Checkpoint with stop sign. Network Lock halts all internet traffic whenever your VPN connection drops.

What is Network Lock?

Network Lock is the ExpressVPN kill switch. It keeps your data safe even if your VPN connection drops, blocking all internet traffic until protection is restored.

With Network Lock, the ironclad privacy and security defenses of ExpressVPN are always in your corner, even when the power flickers, you change Wi-Fi networks, or your computer goes to sleep. It’s standard on the ExpressVPN apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, and routers.

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How does a VPN kill switch work?

If your VPN connection is ever interrupted, Network Lock will immediately stop traffic from entering or leaving your device. By halting all online activity, Network Lock keeps your personal information from being exposed to your internet service provider (ISP) or other prying eyes.

Network Lock means you never have to worry about a failed connection compromising your security and privacy. Not even for a moment.

Why do I need Network Lock?

If you need a VPN, you need Network Lock. A kill switch guarantees that your device won’t leak your IP address or location or send any of your data unencrypted. This keeps your identity and communications from being observed or intercepted by third parties.

Closed padlock on computer screen. Network Lock keeps your data secure.

Because Network Lock keeps your internet traffic from ever moving outside the encrypted VPN tunnel, you know your information is always safe.

When is Network Lock activated?

Whenever you connect to the VPN, Network Lock becomes active, and it stays active until you choose to disconnect. It keeps your connection secure when:

  • You switch between Wi-Fi networks or your signal flickers
  • You close your laptop or put your computer to sleep
  • You toggle your internet connection on or off
  • Your ISP has a momentary outage

Is Network Lock automatic?

Indeed it is! Network Lock is activated by default. Your internet traffic will automatically be blocked if the VPN drops or your network is disrupted. When the VPN connection is back up, you’ll be unblocked and back in action in just moments.

Windows and Mac users can turn off Network Lock in a few clicks. For Linux, it only takes a couple of commands. (Turning off Network Lock is not recommended, and it cannot be disabled on the ExpressVPN app for routers.)

ExpressVPN apps with Network Lock

Network Lock for routers will keep all connected devices from leaking data.

App for routers

When you secure your router with ExpressVPN, Network Lock ensures every device you choose to connect to the VPN stays protected. (If you set up split tunneling to exclude certain devices from the VPN, those devices will not be affected by Network Lock.)


Preferences menu showing Network Lock settings for Mac.

Apps for Mac and Windows

Network Lock keeps your laptops and desktops secure no matter where you are. ExpressVPN’s kill switch safeguards your privacy even when your internet connection is in flux. And the default setting keeps Network Lock from interfering with local devices, like printers.


Network Lock for Linux.

App for Linux

Breathe easy when your Linux computers are using ExpressVPN, no matter where you are. Network Lock works seamlessly with the ExpressVPN browser extensions, and you’ll get on-screen notifications whenever Network Lock engages—same as with the apps for Mac and Windows.


Network Lock for Linux.

Network protection for Android

ExpressVPN supports full leakproofing through the Android system settings, although this will disrupt split tunneling and access to local devices. To block internet access when your VPN connection drops while preserving access to local devices and split tunneling, choose the setting under Network Protection.

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