Skip to main content

Should I leave my iPhone VPN app on at all times?

iphone VPN app
(Image credit: nikkimeel /

Having a VPN on your iPhone is a great way to ensure your device is more secure when using public networks, keeping your identity hidden and your private data private. Additionally, VPNs give you more choice over the websites and content you can access online - despite where you happen to be in the world.

But one question that comes up a lot is whether, once installed, you should leave your iPhone VPN app on at all times.

  • Discover today's very best VPN providers
  • We'll also show you the most magnificent Mac VPNs
  • Quality and value: see the best cheap VPNs

VPN apps make your iPhone more secure

There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to use a VPN app on your iPhone - especially when it comes to security. If you regularly use public Wi-Fi networks, some aren’t encrypted and could allow hackers to access your personal data. By having your VPN active in the background, it will encrypt your data and make sure it’s always protected while you use public networks. 

While iPhones are generally regarded as secure, that’s not to say they’ll always protect your privacy. In fact, research has shown that many iOS developers ignore Apple’s strict security roles and don’t add end-to-end encryption to their apps, while Apple has been known to give developers access to user data. VPNs add end-to-end encryption, so turning them off would make your iPhone more vulnerable.

What else do iPhone VPN apps do?

We spend a lot of our time online, from searching the web to chatting on social media. But what you may not realise is that as you travel the web, your internet service provider can track everything - and even sell your data to advertisers. An active mobile VPN will encrypt your internet traffic and IP address around the clock, meaning you don’t have to worry about privacy issues.

If you use a VPN service to access content that isn’t available in your region, we’d recommend keeping it turned on. Once you deactivate it, the content provider will be able to see that you’ve changed IP addresses and know you’ve been using a VPN service. As a result, they could ban you from accessing their platform as it's often a direct breach of their terms of service.

iphone VPN

(Image credit: OpturaDesign /

People use their iPhones for making transactions online daily, whether it’s ordering the weekly food shop, buying a new pair of trainers on eBay or doing online banking. If that’s the case, you should definitely use a VPN and keep it turned on. It'll encrypt personal information such as credit card details and clamp down on fraud - those encrypted tunnels they utilise are perfect for keeping your private data out of the hands of hackers.

Another reason to leave your VPN on is that it can stop bandwidth throttling. This is when internet service providers intentionally slow down your internet connection to control online traffic. However, by using a VPN and ensuring it’s always active, your ISP won’t be able to see your IP address and throttle it. 

But leaving it on all the time?

However, you’ll need to make a few compromises when constantly using a VPN. First of all, there’s often a problem with speed. Because VPNs reroute your internet traffic to another server, this can result in time delays. So if you intend on gaming, downloading a long film or transferring large files, it’s probably best to turn your VPN off - as long as you're on a secured source of Wi-Fi, of course.

Keeping your VPN switched on may also affect battery life, especially if you spend a lot of time surfing the web, streaming and playing games on your iPhone. It’ll constantly be working in the background, which means you’ll likely see your battery percentage drop throughout the day. 

For any iPhone user who spends a lot of time on their device, leaving a VPN app on at all times makes a lot of sense. It’ll allow you to protect your personal data and ensure hackers can’t compromise your device around the clock while allowing you to do even more with your iPhone VPN. But just be wary that this may affect battery life and overall internet speed.  

  • Read more: Make the best purchase with our VPN deals list

Nicholas Fearn is a freelance technology journalist and copywriter from the Welsh valleys. His work has appeared in publications such as the FT, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, The Next Web, T3, Android Central, Computer Weekly, and many others. He also happens to be a diehard Mariah Carey fan!