Does connecting to a VPN use data?

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A VPN is an effective tool for securing your internet network while having the ability to bypass censorship.

Whether you use it on your desktop or mobile computer, it needs an active internet connection to secure your network.

But, users often wonder if connecting to a VPN consumes data? Does this count towards your data usage quota? In this article, we will give you some clarification on this subject.

VPN connections use your data

When you connect to a VPN server, your data is used to connect and keep the connection active. So, yes, VPN uses data when you connect to it. You always connect to the Internet, browse sites, watch videos, etc. The only difference is that the VPN adds some extra privacy.

However, it should be noted that a VPN connection can only prevent your ISP from viewing your browsing information or DNS queries. However, internet data usage can still be tracked by your ISP, and the time you spend on a VPN connection counts toward your data quota.

So a VPN cannot help you bypass your ISP’s usage quota.

Of course, if you have unlimited connection, you don’t have to worry about that.

Will my internet usage increase with a VPN?

Technically, yes. Every time you connect through a VPN, your network requests are encrypted and forwarded using a different DNS server. And, the amount of additional data used can be on the order of 5-15%, according to several benchmark tests online.

For example, when you download 3 GB with a VPN, your data usage can be up to 3.3 to 3.5 GB.

Related: Do You Need a VPN to Keep Your Internet Activity Private?

This is just an example, but your actual data usage will differ depending on the type of download, the server you choose, and the protocol you use for the VPN connection. You can use the VPN at home or for remote work. It is therefore not possible to estimate the exact use of the data taking into account various use cases.

The more encryption is added to the protocol, the more data it takes. So, to reduce data usage with VPN, you can choose to choose the less secure protocol like PPTP. Either way, you can choose the OpenVPN connection for balanced data usage.

What should you do

Ideally, if you have a small data quota and are concerned about a slight increase in data usage, we suggest that you use the VPN only when necessary.

But, if you don’t have a problem with using a few MB / GB more than your data quota, then you don’t have to worry about it.


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