Best VPN for fast connections

All VPNs reduce your internet speed to some extent, some much more than others. This is a trade-off for a more private and secure internet connection or for the ability to watch your favorite programs from any location. We’ll walk you through the quickest VPN experience available, as well as a few free methods to increase your speed.

VPN with the fastest speeds

We’ve suggested the fastest VPN we tested over the previous year, out of over 50 premium providers. While our speed tests play a significant role in this ranking, additional unquantifiable characteristics based on our personal experience are also included. These include its ability to broadcast high-definition movies and games online.


NordVPN is the only VPN with regard to download speed, with an average of 481 Mbps across all times and places tested. The ascension to the top of our ranking is partly due to the advent of NordLynx, a unique VPN protocol based on Wireguard that efficiently transports data without sacrificing security or privacy. In our most recent testing, NordLynx almost quadrupled NordVPN’s throughput.

NordVPN also excels in other ways. It integrates seamlessly with a variety of popular streaming providers, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video. The provider’s security features include uncrackable military-grade encryption, a dedicated internet kill button for each program, and leak-proof data storage.

Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Fire TV are available.

Methodology for VPN speed testing

Each VPN’s speed test result is an average of fifteen tests conducted at five distinct times of day, separated by at least six hours, and in three different locations: North America (nearest), Europe, and Asia. Exact locations vary according to the accessible servers for each VPN. As a control, we also assess the speed without a VPN connection at each location.

All tests are conducted from the United States of America using the provider’s Windows application with a minimum of 1 Gbps connection. Speeds are determined by the use of the desktop application. If outliers are greater than three standard deviations from the mean, they are discarded and retested.

We solely provide download speed information. We do not measure latency since it reflects our closeness to the server rather than the VPN’s available capacity. Additionally, we do not do upload speed tests.

We usually encourage readers to treat VPN speed testing skeptically. There are too many factors at work. Additionally, we’ve stated as plainly as possible that there is no such thing as the “fastest VPN,” regardless of how many providers assert this claim.

VPN speed is one of the most challenging variables to assess precisely since we cannot test every server in every location every hour. While we always do speed testing experimentally when reviewing a VPN company, the reality is that the fastest VPN for your location is not always the quickest VPN for mine. The fastest VPN for video streaming may not be the best VPN for online gaming. Even the fastest VPN service available at noon is unlikely to be the fastest after midnight.

Due to technological constraints, certain providers, including Mullvad, iVPN, and OVPN, were unable to be tested with other VPNs but performed well in independent speed testing.

Fastest VPN FAQs

Are there any free VPNs that are fast?

We strongly advise against using any ostensibly free VPN. The VPN services that are available for free are often much slower than those that are available for a fee. Their servers are often overburdened, and applications frequently impose bandwidth or data constraints. Additionally, the server selection is somewhat restricted. Apart from speed, free VPNs often engage in questionable business methods, such as collecting browsing data to sell to third parties and putting advertisements into browsers. Some even include malware payloads that are designed to infect your device.

How can I find the quickest gaming server?

If you’re an online gamer who uses a VPN to access servers in another country (or because your IP address has been blacklisted), the most crucial thing to consider when picking a VPN is latency, often known as ping. Ping time between the game servers and your computer or console is mostly responsible for the amount of lag you’ll encounter. If you want to maintain a competitive edge, determine the location of the game’s regional servers and connect to the VPN’s nearest server. While download speed is critical, gaming consumes less bandwidth than you may believe. Priority should always be given to minimizing latency.

How can I do ping testing for gaming while connected to a VPN?

You may do a simple ping test to determine the amount of latency you should anticipate while gaming over a certain VPN server. This requires knowledge of the domain or IP address of the game server on which you will be playing. This may involve some detective work since most games do not make their server IP addresses public. Since many online games show your ping in real-time, this step may be unnecessary.

Once you’ve determined the IP address or domain name of the server area to which you want to connect, just open Command Prompt (Windows) or Terminal (Mac) and type the following command:


Then reconnect to your VPN and repeat the command. Take note of the time difference.

This sample makes use of a North American League of Legends server. You must replace it with a server IP address or domain name for the game and the area in which you want to play.

The results will indicate the time required for the ping to reach the server and return to your machine in milliseconds. As a general guideline, you’ll want a ping time of less than 100ms for the most competitive online games.

Should I stay away from “speed boosters”?

Certain Android and iOS applications and desktop browser extensions claim to be able to accelerate your VPN connection times. These are probably certainly hoaxes.

There is simply no way for a third-party tool to improve your VPN connection’s internet speed beyond what we’ve discussed above, particularly if it’s not free. Rather, these applications are more likely meant to harvest your data or provide advertisements.

The closest you’ll get to a true speed booster is by subscribing to an optimized gaming network, which guarantees that your internet traffic is routed through the quickest and least crowded path possible, resulting in a lower ping time. However, they are subscription-based services, not free applications, and their efficiency is unclear even then.

Is a VPN beneficial for buffering?

In a few limited circumstances, a VPN may assist in avoiding video streams from buffering, but in general, a VPN will not help with buffering. Buffering indicates that your internet connection is too sluggish or that your device is incapable of decrypting or decompressing video at the rate at which it is played back. A VPN can only be as fast as your primary internet connection, and it also consumes additional system resources for encryption and decryption, thus it is often ineffective.

The exception is if the video source’s bandwidth is throttled by your internet service provider or local network administrator. Comcast, for instance, has previously throttled mobile video and Netflix transmissions. A VPN may conceal the content and origin of your internet traffic, preventing your ISP from discriminating based on the kind of content being streamed or the source.

Will a VPN browser security plugin affect the speed of my browsing?

Yes. VPNs in general slow down your internet connection to some extent, and a VPN browser plugin is no exception. It is still necessary to encrypt data, route it via the VPN server, then decode it. All of this increases the amount of time required to transmit data between your device and its destination.

Having said that, some VPNs are much quicker than others. Keep in mind that if you want a fast VPN, you should follow our suggestions.

Is a VPN capable of reducing lag?

In general, no. Since a VPN passes your data via an additional server before it reaches its ultimate destination, the time required for data to transit is increased. This results in increased latency, commonly referred to as ping time or lag. In a few rare instances, your VPN connection may give a more direct path than your ISP connection, but this is the exception rather than the norm.

How can I increase my torrenting speed while using a VPN?

Numerous VPNs have NAT firewalls as part of their service. Multiple users connected to the same VPN server may share a single public IP address through a NAT firewall. This provides an additional degree of anonymity and security since internet traffic to and from the VPN server cannot be traced back to a specific user. Additionally, they prevent unsolicited requests from reaching certain users.

Most VPNs’ NAT firewalls permit some level of torrenting, and many users will detect no change once connected. Indeed, a VPN may enable you to overcome a more restrictive NAT firewall on your local network, hence increasing torrenting speeds.

NAT firewalls have a beneficial effect on privacy, security, and anonymity. They can, however, obstruct torrenting in certain circumstances.

BitTorrent is based on users being able to connect freely to one another to exchange files. NAT firewalls often deny BitTorrent requests from peers who are uploading or downloading the same content.

This implies that you may be unable to seed (read: upload) files using BitTorrent since peers wishing to receive the file must make uninvited requests, which are denied by the NAT firewall. On the other hand, you may be unable to connect to as many peers while downloading a file, thus decreasing download rates.

If you’re having difficulty connecting to peers in a torrent swarm, several VPNs let you deactivate the NAT firewall in the settings. Other support port forwarding, which allows the VPN provider to specify a particular port for P2P communication. Users may set their BitTorrent clients to utilize this port in their configuration files. You may need to visit your provider’s website or contact customer care to get the appropriate port number for P2P filesharing.

Disabling the NAT firewall or configuring port forwarding compromises security, so proceed cautiously and only when required. Additionally, since you’re utilizing a unique port, your internet activity is simpler to identify than that of other users, making it more trackable.

Speed at its maximum against its average

According to Akamai’s 2017 State of the Internet report, the average peak connection speed in North and South America is 44.6 Mbps, while the worldwide average connection speed–not peak–is only 7.2 Mbps. That is less than one-sixth of the highest average. What does this imply for virtual private network (VPN) providers?

We all share the internet, and not everyone can obtain the promised maximum speed from their Internet Service Providers every second of the day. Congestion has a significant impact on your download speed regardless of whether you’re connected to a VPN or not, but it’s twice as likely to affect you when you’re connected to a VPN.

When you download a file from a server without using a VPN, there is a possibility that you may experience network congestion, most likely on the network of your local ISP or at the download server. By using a VPN provider, you introduce a third possible bottleneck to the path. Whether it’s due to server demand or congestion on the network around the server, your speed is more likely to be hindered while connected to a VPN.

Consider the following considerations while selecting a VPN server. VPNs, like everyone else, face peak-versus-average issues. If feasible, use a VPN server in an off-peak time zone. Certain VPN programs provide built-in speed tests or display the current server load in real-time, which might indicate if you’ll be able to use your permitted download speed to the fullest.

Speed versus security

Increasing the security of a VPN connection always results in a decrease in performance. By using a better encryption method, for example, data going over the VPN is encrypted more slowly and is decrypted more slowly once it reaches its destination. Similarly, more secure VPN protocols are often slower than those that are less safe. PPTP, despite its age, still provides substantially quicker connections than either OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSec. However, it is known to have security flaws.

While you may not always require the highest level of security while utilizing a VPN, there is a threshold that should not be exceeded to boost performance. We strongly encourage readers to avoid PPTP and instead use an encrypted protocol such as SSL (OpenVPN) or IPSec (L2TP, IKEv2).

Most VPN services do not offer this option but do not eliminate encryption. Additionally, 128-bit AES is the very minimum encryption level required for a VPN to function properly and protect your data. It is essentially uncrackable and somewhat quicker than the more typical 256-bit AES encryption. Few VPNs use Blowfish encryption, which is often slower than AES. If you want to go with that option, we suggest using at least 448-bit Blowfish encryption.

The amount of performance improvement you’ll receive from adjusting encryption and VPN protocols is hardware-dependent. More powerful gadgets will be faster at encrypting and decrypting data.


When utilizing the OpenVPN protocol, many VPN applications allow you to choose between the TCP and UDP protocols. TCP is the standard protocol for browsing the web and downloading data. UDP is more often used in streaming applications including video, music, and games. The distinction lies in the manner in which PCs and servers transmit network packets, the smallest unit of data needed to exchange data over the internet.

A widespread myth is that UDP is always faster than TCP. While this is often the case, it should be seen as a suggestion rather than a rule.

TCP makes use of error prevention and assured delivery to ensure that each data packet is identical to the original and is sent in the proper sequence. If an error occurs, internet communication is halted until the preceding packets are successfully sent. This is critical whether you are downloading a file or attempting to load a web page.

UDP is not protected by these provisions. Collisions, failures, and lost packets are all regular occurrences, and packets may arrive out of sequence. The focus is on performance, not perfection. It is better to miss a packet than to postpone all subsequent ones.

Therefore, if you use your VPN mainly for online gaming, movie streaming, or music listening, you should switch to UDP. Otherwise, use TCP.

Stability takes precedence over speed.

In our humble view, speed should not be the major performance criterion when selecting a VPN service. It ought to be stable. Rather than a slower average download pace, it is often fluctuation that lowers test results.

Every VPN may sometimes have a poor day or a few terrible hours when service on a certain server or collection of servers is sluggish. Certain VPNs experience higher levels of traffic and outages than others. These are the ones to stay away from. Unfortunately, since our testing period for evaluations is seldom longer than two weeks, it’s impossible to predict which VPNs will have the most problems in the long run at the time of writing.

Having said that, the boxplot below (from some earlier testing) might provide insight into the volatility of a VPN’s performance. A bigger blue box indicates more volatility; even if the mean (red dot) and median (thick black line) download speeds are low, a high degree of volatility will almost certainly cause more irritation than a slightly slower connection.

Unless you have a very fast (100+Mbps) internet connection, the odds of using the allocated bandwidth are rather minimal. Nowadays, almost every VPN service advertises limitless bandwidth.

When selecting a VPN, speed should not be the only factor to consider. Depending on the purpose for which you want to use it, you may choose a VPN that is optimized for torrenting, watching Netflix, or gaming. These are not always the quickest routes, nor do they have to be. They just have to be quick enough.

Alternatives to VPN

VPNs encrypt your data and route it via an intermediate server, preventing it from being tracked. However, if privacy is not the primary issue, there are other quicker proxy solutions available. A SOCKS proxy, for example, performs the same function as a VPN but without the encryption. Without encrypted and decrypted communication, SOCKS proxy users may benefit from speedier connections while concealing their IP addresses.

There are also intelligent DNS proxies. These proxies only reroute your DNS queries, rather than all of a device’s traffic. This means that you retain all of the benefits of a direct internet connection but lack the privacy and security provided by a VPN.

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