VPNs are not new and apps to reduce battery drain are quite common, but what happens when you combine the two? You get a unique app that not only increases your security, but also the phone's battery life too.

A VPN is a virtual private network and it is a way of making the internet more secure by encrypting traffic between two computers or devices so that no-one can eavesdrop or intercept the communications.

There are several VPNs for Android phones and tablets, and they are useful when you are out, such as at a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Even though you are using a public internet connection, you are safe and secure, which is great if you want to do some online shopping, check your bank account, catch up with email and so on. With a normal Wi-Fi connection at a public hotspot, you could be at risk, but a VPN adds an impenetrable layer that hides your communications.

AVG Secure WiFi Assistant is a free app from the antivirus company that turns off the Wi-Fi on your phone or tablet when it is not needed. This makes the device more secure because no-one can hack into it, and it saves a little battery power too. You may not realise it, but as you walk down the street with the Wi-Fi on your phone switched on, it constantly connects with each hotspot it detects and there are a lot in a city centre. This can reveal information about you, but no connections are made when the Wi-Fi is switched off and so you are private and secure.

When you want to use Wi-Fi, such as at home, at work or a public hotspot, you turn it on. The app then remembers the location and the fact that you turned on the Wi-Fi. When you leave the location the app automatically turns off the Wi-Fi again to boost security and increase battery life. The next time you visit, it automatically turns on Wi-Fi by checking your location.

AVG Secure WiFi Assistant  AVG Secure WiFi Assistant

As you travel around and use Wi-Fi, the app learns the locations and it turns on Wi-Fi only when you arrive there. Then it turns it off when you leave. This is great, but there is more.

The app also provides a VPN and when you are at a public Wi-Fi hotspot you have the option to turn it on. It remembers this setting, so not only does the Wi-Fi automatically turn on the next time you visit, the VPN is enabled too, and both are disabled automatically when you leave.

The auto switching on and off of the Wi-Fi is free and as is usual with Wi-Fi, there is no data limit.

The extra layer of security that VPN adds has a data limit of 500MB a month for free. If you need more, you can get unlimited data for $2.99 / £2.00 a month. This charge is normal and good quality VPNs have to be paid for. There are free ones, but they aren’t as good.

AVG Secure WiFi Assistant  AVG Secure WiFi Assistant

Will the app improve battery life and if so, by how much? There is a trade off here and the app runs in the background checking your location so that it can turn on the Wi-Fi when it is needed. Location checking uses the battery, but switching off the Wi-Fi saves the battery. Even if both cancel each other out, you are no worse off battery-wise, but you get the extra security.

AVG Secure WiFi Assistant is really simply and it has just two functions, auto Wi-Fi on/off and a VPN. Both work well and this makes the app excellent, both in free mode and as a subscription VPN. It is very easy to use, it has a clean and simple interface, and just works. It is recommended.

TitleAVG Secure WiFi Assistant
Price: Free
Developer: AVG Labs
Size: 15 MB
Version: 2.1.1
Android: 4.0 and up