A short answer to this question: VPN connection suppose to reduce your speed because of encryption protocols. VPN will route your Internet traffic through a highly encrypted tunnel, which is why you always feel a choked connection while browsing. So, Yes, VPN does slow your regular internet speed.
However, if you are using the best and most legitimate VPN service, it will not reduce your connection speed by more than 5% to 6% of your regular internet speed.
In some cases, VPN is a helpful tool when your ISP throttles your connection; there are many reasons why ISP is throttling your bandwidth; well, we will discuss this further in this article. Another benefit is VPN encryption which enhances your Internet connection by providing privacy and security to your Internet connection.
Despite the benefits of VPN, many VPN users are concerned with how VPN distresses Internet speed. So, does a VPN slow down the Internet? Essentially, there are more than a few issues that could affect the speed of your Internet, whether you are behind a VPN server or not.
The “Does VPN make the internet slower?” question is not a simple yes or no answer; it can be explained in the given steps:
Why VPNs slow down the Internet speed
Certain VPN providers may claim to increase the Internet connection speed by using a VPN or even assert that they help bypass ISP throttling.
Whereas we are not able to answer that question. But if you use a VPN, it’s not sure it will or will not slow down your Internet speeds. However, a couple of factors appear in your connection while on a VPN. You need to be aware of the following:
1. Server Locations
It’s observed and tested that connecting to a VPN server far from your physical location could result in low-speed connectivity. To resolve this issue, you can select other nearby servers to enhance the response time. You could choose between vast numbers of servers by using some best-recommended VPN providers.
2. The Quality Of The Encryption
The type of encryption is also the cause of slow internet connectivity while connecting through a VPN client. A VPN provider offers different protocols for handling different types of requests. You can optimize speed by decreasing your privacy and encryption, which means other trying protocols that allow you additional features.
3. Protocols Types
Different Internet Service Providers support various protocols. If you are suffering from slow speed, tune between the protocols, i.e., PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN. Removing from the protocols also resolves the disconnection issue.
Most commonly, VPNs offer three types of Protocols, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and OpenVPN, designed to handle various kinds of needs by various devices. It would help if you always tried to figure out a suitable protocol.
Let’s have a look at which protocol is best for you!
- PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol): Using the 128-bit encryption method, this protocol offers the best speed but a less secure environment. Also, you can configure this protocol with OpenVPN, which is a plus point.
- L2TP-IPsec: In this protocol, you will get high-end security compared to PPTP. It will slow down your internet speed because of its encrypted tunnel or VPN tunneling, but it will ensure you provide an anonymous connection. The downside would be “hard to figure out with OpenVPN.”
- OpenVPN: It’s the best option for all, speed, privacy, and security. You may face difficulties setting things up with Open VPN and need another software to configure this setup. However, OpenVPN is handy to use and deal with speed and security well.
4. Load on Servers
That is the standard issue when using any VPN service provider’s Free or Trial version. In addition, it will not allow you to choose or shuffle between the server’s list. Therefore, many people remain connected to the same server, and in these circumstances, you could undoubtedly face slow connectivity or a low browsing experience.
Even paid VPNs in the market don’t have sufficient servers to spread the load among them, creating the same issue.
5. P2P File Sharing
That is the fact that P2P (Peer-to-Peer) file-sharing is the biggest reason for ISP throttling. Mass downloading through torrent sites makes ISP trackers attentive, limiting your bandwidth.
You can bypass ISP throttling by using a VPN service, but you need to ask your VPN provider whether they are allowing P2P or not. Otherwise, you will face the same situation before the VPN connection.
6. ISP Speed Limitations
ISP speed limitations could be from your broadband or direct from ISP. I have mentioned why and when you could experience such an issue. A large amount of downloading torrents is the most common cause of this.
Sometimes broadband managers or network managers put some restrictions on your regular Internet connection behind the wall, which put-ons the same situation, and you feel a slow connection.
7. Interconnection between the VPN provider & your ISP
Both of them: your ISP and Your VPN, are interconnected with each other; they both are involved in limiting your speed.
Testing ISP Throttling
If your ISP is involved in limiting your bandwidth, you need to check it before connecting to the VPN service.
Follow the following steps to check your speed:
- Disconnect VPN
- Visit www.speedtest.net
- Connect VPN
In this process, you will have a clear result if your ISP implements such speed limits.
Particular Routers and 3rd party firewalls also cause speed and disconnection problems. Disable the Router / 3rdparty or Windows Firewall and check the connection consistency and speed. When you set up a VPN connection, ensure your computer’s firewall setting is set; then only a VPN can run reliably. Frequently firewall settings do not affect the VPN but affect the CPU speed, making VPN slow down your Internet connection.
Generally, you may not see such a severe internet connection speed change when using a VPN. That is because the overall rate of your VPN entirely depends on your current internet connection speed. So, any slowdown will only be a small segment that may not even be noticeable as long as that is stable.
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About the Author
Rebecca James is an IT consultant with forward thinking approach toward developing IT infrastructures of SMEs. She writes to engage with individuals and raise awareness of digital security, privacy, and better IT infrastructure.More from Rebecca James
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