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VPN Speed Testing Done Right

Pete Zaborszky

Pete Zaborszky

novembre 20, 2017

As one of the biggest and most established Virtual Private Network (VPN) review sites, BestVPN.com is continually looking for better ways to test and compare VPN providers.

We know that the number one issue that people care about with regards to VPNs is speed.

Unfortunately, most VPN comparison sites don’t test speed in a scientific way. Testing a VPN from home or an office, via Wifi, via a speed testing website doesn’t give accurate and repeatable scientific data. So what’s the solution?

BestVPN.com’s testing methodology:

  • We have testing servers in four areas worldwide: the US, Australia, the UK, and Hong Kong
  • These servers test all VPN company speeds every eight hours (three times a day)
  • We test various locations across the VPN companies
  • We average these out to give a speed score to each VPN

5153

Tests done last 7 days

18769

Tests done last 30 days

49242

Total tests done

  • We test downloading the same amount of data in the same way across VPNs, so the measurement is scientific.
  • We store all historic data and make the last seven days’ figures available to the public.

This method means that all speed tests are done in exactly the same way for every VPN, without WiFi connections, internet connections, or speed test websites affecting the results – which they do, massively.


The Results – The Five Fastest VPNs

* Other provider’s speeds are shown lower down on the page

Average Scores Over the Last Seven Days

    • Provider
    • Weighted Speedtest Result
    • Max Speed/Burst Result
    • Visit Site

Which VPNs Do We Test?

We test the following VPN services, and their average speeds over the last 7 days are shown in (brackets):

  • AirVPN (49.95 Mbit/s)
  • Buffered (54.69 Mbit/s)
  • CyberGhost (51.48 Mbit/s)
  • ExpressVPN (62.38 Mbit/s)
  • HideIPVPN (46.55 Mbit/s)
  • HideMyAss (53.47 Mbit/s)
  • ibVPN (36.51 Mbit/s)
  • IPVanish (63.67 Mbit/s)
  • NordVPN (49.89 Mbit/s)
  • PrivateInternetAccess (49.24 Mbit/s)
  • PrivateVPN (58.85 Mbit/s)
  • ProtonVPN (30.86 Mbit/s)
  • ProxySH (29.64 Mbit/s)
  • SaferVPN (51.28 Mbit/s)
  • TunnelBear (48.56 Mbit/s)
  • VPNArea (49.37 Mbit/s)
  • VyprVPN (53.24 Mbit/s)

If you would like us to test a VPN that isn’t on the list, send us a message.

What Are Average Speed and Max Speed/Burst?

Weighted Speedtest Result is the average of all speed tests across countries, weighted slightly towards local connections, as we’ve found slightly more people use VPNs within their own country. It is a great indication of performance, as it contains hundreds of readings from across the globe. These readings push VPNs as fast as they go, so the results are not restricted by the speeds of our  servers, which all use ultra-fast 1Gbit/s connections. Basically, this means we push the VPNs as fast as they will go!

Max Speed/Burst is a local download via a content distribution network (CDN), so a download from a Hong Kong server to a Hong Kong server, for example. This gives a max speed indication for nearby traffic. This is not as indicative of quality performance across the board, but it’s still interesting to see.

Pete Zaborszky

Pete runs Best VPN and wants to get detailed information to the readers. He is dedicated to being the best and providing the highest quality at anything he does. You can also find him on Twitter

31 réponses à “VPN Speed Testing Done Right

  1. Very interesting look into the various speeds of the vpn providers. Details many providers leave out beyond claiming they’re Fast or Fastest.

    Just curious, do you have any information on the speeds for VPN Unlimited by KeepSolid ID?

  2. Without exposing details of your testing methodology, these are headline numbers and therefore, quite frankly not very useful.

    There are so many variables that impact any particular use-case scenario. Looking only at a snapshot report like this is virtually meaningless. It’s like making a purchase decision on a car based on which one has the fastest top speed, and factoring nothing else into the decision.

    I DO appreciate the effort. Presuming all your test cases are identical aside from VPN provider, what this does demonstrate is simply how your server(s) fared at given points in time. If you are using multiple test servers in multiple locations, credibility goes up quite a bit. Even so, there are SO MANY factors that influence real throughput. Nearly all of them are beyond the control of the end user and will vary from time to time based on factors that are very difficult to predict (e.g. server load).

    1. Hi David,

      In fairness, we are still working on the best way to present information provided by our new speed testing tools. Please see our ExpresVPN review for a preview for how we hope to provide a more detailed understanding of a VPN’s speed performance in future.

      – Presuming all your test cases are identical aside from VPN provider – this is indeed the case, although test locations can vary a little depending on where the VPN provider actually operates severs
      – what this does demonstrate is simply how your server(s) fared at given points in time – well, these are averaged results to multiple servers, which are repeated every eight hours (three times a day) for a number of days…

      So I think they do give a a good indication of average speed performance you can expect from each provider.

  3. Interesting topic… i wonder how much speed would be realistic for me.
    I got a 1Gbit Symmetrical connection in Switzerland.
    An average speed of 100-150 Mbit thru VPN would be 10-15% of my “regular” Speed and it would be kinda acceptable.
    But lower than 100Mbit (in average) would be quite a lot.

    So i wonder did anyone Test one of those Fast VPN services on a Gbit Connection?

    Thanks in Advance

    Rgds,
    JiSiN

    1. Hi JiSiN,

      Yes – these tests all are performed on 1 Gbit/s connections. The Max Speed/burst results show the maximum possible speed the VPN hand handle. With a 1Gbit/s connection to a nearby server (in Switzerland for you), you should get this speed – 10% or so. So with ExpressVPN, you should get around 100 Mbits/s…

      You may also want to look at IPVanish, which currently has a much higher Max Speed/burst result (184.4Mbits/s).

    2. Hi Douglas,

      Thank you for Reply.
      I Wonder how much will the Average-Speed drop if i have to choose locations like Japan or South Korea?
      For example, if i want to watch Netflix Japan, Netflix Korea in 1080p.
      I guess a stable connection of about 10Mbit/s is needed to achieve that.
      If i could have 20MBit/s average speed 4K Streaming should be also no problem on Netflix at least.

      Is that realistically speaking possible with one of those VPN offers?

      btw Happy Holidays

      1. Hi JiSiN,

        Netflix’s official Internet Connection Speed Recommendations are:

        0.5 Megabits per second – Required broadband connection speed

        1.5 Megabits per second – Recommended broadband connection speed

        3.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for SD quality

        5.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for HD quality

        25 Megabits per second – Recommended for Ultra HD quality

        The average speed results shown above indicate that all the VPNs should be capable of streaming Ultra HD quality (4K), but this will depend somewhat on how fast your broadband connection is and where you are connecting from. With a 1 Gbit/s connection, I would be surprised if you encounter problems.

        And happy holidays, yourself!

  4. There are no scientific ways for you to measure speed because of all of the routes traffic takes to reach the destination. You cannot eliminate enough of the variables. Your only option is to have servers located at the major Internet exchange points and test the VPN servers from there then publish the median and mean from each Internet Exchange.

    1. Hi jester4jest,

      … Which is pretty much what we do! We run tests over a number of days with our final scores being averaged results. That is pretty scientific.

    1. Hmmmm, I think I can see why there is a difference, I have just been using the “web based speedtest” and NOT the desktop client…. please see the difference in the speeds below
      As you can see there is a huge difference between the web based speedtest and the PC desktop client 🙂

      Normal Connection
      http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/d/3e834a94-cd6f-47c5-b794-0ec6eaba9727

      AirVPN recommended Connection

      http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/d/b35fa70b-3818-4d26-8015-07bde81b80aa

      AirVPN UK Connection
      http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/d/a4d59ed9-1d3d-44d6-a7e0-5538b2ea66f8

      1. Hi Ivor,

        I’m glad those results are better. FWIW, I just tried the desktop app and got very similar results with it to the web tests.

    2. Hmmm, very strange that how you are getting virtually the same results using your web browser for speed tests, I use chrome browser so not sure if it’s that, but there is still a huge difference in speeds .Just did another set of tests, see results below
      So, to conclude, for some strange reason, when I’m doing the AirVPN speedtest through my chrome browser the results I get are exceedingly slow??? Not got a clue why??

      Connected to Dutch server with AirVPN using desktop Speedtest client
      http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/d/09983331-0c9c-4627-bcef-b9befa2cab82

      Connected to same Dutch server using Speedtest in Chrome browser
      http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/d/09983331-0c9c-4627-bcef-b9befa2cab82

      Connected to my Normal connection using speedtest in Chrome browser
      http://beta.speedtest.net/result/6815653270

      Connected to my normal connection using desktop speedtest client
      http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/d/ff5ab099-6b07-4eb1-bd6a-8169dc5a7924

      1. Hi Ivor,

        I don’t know either, I’m afraid. Please note, though, that websites such as speedtest.net are not very reliable, and there are many factors that are out of your control. These include:

        – WiFi speed
        – WiFi interference
        – Server loads
        – Connection issues
        – Computer issues (e.g. how your CPU is affected during different times)

        This is why we have instituted the much more rigorous and scientific tests described above. I only mentioned speedtest.net because I also use AirVPN, and was surprised when you mentioned 50% speed loss. Speedtest.net provides a quick and dirty result, but it is not one that can be relied upon.

  5. Hi, I’ve just been looking at your speed tests for VPN’S, do you think you could possibly do a test on the VPN I use, which is AirVPN. I’d be very interested to see how that performs as I find it an excellent service, although the download speeds whilst using it are reduced by at least 50%, in comparison to my “normal” connection, but I just assumed that was normal for VPN’S ??

    1. Hi Ivor,

      I have put a request in for you. Edit: I also use AirVPN, and 50% sounds quite high. Do you connect to a server a long distance away? Edit 2: We did recently run some tests for pour Upcoming BestVPN.com awards. AirVPN got an average speed of 18.57. FWIW, when connected by my UK D: 80 U: 5 Mbps connection to a Netherlands AirVPN server, I just scored 72.25/4.77 on http://beta.speedtest.net/. So I think it rather depends on where you are and where you are connecting to.

    2. Hi again Ivor,

      Just to note that AirVPN’s average score for the last week in these tests in fact is actually listed on this page.

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