Apple How To Mobile

ANSWERED: Does using VPN decrease battery life on iOS?

Do you regularly use a VPN on your iPhone or iPad? If you’re a heavy, and battery-conscious user, you must’ve wondered if it affects your battery life. Head past the break to learn the answer.


Virtual Private Networks – or VPNs – are popularly used all over the world. There are a number of advantages including but not limited to the ability to view censored content – such as Facebook in China; geographically blocked content – such as certain movies in certain parts of the world in Netflix; while protecting your privacy as you use the Internet on public networks.

Although their primary use appears to be on desktops, VPN usage on iPhone and iPad is becoming increasingly common as people become aware of their benefits. I myself use a mix of VPNs to use services like Spotify, and Pandora which are unavailable in Pakistan.

There’s one question that pops up rather commonly for regular VPN users: does using a VPN all the time drastically decrease my iOS device’s battery life?

It Depends

First, you need to briefly understand how VPNs work. In the simplest terms: VPNs simply route all your Internet traffic to a particular server in a different country. In this way, the servers of websites and services you visit feel as if you’re in that new country instead of wherever you physically are.

With that in mind, to your iPhone or iPad, it shouldn’t make a difference to battery life if it is using a VPN connection or not.

Opera VPN start screen

However, the reality is you may actually see a decrease in battery life when you use VPNs that are activated through third-party apps like Opera VPN which may or may not be designed well enough. I’m happy with Opera VPN, but I’ve used other VPNs in the past which didn’t. They ran constantly in the background and leeched precious battery life.

So, in conclusion: it depends on which VPN app you’re using. If it’s a popular VPN that’s updated regularly by its developers, chances are it doesn’t use much extra battery life. However, if it’s an old VPN app that isn’t, and you’re observing poor battery life than usual: consider trying something new. Paid VPNs are particularly good, like Private Internet Access or IPVanish, for example.