VPN Speed Guide 2021 – Everything You Need to Know

Truth to be told, every VPN slows down your Internet speed: it’s a side effect of data encryption and transmission to servers across the globe – some of which are hundreds if not thousands of miles away. We’ve come across plenty of VPNs claiming to be the fastest, only to fall flat, leaving us with lots of wasted hours, laggy streams, and slow downloads.

Nonetheless, the best VPN should be efficient in such a way that you won’t even notice the decreased speed at all. In this article, we’ve explained why a fast VPN is important, what affects VPN speed, and some of the fastest VPN services out there.

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#1 Trusted Leader in VPN

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High Speed Connection

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Rock Solid Connection

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Large server network

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High Speed Connection

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a private network, which encrypts and sends data from one place to another place on the web. Using the VPN to connect to the web allows you to surf the Internet securely and privately and access blocked sites, as well as overcome geo-restrictions.

A VPN isn’t just for laptops or desktops – you can install the best VPN on your Android device, iPad, or iPhone too. If you choose to utilize VPN, it can successfully mask your physical location and IP address while also encrypting your web traffic so that no agency or individual can tell precisely what you’re doing online.


Short of Time? See Our Top 5 for August, 2021

1. ExpressVPN – #1 Trusted Leader in VPN
2. PrivateVPN – High Speed Connection
3. CyberGhost – Rock Solid Connection
4. Private Internet Access – Large server network
5. Hotspot Shield – Excellent Support


What is VPN speed?

Under certain circumstances, a VPN could increase connection speeds for different services. At times, the Internet Service Providers artificially slow down or throttle specific kinds of speed; for instance, several major Internet service providers have throttled streaming services such as Netflix or HBO. If an Internet service provider (ISP) throttles the communication speeds with some services, the VPN might circumvent the throttling since the VPN encryption prevents the Internet Service Provider from knowing the services you are accessing or sites you are visiting.

If you run speed Tests, you will see server locations sorted by download speed, latency, and speed index. Latency can be defined as the time it usually takes for the data packet from your devices to reach a VPN server location. If you choose a VPN whose servers are far away from your area, then you’ll have high latency. Low latency is better for the connection speed. On the other hand, the higher download speed results in a better connection.


Top 5 Fastest VPN

Following are some of the fastest VPNs you’ll find out there.

🥇 1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN fast speeds can often be attributed to the extensive network of over 3000 servers around 90 countries. With such an extensive range of servers, you will not see congestion which usually leads to a slowdown – this means fast torrenting, streaming, and downloading.

With ExpressVPN fast speeds, you can access the strictest geo-blocks. As a result, there are many platforms or sites that will open with blazing speeds. You can use ExpressVPN to unblock HBO GO, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix, and other streaming providers. The good news is that ExpressVPN is compatible with gaming consoles, Roku, iOS, Android, Linux, Windows, and Mac.


🥈2. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN might not have a vast network of servers, as some of the VPN services recommended here, but remains the best VPN for iPhone. We tested the speeds from the United States and found it to have a download speed of about 28.62 Mbps. After we connected to another server in the US, we saw the quickest speeds of about 45.02 Mbps, approximately 23% slower than the initial speed.

PrivateVPN has a wide range of servers in 63 countries and more than 86 locations. All these are top-quality servers, which are optimized for streaming and P2P, which is the main reason this service is capable of offering such lightning-fast speeds. Keep in mind that congestion can be an issue at times, but this won’t happen if you choose to connect to countries such as Germany, the UK, and the US.


🥉3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost has very fast speeds that can be seen in our speed test results. We started by testing one of CyberGhost servers in the US, in New York, to be specific. While about 4000 miles away from the server, the speed went down by 23% to the average of about 179.9 Mbps.

With over 7,400 servers across 91 countries, you will not experience any slowdowns because of server crowding. Such a high number of servers allow users to browse freely and stream shows without dealing with connection failures and annoying interruptions.


4. Private Internet Access

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Private Internet Access is an excellent option for multi-device households and people concerned about their privacy. While its overseas speeds aren’t the best, it still emerges on top of its competitors.

Our research shows that Private Internet Access has an average of 27.00 Mbps download speed. It was the fastest after I connected to the US servers, at about 45.58 Mbps.

Private Internet Access has over 35,550 servers around 78 countries. Most of its servers are situated in the United States, which clearly shows why they offer such incredible speeds. The rest of the servers are spread mainly through North America, Asia, and Europe.


5. Hotspot Shield

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Launched many years ago, Hotspot Shield is considered to be one of the best Amazon Prime VPN. It made it to our list of high-speed VPNs because it offers a highly innovative service, maintaining fast speeds while providing superior quality.

From the United States, Hotspot Shield offered download speeds of about 24.28 Mbps. The US servers offered the fastest speeds of 39.59 Mbps, a 32% decline from the stable connection.

Our tests showed that the Hotspot Shield speeds are great – the connections to servers located in Europe remained over 20 Mbps. The UK servers had a 49% decline in the average speed if connected to the United States.


How does VPN Speed Work?

Do VPN affect Internet speed? Does it slow down your Internet? You should never allow such concerns to stop you from using a VPN.

While it’s true that a VPN might slightly reduce your Internet speed mainly because it adds some steps that were not there in your connection. These are the connections to remote servers and the encryption process. However, the best VPNs are well built to mitigate the effect of latency until it incidentally becomes noticeable.

There are a few things that affect the Internet speed when using a VPN. These include distance to the server, server load, quality of encryption, and the Internet speed provided by your Internet service provider.

  • Distance to the server – A long distance between the VPN server and you location improve connection speed.
  • Server load – If there are numerous users connected to a single server, the connection speed reduces.
  • Encryption quality – Encryption is the most important feature when it comes to virtual private networks. This makes your online traffic inaccessible to eavesdroppers and hackers – allows you to safely browse in privacy.

Is VPN Speed Important to Have?

VPN speed isn’t only important when choosing the best VPN service provider but also a point of major concern for most people when deciding whether to use a VPN. When surfing the Internet, speed is very important. Although a good VPN will offer better security and help bypass restrictions, you won’t have the best online experience if the speed isn’t good.

If you connect to the VPN, the traffic gets routed via the private servers before reaching the final destination. For instance, if you chose to utilize a service with a MultiHop feature and Double VPN feature, your traffic may even be routed via two or more VPN servers to offer you better privacy.

Furthermore, there are few cases where a VPN could speed up your connection. Many Internet Service Providers are limiting the user connection speeds when using Torrenting platforms. A good VPN makes it easier for you to break free and start enjoying faster connection speeds.


Protecting Your Privacy With VPN?

Popular Internet browsers include a unique feature known as ‘private browsing’ that allows users to surf the Internet without necessarily saving the search information, cookies, or history. Private browsing is available via leading web browsers such as Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome Private Mode, and Apple Safari.

The VPN can greatly help protect against ID theft by helping to protect your sensitive data. The VPN creates an encrypted tunnel for the data sent and received so that it cannot be accessed by cybercriminals. If your phone Wi-Fi is turned on all through, the device might be vulnerable without you even knowing it.


VPN Speed FAQs

How can you increase your VPN speed?

If your VPN is slow, there are a few things you can do to make it fast. These include restarting your device, trying WireGuard, switching devices, using wired connections, changing VPN protocol/port, or changing the servers.

What is the best speed for a VPN?

ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN, closely followed by NordVPN, pegging the average download speed of about 115 Mbps.

How many Mbps do you need for a VPN?

Technically, around 10 Mbps – 12 Mbps is perfect for standard video streaming and web surfing. Gamers, who are more concerned about the data, usually want between 20 Mbps to 30 Mbps.

Does A VPN speed up your Internet?

Yes, under special circumstances, a VPN can boost speeds for specific services. For example, specific traffic types, ISPs sometimes artificially slow down or throttle your connection.

Why is my connection slow with a VPN?

A long-distance between your VPN server and your location can slow down your Internet connection. So, you need to choose a VPN that’s close to your location.
Author: Daniel Jovanovic
Daniel Jovanovic is an avid website creator who started exploring the World Wide Web as a young kid. Being still a newbie got his first project hacked, which inspired him to learn more about network protection. Now he understands internet security by heart, and this is why he is our VPN expert.