Turn the Internet Off with the Flick of a Switch

Home Technology
Turn the Internet Off with the Flick of a Switch
YouTube player

Whether you worry about sneaky snoops sniffing packets on your network or you simply need to take a break from being online, turn the web off with this Internet Kill Switch. Using this beginner-friendly Weekend Project you can keep all your devices plugged in and turned on, while the switch will interrupt the flow of packets to your network when flipped into the OFF position.

We’ll show you how to wire a 2-port surface-mount box in a different way than its intended purpose. In this configuration the two ports act like a pass-through, so data going in one port comes out the other. In between the two ports we’ll mount a SPST or SPDT switch, allowing for the flow of uninterrupted data when the switch is in the ON position. But with a flick of the switch you can easily disable the internet for a single machine or your entire home local area network.

Some light soldering is required, but you can easily build this project in an hour or two. Make the enclosure as simple or dramatic as you want using any SPST or SPDT switch. If you customize your kill switch, disguise it to blend in with your other network devices, or add your own flair to the build be sure to send us a story about your process along with some photos.


8 thoughts on “Turn the Internet Off with the Flick of a Switch

  1. mewyn says:

    There are two issues that arise with this switch. First, you’re only cutting off one of the pairs. This will cause a half-link to establish with most 10/100 cards and will be a terror on gigabit cards which use all four pairs. This could lead to software problems in routers or modems. Second, this will add a lot of noise onto the lines. If I were to do this, I’d use a DPST switch for both the orange and green pairs and I would go and force limit to 10Mbps. 100Mbps may work okay, but you may drop packets due to line noise.

  2. wainbee says:

    With problems developing on the internet (NSA spying, malware and viruses) this is a piece of hardware that everyone will need. But the switch solution offered is too complex for many and may indeed be a source of noise or RFI (radio-frequency interference) from the untwisted pair.

    A far better solution, although not nearly as elegant, is to purchase an in-line power switch and connect it to the power supply for the modem or the newer modem/router/wi-fi combination packages. Also, power-cycling newer modems initiates a built-in modem reset feature to provide the most reliable operation.

  3. Michael Black says:

    Why does this have to be so complicated (not that making the switch is actually complicated)?

    I routinely turn off wifi on my computer when I go out, and when I go to sleep. It’s done with software. If I was using a wired ethernet connection to the router, there’s other software to turn that connectoin on and off.

    So maybe what I’m missing is that WIndows doesn’t have such capability? LInux certainly has it.


  4. Alain chiasson says:

    While I agree with the point if the noise, the goal is to build something “usefull” to get into making.

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

View more articles by Nick Normal