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A VPN helps secure and anonymize your network traffic. If your VPN unexpectedly disconnects, the ExpressVPN Android app’s network protection feature will automatically blocks your internet. This keeps your data safe by preventing unencrypted data leaks.

Network protection vs Android system settings

While ExpressVPN’s network protection gives sufficient protection to your online traffic, you can enable a setting via the Android system settings that gives you full data protection. However, this setting will block acces to local devices. This setting is also not available on Android TVs and Fire TVs.

Important: If you have general connection issues, refer to other troubleshooting guides.

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How does ExpressVPN’s network protection work?
How does Android system settings work?


How does ExpressVPN’s network protection work?

If your VPN unexpectedly disconnects, your internet traffic may be exposed to third-party interception. ExpressVPN’s network protection blocks all internet traffic until your VPN connection is restored.

When enabled, network protection does not disrupt split tunneling or access to local devices. Even if the VPN unexpectedly disconnects, you can still access the apps you selected to not use the VPN. However, you will not be able to access the apps you selected to use the VPN. Read more about network protection for Android.

Note: The network protection feature will not block internet connectivity if the VPN is manually disconnected.

Network protection is available on:

  • The ExpressVPN app for Android (Version 7.0 and above)
  • All versions and manufacturers of Android mobile devices

(Network protection is not currently available on Chrome OS devices.)

When is network protection active?

In the ExpressVPN Android app on mobile and tablet devices, network protection is enabled by default. For Android TVs, network protection is enabled manually.

When enabled, network protection blocks internet access as soon as your VPN connection drops. You will then see a message that says “Unable to Connect,” “Connecting,” or “Reconnecting.”

A message that says “Unable to Connect.”

For the ExpressVPN Android app on mobile or tablet devices, you will also see this system notification:

A system notification that says “Unable to Connect.”

You have the following options:

  • Try Again: The VPN will try reconnecting again.
  • Unblock internet: You will access the internet without using the VPN.

Android TVs do not support system notifications. For Android TVs, you can check whether network protection is enabled and whether the ExpressVPN app is blocking internet access in the app’s settings.

Enable or disable network protection

To enable or disable network protection:

  1. In the app, select Options.
  2. Select Settings > Network Protection.
  3. Toggle Block internet when unable to connect or reconnect to VPN on or off.
    Toggle “Block internet when unable to connect or reconnect to VPN” on or off.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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How does Android system settings work?

ExpressVPN also supports full leak-proofing (blocks all internet activity) via the Android system settings for Android 8.0 or above. If enabled, this setting:

  • Blocks all internet access (even if the VPN is disconnected manually)
  • Automatically deactivates your split tunneling setting and access to local devices

The feature:

  • Is not available on Android TVs or Fire TVs
  • May not be available on devices from certain manufacturers (e.g., Huawei)

Enable or disable Android system settings

To enable or disable the feature in your Android system settings (applicable to most Android devices):

  1. In the app, tap Options.
  2. Tap Settings > Network Protection.
  3. Tap Android settings.
    Tap “Android settings.”
  4. In the prompt, tap ANDROID SETTINGS.
    Tap “ANDROID SETTINGS.”
  5. If ExpressVPN appears on a list, tap Settings icon. next to it.
  6. Toggle Always-on VPN and Block connections without VPN on or off. (If you have toggled Block connections without VPN on, tap Turn on.)
    Tap “Turn on.”

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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