What Affects A VPNs Speeds
When you connect to a VPN, your traffic is routed through a private server before it reaches its final destination. If you use a service with a Double VPN or MultiHop feature, your traffic might even be routed through two or more VPN servers to give you better anonymity.
You can think of each of these servers as a stop on a journey. The more stops there are, the longer the journey gets.
An internet connection with one stop is always going to take longer than a connection with no stops . Therefore, you can always expect some drop in speeds when connected to a VPN.
However, the best VPNs should be so fast that you dont notice this decrease at all. The VPNs on my list have vast global networks or unique protocols that are specially designed to mitigate delays.
VPNs can make your connection faster in some cases: Many ISPs are purposely limiting their users connection speed when they use Torrenting platforms. A VPN may give you the ability to break free and enjoy faster speeds.
A fast VPN is vital for buffer-free streaming, rapid torrenting, smooth online gaming, and stress-free browsing. A slow VPN can make all of these activities difficult or even impossible.
Internet Access Over A VPN
A VPN service provides an encrypted and secure connection between you and the VPN service provider. From there, your internet traffic reaches its destination in the same way that it would have, had it come directly from the your device.
Its a useful tool for anyone who wishes to prevent others from seeing the contents of their web traffic. Its also a favorite of those that prefer to remain anonymous online.
The nature of a VPN connection means that web traffic no longer takes the most direct path possible. It first has to flow through the servers of the VPN service provider. The encryption of the traffic and the change in the data path can sometimes speed up a slow internet connection. However, it all depends on the reasons it was slow in the first place.
Where The Trouble Begins
At this point every is working fine. From your laptop, you can access the office resources, remote into your PC, etc. When you open a web browser you can go anywhere you wish, just as you could before you established the office VPN connection. However, you may notice the network is running more slowly when the VPN is active.
The reason for this is simple. Now all the network traffic is running through the office VPN connection. For example, lets say you want to watch some screaming goat videos on YouTube . The request and information goes from your laptop at home, through the VPN to the office router, then back out to the Internet, and finally to YouTube. The reply back from YouTube follows the same path back. No wonder your network seems so slow.
If your office is in a very large company that has a dedicated connection with symmetric upload/download speeds at 1 GHz, then there may not be much of a speed issue . However, if your office is like most companies and has a significantly less expensive asymmetric service, the difference is significant. The table below shows typical speeds available to a business. All numbers are specified in Mbps.
You May Like: How Do I Setup My Verizon VPN
Your Device Specs Might Not Be Up For It
This is often overlooked when talking about VPN speeds. Remember, your device needs to locally encrypt and decrypt your internet traffic.
In order to do this, it needs good hardware. Older devices often lack good specs, and this means they cant keep up, making your VPN speed slower.
The CPU, the RAM memory, whether youre using a HDD or a SSD, all of them can have an impact on how your device processes VPN connections.
How Most VPNs Work And What Causes Them To Slow Down Your Internet
Slow VPN is basically a design flaw. Almost all VPNs work the same exact way. Your computer is connected to a remote server via a single secure socket. All of the data being sent to and from your computer or mobile device is first routed through the remote server.
On the server all of the data is encrypted. This prevents anyone from being able to know what websites you are visiting as well as masking your true IP address.From a security standpoint this works great. Nobody can get any identifiable information about you or your computer.
But, from usability standpoint, the design is awful. Only having a single socket connected to the secure remote server means that your bandwidth is limited. If you are doing something that uses a lot of data, like streaming videos, playing video games, or having a video chat, you will create a traffic jam. It can easily get so bad that apps that use a lot of data will become unusable.
If anything happens to your Internet connection, such as your Wi-Fi signal fluctuates, you will probably lose the connection to the VPN server. You will have to spend time reconnecting before you can use the VPN again.
Read Also: How To Setup VPN On Att Uverse Router
What Country Are You Connected To
In a digital world, its easy to forget that your online traffic has to physically travel to its destination for you to communicate with anyone and it doesnt do so instantly. Lets imagine a user sitting in the US who connects to NordVPNs server in Australia and then visits a website physically located in the US. Their data will have to travel all the way down under and back again, giving them a considerable speed drop compared to their usual connection.
Disable The VPN As The Default Gateway
Stay with me here, the setting is deep down in the options. In the Windows Control Panel, go to the Network Connections settings, right click on your VPN, and select Properties:
In the VPN Properties, select Internet Protocol Version 4, then click on the Properties button.
Once in Version 4 properties, click on the Advanced button.
Finally, uncheck the Use default gateway on remote network checkbox. Then click OK, and work your way back up.
Maybe Your VPN Is Slow
Often a slow internet connection can be the cause of a slow VPN. But sometimes it’s not the ISP that is at fault—it’s the actual VPN service.
It doesn’t matter which server you connect to, or other tweaks you’ve tried above, the result is always the same. A good, fast VPN should be something like 2Mbps slower than your unencrypted connection.
Less than this over a prolonged period suggests the VPN is at fault. Confirm this by comparing the speed on your mobile VPN client with the results on your desktop computer. If it’s slow across the board, switch.
What Is Bandwidth Throttling
Bandwidth throttling is when your internet service provider slows your internet connection as a response to certain online activities. Common activities that may lead to bandwidth throttling include streaming, torrenting, and gaming. ISPs engage in bandwidth throttling for many reasons, such as to prevent network congestion during peak usage hours.
If youve been experiencing either a fluctuation in your internet connection speeds or significantly slower speeds than usual, you may be experiencing bandwidth throttling at the hands of your ISP.
Fortunately, an easy way to get around bandwidth throttling is by using a VPN.
- What is a VPN? Here, we explain all
Also Check: How To Setup VPN On Att Uverse Router
Reduce The Encryption Level To Fix A Slow VPN
VPNs can use different security protocols for encrypting the data that passes through. Not all VPN services support all protocols, but many of the standard ones are supported widely.
The thing about encryption is that it can be computationally expensive. Every single bit of data that leaves your device must be encrypted every single bit of data received must be decrypted. The stronger the encryption, the more computational power you’ll need.
A slow CPU can cause slow VPN performance on your computer. Even if your internet can handle 100Mbps, that won’t matter if your encryption is too strong for the CPU. It might only process data at a rate of 10Mbps, becoming a bottleneck in how quickly data is processed.
Theoretically, the speed hierarchy from fastest to slowest is PPTP > L2TP/IPSec > OpenVPN > SSTP > IKEv2/IPSec. Step down one at a time if your device doesn’t have enough computational power. Change these in your VPN client’s settings, referring to the provider’s support pages for assistance.
Note that this is only advisable if you don’t need maximum security for whatever activities you’re doing through VPN. If you’re using a VPN to access region-locked content, for example, then this is fine.
What Is A Good Speed For The Internet
Your optimal internet speed is defined by the activities you use it for. While 25-30 Mbps can be considered pretty good for an average home user, its not really a one size fits all kind of answer.
Think about the amount of internet-connected devices in your household. How many users will be online simultaneously? While sending an email wont take up a lot of bandwidth, activities like gaming have higher and more specific speed requirements.
You May Like: How To Install Free VPN On Xbox One
Does A VPN Slow Your Internet
At its core, a VPN’s job is to encrypt your connection and send it through a secure VPN server. Because a VPN adds extra steps between you and the internet, its bound to slow down your connection somewhat. However, there are tips you can use to reduce the impact, and well even see cases later where a premium service like NordVPN can make your internet faster!
If your VPN is slowing your internet, heres what to look out for:
The distance between you and your VPN server is one of the greatest factors that can decrease your internet speed. Choosing a more distant connection location will cause your connection to travel much further to your destination and back, resulting in slower upload and download speeds.
You can test this out yourself since NordVPN has servers in 60 countries around the world. If you’re in the UK, for example, you probably auto-connect to your VPN for UK servers most of the time. Instead, try connecting to a server in a country as far away from you as possible, browse the net, and then connect to a server in your own or a neighboring country. Youll notice an immediate spike in speed when your chosen server is closer to home.
Any given server has the capacity to process a certain number of users. As that limit is approached, users can experience slow connection speeds or even fail to connect.
Do VPNs Slow Down Your Internet
To some extent, it is true that a VPN can slightly slow your internet connection VPNs add a layer of encryption that may lead to a small reduction in speed. In addition, if youre using a VPN with a limited number of servers , the servers may become overloaded. This will almost certainly lead to slower internet speeds.
If you choose to connect to a server in a country that is far away from you when using a VPN, you may also experience additional lag time when browsing the internet. This is because of the physical distance that the data packets need to travel.
Most premium VPNs are aware of these issues and take measures to reduce them, like having plenty of servers available worldwide to prevent overcrowding.
However, it is possible that using a fast VPN can actually speed up your connection, because of the practice of bandwidth throttling. Let us explain
You May Like: How To Setup VPN On Samsung TV
How Does A VPN Stop Bandwidth Throttling
If youre dealing with targeted bandwidth throttling by your ISP, a VPN is an excellent way to solve the problem. The secret lies in the anonymity that a VPN provides.
ISPs determine which traffic to throttle based on a set of predetermined identification rules. For instance, they may look for connections to specific servers online, or traffic that uses common ports they would like to restrict.
When a VPN is in use, however, all traffic is encrypted and appears to be destined for the VPN server, instead of its actual final destination. This leaves the ISP unable to classify the traffic passing over the VPN connection. If they cant identify it, they cant throttle it. This inability to act very effectively shields you from intentional slowdowns.
The Location Of The Server
The physical distance between you and the VPN server tends to have a huge influence on what kind of VPN speed you will get. Why? Because it takes data packets longer to travel between you and the VPN server.
Simply put, the further you are geographically located from the VPN server, the likelier it is your VPN speed will be a bit slower.
You May Like: Xbox VPN Free
Can A VPN Accelerate My Internet Speed
The short answer is yes under certain circumstances, it is possible to have faster speed when using a VPN.
Whether or not this is possible largely depends on your internet service provider . This is because many ISPs throttle internet connections during peak times to allow decent speed for all users.
A good VPN bypasses those restrictions, so youll end up getting an even better internet speed than if you werent using a VPN.
How Much Does A VPN Slow You Down
Pinpointing exactly how much a VPN slows down Internet connection speeds is pretty difficult. The best we can do is approximate based on a simple VPN speed test.
Quick note about Ooklas SpeedTest.net before we begin you can actually choose which server you want to use for testing VPN speed. Therefore, the results you get can actually vary depending on the server you choose . For starters, well pick a SpeedTest.net server from Bucharest .
Also Check: How To Use 911 VPN On Iphone
What Causes A Slow VPN
What causes a slow VPN connection? Distance to the VPN server. The most important factor is the internet speed used and the distance between your location and the VPN server. Using a VPN server. Another reason for a slow VPN connection is server load. Protocols and encryption. There are four of the most popular VPN protocols. Internet service provider speed limit. Antivirus program.
How To Speed Up VPN Connection
To do so, go to the Servers tab and select the VPN server that is located as close as possible to your current location. You can also run the ping test to estimate the distance between your location and our servers or connect to the Optimal server.
Unfortunately, some networks can restrict the speed of the selected VPN protocol or the encryption methods of some protocols can be too powerful for your internet speed. Try to change VPN protocol via Menu > Settings > Protocols to get the best performance.
KeepSolid VPN Unlimited team strives to provide you with a variety of premium features. Thats why weve implemented special server tabs for torrenting and streaming. Go to the Servers tab > select Torrent or Streaming> connect to the needed server and get the best VPN speed for your needs.
Benefit from our special offer to skyrocket your online protection with a personal VPN server. Thanks to this offer, you will be the only person who uses this server and so you wont share it with anyone else. As a result, you wont suffer from VPN server workload.
Also Check: Setting Up Ipsec VPN
Switch To A Faster VPN
Theres a chance, though, that despite tinkering with settingsor wisely not doing anything with them at allthat your VPN is still slow. In that case, it could very well be that you picked a poor service, in which case, we recommend that you make use of the VPN services money-back guaranteeif it offers oneto get a refund.
The fact is that most decent VPNs get good speeds with their default settings. Why settle for one that needs you to get under the digital hood?
There are a few VPN services that we like, but when it comes to speed, we recommend ExpressVPN. Many of us here at How-To Geek have used it for years. Its a speedy VPN with a large number of servers, and its backed by a trustworthy company thats been around for years. If you dont like it, you can always get your money back within the first 30 days.
Internet Speed Of Isp
Slow internet service is not always caused by a VPN. Often, it is because of sluggish internet connections from the users internet service provider . ISPs may purposefully throttle the bandwidth they offer, resulting in slow internet speed for certain websites or periods of time.
In this situation, a VPN can enable users to bypass the internet connection provided by their ISP and gain the quicker download or streaming speeds they require.
Also Check: Free Undetectable VPN
Will Using A VPN Affect Your Internet Connection
When you connect to a VPN, you route your traffic through remote servers before reaching the final destination. Its like an extra stop on a journey between your device and the internet. Connections with an additional stop will always take longer than direct ones. Hence, its extremely likely that a VPN will have some effect on your internet speed.
Also, a central characteristic of a VPN is encryption. It involves a relatively complex process that requires computing power and time. Encryption works by ciphering all of your data packets before letting them move towards the final destination. The process might put a strain on your connection and lead to slightly slower browsing.
However, in some instances, a VPN can make your connection faster. Many Internet Service Providers purposefully put bandwidth limitations for their users. ISPs deliberately track users traffic to check if they perform any bandwidth-intensive activities, like gaming, streaming, or torrenting. Since VPN encrypts your traffic, your ISP can no longer identify what you are up to. As a result, they dont have grounds to restrict your connection.