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Does Private Internet Access Have a Kill Switch?

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Yes, Private Internet Access (PIA) comes with a kill switch which you can set up on the PIA Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android apps.

The Private Internet Access kill switch is designed to keep you safe from IP leaks during random VPN server disconnections. But how does it work, and how well does it work?

Read on to find out.

How to Setup PIA Kill Switch?

You can use the PIA kill switch on various devices. Let’s see how to set up a kill switch on your device.

Set up PIA Kill Switch for Mobile Devices

You can activate the kill switch on your Android phone or iPhone by following the steps below:

  1. Get a Private Internet Access (PIA) subscription. Save more with these discount offers.
  2. Download the PIA mobile app from your device’s application store. I’ll use my Android device for this demo.
  3. Open the Private Internet Access App and log in.
  4. Tap “VPN Kill Switch.”
  1. Tap “Go to Network and Internet Settings.”
  1. Toggle “VPN Kill Switch” to make it green.
  1. This will enable the kill switch. Another screen will open up.
  1. Toggle “Always-on VPN,” and the “Block connections without VPN” option will appear. Toggle it on as well.
  1. Enjoy secure internet browsing with your Private Internet Access kill switch.

Set up PIA Kill Switch for Desktop

You can also configure the PIA kill switch on MacOS and Windows devices.

In this example, I’ll use my Windows PC:

  1. Get a PIA account. Save more with these discounts.
  2. Download the PIA app for your PC. I’ll grab the Windows PC app via PIA’s download page.
  3. Install the app and launch it. Then, log in with your unique username and password combination.
  4. Click on the three dots icon in the “Quick Settings” area to open the VPN’s settings.
  1. Click “Privacy.”
privacy settings on pia
  1. Toggle “VPN Kill Switch” if it’s not already turned on by default. There’s another option called “Advanced Kill Switch,” but I recommend staying away from it unless you know what you’re doing.
  2. Return to the VPN page to connect to a server. This ensures you’re now protected by the kill switch.

How to Test Private Internet Access’ Kill Switch?

Once the kill switch has been activated, check if it works. That way, you can rest assured that it’s not just another marketing gimmick:

  1. Connect to a random PIA VPN server. I’ll choose the USA – Virginia server for my test on Windows PC.
  1. Visit www.pagerefresher.com in your web browser.
  2. Enter “ip-api.com” in the form and set the timer between 5-10 seconds. I chose 6 seconds. This dictates what intervals the page refresher will reload the website we entered.
entering ip-api.com on pagerefresher.com
  1. Click “Start/Stop” to run the tool so the API website can return your IP address.
  1. Next, I’ll switch between my Wi-Fi networks, so there’s a slight connection drop. This simulates a connection drop, under which the kill switch kicks in.
  2. Check your API results during the connection switch to see if your IP address leaks.
  1. The API should return an error code which means the Private Internet Access kill switch works

Should Private Internet Access Kill Switch Be On or Off?

The PIA VPN kill switch should always be on to guarantee the best online privacy and security when connected to the VPN server.

Note that the kill switch doesn’t impact your speed, lag, or latency, so there’s no performance argument to keeping it off instead.

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Private Internet Access doesn’t have an app-specific kill switch like NordVPN and PrivateVPN. In other words, it’s impossible to kill certain apps’ traffic when the VPN connection drops.

However, its all-encompassing kill switch is better suited since it works on all apps running under the VPN’s encryption.

PIA’s Last Line of Defense

Private Internet Access’ kill switch offers a final line of defense if your server encryption fails due to a connection drop. This kill switch is super-easy to use across mobile and PCs, and you can set it up in no time.

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