Do VPNs Use Mobile Data?

A VPN is a way of routing all of your internet traffic through a private server. This means that your browsing activity is kept secure and confidential. It is also possible to use a VPN to make it look as though your device is located in another country. VPNs can be used on desktop devices that are likely to be permanently connected to a wi-fi network. However, they can also be used on mobile devices connected to a mobile data network. This type of usage is increasingly common, now that most of the big VPN companies offer apps that make connecting to their networks more effortless than ever before.

However, many people are naturally concerned that using a VPN will eat up their mobile data. Since some users have minimal mobile data allowances, it is only natural that they would wish to preserve as much data as possible. If this is something that concerns you, then read on to discover just what impact using a VPN has on the mobile data you consume.


Setting Up a VPN Connection

The first time you sign up for a VPN connection, you will likely have to download an app offered by your chosen VPN provider. This is probably going to consume quite a lot of data. If you only have a limited amount of data, then it’s worth connecting to a wi-fi network to complete this download.

Some VPN services also make it possible to set up your connection manually. This can save the data overhead that is generated by downloading the app but can also lead to a much more complex and frustrating user experience. If you need access to a VPN right away and only have very limited data available, then this can be a solution, but in general, it is well worth downloading the app to make the experience of using the VPN as simple as possible.

Using the VPN Connection

Each time you connect to your chosen VPN service, your device will have to send a small amount of data to the VPN server to authorize your account and set up the connection. The amount of data that is sent backward and forwards during this handshaking process is generally very minimal, so it’s not worth worrying about it eating up any of your precious data. Once the connection has been established, the amount of data that will be sent to and from the VPN server is identical to the quantity that would be sent if you were not using the VPN to protect your internet connection. This is because the VPN server takes care of passing your requests on to the service you are using and sending the information back to you. This means that there is no additional data overhead generated by using the VPN.

It is worth noting that using a VPN does not shield your data usage information from your mobile data provider. A VPN service is not a way of circumventing any mobile data usage caps that your account may be subject to. Your provider will still be able to track precisely how much data you are using and impose any caps or overage charges that are mentioned in the contract that you signed up for. The main thing to remember with VPN services and mobile data is that they do not generate any additional traffic compared to browsing the internet without using a VPN. With this, you also receive all of the other advantages that come with using a VPN service, such as greater privacy and security and the ability to watch content that may be blocked in your country.