With a VPN all your data is protected, your all internet activities are private and file sharing is secured from the third parties. However, when doing all those things sometimes a VPN connection accidentally drops, but what happens if your VPN disconnects?
What happens if VPN disconnects
A VPN provides access to restricted content and keeps your all internet activities hidden from the government, ISPs and even protects your identity from the websites you visit, so when it is turned off all of that is lost.
Here’s what happens if VPN disconnects:
- Your real IP address is exposed to the websites you visit
- All your internet activities are now known to ISP
- Can not bypass internet censorship anymore
- Can not unblock restricted content
- Your private data can be vulnerable
This data exposure is also called an IP leak. A VPN should protect you from any IP leaks even in case of an accidental disconnect or connection drop. Let’s see a few situations when the VPN gets turned off.
VPN turned off while torrenting
If your VPN was turned off or accidentally disconnected while torrenting that means that your P2P traffic was exposed to your ISP. Without a VPN you lose all internet privacy and what you download can be detected. Depending on the country’s law regarding torrenting, you might be at risk of being fined.
Related reading: The best VPNs for torrenting and how to choose one
VPN turned off while streaming
If VPN gets turned off while watching videos online or streaming Netflix that means that your location is exposed to the website and you no longer can unblock any content. Disconnecting from VPN would probably result in an error page and your ISP might throttle your connection since the streaming traffic is exposed.
Related reading: The best VPNs for streaming and how to choose one
How to prevent IP leaks when the VPN connection drops
One feature that protects you from IP leaks and accidental VPN connection drops is an Internet Kill Switch. This is an essential tool, especially when torrenting, streaming or browsing online in general.
How does it work? With an Internet Kill Switch turned on, your traffic is protected from any accidental IP leaks. If a VPN connection drops it will not allow your unencrypted traffic to go out in the open. This will prevent your ISP from knowing what you do online, where you connect and the websites will not know who you are. An internet kill switch is usually designed in a way that it only allows the connections that are routed to the VPN server.
Related reading: What is a VPN Kill Switch and 5 reasons to use it
Why does my VPN keep disconnecting
If you ever wondered why your VPN connection is not stable or if you are experiencing sudden disconnects, there sure is the reason behind this.
Here are some most common reasons why your VPN keeps disconnecting:
- Weak signal strength
- Wrong VPN protocol
- Firewall blocks
- Incorrect server configuration
Here’s how to improve when your VPN keeps disconnecting:
Improve your internet signal strength: to keep a VPN connection alive you need to have a good and stable internet signal. VPNs need to constantly re-negotiate secure encryption algorithms and encrypted traffic has more data to transmit therefore a weak Wi-Fi signal might cause a VPN to keep disconnecting.
Choose the right VPN protocol: if experiencing frequent drops you could try to switch between TCP and UDP protocols (usually an in-app setting). Also, try switching up VPN protocols. For example, IKEv2 might be a suitable choice since it is able to quickly reconnect.
Configure firewall rules: sometimes in an advanced system firewall rules might deny or block VPN traffic which causes the connections to drop or even block internet access completely. Reviewing the rules implemented in a firewall might solve the problem.
Choose the right VPN service: sometimes the problem is a VPN service itself. Slow speeds and connection drops might indicate that a VPN service is not that good. Maybe you should try some other providers since many have a money-back guarantee and you could try those for free.
When using a VPN all your data is securely encrypted, however, if an accidental connection drops occur that means that your real IP address is leaking and all privacy is lost. Best VPNs have a feature called an Internet Kill Switch which would protect you in cases just like that. This is especially important if your VPN turns off while torrenting or streaming.