If you’ve already installed one of the best VPNs, or are thinking of getting one – good for you, digital life just got more secure. But with all the intelligent ducking and diving your connection will be doing to keep you anonymous and secure, you may notice that your iPhone is chewing through more battery. So, naturally, the question as to whether you should leave your iPhone VPN on all the time is going to come up.
There are pros and cons to keeping your iPhone VPN app switched on and turning it off, and we’re going to explain them all below.
Pros to leaving your VPN switched on
The very best VPN will keep your iPhone secure, concealing your online identity and encrypting ingoing and outgoing data. The moment you switch it off, you’ll remove that layer of protection.
It follows, then, that the biggest perk of keeping your VPN connected on your iPhone at all times is having that reassurance your device is as secure as possible, both while you’re using it and while its tinkering away in the background.
It also means you won’t constantly have to go back and forth onto the app in order to turn it off and then back on again when you want to use it, or wait the few seconds it takes to connect to a server before proceeding.
Cons to leaving your VPN switched on
There are so many benefits of a VPN for the iPhone, but it’s fair to say there are potential drawbacks to your Apple smartphone when keeping a VPN switched on all the time. The first one that will likely come to mind is battery life.
iPhones aren’t known for having the best battery life when compared to their Android phone competitors, but general use is expected to see users get through the day without needing to put their iPhone on charge. However, having a mobile VPN app running in the background is a sure to eat away at your battery life, adding another piece of software to your daily usage beyond aimless doom scrolling, watching content, and general browsing.
There’s also the matter of speed. While the fastest VPN should mean your connection remains stable and sees little reduction to your normal internet performance, it would be silly to assume when connecting to long distance servers that you wouldn’t potentially see a slight lag in what you’re otherwise used to.
Should I leave my iPhone’s VPN app switched on or not?
There are reasons for and against leaving your VPN app switched on on your iPhone at all times. If your VPN is on your iPhone just so you can get around geo-restrictions to stream video content, for example, then you only need to use it then. You can easily fire up your VPN, set a location, and watch your favorite shows and movies. Then, when you’re done, you can turn off your VPN again allowing your iPhone to get back to more efficient power use.
It’s also worth turning only your VPN on when you need to use it if you are using a free VPN solution as this will help you get the most out of your limited data cap which is a common restriction of free services.
If your VPN is there to keep you secure and anonymous then you’re likely going to want to leave it on as much as possible. There are lots of apps on your iPhone which will be sending data in and out in the background and this could compromise your anonymity if your VPN is off. By leaving the VPN running, you can keep that data anonymized and encrypted.
If you’re using a VPN on your iPhone for banking or money transfers using the likes of PayPal then you’ll need to be careful as they can lock you out if a VPN is detected. This can be avoided by using a server that is close to your location. In these cases, again, you can connect to the VPN for the banking or money transfer and then turn it off again when you’re all done.