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I have 4G Internet USB and I was wondering if using a VPN will prevent my ISP from seeing the quota usage.

I know that using a VPN on a cable internet won't achieve this because the switches of the ISP counts every byte sent and received through my cable.

But what about 4G internet?

NOTE: I am not talking about preventing my ISP from seeing my internet activity, but I mean prevent my ISP from counting the bytes I send and receive.

Can using a VPN prevent my ISP from seeing data usage in 4G internet?

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  • 13
    Data is data, the answer is No. No way to do what you want.
    – Moab
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 13:22
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    The ISP can still track the amount of data you're sending/receiving from the VPN. It shouldn't know what you are doing though.
    – Natsu Kage
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 13:25
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    The answer from Google is that using a VPN will actually use more data.
    – Mokubai
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 17:31
  • Data is data, your ISP only count bytes for billing purposes, no matter what the protocol being used. Is some essential detail missing in the question that might make you believe otherwise? Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 11:51
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    With one mobile ISP I was on, data on port 53 (that's normally DNS) didn't count towards the cap at all. They fixed that by blocking anything that wasn't legitimate DNS traffic about a year later. Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 15:11

1 Answer 1

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The VPN encrypts your traffic, but the amount of information that is sent and received will stay the same. This is not affected by the fact that you are on a mobile connection.

Depending on the encryption protocol that is used, it might even increase your data usage, but only by a (very) small margin.

In short: No, a VPN can never hide your data throughput, because the data still has to get to and from your phone. And on its way, it goes through your ISPs infrastructure, which you are paying for.

If you are concerned about privacy, using a VPN is useful regardless. But be aware that some VPN providers collect data about your behavior or will significantly slow your connection and increase latency - especially free providers.

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    If anything the amount of data will increase slightly by using a VPN, due to the extra layer encapsulating the actual data you push through it. One site estimates the increase at anywhere between 10 and 20%, which can be significant on a low data cap.
    – Mokubai
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 17:27
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    It is possible for a VPN to mask actual data usage, but only by having the VPN end points send consistently large packets when real data is not being transmitted, and by ensuring that any smaller real packets get padded. Suffice to say, this will radically increase data usage.
    – Randall
    Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 14:29
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    Also note that some VPNs can compress data (only data that is not already compressed or encrypted - like plaintext HTTP, IMAP, NNTP or SMTP traffic; but not HTTPS, TLS, HTTP+gzip etc.), which might also make traffic somewhat smaller. For example OpenVPN can use comp-lzo option to compress data if enabled on both sides. So you can't hide that you've transferred data, but in some cases you could transfer less data that you would without VPN. Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 15:20
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    @BruceWayne Assuming your VPN is not leaking DNS queries to your ISP, it will see the traffic as being in between your device and the VPN's servers. Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 17:06
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    @BruceWayne your ISP doesn't see which sites you visit, but your VPN provider does. So it's just changing who sees the data. Unless you set up your own VPN. Also woth noting is that a VPN might stop you from using your ISP's exemptions, like Facebook or Netflix not counting towards data usage.
    – jaskij
    Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 20:46

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