VPN Slow? 10 Tricks to Speed up VPN Connection Speed

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How to Increase VPN Connection Speeds in 2023 (5 easy methods)

Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s a trade-off between all the benefits of a VPN, such as online security and the ability to access geo-restricted content, and seriously compromising internet speed. Issues with VPN connection speeds are commonplace. Perhaps even you’re wondering if it is possible to increase my VPN connection speeds?

Imagine that you’re trying to upload a time-sensitive file or video. Slow internet speeds could mean precious minutes or even hours lost, which could be detrimental for your business.

Or maybe you’re facing other issues that are the result of a VPN connection that is slowing down your internet speeds, such as:

  • Constant buffering when streaming video online;
  • Frustratingly slow download speeds;
  • Lost connections to websites;
  • Inability to load website pages;

Before you start tearing out your hair, there are five simple strategies to help troubleshoot your slow VPN connection speeds:

  1. Change VPN Server Locations
  2. Change VPN Connection Protocol
  3. Double-Check Network Connection
  4. Try a Different VPN Service
  5. When All Else Fails…

The strategies above are listed in chronological order. Therefore, if the first strategy doesn’t work, try the next until you’ve exhausted them all.

At least 90% of the time, at least one of them should work.

VPN Connection Speeds | Two Important Components

First, it is important to understand the two primary components of VPN connection speeds before exploring the issues that affect these components.

  • Throughput: This is the amount of data that can be transferred in a specific amount of time.
  • Latency: This is the amount of time between sending a request and receiving a response from a server you’re trying to access.

How to increase your VPN connection speeds

Some of the strategies explored in this article address one or both of these components and will help you troubleshoot your own slow VPN connection.

How to Troubleshoot Slow VPN Speeds

As mentioned above, I advise that you walk through these 5 steps in chronological order.

Often, the fix can be as simple as the change mentioned in step one. In other cases, it requires going through all five steps to troubleshoot the problem.

In each case, the most important thing is patience!

Strategy #1: Change VPN Server Locations

It takes more time for a server to connect with your device if that server is geographically located far away. This seems like common sense, but it’s easy to forget.

Always choose a server in your VPN software that is as close as possible to your location.

Most of the popular VPN services such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN have a selection tool that automatically chooses the closest server. Usually this will be called a “Ping Tool”.

ExpressVPN even has dedicated router firmware that makes it easy to change servers, which is one reason why it’s listed as the top recommended VPN for routers.

For instance, if you’re attempting to connect from New York, you don’t want to use a VPN server that is all the way in Australia. It may seem trivial, but this small change can make a big difference in your connection speeds.

To increase VPN speeds, choose a server that is closer to your physical location.

A server in a different geographical location should only be used if you’re trying to spoof your location to a specific country.

For example, you’re wanting to change your Netflix region library while living abroad, you’ll have to connect to a VPN server in America. But as with any streaming service, Netflix requires a fast VPN connection.

Always remember that the further the distance between the VPN sever and your device, the slower the VPN connection speed.

Geographical distance impacts VPN connection speed for 3 main reasons:

  1. Data is transmitted in packets. More packets are lost over longer distances.
  2. Data has to travel over several networks before it reaches its intended destination. A longer distance means that there are more networks to pass through. This, in turn, affects your latency.
  3. Finally, there are international bandwidth limitations. The data cables that cross international boundaries can only transmit a finite amount of data. Therefore, if there is too much data to transmit, latency is going to increase. This results in reduced speeds.

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Strategy #2: Change Your VPN Connection Protocol

Better VPN connection protocols use higher bit encryption. Although this kind of encryption guarantees a greater level of security, it can also considerably lower internet speed.

Many of the best VPNs for streaming will provide you with multiple connection protocols to choose from (since some are faster than others). Better VPN connection speeds are possible with less-secure connection protocols.

The lowest connection protocol possible is PPTP which is, of course, the least secure.

Different VPN connection protocols to choose from

If available, one of the fastest new protocols is called WireGuard. If this is an available option for your VPN service, it’s definitely worth a try.

In my experience, the WireGuard protocol has increased my VPN speeds by 2x-3x.

For a deeper dive into this subject, check out my explanation of various VPN connection protocols.

Strategy #3: Double-Check Your Network Connection

If the first two strategies don’t work, the problem could be your Wi-Fi connection. Your VPN won’t be able to perform optimally if your Wi-Fi signal is weak.

Consider using an Ethernet cable if Ethernet ports are available. You can also try moving closer to your Wi-Fi router.

If the problem persists, consider upgrading your Wi-Fi with your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Bandwidth is one of the most crucial factors affecting internet speed. Bandwidth is essentially the amount of data that can be transmitted through your internet router. For instance, a bandwidth of 10 MBPS would mean that you can receive up to 10 megabits per second.

Strength of a WiFi signal

Some ISPs deliberately slow down certain types of internet traffic (which is called “throttling”) while others slow down connections if too much data is downloaded in one month.

They do this by limiting your bandwidth.

You can perform internet speed tests to determine if your ISP is slowing down or throttling your internet connection.

A typical test is monitoring your internet speed variations at both the beginning and end of each month. An ISP may limit your bandwidth towards the end of the month if it notices you’ve used a large amount of data.

However, you won’t be able to pinpoint the difference unless you make a deliberate attempt to track the changes.

Extra Step: Check Security Software

Your computer’s security software can also affect your internet speed (think anti-virus software, malware scanning software, etc.).

This software typically runs in the background to detect virus threats and provide other security features for your device.

Reduce the software’s usage of your internet connection by unchecking the auto-update, sync and backup options. Try to execute these things manually.

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Strategy # 4: Try Using a Different VPN Service

I highly recommend subscribing to at least two VPN service providers (personally, I use and recommend both ExpressVPN and NordVPN among a few others).

One will be used as your main VPN provider and the other will be used as a backup.

There are times when a VPN server is overloaded due to a high volume of traffic. Additionally, there are some VPNs that limit bandwidth and throttle speeds (I don’t recommend using these, though).

Having a backup VPN helps you circumvent these issues.

There are a number of features you should consider with a VPN, but if your primary focus is speed, you’re going to want to hone in on their server quality.

Note About Free VPNs

I recommend you avoid free VPN providers. They naturally have more users than paid VPN providers (slower!) and are not secure.

There are a few decent free VPNs I recommend, but in even with these, high server loads translate into lower connection speeds since too many people will be trying to use the servers simultaneously.

It doesn’t matter the number of servers the free VPN has, there will still be too many users. This is why I always say it’s worth investing in a quality VPN service.

Strategy #5: When All Else Fails…Reboot

As you can tell with each of these strategies, increasing your VPN connection speed is really a trial and error process. The solution could be as simple as closing the program you’re using and rebooting your device.

Rebooting solves issues with the operating system either not connecting properly or improperly overriding a connection.

Your device just needs the opportunity to carry out a fresh batch of programming instructions.

Do a system reboot

I know it seems trivial, but more often than not, this simple act of rebooting the software and even the entire computer can make a huge difference.

Chances are, you haven’t entirely shut down your computer or device in weeks or months.

Final Thoughts | Increase VPN Connection Speeds

Latency and throughput are two crucial components of VPN connection speeds. Addressing issues related to these components can substantially increase your VPN connection speed.

The first thing you want to try are:

  • Changing your server connection, then…
  • Changing your connection protocol;

If those strategies fail, you should also consider:

  • Checking your internet connection,
  • Using a different VPN service, and
  • Rebooting your device.

Even if you feel it is cumbersome to follow any of these strategies, I would suggest it’s worth trying.

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Further Reading & Resources

Mozilla VPN Review 2021

Free VPN vs Paid VPN

Zero log VPN

How to install a VPN on iPhone iOS

Reader Interactions


  1. Angel Bogart says February 18, 2019 at 7:33 pm

Thank you for saying that free VPN should be avoided because they’re not secure and they’d tend to be slow due to many users. It’s always nice to get dedicated internet service for the best online experience. It’s planning to have a fiber internet connected at Mom and Dad’s place so they’d have a great time working on their smartphones.

a free VPN doesn’t have to be bad… It just depends on what you consider fast… I have A a free VPN I use on android, and I get at least 200KB/S Download Speed, and regularly Get 2 or 3 MB/s each Download which for What my low cell signal is, is a lot… Of course it depends on the website or protocol you are downloading from… Even getting those speeds on WiFi, I CONSIDER fast, at least for personal Use… Sadly, the app has disappeared from the play store, and the APp has stopped Connecting to The vpn servers, which is troubling, but I think it’ll be back, as it was probably just banned and or removed, pending updated code better meeting the play guidelines…

  • Josh Summers says May 13, 2019 at 7:37 pm

There are other reasons those kinds of apps are banned or removed from webstores…because they were stealing your data, which is what many “free VPNs” are known for.

I feel like it doesn’t matter what VPN you use. There’s probably gonna be a speed drop anyway, it’s just that some VPNs have smaller drops while others have bigger ones. These tips are useful, so thanks for sharing them.

  • Josh Summers says June 3, 2020 at 12:13 am

Thanks, Julia! You’re right…there’s almost always going to be a little drop in speed when you add in encryption.

Its 2020 and we are still relying on 2g network my internet speed doesnt cross even 100kb/s please suggest me something which will boost my internet speed

  • Josh Summers says July 25, 2020 at 8:46 am

There’s nothing I can do to boost speeds on a slow network. If you can’t upgrade the network, you’ll need to find another provider or a different location to get on the internet.

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VPN Slow? 10 Tricks to Speed up VPN Connection Speed

If you are suffering VPN slow connection speed, this post provides 10 tricks to help you fix a slow VPN connection and speed up your VPN speed. For troubleshooting other computer problems, like recovering lost data, managing hard drive partition, system backup and restore, MiniTool software provides you full set of solutions.

  • Why is my VPN slow?
  • How do I fix a slow VPN connection?
  • How can I increase my VPN speed?

VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, extends a private network across a public network, and enables you to send and receive information across shared or public networks. If your VPN speed seems slow, here are 10 tricks to speed up VPN connection speed to make the VPN faster.

Avast SecureLine VPN Review & Download for PC/Mac/Android/iOS

Avast SecureLine VPN Review & Download for PC/Mac/Android/iOS

This post offers an Avast SecureLine VPN review and teaches you how to download Avast VPN for PC/Mac/Android/iOS.

Fix VPN Slow – 10 Tricks to Speed up VPN Connection Speed

#1. Check Internet Speed without VPN

At first, you can identify whether your VPN is the culprit for slow Internet connection speed. You can disconnect your VPN connection, and check the Internet connection speed. Then connect your VPN and check the speed again. You can compare the speeds to see if it’s the problem of VPN.

#2. Change another VPN Server

The VPN server location also has an impact on the connection speed. If you are connected to a very far or overloaded VPN server, your VPN connection speed may be slow. You can choose a VPN server that is closer to your real location. This may help speed up your VPN speed.

#3. Change VPN Protocols

Most VPNs use these two protocols: TCP and UDP. Both have strong encryption. TCP will check itself to make sure all transferring data arrive correctly, so it’s more stable. UDP will not check itself, it is not as stable as TCP, but it is faster. You may try to change to the UDP protocol to see if the VPN would be faster.

#4. Change VPN Encryption Level

Most VPNs use OpenVPN as their default encryption. It keeps a good balance in speed and security. But if you are facing slow VPN speed all the time, you can change the encryption level which may have less security but has faster speed. Generally the speed hierarchy from fastest to slowest is PPTP > L2TP/IPSec > OpenVPN > SSTP > IKEv2/IPSec.

#5. Restart Modem and Router

You can also try to restart your modem and router to see if the VPN speed can go back to normal. Just power off and power on the modem and router to restart them.

#6. Try a Wired Connection

Wireless connections use a shared channel to send and receive data which may cause slow SPN speed. You can change to a wired connection to see if it can boost VPN speed.

#7. Restart Your Computer

If your computer are running out of free RAM, CPU or other resources, you may encounter a slow speed. You can close all programs and restart your computer to see if the VPN speed is increased.

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#8. Do Not Set Up VPN on Your Router

When you connect a VPN, you have two choices: set up VPN on your router or set up VPN on each individual device. It’s advised you choose the second option.

#9. Temporarily Disable Firewall and Third-party Security Software

Firewall and antivirus software help protect the device’s safety, but security programs will scan all sending and receiving data packages. They may cause a slow VPN connection speed. You can try to disable security software temporarily to see if it gives a faster VPN speed. However, we don’t recommend you disable them all the time since it may put your device at risk.

#10. Contact VPN Provider

If nothing helps in fixing slow VPN speed, you may contact your VPN provider for professional help.

Bottom Line

Here are 10 tips to help you fix VPN slow connection speed issue. If you want other solutions like data recovery, system backup and restore, data backup, hard drive partition management, video downloading, etc. MiniTool software provides professional tools for you.

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Learn how to download and install Windscribe VPN, a free VPN service, for your Windows or Mac computer, Android or iOS mobile, or Chrome/Firefox/Edge browser.

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