Many things are considered when checking the internet speed when using a VPN. This article will go through all the factors that affect internet speed when using a VPN.
You’re probably here for two reasons. Either:
- You're using a VPN, and the internet is slow
- You’re planning to get a VPN and want to know if it’s worth it?
Well, if either of them or you just stumbled upon this post, you’re in the right place. Stay with us to know the truth behind the internet speed corresponding to VPN use.
So the main question at hand?
Does a VPN slow down the internet?
There are two answers: Yes and No.
Many factors can either speed up the internet connection or make it slower. Let’s dig right into it!
1. Physical Distance to the server
The physical distance between you and the server you’re trying to access on your VPN matters a lot to the speed of the internet. Data travels extremely fast, but the higher the distance, the higher the time the data packets travel.
Let me give you an example: At this point, I am in Lithuania and want to access our server in Australia. The distance is quite a lot, and the data packets will have to travel a lot of continents to get to the destination; therefore, the speed is affected.
This is my speed test without using a VPN (location Lithuania).
And this is the VPN speed test after connecting to our server in Australia.
Try this for yourself (get our free VPN to test it out).
So the closer the server is to your actual location, the better speed you will have. For faster internet, you should try connecting to the nearest server. However, if you have to connect to a specific location, you always have the freedom to do so, but there might be minor drops in speeds.
2. Server bandwidth limitations
If the VPN server you’re using has some bandwidth limits, your internet speed might take a hit if you go over the allocated bandwidth or if the server is overcrowded. However, most reputable VPN service providers don’t let this happen (at least we don’t).
We have two plans: a free VPN service and a premium VPN.
With the free VPN, we have included a 15-day free trial with unlimited bandwidth and no overcrowding of the servers. In our premium (paid) version, all our clients will get the service until the end of the subscription.
Also, we will need to mention that the VPN server quality directly impacts the speed of the internet. If the server is of high quality, it will be faster to encrypt and handle the web traffic, resulting in a higher net speed.
3. Type of encryption
The type of encryption used in your VPN connection also depends greatly on the encryption speed. There are different types of VPN protocols, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.
That being said, this doesn’t hurt the internet speed all the time.
The strongest type of encryption is the OpenVPN protocol, where the speed has a higher potential of dropping. With the PPTP protocol, you will have the highest speeds, but when there are higher speeds, it will have to give up on the encryption. So this has the highest risk.
OpenVPN is the slowest protocol with speeds, while PPTP is the fastest. It depends on you which protocol to use when it comes to using your data.
Usually, a good protocol covering security and speed is the IKEv2 or L2TP/IPSec protocol.
P.S. we use IKEv2.
4. Your own internet connection
If your internet connection is slow, you’re guaranteed to have a lesser speed when using a VPN. You can do nothing at this point other than change your ISP or get a better connection plan.
5. Bandwidth throttling
This happens when your ISP intentionally limit your bandwidth by lowering the connection speeds. ISPs claim that this is used to control network congestion at peak times and offer users a smooth performance.
This is true, but they also use this technique to make users upgrade their subscription plan (more money for them). Bandwidth throttling doesn’t happen daily, but it happens weekly or monthly.
If you are a heavy internet user, like when playing games, streaming videos constantly or downloading a lot of files (torrenting), you might become a victim of bandwidth throttling.
Since ISPs can see what you do, they can decide when to do it, but with a VPN, your data is encrypted, and they won’t be able to see what you do online. This will increase your internet speed when using a VPN.
Testing the VPN speed
We know what affects your internet speed, and it would be rude to leave without giving a way to test it for yourself. So let’s do the following simple tests mentioned below.
To test your VPN, do a couple of speed tests. If you’re connecting from a European country (like Germany), try connecting to a non-European country (Australia, USA) and see the test result.
However, note that you should pick the same speed test server when doing the tests.
For example, you live in the UK, and you’re testing an Austrian server. Simply connect to an Austrian speed test server and run it. After disconnecting from the VPN (or even changing the VPN location), select the same speed test server you used to check the Austrian speed.
Note that the tests above were done from speedtest.com, and depending on the servers selected, the results can be changed.
So at this point, you have an idea, and hopefully, we were able to solve the doubts that you had in the beginning. Does a VPN slow the internet speed? Yes and No.
Here’s a small note: When you use a VPN, all your data is encrypted and sent over the internet. This is an additional security layer for your online activities. The world of technology is growing rapidly, and so are the threats. Keep your data safe and secure yourself.
Stay safe and surf the open waters of the internet with VPN Surf.
1. Why is my internet slow when connected to a VPN?
Because your internet traffic must pass via the VPN server as an additional step, a VPN will slow down your internet connection. However, a premium VPN like VPN Surf won't typically cause you to experience any extra latency; the user won't typically feel the slowdown.
2. Which VPNs are the fastest?
We recommend VPN Surf, Surf Shark, NordVPN and Hide.me.
3. How can I increase my internet speed when using a VPN?
Try one or more of the following:
- Switch to a different VPN location
- Try a different VPN protocol
- Turn on split tunnelling
- Chae your VPN proiveder
- Close unnecessary background apps
4. How do I stop my VPN from slowing down my internet?
As mentioned earlier, VPNs tend to lose their reputation regarding speed. However, by using a properly optimised VPN, you will not feel the VPN having any conflict over your internet connection.
5. Why is my VPN connection so slow?
The VPN connection speed decreases when too many users are connected to one server. Free and slow VPNs that push too many users into too few servers in the hopes that being "free" will be enough to attract users frequently have overload concerns.
6. Which VPN is best to increase Internet speed?
We believe that VPN Surf is the answer.
7. How much does a VPN slow down your internet?
Your VPN can only be as fast as your internet connection in terms of speed. When utilising a VPN, modest speed decreases between 10 and 20 percent are completely normal.
8. How can I boost my internet speed?
- Be physically closer to the router
- Use a wired connection
- Close any unnecessary background applications
- Update your computer.
Do you value your privacy online?
Use VPN Surf and surf safely and securely in the open waters of the internet.