1. Home
  2. VPN / Privacy
  3. Why is vpn slow
We are reader supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Read Disclosure

Why is my VPN connection so slow? And how to fix it?

If you’ve ever wondered why your high-powered VPN is slowing down your Internet connection, this guide is for you. We teach you about how encryption overhead bogs down your speeds, why some providers throttle your connection, and how to fix slow VPN connections. You’ll also learn about the best VPNs that prioritize fast speeds, so you can download, stream, and browse without buffering.

Why Trust AddictiveTips
Our expert team has rated and compared 30+ VPNs over a decade. As technology advances, we update our rigorous testing and scoring methodologies to match it and stay relevant.

VPNs have a tendency to slow internet connections down, at least a little bit – it’s part of the nature of the beast. However, if you’ve ever been so bogged down while downloading or surfing to the point where you have to actively wonder “Why is my VPN connection so slow?”, then something is wrong. Don’t worry — we’ll walk you through the troubleshooting process.

Stop wondering why your VPN is slow, switch to these blazing-fast providers:

    1. NordVPNBest Performing VPN – Once upon a time NordVPN was considered slow, but no longer. Their massive server network is continually upgraded, delivering the most consistent performance on the market.
    2. Surfshark – Lean-but-mean server network, advanced protocols, and preemptive adblocking.
    3. ExpressVPN – A top contender for fastest VPN in the world.
    4. CyberGhost – Quick speeds by default, with preconfigured profiles to maximize performance depending on the task.
    5. PrivateVPN – Entirely self-owned and operated server network provides exceptional speed and stability.

It might seem like speed should be a simple matter, but in reality there are a lot of things to consider: bandwidth limits and latency form the foundations; but server distance, the speed of your own network, and the protocol type that you use are some more factors to that come into play. So when you experience speeds with your VPN that are absolutely dragging – more than just a small, minor loss – you may have a problem in one of those areas, or another. Read on to figure out what may be wrong, and more importantly: how to fix it.

Editor's Pick June 2024

Get NordVPN for just $3.49 a month on a 2 year plan

What affects internet speed? throughput + latency

Speed is, at its basest level, the sum of these two things:

  • Throughput, which is bandwidth, or the amount of data that can be transferred in a specific amount of time. It’s usually expressed as MBps (Megabytes per second) or Mbps (Megabits per second), or even as Gbps (Gigabits per second), which is 1000x the amount of the same amount of megabits every second – super fast.
  • Latency is the other half of speed. It’s the amount of time between the sending of a request (i.e. clicking on a website link) and the receiving of a response from the server you’re trying to access (the website). When you use a VPN, your latency gets lengthened because the data requests have to route through your VPN server before reaching the destination server, and back the same way. Most of the time, you shouldn’t even notice latency, as it’s measured in milliseconds (1/1000th of a second) so your data packets will arrive to your device only a fraction of a second later than if you weren’t using a VPN. Even if you’re streaming something, the entirety of the data packet (video + audio, in this case) will remain in sync, so you shouldn’t even notice – everything will arrived together, just a split second later.

The place where latency really matter is in real-time gaming, like playing PUBG. In those cases, you need to pick a VPN that’s as close as possible to your location or the location of the game server to minimize lag.

Between throughput and latency, if your bandwidth is restricted or overloaded, and you’re suffering from high latency – you can wind up with very slow VPN connections.

Diagnosing a Slow VPN Connection

Slow VPN connections can be the result of a dozen different problems. Some of these are simple and easy to work with, others are more difficult and can only be fixed indirectly. Before you can speed up your VPN, you need to figure out what’s making it so slow in the first place.

Symptoms of a Slow Connection

Saying your internet connection feels slow isn’t a very precise definition. To fix the problem, you first need to narrow the scope as much as possible. Below are a few of the more common things people refer to when complaining about a bad internet connection. Knowing which one is affecting you can make a huge difference when it comes time to tweak your VPN for optimal performance.

  • Web pages are slow to load
  • Movie streams are choppy
  • Online games are laggy
  • Downloads are slow
  • Torrent files are sluggish

What’s Causing the Slowdown?

Once you’ve defined the type of slowdown you’re experiencing, it’s time to take a look at the specific causes behind the bad connection.

  • Poor VPN Network – There’s always the possibility that a VPN’s network is just low-quality from the start. If you’re using a free VPN, this is very likely the case. If you’re using a paid service, the company could be having issues with some server node you’re connected to. This issue causes all of the above slowdown issues, and more.
  • Crowded Servers – The more people connected to a server, the slower it’s going to be. This increases latency (lag) and is especially frustrating when you’re streaming movies or playing online games.
  • ISP Slowdown – No matter how good your VPN is, you’re still limited by the internet speeds provided by your ISP. If their servers are crowded, or if your service plan limits your download speeds, you won’t be able to get around these issues with a VPN.
  • Local Hardware and Software – Finally, VPN slowdown can be caused by your own home network. If your router is bad, your modem is faulty, your device is low-powered, or if you’re running software that interferes with your connection, this could be the cause of all your slowdown issues.

How to Fix a Slow VPN Connection

Slow internet is one of the most frustrating things in the modern age. VPN users are likely to encounter this more than casual web surfers, which is why you should arm yourself with the information below.

Check Your VPN’s Servers

Most VPNs offer a one-click quick connect that automatically selects the fastest server for you. This can change throughout the course of the day, however, which means you won’t always stay on the best server. If your connection slows down, simply refresh the list and switch to a different server, one that’s either closer to your physical location or not as densely populated. This will be especially helpful if lag is your main speed issue.

Examine Your VPN Encryption Settings

Some VPNs, most notably our recommended services above, offer an array of settings that let you fine tune your encryption protocols for a more private browsing experience. The general rule of thumb regarding encryption is “the stronger, the slower”, so if downloads and website loading times are sluggish, jump into your VPN’s settings menu and see what you can change. Below are a few generalized suggestions most VPN providers will offer.

  • Decrease encryption strength to boost speed. It’s best not to go below 128-bit, though, even if the option is given.
  • Turn off extra security measures. Features that boost encryption strength or provide better anonymity often cause a huge drop in speed.
  • Switch protocols. The UDP/TCP debate doesn’t have a straightforward answer, but if your VPN offers a connection through one and it’s a little slow, try switching to the other for better performance.

Stop ISP Throttling by Switching Ports

Slowdown issues aren’t always caused by your hardware or the VPN, sometimes it’s all down to your ISP. If nothing you do seems to speed up your connection, it’s likely your ISP might be throttling VPN traffic. Most VPNs provide easy workarounds for this limitation. Try running a speed test both with and without your VPN active to see if there’s a stark contrast in the results, then run through the tips below to see if that helps.

  • Switch to UDP or TCP port 80 or 53. You can also try switching to a higher port, something above the 40000 range.
  • Use alternative encryption protocols like SSH or SSL, if your VPN offers them. These help mask your traffic to defeat throttling efforts.

Use a Wired Connection Instead of Wi-Fi

A surprising number of speed issues come down to the limitations of Wi-Fi compared to wired connections. If you’re using a laptop or PC, see if plugging a physical cable into your router helps with the speed problems. You can also try moving closer to the router or making sure the signal isn’t blocked by walls or other obstacles.

Fixing Slow Torrents

Slow torrent downloads, is a problem every VPN user deals with at one time or another. The main cause of this is usually the VPN themselves blocking or throttling torrent connections. If your service does this, there’s nothing you can do to speed up the downloads. If they don’t, try switching protocols and opening ports in the VPN app’s settings to make things faster.

Reboot Your Entire Network

The tried and true IT method of rebooting everything really does work sometimes, even when it comes to slow internet speeds. Shut down your VPN, turn off your computer or other device, then reboot both your router and your internet modem. Wait for them to power cycle completely, then start your connection and fire up your VPN again.

Comparison Of The Best VPNs To Fix Slow VPN Issues

VPNs
Average Speed
191.4Mbps
191.25Mbps
181.11Mbps
137.62Mbps
94Mbps
Countries
60
100
94
91
63
Servers
5400
3200
3000
9022
200
Uptime
99%
99%
99%
100%
99.9%
Log Policy
Logs Present
Logs Present
Logs Present
Logs Present
Logs Present
Live Chat Support
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 24/7 Live Chat
Optimized for Torrenting
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Streaming Unblocked
  • Netflix,
  • Disney+,
  • Amazon Prime,
  • iPlayer,
  • YouTube,
  • Hulu
  • Netflix,
  • Disney+,
  • Amazon Prime,
  • iPlayer,
  • YouTube,
  • Hulu
  • Netflix,
  • Disney+,
  • Amazon Prime,
  • iPlayer
  • Netflix,
  • Disney+,
  • Amazon Prime,
  • iPlayer,
  • YouTube,
  • Hulu
  • Netflix,
  • Disney+,
  • Amazon Prime,
  • iPlayer,
  • YouTube,
  • Hulu
Free Trial
30 Day Free Trial
7 Days Free Trial
30 Day Free Trial
24 Hours on Desktop and 48 Hours on Mobile
7 Days Free Trial
Money Back Guarantee
30 Days Money Back Guarantee
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
45 Day Money Back Guarantee
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Connections
6
Unlimited
5
7
10
Works in Your Country
Best Price
$2.99/month
$1.99/month
$6.67/month
$2.19/month
$2.00

What are the absolute fastest VPNs you may ask

All that being said, using a quality and reliable VPN service is the most important step.  Here we’ve gathered a handful of our fastest VPNs that have proven themselves to maintain high connection speeds and have resources to help you improve them if you run into trouble:

1. NordVPN

Works in United States
4.5 / 5
NordVPN
Top Features
Number of Servers
5400
Speed
Average of 191.4 mbps
Countries
60
Devices Supported
Up to 6
24/7 Live Support
Yes
Money Back Guarantee
30 Days Money Back Guarantee
Streaming Sites Unblocked
Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu
Torrenting
Yes
Exclusive Deals
Best Deal
Standard at $2.99/month
Plus at $4.49/month
Complete at $5.49/month
Apps Available
NordVPN Pros & Cons
Pros
  • SPECIAL OFFER: 2-yr plan (70% off – link below)
  • Different IP addresses aervers
  • Allows multiple connections (6 devices)
  • Extra-secure Double VPN for data encryption
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • Sometimes slow in processing refunds (but always do)

NordVPN gives you incredible power to tailor your VPN connection, with over 5,800 servers in 59 countries. Of course, NordVPN doesn’t relax its strict security standards simply to inflate their numbers: no matter which node you connect to, NordVPN provides military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, a zero-logging policy that’s one of the most complete around, and some of the fastest speeds available.

Plus, there are numerous specialty servers to choose from (guaranteed to appeal to power users, and maybe more casual ones too): Onion over VPN (for ultimate anonymity), Anti-DDoS, P2P (optimized for best performance), and more.

NordVPN makes choosing your server easy, even fun, with a graphical map – so finding the closest server to you for your use-case couldn’t be simpler.

Read our full NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark

Works in United States
4.4 / 5
Surfshark
Top Features
Number of Servers
3200
Speed
Average of 191.25 mbps
Countries
100
Devices Supported
Up to Unlimited
24/7 Live Support
Yes
Money Back Guarantee
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Streaming Sites Unblocked
Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu
Torrenting
Yes
Exclusive Deals
Best Deal
24 Months at $2.69/month
1 month at $17.69/month
12 Month at $4.09/month
Apps Available
Surfshark Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Robust servers blast through geoblocks to access your favorite streaming sites
  • Unblock Netflix on any server, no more picking and choosing
  • VPN obfuscation on any server with special Camouflage function
  • Favorable BVI jurisdiction guarantees no logs kept
  • Get help any time of day via email, phone, or live chat
Cons
  • Overall, not much to complain about
  • Relatively young VPN still has to prove itself trustworthy over the long haul

Surfshark is a relatively new provider, having launched in 2019, but this is a huge benefit in terms of speed. They’ve done completely away with the outdated encryption and tunneling protocols of the past in favor of only the most modern provisions.

Surfshark establishes connections between your device and its network using either OpenVPN (usually for desktop computers) or IKEv2/IPSec (usually for mobile). However, they also offer the cutting-edge WireGuard protocol which has been optimized for the best speeds possible. The 256-AES-GCM cipher is used to secure your connection, which is itself a highly efficient method.

With a network numbering 800 servers in 50 countries, it’s always easy to find a nearby connection. And, Surfshark also pre-emptively blocks out ads and popups from loading, further speeding up your connection while preserving your mobile data.

Finally, every Surfshark subscription is backed by a strict no-logging policy.

3. ExpressVPN

Works in United States
4 / 5
ExpressVPN
Top Features
Number of Servers
3000
Speed
Average of 181.11 mbps
Countries
94
Devices Supported
Up to 5
24/7 Live Support
Yes
Money Back Guarantee
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Streaming Sites Unblocked
Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, iPlayer
Torrenting
Yes
Exclusive Deals
Best Deal
12 Months at $6.67/month
6 Months at $9.99/month
1 Month at $12.95/month
Apps Available
ExpressVPN Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Unblocking Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime
  • 3,000+ super fast servers
  • No DNS/IP leaks found
  • Strict no-logs policy for personal information
  • Great customer service via chat
Cons
  • Slightly pricier than competition

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN providers on the market today. Offering unlimited bandwidth, no speed caps or throttling, and zero restrictions on P2P networks or torrents, you get blazing speeds with this top provider.

ExpressVPN even offers a handy built-in speed test for desktop that allows you to find the fastest server available – so say goodbye to buffering video or endlessly loading downloads. They also offer 256-bit AES encryption through OpenVPN; but also aside from UDP and TCP, they also offer 3 other protocols to help you get the right balance of speed or security that you need.

With more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN has a powerful, established network of servers to choose from, and hard-to-beat customer service backing it up.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

4. CyberGhost

Works in United States
4.1 / 5
Cyberghost
Top Features
Number of Servers
9022
Speed
Average of 137.62 mbps
Countries
91
Devices Supported
Up to 7
24/7 Live Support
Yes
Money Back Guarantee
45 Day Money Back Guarantee
Streaming Sites Unblocked
Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu
Torrenting
Yes
Exclusive Deals
Best Deal
Best Value at $2.19/month
6 Month Plan at $6.99/month
Monthly Plan at $11.99/month
Apps Available
CyberGhost Pros & Cons
Pros
  • SPECIAL OFFER: 79%OFF
  • P2P allowed on any server except in US and Russia
  • Jurisdiction in Romania
  • No log files
  • Money-back guarantee
Cons
  • IPv6 WebRTC leak in macOS
  • Sometimes experiencing average speeds

If you want premium speeds wrapped in an impeccably easy-to-use package, look no further: CyberGhost has you covered. After a dead-simple installation, CyberGhost presents you with 6 simple preconfigured profiles, already optimized for some of the most common use-cases. That includes surfing or torrenting anonymously, unblocking streaming or basic websites, protecting your Wi-Fi connection, and choosing your server. Just click one and all the best settings are applied, allowing you to enjoy ultimate protection and optimized performance.

Of course you also get the same great 256-bit AES encryption you’re already coming to expect and an immaculate zero-logging policy. Unlimited bandwidth, no speed caps, and more than 6,300 servers in 89 countries completes the package, and allows for robust VPN connections no matter where you go.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

5. PrivateVPN

Works in United States
4 / 5
PrivateVPN
Top Features
Number of Servers
200
Speed
Average of 94 mbps
Countries
63
Devices Supported
Up to 10
24/7 Live Support
Yes
Money Back Guarantee
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Streaming Sites Unblocked
Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu
Torrenting
Yes
Exclusive Deals
Best Deal
36 Month Plan at $2.00/month
3 Month Plan at $6.00/month
Monthly Plan at $9.90/month
Apps Available

PrivateVPN slinks in quietly, with just over 150 servers in 60+ countries – but soon the provider roars its challenge to the others: can they offer such balance and reliability in both speed and security? PrivateVPN offers 256-bit AES encryption as its default, along with the option to switch from UDP to TCP or other protocols. You can also downgrade your security to 128-bit AES to get a boost in speed – but you may not need it. Despite its relatively small size, PrivateVPN performs reliably well in tests, providing more than enough speed to stream, download, and browse with ease. This is in large part due to the fact that PrivateVPN purchases its server capacity directly from the IP transit provider, rather than overburdened hosting companies most other VPNs use.

Although short on frills, PrivateVPN delivers where it counts: unlimited bandwidth, full support for mobile devices like Android and iOS, and easy-to-use menus no matter the device.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

What affects VPN speed?

So with a high-level overview of the reason why your VPN connection is slow, the obvious next question is, what’s causing your problem specifically? Let’s take a close look at the factors we mentioned earlier:

Server location

The further your data has to travel to reach your chosen VPN server, and the further your data has to travel from the VPN to your intended website, game, or service, the slower speeds will be (latency). With longer distances, not all of the data packets you send will reach the destination you intended. The further that distance (think: 1,000’s of miles or kilometers), the greater the chance of losing a packet.

Plus, the overall Internet is not just one network – with so many countries, that would be impossible. It’s a series of interconnected networks that are owned by governments, businesses, and organizations. The more of these networks that your data has to travel over to reach its destination, the slower it becomes. This is called peering, which is the terms and priority by which data is exchanged from network to network.

Taking it even further, there are international bandwidth limitations, too. Underwater fiberoptic cables connecting Australia’s network to other ones are more limited than others: they can only carry a very finite amount of data at once. That results in slower speeds and greater latency.

Server bandwidth + overload

When you connect to a VPN server, you get a certain amount of bandwidth. Some providers (free VPNs, ahem) will cap the bandwidth per user at a specified amount. Others will spread the available bandwidth as efficiently as possible to all the users on that server. But the thing is, each server has a limit called “server load.” Server load is the amount of total bandwidth that’s currently being used and directly related to the number of users sharing that server at once.

For example, if a server has a maximum bandwidth capacity of 1000Mbps and there are 100 people on that server, each is getting an allocation of 10mbps. That said, though, some VPNs use “smart” bandwidth allocation, which shifts more bandwidth to users who need it more (i.e. P2P, torrenting, streaming, etc.), and away from those who aren’t using their full 10mbps (in this example). So, the more people who are connected to the same server as you = the slower it will be.

Encryption level/protocol type

Depending on what encryption protocol you use can have an impact on your speeds, too. Encrypting your data stream adds extra data, so added encryption = lost bandwidth = slower speeds. Thus, less encryption = less bandwidth added = faster speeds.

Most VPNs now use OpenVPN, which offers the optimal blend of security + speed. Some VPNs (like those above) give you an option with OpenVPN to choose between UDP or TCP. TCP stands for Transmission Control Protocol and includes error checking that confirms that every packet has been delivered. UDP stands for User Datagram Protocol and doesn’t check that every packet has been delivered. The extra step in TCP results in it being slower; the removal of that step with UDP means the latter tends to be faster.

Firewalls/antivirus

Firewalls don’t normally impact a VPN’s performance – unless they’re configured to interfere with VPN traffic specifically or your CPU’s performance. In those cases, your speeds may be slowed down or blocked entirely. Similarly, your local security software – antivirus, antimalware, etc. – scans every in- and outgoing data packet, which could be slowing down your connection.

Network setup

Sometimes, you may encounter slower speeds connecting by Wi-Fi instead of via LAN cable. You can also encounter slow speeds by setting up your VPN through your router, rather than your device itself. Routers are affordable because they don’t need the most advanced CPU to be effective – but that means that even last year’s smartphone is faster than your router.

VPN algorithms/routing

The way that your VPN routes your traffic between multiple servers in the same physical location can have a large impact: newer, less experienced, or simple low-resource VPN providers may do this inefficiently, causing your speed to slow to a crawl.

RELATED READING: Best multi-hop VPNs

ISP connection speed

No matter how fast your VPN is, if you only have a 10mbps internet connection from your ISP, your VPN won’t be able to overcome it and give you 50 or 100mbps. It will always be limited by the speed of the connection you’re using to access the VPN server.

Tips to speed up your VPN connection

Thankfully, there are some measures you can take to diagnose and/or speed up your internet connection when using a VPN.

  • Check your speeds
    First, to get a good idea of whether your VPN is the culprit here, check your internet speeds with and without it connected. Speedtest.net is one tool that can help you with this. Just visit the page with your VPN disconnected and take note of the speeds it shows. Then, connect to your VPN and revisit the page.
  • Use a faster, more premium VPN
    Free VPNs, by their nature, tend to provide slower internet speeds. They have a more limited infrastructure, and if the provider offers a paid version, the paying users get priority. Even some paid VPNs limit things like bandwidth, so your best bet is to go with a premium, unlimited-bandwidth provider, like ExpressVPN or one of the others we suggested.
  • Change servers
    If you’re connected to a distant or overloaded server, you’re speeds will likely be negatively affected. The closer the server you’re connecting to, the better your speeds tend to be. So visit your VPN’s server list and choose one that’s closer to your real location.
  • Change encryption protocols
    As mentioned earlier, most VPNs default their encryption to OpenVPN, which comes in 2 protocols: TCP and UDP. TCP checks itself to make sure that all its data arrived correctly and is more commonly used; UDP does not check itself. While both have strong encryption, UDP is faster – so try switching to UDP if your provider gives the option.
  • Change encryption level
    OpenVPN is typically the best protocol for both speed and security with your VPN, but if you’re encountering consistently slow speeds it may be worth trying L2TP/IPSec. It has less security, but may help you get past filters that are slowing down OpenVPN traffic.
  • Change ports
    Internet traffic is routed through different ports to keep traffic from various sources separated. The connection between your device and your VPN uses one of these, and sometimes ISPs will slow traffic at specific ports. So if you’re connected to one of these ports that are being throttled, your speeds will suffer. Try switching your VPN connection through another port.
  • Use a wired connection
    Wireless connections like Wi-Fi rely on a shared channel to send data between multiple devices. Using a wired (LAN) connection can help you boost your speed tremendously. The downside is that you need to connect your device directly into your router, so your freedom is limited by the cord.
  • Disable local security
    We don’t recommend this lightly, as disabling your antivirus, antimalware, and the like opens you up to attack from these kinds of cyberattacks. But by scanning every in- and outgoing data packet, your antivirus software could be causing a slowdown. Disabling it may help.
  • Restart
    Try restarting your modem or router. There may be memory leaks, and restarting could help. If you haven’t updated or restarted your device in a while, that could be causing slow internet speeds, too. Try restarting it.
  • Avoid setting up your VPN on your router
    While VPN routers are a great option when your VPN of choice isn’t available on your particular device, you have to be careful. Any slowdown the VPN may introduce will be automatically translated to all connected devices, which can be frustrating for others in your household or office. Only use this option when you really need it.

Advanced options

If you’re more tech-savvy or feeling adventurous (read: desperate), try some of these more advanced troubleshooting tips:

  • Run a traceroute. This can help you locate the area of congestion or network hop that is delaying your traffic. Try it both with and without your VPN connected.
  • Override the DNS. Although most VPNs advise customers to use their DNS servers to prevent privacy leaks, you can try testing out 3rd-party DNS servers, like Google’s Public DNS.
  • Adjust the MTU. When you add encryption, Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) size is reduced, which means some applications may not work well. Adjusting that size can help. This is somewhat complex and technical – you’ll be best suited reading this excellent article on it.

Limitations of Speeding Up VPNs

You can tweak it, reboot it, refine it, and hack it, but at the end of the day, there’s always a limit to how fast you can make your VPN. Below are a few common issues to watch out for when trying to get the best speeds possible.

Your ISP is Still the Limit

No matter how fast your VPN is, it can’t be faster than your local connection. If you pay for 50 Mbps through your ISP, for example, that’s the absolute maximum your VPN can provide, even if it’s technically capable of more. ISPs don’t always deliver the speeds they promise, either, which means some slowdown issues can be traced back to local servers instead of the VPN’s network.

INTERESTING READ: Understanding Internet Fast Lanes

Speed without the VPN

If you’re engaging in a high bandwidth, low security risk activity, something like online gaming or streaming movies through Netflix, you’ll probably be ok switching off your VPN for a little while. This neatly bypasses the restrictions of speed and packet encryption and lets you milk your connection for as much as it’s worth. Once you’re done, switch the VPN back on so you stay safe.

Watch Out for Fake Speed Boosters

The sketchy looking “speed booster” extensions and apps are nothing but trouble. Most of them tout a mysterious ability to speed up your connection no matter which VPN provider you use, a promise that’s little more than the software equivalent of clickbait. Stick to the tips above when it comes to speeding up your VPN. If all else fails, try a new VPN service to get faster downloads.

Free VPNs Are the Slowest of All

It’s tempting to grab any old free VPN and use that in place of a paid service. Hey, you’re saving a few bucks a month by doing it, so why not, right? The downside to unpaid VPNs is your data is likely being sold to third parties. You’ll also have to suffer through bandwidth caps, blocked torrent and P2P connections, and slow downloads across the board. A reliable paid VPN service is always faster and safer than a free one. They’re usually easier to use, too, and offer a ton of configuration options you can use to keep a speedy connection anywhere in the world.

READ ALSO: How Free VPNs Make Users Part of a Botnet

Conclusion

There are a lot of factors that can affect the speed and overall performance of your VPN – we touched on the largest ones here. After reading this guide, you have the background knowledge and tools needed to attempt diagnosing your VPN’s speed issue: start with a speed test to see if your VPN is the issue, and if it is, consider the remaining tips. You’ll be streaming your favorite shows buffer-free in no time.

Have you encountered any of these speed issues with your VPN? Did you try any of the tips we laid out? How did they work for you? Let us know in the comments section below.

How to get a FREE VPN for 30 days

If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. NordVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay for the subscription, that’s a fact, but it allows full access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. Their no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.

1 Comment

  1. I think it’s important to note that if you are using a router to use your vpn, it is the single most important variable in the equation. An older router, with less than 1.6 Ghz in its CPU is going to have a difficult time making things work quickly, especially if using OpenVPN. Hopefully once most vpn services get WireGuard(OpenVPN’s sucessor) up and running, the issues of past vpn slowness will be just that, past.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.