordVPN kill switch

Safeguard your data when your VPN disconnects

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With over 4,600 servers in 60+ countries, fast performance, and military-grade encryption, NordVPN is one of the better Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers around. Add its competitive pricing, favorable privacy, and various security features such as a kill switch into the mix and you get quite a deal. 

A kill switch is a VPN feature that helps protect your sensitive data in case your VPN connection goes down. In this event, it safeguards your IP address and online activity from being exposed, thus preserving your anonymity and security on the internet, meaning a kill switch is a necessary part of any VPN experience.

NordVPN desktop apps for Windows and macOS let you specify which applications can be shut down if the VPN connection drops. This is called an app kill switch and it prevents applications from sending unprotected traffic to the web, and keeps your data safe from being exposed to online threats. The desktop software also has an internet kill switch feature, which can terminate the net connection on the system level instead of shutting down individual apps.

This step-by-step guide will show you how to activate both types of kill switch in your NordVPN Windows app.

Landing page

1. Install the NordVPN application on your computer

Locate and open your favourite browser, navigate to the NordVPN website and click the ‘Get The Limited Deal’ button.

Download link

2. Find the Download link

Scroll down until you reach a long list. Click ‘Download’.

Windows download page

3. Download the app

On the following page, click the red ‘Download’ button under the sentence ‘Download NordVPN for Windows.’

Saving the executable

4. PressSave’

Your download will now begin.

Download complete

5. Install the NordVPN app

When the download has finished, click on NordVPNSetup.exe in the lower left part of your browser window to begin the installation.

Windows app sign in

6. Finish all the steps and open the app

Sign in with your credentials or sign up for an account if you don’t have one. You’re now signed in, but not yet connected. You can select a location on the map or have one assigned automatically, but you don’t have to be connected to enable a kill switch. 

NordVPN locations map

7. Go to Settings

In the top left part of your NordVPN app window, you’ll notice three words: ‘Map’, ‘Countries’, and ‘Settings’. Select ‘Settings’.

Kill switch

8. Enable the Internet Kill Switch

Once you’re in the Settings tab, under ‘General’, you will find two options: ‘Internet Kill Switch’ and ‘App Kill Switch’. Depending on which option you want, turn it on by clicking the toggle switch (on/off button) on the right.

Kill switch confirm

9. Confirm your choice

When you toggle the Internet Kill Switch on, a warning will pop up, telling you what will happen if you enable it and asking you if you’re sure you want it on. Click ‘Yes’.

Kill switch list

10. Enable the App Kill Switch

The ‘App Kill Switch’ option comes with a list of apps where you can choose which apps you want terminated if your connection unexpectedly drops. Click the ‘Add more applications’ link to open that list and select the apps.

Alternatively, you can click ‘Browse for an app’ if the wanted app is not on the provided list.

To select an app, click the ‘+’ sign that appears when you hover over its name. Click ‘Add selected’ to confirm your selection. The selected apps will now appear under the App Kill Switch option. You can remove them any time by clicking the little ‘x’ next to the app’s name.

11. Connect to a server

All you need to do now is connect to a server and you can safely resume your online activities with NordVPN.