iPhone Does using a VPN significantly decrease battery life?

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by steiney, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. steiney macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2009
    Hello all,

    My apologies for asking such a simple question but I did some googling and didn't really find anything that answered the exact question, "Does using a VPN significantly decrease battery life?"

    I subscribe to an unlimited VPN service, so I figured since it's unlimited, I might as well set it up on my phone. I'm using GuizmOVPN (jailbroken, obviously) and set up my OpenVPN configuration last night. I'd like to use it unless it take a large toll on the battery life of the phone.

    If anyone knows the answer, I'm all ears!

    Thanks in advance,

  2. blakkout, Jul 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013

    blakkout macrumors member

    May 28, 2013
    If your VPN setup keeps the data connection active in the background then yes it destroys battery life. If you turn the VPN on and off as needed its nothing significant. There's also an official OpenVPN Connect app now too.

    Edit: If you want to automate the process, you can also use the iPhone Configuration Utility to setup VPN on Demand to automatically connect or disconnect the VPN for certain domains and it does accept wildcards in the domains.
  3. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2009
    Thanks blakkout. Yeah, I've just been leaving it on. I set it up last night but didn't really look at the battery usage. After sitting here at my desk for about 30 minutes now, it does appear to be using the batter a little faster than normal, but nothing ridiculous. I wish I could just leave it on all the time, though.

    I saw the official OpenVPN app, but since it's through the regular App Store, it's a hassle to get the configuration loaded. My VPN provides the config files all separately, and I was having a difficult time getting them all into a single .ovpn file. I got everything set up on the first try with the cydia version.
  4. blakkout macrumors member

    May 28, 2013
    Yea, I've used various setups with the official app and InfinityTask and Background Manager trying to figure out how to save battery life. I edited my previous post as I've found the official app with an iPhone Configuration Utility profile works best. It times out the VPN after a couple minutes so its not sending and receiving packets in the background and reconnects on any attempted data connection. My VPN also separates the cert, keys and ovpn files so it wasn't the easiest to setup but now I never touch it.
  5. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2009
    Thanks again. I just downloaded the iPhone Configuration Utility but I won't have time to mess with it until tonight. Is the VPN on Demand thing part of that utility or do I need to download something separate?
  6. blakkout macrumors member

    May 28, 2013
    It's included. You might need to use OpenSSL commands for the certification attachment depending on how your VPN packages the configuration files and Windows or OSX. I'm familiar with both OS so I can try and help if you need it later.

    I should also add I check my email enough as is so I don't use push notifications for email or anything. If you do and want that routing through the VPN I would imagine that would always be reconnecting the VPN and this won't save you any battery life.
  7. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2009
    Thanks again for your help, blakkout. It occurred to me that I only need the VPN in reality for pirating TV shows and other media so it really doesn't matter to have it running all the time, etc. on my phone since I never use it to download stuff. So, it doesn't make sense to go through a bunch of hassle to get everything set up and tweaked correctly.

    But, it's nice to know it works in theory and in practice, from your personal account of it. I'll look you up via this thread if I decide I need to get it set up in the future and I am unable to get it figured out myself.

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