Connection speeds are vital for data-intensive tasks like streaming in HD or gaming, therefore it's important that your VPN doesn't slow you down. We run daily VPN speed tests, to ensure you get the fastest VPN service on the market. To date, we've run more than 250,000 speed tests to truly find you the fastest VPN in the market.
Why do I need a VPN?
A VPN is a technology that allows you to:
- Hide what you get up to on the internet from others.
- Get around blocks and other forms of censorship.
- Appear to be in another country to access services such as US Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
- Download and file share safely.
- Use public WiFi hotspots safely and securely.
The VPN server acts as an intermediary between you and the internet, so if you connect to a VPN server in another location you look like you are in that location. This is great for accessing services that are restricted to just one country.
This is only a very high-level explanation of what a VPN is and what you can do with one. If you're new to the world of VPNs and would like more information, check out our VPNs for beginners guide.
VPN speed comparison
Here at BestVPN.com, we understand that testing the speed of a VPN isn't easy. That is why we have invested in the world's most advanced VPN speed testing tool. Our method is unique and no other comparison site provides such accurate results.
Our robust method gives us an up-to-date picture of the weighted and burst speeds of a VPN connection. With results showing anything up to 263.43 Mbit/s in burst speed (as of 7th December 2019), it is these stats we use to automatically update this article in real time!
We have put more than 30 VPN services through their paces and recorded the average speeds in Mbit/s over the last 7 days in order to find the fastest VPN services. Take a look at the table below to see our results:
For more information about the world's best VPN speed testing system, head over to the official BestVPN.com SpeedTest page.
How does our scientific VPN speed test work?
The process of testing a VPN's speeds begins when we ask the VPN provider to give us .ovpn (OpenVPN config files) for a number of its servers (Hong Kong, Netherlands, UK, and Australia). Once we have those files, the VPN is added to our speed test system by our team of developers. The system then checks the burst speed for the VPN on the VPN's UK server (tested locally to our purposefully implemented UK test server). In addition, our test system takes an average download speed by testing all the servers that we have OpenVPN config files for.
The overall results for this page are decided by taking an average consisting of:
60% of the average download speed
40% of the burst speed
This gives a fair weighting between the average speeds achieved across all the VPN servers that we test - and the very fastest speeds (local burst) achieved during our tests. The VPN speed tests are performed by our servers three times a day.
Will a VPN slow down my internet?
The answer to this question is yes. All VPNs tend to slow down an internet connection a bit. This because the encryption that the VPN protects your data with - and routing your internet via a VPN server (which means routing it further) - does incur a loss of connection speeds. The "fastest" VPNs are those that have the most minimal effect on your speeds.
Many VPNs can slow your internet down by anything up to 95%. Our recommended fastest VPNs have been chosen because they will slow your internet connection down by a much more negligible percentage.
One thing to remember: If your internet is extremely slow to begin with, the extra strain that a VPN (even a fast VPN from this guide) put on your internet may make activities like streaming or gaming very tough. Always check your internet speeds without a VPN first, and then you can approximate how fast your internet will be with the VPN on (assuming a small loss will occur).
7 top tips for speeding up your VPN
The most important factor for getting lightning fast VPN connection speeds is choosing the right VPN in the first place. However, if you subscribe to one of our super-fast recommendations, there are still a few things you can do to ensure your VPN is working at optimum levels...
Connect to a server closer to you
Select a server that is as close as possible. If, for example, you want to unblock content from the US, consider whether a West or East Coast server is best for you. The closer the server, the faster your connection speeds will be.
Use the fastest VPN protocol
Select OpenVPN UDP. OpenVPN encryption is the fastest secure protocol available on most clients. If your VPN provides both OpenVPN TCP and OpenVPN UDP - always select UDP as it is faster for streaming and downloading.
Select PPTP if you don’t care about privacy. Some people want to unblock content and stream as fast as possible. If hiding your data from your ISP and the government isn’t particularly important to you: PPTP will give you faster speeds.
Try IKEv2 (IPSec). If your VPN has this protocol you may want to try it. It is a secure protocol that is known to provide excellent speeds.
Use a wired connection
Try connecting your PC to your router with an ethernet cable. This can improve your VPN speeds a little.
Using a VPN router
Try using a VPN flashed router. If your laptop, PC, or mobile device is a bit slow, running the VPN software may use too much computing power and your entire system could slow down making the VPN seem slower than it actually is. Having the VPN on the router will free up some valuable computing power.
Switch port as well as protocol
Try changing your port as well as the protocol. Some networks slow down traffic over certain ports. For this reason it is worth testing not only varying encryption protocols but also various ports. If your VPN client has port option try a few of them to see if it helps.
Test a different device
Switch devices to check if it helps. Older devices may not be able to handle the VPN software, and its capabilities. Try using the VPN on a better or newer device. If speeds improve, the problem might be your device not the VPN.
Temporarily disable your antivirus protection
Disable your antivirus. While you will need to turn it back on, it is a good idea to check whether your anti-malware is conflicting with your VPN. If your speeds improve with your antivirus disabled contact your VPN at once for advice.
Latency is the delay caused by the infrastructure your internet traffic must pass down. When you use the internet, your data usually passes from you to your ISPs servers and then to the websites you visit. When you use a VPN the data must also pass through the VPN’s servers. This causes additional latency (increased ping times).
Added latency always occurs when you use a VPN. The fastest VPNs simply cause the least amount of latency possible. Latency tends to be perceived as more of a problem for people that have a slow internet connection in the first place.
This is because people with slow download speeds (which are also reduced by using a VPN, because of a slight reduction in bandwidth) will feel the pain all the more. However, this in reality is only perception: latency affects people with a fast internet connection just as much as people with a slow internet connection.
Despite this, it is worth remembering that distance (added by the VPN connection) does also significantly reduce throughput/bandwidth - as is evidenced by our download speed tests across multiple servers around the world. This means if the VPN reduces your bandwidth to less than is needed to watch a stream, you will suffer buffering issues.
Does a VPN affect ping?
Due to the fact that your internet traffic must travel further (via a VPN server) - VPN services will nearly always increase your ping a little. The most likely solution that will work to reduce your ping is to connect to a server that is closest to the gaming or website server. However, some trial and error is recommended. To lower your ping when using a VPN you have three possible options that might work (it is worth testing all of them).
- Connect to a VPN server that is as close to the game server as possible
- Connect to a VPN server as close to you as possible
- Connect to a VPN server in a location that is half way between you and the game server
Below you will find a selection of the most commonly asked questions about VPNs.
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