Vpn Battery Drain on Mobile Device

Today there are many people who are harnessing the power of VPN to protect their mobile devices. One of the side concerns can be battery drain. Are VPNs hard on your device’s battery? What can you do to improve battery function. We’ve got some answers for you.

Mobile Internet Access and VPN

According to TechRadar, over half of web traffic today comes from mobile devices. That number is only going to increase as people adopt more mobile lifestyles. It is just too convenient for individuals to access the Internet with a phone or a tablet.

Thankfully, a large number of people also realize the importance of being safe online. They know that a VPN is necessary for anonymous web browsing and privacy. This is why pretty much every mobile device today has a built-in VPN client.

There are even VPN apps today for mobile devices. Of course, the drawback here is that mobile devices rely upon battery power to perform. Every device has some limit to its battery capacity. Every app that you use on your mobile device is having some type of effect on your battery. That includes your VPN.

VPN Battery Drain Is a Thing

One thing that we want to stress is that you should not dismiss VPN battery drain out of hand. It is a very real thing. By itself, a VPN might not be having all that much affect on your battery. The problem is that you are likely using a whole bunch of apps that combine to produce battery drain.

Knowing how a VPN affects a battery means knowing a little about how they work. VPNs create an encrypted tunnel that exists between your device and a dedicated VPN server. Encryption happens at both ends of the tunnel, coming in and going out.

There are complex mathematical computations which carry out the process of 256-bit encryption. Devices like desktop and laptop computers have complex CPUs which are able to handle this workload at a more economical rate. On a mobile device this takes a greater toll. Some experts claim that as much as an extra 5% of battery life can be consumed by operating a VPN.

The thing is, there are different things contributing to the drain. One is the data connection, by far the biggest consumer of power. The other is the VPN app itself, often allowed to run in the background. We should say that VPN Accounts and other trusted providers have worked to minimize any battery drain that comes from using the app.

Now, let’s explore a few fixes for this issue.

Connecting to WiFi When Possible

Instead of solely relying on the data connection of your mobile device, try to use WiFi when possible. Mainly you would want to do this when you are using your mobile device at home on your own network. This can really reduce the drain from a data connection.

WiFi is a lower power connection than that of a mobile device. We would even go so far as to suggest you use it in places when you trust the network. Just remember, WiFi at coffee shops and hotels can be a hotbed of trouble if you are browsing the Internet insecurely without VPN protection.

Using Your VPN Selectively

It is also true that you can use your VPN selectively. You do not always have to have it connected unless that it your personal preference.

You can easily switch back and forth between VPN and your regular connection. If you are conducting a transaction with a bank, for example, by all means use your VPN. If you are watching a harmless YouTube video on your own home network, maybe you feel comfortable not using the added protection.

We will always be among those who err on the side of using VPN protection at all times. But in situations where battery life is a consideration, you can always turn it off as needed.

The Protocol You Know

There is an old saying that goes, “sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.” This could roughly be applied to the security protocols that you are using when using your VPN. Many VPN users don’t really give these protocols a lot of thought.

The 256-bit algorithm is secret agent, James Bond grade. But that doesn’t mean it is your only choice. Your VPN account may allow you to dial this back to 128-bit. This will require a lower of amount of power consumption, and that will place less strain on your battery.

You may also be able to choose the actual security protocol that is being used. There was a time when the OpenVPN protocol was king. In fact, it is still the most popular choice. However, some argue that it is heavy on power consumption. They have chosen to go with other, older protocols that are less stressful on  the batteries of mobile devices.

The bottom line is that there is a solution to VPN battery drain. It just takes a little time to figure out the best approach for you.

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