Trying to choose a VPN service to protect your Internet connection can be a challenge. There are many providers who claim to provide the best and fastest VPN service, so how can you make sure you are really making the right decision that suits your needs?
Many VPN researchers already know that you need to compromise on speed and performance to get VPN protection, but to what extent? In this article, we’ve tried to answer this question by quickly testing some of the world’s leading VPN providers so you can make wise and informed choices.
Why is speed a problem for VPN?
VPN greatly improves the security of your network, but encryption tends to slow down the connection speed. You may not notice much difference when browsing the web, but if you’re planning to download torrents or watch streaming, such as on Netflix or Hulu, download speeds are definitely something to keep in mind.
How to measure VPN speed?
- Download speed indicates the data transfer rate from the server to you. Because a large percentage of Internet activity, such as downloading web pages or streaming video, consists of downloads, most connections are designed to download much faster than downloads. The download speed is measured in megabits per second (mbps), and usually the higher the number, the faster the connection.
- Download speed Indicates how fast your data is sent to others. Downloading is required to send large files via email or when using video chat software such as skype (because you need to send a video). Download speed is also measured in megabits per second (mbps).
- Ping is the response time of your connection, which shows how quickly you get a response after sending a request. Fast ping means faster connection, especially in programs where timing is all like video games. Ping is measured in milliseconds (ms).
What to think about when testing VPN speed?
The location of the server greatly affects the connection speed. Most VPN providers have a recommended server location, which is usually determined by your actual location, connection success rate, customer popularity, and speed.
I must say that different reasons for use may require connection through certain places, for example, the situation will be different if you want to watch a certain TV channel, which is available only in the US, or if you try to circumvent censorship.
Speed from ISP
The connection speed provided by your ISP will also affect the VPN connection speed. Most high-speed connections are processed between 10 Mbps and 1 Gbps. In these cases, the VPN speed will not suffer significantly. But anything less than a dial-up or 3G connection can cause VPN connection problems.
Connection between your ISP and VPN
Ironically, in many cases, the faster your standard Internet connection, the faster you will “lose”. Even if you have a 50 Mbps connection, but your network connection is poor, you probably won’t be able to get the most out of a VPN service. For example, if you have a 5 Mbps connection, you lose only 10-20% of your bandwidth, but if you have 100 Mbps, connecting to a VPN can result in a loss of more than half of your speed.
To ensure the reliability of the test, I used the services of the same ISP and the same computer to run all the tests and set the VPNs in one place (UK). I used three different speed testing services on all VPN sites: speedtest.net, fast.com and widebandspeedchecker.co.uk. Scrolling down you will see a significant difference between the results of different testing tools. So, to determine which VPN is the fastest, I reduced the average of all results to a single digit for each VPN.
Before we start testing VPN, let’s look at the speed from an ISP without a VPN connection, which, surprisingly, turned out to be much slower than I expected.
My average speed without VPN
My VPN speeds
As you can see, ExpressVPN is much faster in each category. PureVPN took second place over CyberGhost. Cyberghost has been shown to show the lowest results when it comes to downloads and downloads, but this network has surpassed Pure in terms of ping.
Let’s take a closer look:
We have selected the 3 most popular VPN providers to test the speed, as recommended by our readers.
1. ExpressVPN is a lightning-fast VPN focused on security
ExpressVPN is a one-click interface that allows you to choose from more than 145 VPN server locations. After testing the speed, the results showed an average of 11.88 MB per second, which is twice, if not three times faster than other VPNs. If you plan to watch streaming video or download a torrent, this will be the best choice for you.
2. CyberGhost – Ultra High Speed and Optimized Connectivity
- Impressive speeds for fast and seamless web browsing
- 7,260 servers to overcome geographic blocks from anywhere in the world
- 7 devices connected at the same time
- 45-day money back guarantee
- Able to unlock access to: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Go, Showtime, Amazon Prime Video and other services
- Compatible with: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Roku, game consoles and other devices
CyberGhost has lightning speeds , as evidenced by my test results. I began my research by testing one of the company’s servers, which is located in New York, USA. Despite the fact that I was 5,000 km away from the server, the connection speed dropped by only 23% compared to the base speed of 179.8 Mbps.
I also checked the speed of servers located in the UK, ie relatively close to my location. The average speed drop was 7%. Data from servers located in London and Manchester were used for the calculation. The speed I gained allowed me to visit web resources and watch my favorite series in FULL HD without delays or data buffering.
Even CyberGhost servers in Brazil and Australia did not disappoint. I have seen a 46% drop in speed, but this is understandable, especially considering the distance to the server of 16,000 km. The average download speed was over 100Mbps, which is actually a great result.
CyberGhost has 7,260 servers in 90 countries , so you don’t have to worry about overcrowding. This will allow you to freely view web resources and video streams without annoying and annoying disruptions or lost connections.
The company has specialized servers for streaming content, so you won’t have any problems overcoming geospatial blocks and watching your favorite movies and TV series. With the push of a button, you can instantly unlock access to Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix and many more. You will be able to use the service to access platforms with geo-spatial constraints from the United States, England, Italy, France, Germany, and many other countries.
To provide reliable protection, the company uses 256-bit AES encryption , which is considered the most reliable. This way, you will be completely protected even when downloading torrents using servers optimized for P2P file sharing. Because the company does not register actions and does not keep log files , you do not have to worry about your ISP or government officials finding out about your browsing history.
CyberGhost allows you to connect up to 7 devices to one account at a time . If you have any issues, you can contact technical support via the 24-hour live chat . To complete the description of the benefits, I note that the company provides a 45-day money back guarantee on all its tariff plans , so you can try the service without the risk of financial overspending before subscribing.
For more information, check out our full review to learn more about CyberGhost.
Try CyberGhost Today!
PureVPN has a streaming option that allows you to securely stream live video at high speed using DNS. Because we are looking for fast results here, I was testing when this option was activated. Surprisingly, the connection speed was higher than most VPNs, showing an average download speed of 6.98 MB per second.
So which VPN is the fastest?
ExpressVPN is the winner in terms of speed, but there are factors that affect your speed – it’s your ISP, location and connection quality.
There is also a big difference between download and download speeds, which is worth considering depending on how you normally use the Internet. Before you buy a VPN, you will need some time to review the best VPNs according to our readers.