The issue does a VPN slow down your internet is real. As Wi-Fi speed is likely to drop as low as 77% as soon as the user signs onto a VPN. There are factual pieces of evidence from the US market about the Internet slowdown mentioned in a study conducted by Justina Alexandra Sava. It stated that 39% of the people using VPNs are facing the issue of slow Internet speed.

In her study, four out of ten respondents stated the Internet speed slowdown resulted because of free VPN use. The one cause of the internet speed slowdown after using a VPN is the use of a free VPN. So the question arises should the users be worried about the internet speed while signing onto a free VPN?

The answer is not! There are different ways to maintain Wi-Fi speed while using a VPN. To avoid the issue of does a VPN slow down your internet, use a premium VPN instead of a free VPN. It will help to run your internet smoothly and keep the router updated and placed at your workplace or home in a centralized location.

Here is a quick guide on how internet bandwidth impacts VPN use. This article explains the reasons for the internet slowing down with VPN.

What Can You Do with a VPN?

What can you do with VPN - Does a VPN slow down your internet

VPN (Virtual Private Network) can be a perfect solution to hide your whole internet activity and IP address. Most importantly it helps you get access to geo-restricted content while maintaining your online privacy. All around the world, numerous people rely on VPN services, and approximately a third of internet users rely on VPN services. It is perfect for your safety and provides access to global content. But, here arises a question, does a VPN slow down your internet? To find the answer let’s have a look at the article below about does a VPN slow down your internet.

Quick Summary: Does a VPN slow down your internet?

  • The internet speed is slowed down by using a VPN because it adds multiple extra steps to the data-getting process
  • A good VPN should slow your internet speed by an insignificant amount usually an average of a 7% decrease on a nearby server and 20% on the international connection.
  • The data addition to web traffic resulting from protocols used by the VPN service generates service load causing the internet to slow down.
  • Using a free VPN is more likely to slow the internet speed than a paid VPN.

How can a VPN slow down your internet?

Does a VPN slow down your internet, the answer to this question is yes, using a VPN causes the internet to slow down for various reasons. The most prominent reasons are explained below in this article to answer the question does a VPN slow down your internet:

VPN service itself

The article Does a VPN slow down your Internet here explains, that the internet speed slows down by using a VPN because it adds multiple extra steps to the data-getting process. From your home internet network to the provider and back. On the contrary, the speed can also be combated by an ISP, as it makes the data type, you use.

VPN connection protocols

Private Internet Access- Best VPN Chrome Extension

Another aspect to answer the question does a VPN slow down your internet is given in this section. A VPN user signs on to a separate server which is usually located in a different country or state. That creates a virtual tunnel enabling your online activities by keeping your location and IP address safe.

It prevents hacking and access to online surveillance by providing access to websites that you may not be able to visit without a VPN i.e. using a foreign version of the streaming site. However encryption takes up bandwidth, and routing a VPN through a foreign server increases the chances of speed slowdown. Especially if the VPN server is located in a faraway country or state.

Additionally, there is the possibility of a decrease in internet speed because of the VPN’s own efficiency and server bandwidth. If the VPN server is crowded with other users, it can also cause speed slowdowns and less connection reliability.

VPN server location

It is also to be considered that a good VPN should slow your internet speed by an insignificant amount. It has been showing an average of a 7% decrease on a nearby server and 20% on the international connection. These figures are found after testing premium VPN.

So it is clear that the distance of the VPN server makes the connection slower. A nearby VPN server would have less internet slowdown than a VPN whose server is located far away would create more speed breakdowns.

Server load

The data addition to web traffic resulting from protocols used by the VPN service can slow down the internet speed. If there are thousands of simultaneous VPN users, the server is congested and may respond slowly to your request.

Quality of VPN

Lastly, the most significant reason for internet slowdown by using a VPN is the quality of the VPN. A free VPN is more likely to slow the speed than a paid one.

How to make your VPN faster?

Using a VPN is most likely to hit your internet speed because of the server’s routing traffic as an extra step in the data transfer process, this is another aspect to answer does a VPN slow down your internet? However, based on the VPN connection speed, you can experience a significant decrease in speed.

But to deal with this issue you need to follow and use the right settings, tools, and techniques. It can help to achieve your required speed with the VPN. Here are the key tips;

Interfere your protocol settings

This is another point to answer does a VPN slow down your internet There are extra security settings and other features that come with premium VPNs. For instance, NordVPN has features to change your VPN speed. Go to Advance Settings on the application of NordVPN and try switching to a different available protocol. To get a faster connection, choose a UDP but also be patient to accept the risk of connection instability chances.

If you want to have a slower but more stable connection, then go for TCP. You can switch between these two options as many times as you need. But keep in mind that ‘faster’ and ‘slower’ are relative. You probably would not find a noticeable difference until you are pushing the connection limits. There is NordLynx, a lightning-fast protocol offered by NordVPN to balance rapid speeds with powerful encryption.

Adjusting encryption level

You may be able to change the encryption type based on the platform, VPN, and device. But before playing with protocols, identify the differences to find the possible risks linked with them. For higher security, pick the IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN protocols used on the application of NordVPN. These can be a possible answer for does a VPN slow down your internet.

Restarting the modem/router

If the internet speed slows down because of connecting through VPN then you need to check the router/modem. They are likely running slower because of memory leaks or another issue and restart will be a better choice. Restarting the router is important because the VPN connection on your router is slower because of the router’s running speed. You can test it by using VPN on other devices. You can use a VPN on a personal device after setting up your VPN on the router and the speed is still slow. Never use a VPN on two devices simultaneously because it is likely to make your connection speed even worse. 

Using a wired connection

Most of us find Wi-Fi awesome as it is easy to connect! If multiple devices are connected to the same network, you would have to compromise on speed. This is because the shared channel used by wireless connections to transmit data to many devices in a home or at the workplace can slow down the internet speed. Therefore, switching to a wired connection can provide faster speed while using a VPN.

Turning off local security software

The outgoing data is filtered through security software like firewall and antivirus but it can slow your VPN Velocity. You can temporarily disable these software and tools to test whether they are causing speed issues. However, doing so can cause a security risk. Therefore, we suggest you secure your data over speed by leaving the firewall, antivirus, and VPN on at all times.

Checking internet speed

This technique is to find, out is that if actually, your VPN is causing an internet slowdown or if there is another thing. That can be the weak internet connection itself. Running a quick test and checking the speed of your internet connection without a VPN will help find the answer. It is important to check if it’s the VPN that is causing the internet slowdown or if you just need to upgrade your internet plan, service provider, or device.

Changing server location

The internet speed is possibly going to decrease if the VPN server is far from your current location. To deal with this issue you need to switch to the VPN located nearby which would increase the internet speed.

Selecting a nearby VPN server

After reviewing all the issues other than the VPN server causing internet slowdown. Here is the first technique to handle the internet speed slowdown caused by the VPN server. And that is to choose a VPN with a nearby server as it would minimize the loss of speed. There are countries from where the VPN server is likely to reduce your internet speed to as low as 4%. That is insignificant to the loss of speed caused by VPN servers located far away.

Selecting a less congested server

Too many users on the same VPN server make it congested and likely to slow down your connection. In this case, connect with a different server in the same location. It will help to deal with the congested server issue causing the slowdown. And will also help to find the faster server; their speed varies because of the infrastructure of the network provider. If a VPN service is using virtual server locations and the two servers are located in completely different states. Then choose the one located near your location as it would deliver faster VPN speed.

Switching VPN protocols

There are some VPN protocols that are faster than others. So in case of slow speed with one protocol, switch to another protocol to retest your speed. The most secure and fastest VPN protocols include WireGuard and OpenVPN. But there is another one, IKEv2 that is not as fast but more secure. Additionally, you may also know the VPN services that use proprietary protocols and are typically the fastest options available.

Do not use free VPNs

The major reason to not use free VPNs is server congestion. Because these service providers usually have a limited number of servers to choose from. Lots of users on the same server are making it overcrowded. Among the best free VPN services, Proton VPN Free is tested as the best free VPN. It has 200 free servers in three different locations. Premium VPNs like ExpressVPN which has been rated as the top premium VPN have 3000 servers in four countries. It reflects the difference in congestion on free vs. premium VPNs. Thus we would recommend you not use a free VPN if you are looking for a high-speed and quality connection.

Switching VPN services

If you are experiencing frustrating and slow speeds because of the VPN service you are using. Then it is not the one that can fulfill the need of speed, you are looking for. Here, the best solution is to switch the VPN service to a service that has an infrastructure to support fast speeds for hundreds of thousands of users at the same time. For this purpose, our recommendation is to choose a VPN service that suits your needs.

Can a VPN increase your internet speed?

Yes! There are times when your internet connection gets an extra kick and a speed boost from the VPN. It occurs as Internet Service Providers (IPS) provide high speed to the internet if you are using too much bandwidth. It often happens when online content is streamed or files are downloaded because ISPs want to make money from us. There is a solution in the form of a VPN that makes your activity invisible to your ISP. So they would not be able to see when you are using more bandwidth than usual. Thus, they would not be able to know when to throttle you. And you are likely to experience a speed boost to your connection by the VPN.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which VPN would not slow down your internet?

To some degree, all VPNs decrease the speed of your internet but there will be a negligible impact if you are using the fastest VPN. The VPN services process your online traffic encryption and send it through an additional server. Because your data would be traveling further with an added encryption weight. That will make your connection with VPNs always slower than it could be without a VPN.

Why not use a free VPN service and how it slows down your internet?

There are fewer servers for free VPN service providers than for any premium VPN service. Free VPN service providers have limited servers on VPN with unlimited or overcrowded users. It leads to a decrease in users’ internet connection speed. For maintaining a server, free VPN service providers are required to pay which they do not afford. If they are getting cash then it’s from elsewhere, usually via ads or selling your collected data.

What are the least requirements of bandwidth for a VPN?

There are no minimum bandwidth requirements for using a VPN. However, you would need a faster connection and higher bandwidth for using a VPN. For activities that are data-intensive like torrenting and streaming. If you want to stream videos of HD quality, you will need to make sure that your connection is able to handle the activities without a VPN. And after using VPN you should be expecting a decrease in speed.
You must be logged in to post a comment.