Test Your Speed With The VPN Turned Off
In some cases, a VPN wont be to blame. Its best to check whether its your internet connection thats slowing you down.
Its easy enough to find out – just disconnect from your VPN and run an ISP speed test. You can do this via your ISPs website, or elsewhere online – Ofcom, Which, and OOKLA all offer free and painless services that allow you to gauge your speed at the click of a button.
Performing this test ensures that youre getting a baseline internet speed without potential VPN throttling. So, if your speed results are looking suspect, the issue is with your ISP.
Change Your Protocol Settings
VPN protocols are the systems that VPN servers use to establish a connection and encrypt your data. Theres a variety of protocols out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. You can instruct your VPN client to use the protocol of your choosing. If your current protocol settings arent delivering the performance you need, consider switching things up.
Developed in 2001, OpenVPN is likely to be your best bet for speed and stability without compromising on security, and its the one most premium VPNs use by default. Choose the OpenVPN protocol if its available on your VPN app. Otherwise, try L2TP/IPSec, or if on mobile, look for IKEv2.
WireGuard is a cutting-edge VPN protocol that isnt widely available yet, as its still in development, though some VPN providers are already offering it. PPTP is often the fastest of all protocols, but only due to its outdated and insecure encryption method. Use PPTP only if youre not concerned with security while you surf.
Within a given protocol, you can also try toggling between UDP and TCP, the two methods VPNs use for sending data on the internet. One might work better than the other for you.
Turn Off Heavy Software
Another factor that has nothing to do with VPN latency but could still be causing your problem may be due to local security software thats on your device. Try turning it off for a few minutes to see if this helps your speed. While this may make the device more vulnerable to malware, some VPN services offer features that address this problem. If your VPN is watching out for malware, you might want to try this technique.
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Update Your VPN Client
One of the key reasons your VPN might be slower than you expect could be client. The software you install on your computer, phone, tablet, or TV box manages your connection to the VPN server. It also oversees the encryption of your internet connection.
From time to time, bugs and other issues can lead to problems including slow internet. When these are identified and fixed, the VPN provider rolls out an update. Your client should inform you when an update is available—be sure to download and install it straight away.
Why Is My VPN Connection So Slow
A VPN is an encrypted tunnel through the internet that reaches from your device to a VPN server. From there, your traffic is passed on to the website or service that youre using.;VPNs keep you safe online by preventing outside observers such as your internet provider, your employer, or a nosy hacker from snooping on your internet activity. They also hide your IP address when you use the internet.
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Since your data has to travel through the VPN server, its normal to experience slight hiccups in speed from time to time. But if everything’s connected and working properly, there shouldnt be much of a difference.
A slow VPN may be a sign that you havent configured your settings for optimal performance, or it could mean that more significant changes are in order.
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Don’t Set Up A VPN On Your Router
As a VPN user, you have two choices for setting up a VPN.
Always go with the latter option.
One reason why routers are so affordable is that they don’t need next-gen CPUs to be effective. Unfortunately, this means that even last year’s smartphone is faster than today’s router. and this will bottleneck your data speeds for the encryption-related reasons above.
A standard router will have difficulty handling a VPN while serving multiple devices.
If you really want to set up a VPN on your router, buy a dedicated VPN router.
Why Is My VPN So Slow And How Do I Boost My Speed
For most users, a VPN is turning from an optional tool into a daily necessity. Among the huge number of VPN services, it is hard to find the one that will provide you with strong encryption along with good speed. Sites like VPN Review try to lend you a helping hand in this regard. However, it is a fact, VPN services, in some cases, will slow down your Internet speed. Thankfully, there are several ways to speed up a slow VPN.
This article is addressed mostly to Windows 10 users but may also help in case you have other versions of Windows.
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Choose The Fastest VPN Protocol
In addition to the server, if possible, we must also choose the fastest protocol, so as to obtain an acceptable speed reduction and a ping as low as possible. Below we have collected the most used VPN protocols by services on the market, from the fastest to the slowest:
- WireGuard: the fastest protocol, with a strong encryption that does not take up too many resources. Often this protocol is customized by the VPN service to optimize the connection even more, especially when we use VPN servers for streaming services.
- IPsec: very secure protocol, but which loses something in terms of absolute speed and ping. To be used to surf anonymously, while it is better to leave it alone if we have to access streaming services.
- OpenVPN : very compatible and secure protocol, but with a lower speed than the protocols seen so far.
- OpenVPN : the protocol with the greatest compatibility, but also the slowest to use.
If our VPN service allows it, we always choose the fastest possible VPN connection protocol, focusing on the first one in the list and ignoring the other slower protocols. If the VPN service doesnt let you choose the connection protocol, dont worry: it is often the service itself that uses the fastest, we wont have to configure anything.
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.
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Speed Of Internet Vs VPN
It often confuses people as to what the speed of the internet has to do with VPN. The answer is clear. Running your device with VPN protections adds extra background functions to the device hence making it slower.
Also, the internet connection speed also depends upon the source or server distance from the device.
The farther both are, the slower the internet will be.
This will result in:
- Inability to load web pages
Faster Internet Speed While Connected to a VPN
Before finding ways of how you can increase the internet speed while connected to a VPN, you need to know first on which factors does the speed of the internet in such cases depends on:
- The amount of Data Transferred.
- The Time Gap Between Sending Request to the Server and the Server responding.
What Should We Look At While Choosing A VPN
The VPN market is crowded with tons of new VPN applications every day. So you need to be aware of the VPN best features which will help you in choosing.
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Test The VPN Connection
Performing a speed test on the VPN connection is really very simple: connect to the VPN service through the dedicated program or app, choose the fastest automatic server and, once connected, open any web browser and use a speed test service such as Fast.com, offered by Netflix.
In a few seconds we will have obtained the maximum download speed obtainable under a VPN connection; to obtain further data, click on Show more information and we also check the upload speed and the ping loaded , which is very important if we want to use the VPN for streaming.
Running the same test without an active VPN we will notice, in most cases, a speed loss of around 20-30% and an increase in the ping value of at least 40%. This doesnt mean VPNs are always slow we have to be good at it create the best possible VPN connection right away.
Boost Your VPN Speed Today
Its important to have a fast connection for basically everything you do online outside of reading Wikipedia. So follow the guide, and youll be enjoying all the security and accessibility that a VPN brings with the least possible impact to your speed .
or use the 30-day money-back guarantee if its slow!
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Try A Different Server
A VPN encrypts your internet traffic by routing it through a special server. Most VPN companies have servers set up all across the world, giving you two primary benefits:
Location: A VPN will make your IP address appear as though its based in the same country as the server youre currently using.
Speed: In most cases, youll enjoy faster speeds when connected to a VPN server thats located geographically close to you.
After setting up your VPN, pick a server thats nearby. Since your data doesnt have to travel as far to reach the VPN server, you should notice an uptick in speed. If youre using a VPN in order to give yourself an IP address in a certain country, your options may be more limited here.
Sometimes, popular servers get overloaded when lots of people connect to them at once, so dont be afraid to pick one thats a bit farther away if the closest ones are too slow. You may need to switch servers more than once before finding one that works best for you, so be patient and keep experimenting.
Your VPN may offer you the option to auto-select a server for you, and if it does, this choice is usually based on speed. Let the VPN choose an optimal server location and see if your experience improves.
Check Your Antivirus And Firewall
Antivirus and even the Windows firewall can slow down the VPN too. Antivirus software scans data packets and tries to provide you with a secure network connection. This can negatively affect the VPN speed since repeated probes slow down the overall performance of the VPN.;
Some people recommend to temporarily disable the antivirus. It is not safe to do so. You can get infected with adware or more dangerous things like ransomware. I believe that it is better to create a special rule for the antivirus that would allow you to bypass the scan.;
Besides, the built-in Windows firewall can block VPNs on an ongoing basis, so be sure to create a VPN exception for the Windows firewall too.
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What Is A VPN & Why Is It Needed
Virtual Private Network, or as more popularly known as the VPN, is the framework through which users can either link themselves with another connection and device, or they can secure their personal connection. VPNs have popularly been used to access limited district sites, increase their security, protect the browsing online, and even to reduce costs for the longest time.The use of VPN is definitely more among the web users; however, what is interesting is that VPNs today are used for many other reasons in comparison to what they were initially utilized for. VPNs were at first made to be a wellspring of associating business networks safely or a method of getting to the business at home. To lay it out plainly, by means of a VPN, you interface your gadget to another gadgets web. Which means if that server is available in an alternate district, you can get to the material you wouldnt have the option to normally access.
Does VPN Slow Down Your Wifi / Internet Speed
A VPN will inevitably slow down your internet speed at least a little. This happens due to how the VPN technology operates – it adds a few extra steps to the path that your web traffic has to travel. Three additional VPN steps that slow down your connection the most are:
- Connection to a remote VPN server
- VPN server workload
- Data encryption
Luckily, premium VPN services like VPN;Unlimited can significantly mitigate the negative impact on your connection speed. And in certain edge cases, such a VPN can even make your internet faster!
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Cheating And Data Compression
Because we report how we test VPNs and because we use one of the most popular speed test tools available, there’s some obvious concern that a disreputable company might attempt to game the results. A nefarious VPN company could, perhaps, detect when an Ookla test is running and return bogus results.
We spoke with the engineers at Ookla when designing our tests, and they share our concerns about gaming their test. They’ve told us that the company takes active measures to fool would-be cheaters. We defer to the experts at Ookla to prevent companies from juicing the results.
Check Your Internet Speed
Before you ditch your current provider, consider that the problem might not lie with your VPN at all. A good VPN is still going to feel slow on a slow internet connection, so take a moment to analyze whether your internet is performing as expected.
First, disconnect your VPN so that youre connecting directly to the internet. Next, perform an internet speed test by navigating to one of the many tools available online. Follow the instructions on your chosen website to conduct your speed test, then compare the results to what youve been promised by your internet service provider .
If your speed test falls short of what youre supposed to be receiving, its likely that your VPN connection isnt the problem after all. Try resetting your router to see if that speeds up your internet connection. If not, it might be time to give your ISP a call. Youll get the best speeds from your VPN with fast internet.
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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has meant that the entire staff of PCMag has been working from home since March, 2020. Our homes don’t have the high-bandwidth internet connection we enjoyed in the PCMag Labs. Testing VPN speeds from our homes wouldn’t be comparable to the data from previous years and would introduce all sorts of messy variables. For example: did this VPN perform particularly badly because it’s a bad product, or was it because a spouse was on a video call at the same time?
Rather than forego VPN speed testing altogether, our solution has been to test VPNs in small batches and release the results as we go. This allows us to reduce the risk to our analysts, but still be able to conduct the same rigorous testing we have always done.
This rolling model will also lets us provide fresher speed test results and gives us a chance to more easily update the results for different products throughout the year to see if they still compete.