Typically, you need to disable your VPN in one of these situations:
Troubleshooting steps that require an unencrypted connection
The content you can’t get elsewhere that is blocked because of your VPN
Setting up an internet connection for the first time
Accessing blocked content must be essential. For example, in some situations people complain just like this: “because I can’t watch my favorite show on Netflix”. In those situations, turning off your VPN might be the best option as long as you watch Netflix stream.
Often, overcoming streaming services involves the process of logging out, clearing your browsing data, and logging back in.
Seven Ways To Turn Off Your VPN on Any Device
Using a VPN Client
When disabling connections on VPN clients, you should find an easy “stop” or “disconnect” button available. When using FastVPN, you’ll find this is the center of the app when you first open it.
Tapping the “Stop” button makes the VPN one of the most straightforward VPN clients to use. There is no complicated series of steps needed.
On Windows (11, 10, or 7)
If you are using a VPN for Windows: Regardless of whether you use the latest or an older version of Windows, the process for turning off your VPN is very much the same.
Go to your control panel’s “Network & Intenet” settings
Click on VPN and check your list of VPN connections
Right-click your active connection and select “disconnect.”
Windows 11 has a downward-facing arrow on the right side of your VPN connection. Clicking on that will reveal a similar menu. Disconnecting the internet will also yield the same results.
If you are using a VPN for Linux: Linux has built-in support for the OpenVPN protocol. This means manually setting up your VPN involves getting the manual credentials and gateway. Once you get that out of the way, you can enable and disable your VPN easily:
Go to “settings” and select “network.”
Click the “pill” next to your VPN network, so it is greyed out.
These instructions are specific to Ubuntu running on the Gnome desktop. Those who use other Linux distros might find it more challenging to enable or disable.
On Android Smartphones
If you are using a VPN for Android: Many android devices support IPSec-related properties (i.e., IKEv2, L2TP, and Xauth). Security protocols like OpenVPN require a VPN client. Disabling either involves this process:
Search “VPN” under settings
Select “VPN” under “Network & Internet”
Choose “Basic VPN”
Tap the VPN you want to disable
When selecting client VPN, you’ll need to disconnect from the screen. Android allows you to choose an “always-on VPN,” which keeps them on for all connections. In cases where you have this setting on, you’ll need to disable it for VPN activity.
If you are using a VPN for iOS: Your iOS devices (whether iPhone or iPad) have an off/on switch when you activate your VPN. You’ll be able to find this under general settings.
Apple products primarily use IKEv2/IPSec protocol, making it picky with specific networks. Of course, you can also install VPN clients, but some people prefer the manual installation of Apple VPNs.
On Your Router
If you are using a VPN for Router: Because each router is different, it isn’t easy to give specific instructions. However, having familiarity with your router’s firmware will help.
You might also check our sister article on how to install a VPN on a router as well. Otherwise, you should see a VPN section of your router (like the ASUS router menu seen above).
Look for a section under “advanced settings.” You need a router for handling VPNs before you’ll find this menu. Because client VPNs are usually more accessible, not a lot of routers support VPNs. Once you find them, enabling and disabling them is a matter of downloading configuration files, uploading them to your router, and clicking the right button.
Turning Off Your VPN On Other Devices and Apps
A small number of other devices have the potential for VPNs:
Many smart TVs also quality as an Android Device, supporting Google’s operating system. So if your SmartTV has support for the Google Play Store, it’s a matter of hitting the disconnect button from within your VPN client.
Internet browsers enable you to download extensions that create a VPN tunnel. Not all browser extensions are VPNs (some are just proxy servers), so pay attention to the description. Regardless, you will find a disconnect button on these extensions.
Chromebook runs on Chrome OS, a modified version of Google’s smartphone operating system. This means you can either disable it from your browser or follow the exact instructions for Android devices (seen above).
Firestick uses FireOS, a mobile operating system built from Android’s open-source project. Amazon isn’t a fan of privacy (it uses tons of user data), but it supports a few VPNs. In this case, you’ll find the option to disconnect from within the app (located on the Amazon Appstore).
What Happens When You Turn Off Your VPN?
Disabling your VPN comes with potential security risks including IP address leak or being tracked by prying eyes. Here’s a roundup of potential exposures:
You expose your connection and traffic logs to your ISP, government agencies, and hackers. VPNs have powerful encryption tools that make it impossible for third parties to take any information from you. Without this information, it is tough for those undesired parties to use this information in ways you disapprove.
Any public WiFi network becomes a considerable risk. Even with a VPN, a public network is a general risk, but it becomes incredibly unsafe without one. All your connection data and information is ripe for the taking when using the public internet.
Hackers may steal this information from you for identity theft purposes. Hackers use your browsing history and location data to manipulate banking customer service representatives. Customer service representatives are rarely prepared for this kind of attack.
Deciding to turn off your VPN should only be done in extreme circumstances. However, there are some cases where it’s impossible to avoid.
Situations Where You Might Need To Turn Off Your VPN
Troubleshooting on Private Networks
You need an unobscured connection when setting up an internet connection or going through an initial network setup. Those who attempt their initial network setup through a VPN will receive consistent issues.
If doing so alongside your ISP, they might have unusual location data making it complicated. If you are doing a DIY internet setup, your router will likely reject any connections that aren’t obvious from the LAN source.
Thankfully, private networks are a more secure alternative to public options. Just be sure that you get right back on those VPN servers when done.
Online Banking Restrictions
Online banks often have built-in location tracking features that prevent foreign locations from accessing your information. While you might not want your bank to know where you are, local banks often do this as a security measure.
This is one of the few cases where providing location data is excusable. Often, you can void turning off your VPN completely and instead switch it over to a server in the same country. However, some banks are pickier about tracking location.
Blocking of Important Website Content
Some online services automatically discourage VPN use. While we can’t abide by that choice, some services have few alternatives. They have systems to track when encrypted data is used, blocking anyone who uses VPNs.
This is because VPNs are associated with high levels of privacy, which makes these providers often assume criminal activity. To change hearts and minds, you can communicate with those businesses. Another reason why some businesses block VPNs is that they want to collect user data to analyze and improve their platforms.
Alternatively, you can log out, clear your cache, and try to log in again.
Situations Where You Should Not Turn Off Your VPN
Your Streaming Service Is Blocking You
Streaming services (like Netflix) do not like VPNs. It is acceptable, isn’t it? They need to follow international copyright laws to prevent them from showing video content outside certain countries. Given that the movie and TV industry is all about money at all costs, Netflix has little choice but to support this.
However, Netflix puts little effort into its VPN tracking. Often, you can log out, clear your cache, and log back in. This logic applies to other providers, and there are many different providers out there.
Often another country’s content can be found between streaming services. So instead of switching off your VPN and exposing your internet self to binge-watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine, find a provider that doesn’t care. You can also switch to a VPN in the country you currently reside in.
To Access Services That Have Alternatives
Many online providers are more likely to work with your privacy-conscious focus. Rather than disable your VPN because someone can’t live without your data, switch providers.
Conclusion – Alternatives To Turning Off Your VPN
Turning off your VPN should only be done in rare circumstances. Here are some alternatives you should consider to disabling a VPN:
The Fast VPN is an excellent tool for obscuring your information from providers that usually dislike VPNs. With our VPN, you can easily switch countries when running into blocks, making it an ideal choice for excellent security.