Face it: Using a VPN will inevitably cause your internet speed to decrease, sometimes by 50% or more. Because that’s how VPNs work, there isn’t much of a way around it. However, there are several things you can do that could be able to help you dramatically speed up your VPN connection.
Your internet data may be encrypted using a VPN and routed via a server in a foreign nation. The speed decrease is mostly due to this process. Your data must be encrypted and decrypted before traveling to and from the VPN server. There may be more factors at play as well, such as the VPN protocol you’re using or the load on the VPN server you’re connecting via.
For routine internet usage, the speed penalty from a fast VPN may be almost invisible, but for data-intensive activities like gaming, streaming, and video conferencing, you’ll need the quickest connections available. Your video viewing experience might be completely ruined by a slow VPN connection due to constant buffering and severe pixelation. A delay of even a few milliseconds might be the difference between winning and losing in online games. Additionally, if you’re on a Zoom call and utilizing a VPN, you should do your hardest to raise your VPN speed to avoid call dropouts and keep a fluid dialogue.
If your VPN connection isn’t as rapid as you need it to be, try these steps to speed it up.
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Connect to a server that is located closer to you.
In general, the closer the VPN server is to your actual location, the better your connection speeds should be. Your traffic will travel a shorter physical distance if it is routed via a VPN server close by as opposed to one halfway across the globe. A VPN connection from Boston should be substantially quicker if you choose to connect to a server in New York City or Montreal rather than one in Sydney or Tokyo, for example.
This won’t always be possible, for instance, if you want to stream content from a certain country or access a gaming server from a specific location. To find out which VPN servers are closest to your location and provide the greatest performance, try connecting to a few different ones if you need a faster connection. While some VPNs may have a speed test tool integrated into their applications, you can always use a speed testing website like Ookla Speedtest to verify the speed of your connection.
If you want a VPN with a tonne of server locations, try ExpressVPN. You are guaranteed to discover a couple that is pretty near to where you are since it has servers in 160 sites spread across 94 countries.
Choose a server that isn’t overloaded and connect to it.
Your connection speed will decrease if a single VPN server becomes overloaded due to an excessive number of users. Some VPN companies display the current server load on their servers on their websites or in their applications. If you choose one with a lesser burden, you’ll often go more quickly. If your VPN company doesn’t display the current server load on its website, try connecting to a few different ones to determine which offers you the greatest speeds. Sometimes, just a little bit of trial and error will do.
If at all feasible, connect using an alternative VPN protocol.
A VPN protocol is a set of guidelines that your device’s VPN program and VPN server adhere to while creating a secure connection. The majority of companies allow you to choose from a variety of VPN protocols, and there are many of them. Your VPN could operate faster if you connect using one VPN protocol rather than another. In terms of speed and security, various protocols offer varying advantages and disadvantages.
The current industry-standard VPN protocol is OpenVPN. VPNs usually utilize OpenVPN as their default protocol as it is the most tried-and-true protocol and offers a decent blend of speed, dependability, and security. There are now more VPN providers offering newer VPN protocols like IKEv2 and WireGuard, which promise greater security and quicker connections. In fact, several businesses promise to give the best of both worlds by developing their own VPN protocols, such as ExpressVPN’s Lightway and NordVPN’s NordLynx.
If one of these additional protocols is supported by your VPN service, switching to it might enhance the speed of your VPN connection. Just be mindful that despite the apparent strength of these protocols’ security, they haven’t been put to the same amount of real-world testing.
If you just want to utilize OpenVPN to get the quickest speeds, choose UDP rather than TCP. TCP is often more dependable, but it is generally slower than UDP because it has to transfer data packets in the right sequence and waits for the destination to confirm receipt before sending the next packet. Because it doesn’t worry about the order in which it distributes data packets or getting any assurance that they were received, UDP tends to be more quicker and more effective but less reliable.
To find the settings that provide you with the fastest speeds, try experimenting with the protocol settings. The settings area of the majority of VPN programs allows you to change the connection protocol.
If possible, turn on split tunneling.
If your VPN service offers split tunneling, try turning it on to see if you can boost your VPN speeds. You may use split tunneling to transmit just the traffic you need over your VPN connection while sending all other data in an unencrypted fashion over your regular internet connection.
If you just use your VPN for streaming, for instance, you may configure it so that only your streaming traffic goes through it; this way, it won’t slow down your ability to play online games. This may optimize your VPN speeds for certain jobs since no unnecessary additional traffic will be sent through it.
Make the link wired instead.
Generally speaking, a cable connection is quicker than Wi-Fi. Your home Wi-Fi network probably has many devices connected at once, and they are all competing for resources on the same wireless channel. An unstable internet connection and thus slower speeds might result from this. If you have the necessary equipment, you can think about establishing a wired connection by utilizing an Ethernet cable to connect your computer directly to your router before connecting to your VPN.
Any background programs that are not required should be stopped.
Your connection may be slowed down and resources on your machine may be sucked up by unused background programs. If there are any background processes that you are not utilizing, look for them and end them. By removing potential bottlenecks like these, a link may be established more quickly.
Reset all of your electrical devices, including your router.
When was the last time you restarted your hardware? Like anything else, your network and computer periodically need some downtime. Your computer will get the much-needed refreshment, some RAM will be released, and it will run at its best after a reboot. Try turning it off and on again to see if it increases your VPN speeds, as corny as that may seem.