How is VPN Speed Measured?
There are multiple factors that allow you to evaluate the speed of an internet connection, and from there evaluate the speed of a VPN service. These include ping and bandwidth. You can find out the ping and bandwidth of your internet connection at any given moment by using an online speed checker service.
Ping is a parameter that reflects how long it takes for a packet of information to go from your device to a server and return back to the device. This network parameter is measured in milliseconds (ms). While the ping value can provide valuable information about your connection speed, it doesn’t always correspond to it. For example, if you use Double VPN technology, your connection speed will significantly decrease but the ping value may not change much.
The bandwidth reflects the amount of data that can be transmitted through your internet connection in a certain period of time. Bandwidth is usually measured in gigabytes per second (GB/sec or GBps). Two additional parameters that normally go together with bandwidth are download and upload speed. These are measured in megabytes per second (MB/sec or MBps).
Parameters That Can Influence VPN Speed
Ping and bandwidth are crucial for carrying out VPN speed comparisons. However, several other factors occurring on the VPN provider’s side can also significantly impact the speed of a VPN service.
Quantity, quality, and distribution of servers across regions and countries
The number of servers a VPN company uses, their quality, their capacity, and the uniformity of their distribution in different parts of the world have a huge impact on the connection speed. The physical distances between VPN servers, users, website servers, and provider facilities are crucial for giving you a fast and reliable VPN connection. The more servers a VPN company has in a certain region, the faster internet connection it can facilitate. Many services also automatically detect issues and reroute the flow of information to provide the fastest speed possible.
Many people wonder, “can a VPN speed up internet connection?” Surprisingly, the answer is yes. In some regions, internet providers can artificially slow down your internet speed when you go on certain websites. But if you use a VPN to access those sites, this restriction will be lifted.
Not all VPN services are made equal. Certain companies specialize in helping users access certain types of content and carry out specific actions. For instance, some VPNs are created for gaming or streaming content. These companies use dedicated streaming servers and programs to facilitate access to the type of content they were made for. When choosing a VPN company, it’s good to check which websites the service promises to ‘unblock’ and whether it uses any specialized software to facilitate access to different types of content.
Use of different protocols and encryption methods
There are numerous types of VPN protocols a service can use to facilitate connection. Some of these protocols can provide faster and more stable connections than others, so it’s best to choose a VPN that supports a variety of fast protocols. For reference, SSTP and OpenVPN protocols are considered to be quite slow, IKEv2 and L2TP are known as fast protocols, and WireGuard is the fastest option available today. Plus, VPN companies may use different encryption capabilities that can increase connection security but slow down its speed. Double VPN is one example of this.
Some fast VPN services widely advertise their AdBlocker feature, which automatically removes ads from the websites a user browses. However, this can also significantly slow down VPN speed. So if you’re looking for the best and fastest VPN, you may want to skip this feature and install a separate adblocker extension in your browser.
Number of connected devices
This parameter has nothing to do with the VPN company and everything to do with you as the user. Many people think that the more devices a VPN service allows you to connect at the same time, the better. However, your internet connection speed will likely decrease with each new device. So it’s much better to connect fewer devices and enjoy faster VPN speed.
If you do need to connect several devices to your VPN, it’s best to choose a service that can go directly through your internet router. This way, all traffic going through the router will be automatically rerouted through a VPN, and you won’t need to enable a VPN on each device individually.
What to Do if Your VPN is Too Slow?
If you’re considering using a VPN service to protect your online browsing activity, you should keep in mind that doing this is only legal if you’re not breaking the law. If you’re running a VPN in the hopes of remaining undetected while carrying out illegal online activities, you should know that this will not stop the government from tracking you down and prosecuting you. A VPN will make it harder for law enforcement to find you, but it will not help you escape justice. Thus, you should never use VPNs for hacking, cyber fraud, downloading pirated content, buying or selling illegal substances, watching or spreading illegal content, etc. Doing anything on this list in the online world can lead to you spending a lot of time in prison in the real world.
- Device problems
- Router issues
- Low internet speed
As with any other computer-related issue, your first step should be to reload your device and see if it starts working faster. You may be running too many programs on your computer at once, so you could close any applications you’re not actively using. If that doesn’t help, you could try performing regular maintenance on your computer. For instance, if you have a desktop computer, you need to regularly clean its fan from dust. Otherwise, the device will start overheating and won’t be able to work as quickly as before. You may also need to replace your old hard drive with an SSD.
If your computer is too old or its memory is overloaded with large programs, the device will inevitably work slower and have trouble running modern software, such as newer versions of internet browsers. Thus, you may need to upgrade to a device which is compatible with the most up-to-date software in order to increase connection speed.
Just like computers, routers can also become clogged with dust or overloaded. Thus, reloading your router and cleaning it from dust can help speed up the device. Your internet connection will also be much faster if you connect your computer to the router through wires instead of WiFi. If your computer is already connected to the router with wires, you should make sure that they haven’t been torn, twisted, squeezed by a door, etc.
You may also suffer from a slow WiFi connection if the router is located too far away from your phone or computer. If you have a large home, you may need to purchase WiFi repeaters to ensure a fast connection in all parts of the house. Internet speed may also decrease if too many devices are connected to the same router simultaneously.
Low internet speed
Next, you should evaluate the speed of your internet connection without a VPN. For example, your connection speed may be slow because you have a more basic internet package that supports only low speeds, or because your provider cuts down connection speed on some websites on purpose. In these cases, you may need to upgrade your internet package or change your provider.
If you’ve checked everything else on this list and determined that your slow connection speed is caused by a VPN, you may need to try using a different service. Many people want to get a fast VPN free of charge, but this is generally not possible. A fast, secure, and reliable VPN will always cost money.
If you want to find the fastest VPN service, try picking a company that has as many servers in different locations as possible. Remember, if your VPN service has a server near the service or website you want to use, your connection will likely be faster.
There are many factors that impact the speed of a VPN. VPN providers are responsible for some of these parameters, including the quantity and quality of servers, their geographic distribution, the type of VPN protocols used, etc. But things like slow internet connection and device age can also slow down your connection no matter what VPN you choose. If you want more help in selecting a VPN, check out our fastest VPN reviews.