Quick Guide How To Speed Test Your VPN
How To Check Your VPN Speed
To see how internet speed differs when connected to servers in different locations, run a speed test and take a look at the ping time. It shows the length of delays in the connection between your device and the server its communicating with. This will give you some inkling of how much latency youre likely to experience.
Here’s a quick and easy way to perform a VPN speed test:
- Turn your VPN off
- Search your browser for Internet speed test.
- Make a note of your upload and download speeds.
- Now, turn your VPN on and connect to a server of your choice.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4, and compare your speed results. You should now see the difference in speed when using a VPN, compared to when you’re not using a VPN.
To run a VPN speed test for NordVPN, we used the Ookla service for speed testing while connected to Wi-Fi. Without a VPN, using a local speed test server, the internet speed looked like this:
When connected to a recommended server via the auto-connect functionality, which picks an optimized server based on its load and geographical proximity, we noticed a slight decrease in the download and upload speed.
When continuing to experiment by connecting to servers in geographically distant countries, we got varying results depending on the server location. Generally, the closer the server, the less the internet speed drops. That being said, some countries have faster internet speeds which can make your VPN faster.
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Update Reinstall Or Switch Apps
VPN apps, like any others, can have bugs which only appear over time. Could your speed issue be one of the results? There’s an easy way to find out: uninstall the app, then reinstall the latest version.
If you’re only using the VPN on one or two device types right now, try installing it on others, see what happens. We’ve found this sometimes delivers real surprises, such as a VPN which took 30 seconds or more to connect on Windows and Android, for instance, but under 5 seconds with iOS.
If you only need a VPN to protect your Windows laptop, say, then sure, knowing it’s much faster on an iPad doesn’t help you much. It’s valuable information which could help your VPN provider figure out what the real problem might be, though, so you should report it, explain everything else you’ve tried, and see if they can help.
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Disconnect Other Connected Devices From Your Network
Disconnecting other wireless devices such as home security and smart home devices from your network has the obvious benefit that they arent taking any of your precious bandwidth. Its also easy to do by simply turning the device off, turning the WiFi connection on your device off entirely or connecting to a different network.
However, there is a secondary benefit to this. Every device connected has to send data to the router to stay on the network. This data can interfere with yours and degrade your signal quality, especially if youre far away from the router. So, by disconnecting other devices, youll decrease the time spent resending data and increase your effective speeds.
Get A New Internet Service Provider
If youve tried everything and youre still experiencing slow internet speeds, then it may be time to shop around for a new ISP. Internet companies are always trying to one-up each other to get your business, so there may be a newer, faster service thats now available to you.
Even if you live out in the middle of nowhere, and theres only one traditional provider, there are other options. Unlimited mobile hotspot devices are getting faster and more reliable, and high-speed satellite internet options such as Elon Musks Starlink are starting to become available.
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Can VPN Increase Your Internet Speed
- There’s a lot of things that a VPN can do, but there’s certainly some mystery around whether or not can a VPN increase your Internet speed.
- There are a few situations when a VPN can actually improve your Internet speed, and one of them has something to do with your ISP.
- Check out our best VPNs that won’t take a toll on your connection speed.
- Visit the VPN Hub to discover more tools and guides on keeping your connection private and secure.
Theres a lot of things that a VPN can do, but theres certainly some mystery around whether or not can a VPN increase your Internet speed.
If youve read our previous guides, you probably stumbled upon the one that explains how VPN can slow down your Internet speed. Thus, you might find this a bit confusing.
We promise you that this isnt a contradiction to our previous article and youll soon understand why. But lets start at the beginning.
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Connect To The Closest VPN Server
A distance to a VPN server directly influences your internet speed. The further the server is from your real location the more time it takes for the internet packets to travel. A large distance slows down your connections, causes lag, and increases latency.
Lets say if you are located in the US and trying to visit a local website, but you connect to a VPN server far away. That creates a huge round trip that your connection has to take. This increases connection times, reduces download speeds, and may even timeout.
The best speeds on a VPN can be achieved if you connect to a server that is closest to you. It is completely fine to connect to the same country you live in. The security and privacy provided by a VPN still are the same as connecting to any other country.
When you want to access restricted content of course you need to connect to a specific country. In this case, try to choose a city or region that is as close to you as possible to get the best results.
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How Can A VPN Avoid Network Throttling
ISPs can see what youre doing with your internet connection, and they monitor this for activity which is worthy of throttling. Sometimes that could be gray areas such as torrenting, but it has also been observed in innocent yet high-bandwidth situations like online gaming and streaming HD TV.
No matter what youre doing on the web, we think you should be getting what you pay for from your ISP. If you want to guarantee that, use a VPN.
A VPN directs your connection through its own encrypted servers to entirely anonymize your traffic. That means no one, including your ISP, the government or even the VPN itself can see what youre using your bandwidth for. In turn, that means your ISP cant single you out as a user who is, for example, sharing P2P, and subsequently cant make the decision to throttle your connection.
How Much Speed Do You Lose With VPN
What is the effect of a VPN on does a VPN slow down Internet Speed? An average VPN enables the Internet to connect to the Internet at a speed of 10-20% slower. When your VPN is enabled, youre getting 80%-90 mbps more with 100 MHz speed. There is usually no noticeable difference between these two types of devices.
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Eight Ways To Pump Up Your VPN Performance
Using a VPN is a great way to unlock websites and maintain your online privacy, but even the very best services are likely to reduce your internet speeds.
Some level of performance hit is to be expected. A VPN is routing your traffic through an extra server, maybe half way around the world, and encrypting and decrypting it along the way. That’s almost certainly going to slow you down.
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- Check our the fastest VPN we’ve tested
Individual services might have additional problems of their own. If you sign up for a budget VPN with a huge number of users, overloaded servers and no spare bandwidth, speeds are going to suffer.
You don’t simply have to live with this state of affairs, though, and there are ways to boost the initial performance levels you see with a VPN. And to that end, we’ve put together eight ideas to help you get the maximum possible speed from your VPN connection.
% Of The Connections With VPN Were Faster Than The Connections Without VPN
We have manually tested 100+ VPN connections with various VPN providers , various VPN locations, and VPN protocols . The objective was to find out whether WireGuard was faster than OpenVPN. Still, we also observed that both OpenVPN and WireGuard were, sometimes, faster than the baseline, the speed of the Internet connection without VPN .
For about 29% of the tests, the Internet connection speed without VPN was slower than the one with a VPN, meaning that it was lower than one of the VPN protocols tested.
That is quite an important result! It may imply that in more than 1/4 cases, a VPN connection may provide better speed than the regular Internet connection.
Additionally, we noticed that in about 7% of tests, all VPN protocols were faster than the no VPN connection. This may imply that somewhere along the line, some bandwidth throttling or filtering was in place.
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Why Does My Internet Speed Drop When Using VPN
If users are connected to an excessively large server, the connection rate drops. Some free and slow VPNs tend to overload users in order to attract users by offering free instead of serving them correctly. It should be possible for premium VPNs with an extensive server base to avoid latency.
Upgrade To Ethernet Connection
Oftentimes your home wireless connection can become unreliable due to distance from the router, low bandwidth, and other reasons.
I suggest looking into a Firestick Ethernet Adapter, which will likely increase your VPN speeds.
If your home does not have ethernet jacks in the walls, then we recommend a Powerline Adapter.
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What Else Affects Your Internet Speed
The main factor that controls your connection speed is your ISP, a.k.a. Internet Service Provider. Depending on your plans speed limits, data limits, and connection type, you will get widely varying performance.
Another thing that shapes your internet speed is how youre using your plans bandwidth. It is shared across all your running applications, and all devices connected to the network. So the more apps are downloading something from the internet and the more devices are connected to your WiFi, the slower your internet becomes. Sometimes all it takes is a single high-speed torrenting app to significantly slow down everything else on the network.
Finally, your modem or router is also an important determinant. If the hardware or its drivers are outdated, it may not be able to keep up and deliver the internet speed that your ISP plan provides. Also, the WiFi routers location in the home can make all the difference – if its far from your devices, they wont get as strong a signal.
How A VPN Affects Internet Speed
Does a VPN decrease internet speed? Can a VPN slow my internet connection? For VPN users, these are valid concerns.
To answer these questions, it is important to understand that one of the biggest issues that prevents a VPN from working effectively is latency, which is the amount of time between an action a user takes and the expected response. For example, latency can occur when a user clicks on an image and it takes longer than expected for the image to display on their screen.
VPNs can negatively affect the speed of an internet connection in a range of ways, including:
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Change From A Wireless Connection To A Wired Connection
Theres no doubt that WiFi is the most preferred form of connecting to the internet today. You can access the web from anywhere in your house without the hassle of wires and cables. But, did you know that the speeds you get on wireless connections are usually slower than a wired connection?
This is because data packets travel between your device and the router through radio signals, which are prone to interference and disruption. Packet loss will impact connection speeds. Moreover, wireless connections use a shared channel to transmit data to multiple devices at the same time, which makes your internet slow.
If your device has ethernet ports and you have an ethernet cable lying at home, then its probably a good idea to use a wired connection for faster internet speeds.
Close Unnecessary Apps Running In The Background
If you have apps running in the background that you’re not using, they could be taking up resources on your machine and slowing your connection. Take a minute to check if anything’s running in the background that you’re not using and close those processes. By clearing up potential bottlenecks like this, you might notice a faster connection.
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Use A Wired Connection
Wi-Fi is awesome, but it can cost you some speed, especially if you connect multiple devices to the same network. Wireless connections use a shared channel to transmit data to many computers and phones in your home, which can slow down your speeds. If you can, consider switching to a wired connection to enjoy faster connectivity.
Change Your VPN Protocols
A VPN protocol simply refers to the system which is responsible for encrypting your data before forwarding it to an external server. The protocol youre using impacts the level of security and privacy as well as the VPN speed. Weve compared the different VPN protocols in a previous article. Be sure to check it out before playing around with VPN protocol settings.
The OpenVPN protocol is the most commonly used protocol by VPN providers. It offers high-level encryption to safeguard your online activity. However, such strong encryption usually takes away from your VPN speed.
However, other protocols, like PPTP and WireGuard, prioritize VPN connection speeds, with a lesser focus on security. The WireGuard protocol, which is future-proof, combines security and increased speed, offering the best of both worlds.
So, another way to boost your internet speed when using a VPN is to change your protocol settings. Almost all of the VPN providers that feature on our rankings of the best VPNs for 2021 offer the ability to change between different protocols. If youre looking for a VPN provider that supports the WireGuard protocol, then NordVPN should be your pick.
However, NordVPN also supports multiple protocols, so you need to know how to change it for maximum speeds.
Follow the steps listed below to switch to WireGuard on NordVPN:
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Does VPN Make Your Connection Faster
This is one of the most popular rumors that youll hear online, among other VPN enthusiasts. People will urge you to invest in a trustworthy VPN because it can help you get a faster connection.
And they wouldnt be wrong, either. However, it wont magically turn a subpar 1 Mbps connection into a Gigabit Ethernet one. In order for a VPN to help you increase download/upload speed and quality, your connection must meet some requirements.
Enable Split Tunneling If Available
If your VPN provider offers a split-tunneling feature, then try enabling it to see if you can boost your VPN speeds. Split tunneling allows you to send only the traffic you want through your VPN connection, while sending the rest unencrypted through your regular internet connection.
For example, if you’re using your VPN for streaming, you can allocate just your streaming traffic to go through the VPN, which won’t slow down your online gaming. This can help optimize your VPN speeds for certain activities, because all the excess traffic you don’t need running through your VPN won’t burden your bandwidth.
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Which VPN Is Best To Increase Internet Speed
Move Closer To Your Router
As you get further from your router, the quality of the signal will decrease. This means that more of the data packets will get lost, and your device wont receive all the information the router tries to send it. Sending the data again takes time, so the overall speed decreases.
A typical home router on the 2.4 GHz frequency will have a clear range of around 300 feet. However, the walls, doors and furniture in your house can easily drop this by half or more. Even if youre in this area, fewer data packets will be lost if youre closer to the router, so its worth trying this before you continue.
You can also try moving the router to a more central location, rather than, for example, the corner of your house, which decreases its effectiveness.
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