Vpn that doesn’t slow down internet

Which VPN doesn t slow down the internet


Fortunately, there are also many methods for you to speed up your VPN connection. You can adjust encryption levels, change protocols or server locations, use split tunneling, or ensure an optimal internet setup is in place.

Does VPN Slow Down Your Internet Speed? [Short Answer: Probably Not

Someone’s mumbling in a conversation, people moving slowly on a busy sidewalk, your Wi-Fi’s moving at a snail’s pace…These may pop up in your head if you think of the word annoying. And the latter will probably win the annoyance contest, since slow internet clogs whatever you may be doing online — work, study, or binge-watching your TV show to chill after the first two.

So, it’s no surprise that many people look for a VPN that doesn’t mess with internet speeds. In this article, we’ll answer questions you’ve most likely been asking yourself — does a VPN slow down your internet and is a fast VPN just a myth? You’ll also learn about how to speed up your VPN. Ready? Let’s make it quick (just like Wi-Fi should be!)

Does VPN affect internet speed?

Slow internet connection is probably the most common stereotype circling around VPNs. And yes, this was the case some time ago before speed wasn’t a priority when VPN protocols were designed.

Note: Determining the level of encryption, a VPN protocol is a mix of transmission protocols and encryption standards. Basically, a key element to VPN’s work is how it encrypts your data and sends it to its destination.

Different protocols provide different speeds. And just a few years back, OpenVPN was the leading VPN protocol. It’s still considered as secure and reliable, with almost every VPN today employing it. However, connection speed was never a priority when it was first introduced. So your internet may have suffered. But is this still the case for newer products?

Fast VPN today: Real or not?

Totally real. Once again, while slow speeds were a reality in the past, serious declines in speed are an exception rather than a rule these days. The truth is that a VPN is bound to slow down your connection a bit since it takes time for a VPN to encrypt and decrypt data. But this slowdown is practically invisible with modern VPNs. So, what’s changed? Let’s discuss.

VPN speed these days: What changed?

The main difference is that VPN protocols got better. Yes, technology doesn’t stay put — other protocols, like WireGuard, appeared designed with greater speed and enhanced privacy in mind. Designed to improve upon existing VPN protocols by being faster and easier to use, WireGuard uses faster encryption methods and is optimized to work on multiple processor cores simultaneously. Released in 2019, it’s already incorporated into many VPN services.

So, with more advanced protocols in place, modern VPNs just can’t afford to offer slow speeds. But…does it concern free VPNs, as well? Let’s find out.

Free VPNs: Need for speed

Are sluggish speeds on free VPNs a myth or reality? Most likely the latter. Why so? The thing is that free VPN providers impose specific limitations on users, largely hoping they’ll upgrade to a paid plan to avoid them. Among major restrictions are:

ProtonVPN pricing

  1. Slower connection. Providers often choose to cap speeds on free versions. Let’s take ProtonVPN, for example, which comes in a free and paid version, with the former providing slower speeds compared to that on the paid plans.
  1. Limits on data usage. With a free VPN, you may also end up with the limited amount of data you can use.
  2. Small server network. To take ProtonVPN as an example again, its server network on a free and paid plans significantly differ — 147 servers in 3 countries on a free plan against 500+ servers in 40+ countries. The shorter the distance data has to travel, the better. So, if you’re limited to a handful of servers, your connection may suffer.

At the same time, premium (paid) VPNs are mostly uncapped. Let’s compare free and premium VPNs head-to-head to clearly see the difference:

Free VPN Paid VPN
Speed Mostly capped Highest speed
Data usage Mostly limited Unlimited bandwidth and traffic
Server network Small server networks Extensive server networks

How to test VPN connection speed

So, here’s a thing — your VPN often provides different Internet speeds when you’re connected to servers in different locations. Once again, the closer the server is to your real location, the faster your connection is going to be. You can run quick speed tests when connected to different servers to see which one works better for you. Here’s how you can do it with Ookla speed test:

  1. Turn off your VPN
  2. Open Ookla speed test and click ‘Go’
  3. Check your upload and download speeds without your VPN on
  4. Switch on your VPN and connect to a server
  5. Note your upload and download speeds with your VPN on
  6. To compare the difference in speeds of different servers, repeat steps 3, 4, and 5.

You’ll most likely get worse results connecting to servers in geographically distant countries. Still, a top VPN provider won’t slow your internet connection down significantly — this way, you’ll enjoy high-quality encryption without your internet speed suffering much.

How to make VPN faster?

Say you ran a speed test and didn’t like what you saw. Worry not — it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. We’ve compiled some tips for you on how to make your VPN faster. Check out the following.

1. Switch to a different protocol

Once again, different protocols can affect your connection speed differently. So you can try switching between them to see which works better for you. To do so in the VeePN app, for example, go to Settings > VPN Protocol, where you’ll see several options available. Here’s how it looks on Windows app:

VeePN protocols

2. Check your Internet connection

Although rerouting your traffic via a VPN server may slow down your connection speed a bit, VPN isn’t the bad guy if you have sluggish Wi-Fi in the first place. As we’ve mentioned before, you can run separate tests for a connection with and without VPN to know for sure what’s causing speed decrease. And maybe all you need is just to upgrade your internet subscription.

3. Restart your router (and your device, for that matter)

Ah, the good old “reset the device if it doesn’t work” rule that’s often underestimated by many. Find your router, dust it off and find the “Reset” button. Rebooting your PC or phone surely won’t be a bad idea as well. Maybe your device is just tired and will come to its senses after a quick restart.

4. Change server location

Server location and server load are among the main factors affecting a speed loss. Thus, changing to a different server closer to your location can greatly improve your internet speed.

5. Tell your firewall to put fire off

Firewalls and antiviruses can slow down your connection speed as well, since these applications have to filter through all the data before concluding it’s safe for your device. Some might even conflict with the VPN service, dubbing it a possibly dangerous one. Adding the VPN app to the antivirus or firewall’s exceptions might help with the “conflict” part, but it won’t solve the speed problem. To do so, you need to disable these programs temporarily and see if it helps with the velocity. Be careful though, as this leaves you exposed to viruses and malware threats.

6. Use a wired connection

While certainly great, Wi-Fi can lose you some speed, especially when you have several devices connected to the same network. So, if you really need to dig out the last couple of megabytes your internet service provider (ISP) offers, you could switch to a wired connection. Keeping a few feet of UTP cable at home is always a good idea, anyway.

7. Choose a reliable VPN provider

Free VPNs are surely alluring, but even if you won’t pay in money, it may still cost you in slower speed, poorer security, and even data exposure (free VPN providers have to make profit somehow, you know, so selling your data isn’t out of the picture). At the same time, premium VPNs can afford to develop extensive server networks along with solid encryption protocols.

VeePN can be your go-to solution. It has a useful Optimal Location feature — VeePN recommends the fastest server to connect to before turning your VPN on. Here’s how it looks in the Windows app:

VeePN Optimal Location feature

VeePN uses several VPN protocols, namely WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), and IKEv2, top-grade AES-256 encryption and an extensive network of 2,500+ servers across 60 countries, between which you can easily switch.

Is speed on your chosen server sluggish? Switch to the one closer to you or choose another VPN protocol. Keep your data safe and your connection speed fast. Hassle-free.


How much will a VPN slow down my internet?

A VPN is bound to slow down your connection a bit, as it takes time for a VPN to encrypt and decrypt data. However, this slowdown is practically invisible with modern VPNs due to advanced VPN protocols they use.

Does VPN affect Wi-Fi connection?

Yes, a VPN will probably affect your Wi-Fi connection because it encrypts your traffic and provides you with an extra layer of security. Yet, this influence isn’t significant, so you wouldn’t suffer from great speed loss.

Why does VPN slow my Internet?

First, a VPN is going to slow down your internet speed to some extent, since data encryption takes time. But this slowdown practically goes unnoticed with modern VPNs. Nevertheless, if the decrease in speed is pretty much noticeable, it may be due to one of the following reasons: server load, distance to a server, or the internet speed offered by your internet service provider (ISP).

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Vpn that doesn’t slow down internet

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Does a VPN Slow Down Your Internet?

Explore how a VPN impacts your internet speed, and learn how to measure your VPN’s performance and optimize your connection for a seamless online experience.

Ryan L. Clancy , Author
Steph Trejos , Editor
Last updated Aug 25, 2023

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If you’re conscious of your privacy online, you might turn to using a virtual private network (VPN). But you may be wondering if VPNs slow down connection speed or how to speed up your internet while using a VPN.

A variety of factors will determine your internet speed while using a VPN. This could be due to the VPN you’re using, an issue with the network provider, your location, or your router settings.

In this article, we will explain the reasons why your connection speed might be slow while using a VPN and provide solutions for a faster connection.

In this article

Do VPNs slow down internet speed?

VPNs provide users with an additional layer of security when using the internet. They do so by routing your internet traffic through a remote server, which ultimately makes your activities a lot harder to track.

Unfortunately, this rerouting process can sometimes affect your internet speed, as your data is no longer taking the shortest and fastest route to its destination. It is now going through a more secure and potentially longer journey.

Latency is another crucial factor that affects internet speed. This refers to the amount of time it takes for data to travel between its source and destination. The lower the latency, the quicker the data transfer and the faster the online experience. The higher the latency, the slower the experience and the more likely you are to experience buffering or lag. VPNs can increase latency because they route traffic through remote servers.

VPN factors that impact speed

The following factors can impact your speed while connected to a VPN:

  • Distance to the server: The further you are from your VPN server, the longer it takes for data to travel, increasing latency and potentially slowing down your internet. That’s why it’s usually recommended to select a server that’s close to your actual location.
  • Server load: The number of users connected to the same VPN server can impact your speed. If a server is overloaded with users, it may struggle to keep up, slowing down the internet speed for everyone connected.
  • VPN protocol: VPN protocols offer different speeds and security characteristics. OpenVPN prioritizes security over speed, while IKEv2 and WireGuard strive to balance between the two.
  • Encryption strength: A higher level of encryption provides better security, but it can also slow things down. It takes processing power to encrypt and decrypt data, and this process can reduce speeds, especially on devices with less powerful hardware.
  • ISP speed: Regardless of how good your VPN is, it won’t be able to provide you with better speeds than your original internet service provider (ISP) connection. If your baseline internet speed is slow, the VPN isn’t going to improve it.

How to speed up your internet with a VPN

While VPNs can affect your speed due to the additional data encryption and rerouting process, it doesn’t mean your connection is doomed to be sluggish. With some strategic tweaks to your VPN settings and internet setup, you can ensure a faster internet experience.

Let’s take a deep dive into the various ways to speed up your internet with a VPN.

Adjust your level of encryption

A high level of encryption is great for security but can put extra processing demand on your system, thereby slowing your internet speed. If you’re using a VPN primarily for activities where maximum security isn’t the top priority, like streaming or gaming, you can consider reducing the encryption level. Do remember, though, that this could make your data less secure.

Choose a different VPN protocol

VPNs use different protocols to create a secure tunnel for your data. Some protocols prioritize security but might slow down your speed, while others strike a balance between security and speed. Consider switching to speedier protocols like IKEv2 or WireGuard if your VPN supports them. However, be aware of the potential trade-offs in security.

Change your server location

The further your data has to travel, the more latency can affect your connection. Selecting a different server that’s closer to your actual location can reduce this travel time and boost your speed. Most VPNs make it easy to change your server location, and some even offer a quick connect feature that automatically selects the best server based on your location.

Use the split tunneling feature

Split tunneling allows you to decide which part of your traffic goes through the VPN and which part goes through your regular internet connection. This can significantly speed up your internet connection by reducing the amount of data that needs to be encrypted and routed through the VPN.

Check your internet connection

Before blaming the VPN for a slow internet connection, you should check your original internet speed. If your ISP is offering a sluggish connection, the VPN will not be able to speed it up. Consider upgrading your internet plan or switching ISPs if necessary.

Close any applications you don’t need

Many applications running in the background can eat up your bandwidth without you realizing it. Make sure to close any unnecessary apps and programs on your device to free up bandwidth for a better VPN experience.

Disable your antivirus

Sometimes, antivirus software can interfere with your VPN and slow down your internet speed. Consider temporarily disabling it to see if that affects your speed. However, remember to turn it back on later to keep your device protected from cyberthreats.

Reboot your router or modem

Just like your computer, your modem or router can benefit from a quick reboot. Restarting these devices can resolve speed issues by clearing any existing software glitches or memory caches that could be slowing down your connection.

Switch to a wired connection

Wi-Fi connections are susceptible to various interference and range issues, which can slow down your speed. Switching to a wired connection via an Ethernet cable can offer a more stable and faster internet connection.

Restart your computer

Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the most effective. A quick restart can often resolve many minor issues that might be slowing down your computer and, consequently, your internet speed.

Research new VPN services

If you’ve tried everything and your VPN is still slow, it might be time to switch services. Some VPNs, including the following, are just faster than others:

  • Surfshark: Surfshark is best for online gaming and streaming, thanks to its WireGuard protocol and split tunneling capabilities.
  • CyberGhost: In our testing, CyberGhost provided low latency across its large server network.
  • IPVanish: IPVanish is the fastest VPN if you’re interested in torrenting since it provides P2P-friendly servers.

It’s important to find a VPN that balances speed, security, and your desired features.

How to check your VPN speed

The best way to check the speed of your VPN is with an internet speed test. It will provide you with your connection’s download speed, upload speed, and latency. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Disconnect your VPN: First of all, disconnect your VPN so that you can confirm your baseline internet speed.
  2. Go to a speed test website: Navigate your way to a speed test site such as Ookla’s speedtest.net, fast.com by Netflix, or speedof.me. When on your preferred site, simply locate and click the Go or Start button.
  3. Check the results: After giving the website a few seconds to a few minutes to complete, you will receive your download speed, upload speed, and latency results. Jot down these numbers so you can compare them with the results from the next steps.
  4. Connect to your VPN: Then, connect to your preferred VPN. If possible, choose the server location that you’d typically use for your day-to-day activities.
  5. Run the speed test again: Return to the same speed test site and run the test again while connected to your VPN. Again, make sure to take note of the results.
  6. Compare the results: Now, you can compare the two sets of results. It’s normal to see some drop in speed when using a VPN, as we discussed earlier in the article. However, if there’s a significant decrease in speed, it may be worth applying some of the troubleshooting steps we covered.

It’s important to remember that many factors can influence a speed test. For this reason, it can be helpful to run the test multiple times at different times of the day and on different VPN servers to get a far more comprehensive picture of your VPN’s speed performance.

FAQs on VPNs and internet speed

How do I increase internet speed in router settings?

To increase your speed through your router settings, first try updating the firmware on the device, as this will likely come with enhanced performance. Another method is to change the router’s channel to avoid interference from other devices. If it’s possible in your settings, enable quality of service (QoS), as this will prioritize certain types of traffic.

Does a VPN make your internet faster?

No, a VPN doesn’t make your internet faster, it does quite the opposite. Given the fact that a VPN adds an additional layer of security by rerouting your traffic, it’s more likely to slow down your internet speed than make it fast. In some specific situations, it may speed up your internet by bypassing ISP throttling.

How much does a VPN slow down internet?

The amount by which a VPN slows down your internet will generally depend on a number of factors. This includes your original ISP speed, the server location, and your VPN protocol. You’ll most likely experience a small decrease in speed due to your traffic being rerouted.

Which VPN has the fastest speed?

The VPN with the fastest speed will depend on many different factors and will vary so often due to the number of users on a server at a time. In addition to the aforementioned VPNs, ExpressVPN and NordVPN are also known for consistently providing high-performing speeds.

Bottom line

Using a VPN is the optimal way to secure your online activities. However, this additional encryption often causes slower speeds due to the necessary rerouting. Whether it’s the distance to the VPN server, the load on the server, or your original ISP speed being slow, there are many factors that can impact your internet speed.

Fortunately, there are also many methods for you to speed up your VPN connection. You can adjust encryption levels, change protocols or server locations, use split tunneling, or ensure an optimal internet setup is in place.

If speed is your ultimate goal and the troubleshooting steps aren’t sufficient, maybe it’s time to switch VPN providers. To help you find the best service for your needs without compromising security, check out our guide to the fastest VPNs. The aim is to strike a perfect balance between speed, security, and features that suit your specific needs.