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Killswitch persists after mozilla VPN is disabled AND UNINSTALLED. Internet connection completely broken and disabled without VPN.

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I love the work that Mozilla does, but man, this is bad guys. I paid for and installed the VPN and some websites were getting blocked, so I decided to turn it off by simply clicking the Mozilla VPN logo -> disconnect. Then I tried to load the page again, and waited .... and waited... Turning the VPN back on restored the connection. I did this at least a dozen more times, to confirm that I couldn't just "disconnect" from the VPN. I understand that there is a "Killswitch" in a VPN intended to make sure that when a VPN connection is briefly interrupted, internet traffic doesn't flow around it, exposing your IP. That's well and good, but that killswitch should be disabled when I actively disable the VPN.

Weird, but ok, whatever. I'll just quit the program. Nope -> no internet. The only way I can go online is by turning Mozilla VPN back on, and then connect through the VPN. Then, and ONLY then can I access the internet at all.

Ok, so now I'm thinking it's time to uninstall this program from my computer entirely. Surely THAT will fix whatever damage it's done? Nope. Killswitch STILL persists. Even after I uninstall the program from my computer, the leftover killswitch is STILL making it impossible for me to access the internet outside of its VPN. The only way I can regain internet access is to re-install the program. I've power-cycled (rebooted) my machine several times, reinstalled and uninstalled the program again. Over and over again it's made clear: My machine can no longer access the internet in any way other than through Mozilla VPN. My system is effectively being held hostage by mozilla VPN and I can't turn this off. This is not ok. Please tell me how to fix this.

E: I should add that there's a good chance this is Apple's fault, since I'm using Big Sur, which has tons of other problems. I don't care who's fault this is, I just want my computer back to how it was, and clearly there's a problem with mozilla VPNs kill switch. Please tell me how I can disable it.

System info: OSX big sure 11.4 Firefox version 91.0 (64-bit)

Edited for brevity, and to note solution below will also affect other VPNs you may have already set up. You'll need to follow the instructions below, remove your other VPNs, and then reinstall them. Will it then be safe to re-install MozillaVPN again? I don't know and am not comfortable taking that risk. My system is back to how it was before downloading it, and it's going to stay that way for a while.

Modified by Bobby Bland

All Replies (11)

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Hi there,

thank you for reaching out! I am sorry about this issue. It seems that the VPN DNS server gets stuck on the device network and still tries to connect through it even if turned off, but after manually removing the DNS from the list it shouldn't happen again.

Can you uninstall the VPN, go to system preferences > Network > Wi-fi (make sure to remove the lock in order to be able to make changes) > advanced > DNS, and if DNS server is showing remove it from the list. That should fix your internet connection, then try reinstalling the VPN again and it should work normally.

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ok, I did as you instructed, and yes, with VPN off, internet access now functions normally again, which is [deep breathe] a huge relief, so thanks for the help. Can you explain what this DNS server was ?

General comment: I would definitely strongly advise pushing a general patch to prevent this issue to the top of the priority list. I'm switching from protonVPN to Mozilla because I want to support Mozilla -I believe in free and open software, and I know how much work and dedication you guys put into that, so thanks for what you do.

That being said: you gotta look at this from the perspective of someone who doesn't know who Mozilla are and is just trying your product for the first time. Paying for something new, and then having it seize up your system and break your machine's access to the internet is... yeah, definitely something to avoid ;). Please consider this an absolutely-deal-breaking, must-fix issue.

Which is taken care of now, so thanks again.

Modified by Bobby Bland

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I unselected the solution above, because actually this causes other problems.

When I did as I was instructed before, I was once again able to connect directly to the internet, however all of my _other_ VPNs were now broken. I have another VPN that I need to use to connect through to work, and after doing the above it no longer worked.

I then uninstalled my work VPN, and set it up again from scratch, and now my internet is working again both with and without VPN. But yeah, this was really frustrating and I'm going to wait a while before installing Mozilla VPN again.

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Just commenting to add a +1 on this. I turned off Mozilla VPN in order to use my work VPN, but that disabled the internet entirely. Puzzled, I deleted Mozilla VPN and rebooted to find that the laptop simply can't connect to the internet anymore. I'm going to try the above steps but... wow, this is extremely bad, folks!

Modified by Lucas

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We're sorry for the inconvenience. There is an ongoing issue on the VPN for macOS that stems from the system overwriting their previously set DNS settings. If the VPN process crashes, it doesn’t clean out these DNS entries, and since those DNS are only accessible via the VPN, it effectively breaks all non-VPN networking. After manually removing the DNS from the list, this shouldn't happen again.

Thank you for raising this to us, our engineering team is already working on resolving this issue ASAP.

Best regards,

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Hi Gaguilera Thanks for looking into this. I can't really follow all the technical details, but I'm inclined to think this is probably a Big Sur problem anyway ;).

If the issue can't be "resolved" right away, then I'd recommend a temporary solution of just telling users how to do the above. Most people who encounter this problem won't be able to find this thread (especially if they can't connect to the internet lol), so if there was at least a warning on how to deal with this, that would help a lot (something like a pop-up window during installation ).

Then when the above issue happens, users will be like "oh yeah, installation said something about this", and then they open Mozilla VPN and the instructions above about removing the DNS are provided locally. This isn't an elegant, long-term solution, but it would help avoid leaving users stuck cold.

Modified by Bobby Bland

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Hey there,

We're always striving to improve our products, and your feedback is very valuable to achieve that goal. Your suggestion will be shared with our extended teams.

Let us know if you need further assistance!

Kind regards,

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I've had the same problem. As with Bobby Bland, I support Mozilla overall, but their VPN has been a pain. I'm traveling, and have spent a lot of time with the hotel's IT service trying to figure out why my WiFi connection was cycling on and off approximately once per minute.

I had downloaded Mozilla VPN several months ago and signed up, but didn't care for the user interface on the laptop or the phone. I canceled my subscription, and then the WiFi lockouts started.

Searched for an uninstaller for the VPN, and found nothing (did I miss something obvious?). Based on the post above, I don't want to delete my other VPNs (PIA and one for work). So, for now, I'm hostage to Mozilla.

Today, after the final call with hotel IT support, I thought I would sign back up for one month and see if that helped. As soon as I resubscribed (and turning on the Mozilla VPN), my download rate went from nil to <130 Mbps.

The reply from edubon is not reassuring. Seems equivalent to "Your call is very important to us...".

Come on, Mozilla, fix this thing!

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When will this problem be fixed?!

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Can confirm this is an issue, I had to use my phone to look for a solution! Deleting the culprit DNS servers fixes the issue, but the VPN also overwrites custom DNS servers. I had OpenDNS servers set. After turning the VPN on and then off, when the VPN entries get deleted it goes back to the default servers provided by the router - not the OpenDNS ones.

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Is there any way to know when this is fixed?

I'm shopping for a new VPN, and after reading this, I'm going to eliminate Mozilla as an option for now. I need to have very fast upload speeds for work I do on Zoom, so I figured I'd just turn the VPN off for that.  But after reading this, it sounds like a no go.

Modified by only connect