It is quite important to consider the speed of a VPN. VPN speed is one of the ultimate factors people consider while choosing one. While surfing the internet, speed is a major factor. Yes, VPN gives you online security and gives access to blocked sites on the internet, but slow internet is like no internet even when VPN is involved. This article, therefore, seeks to explore several contributing factors to the speed of a VPN, and best VPN services that can give you optimal speed and how they can be mitigated or maximized.
The VPN Server Location
In general, connecting to a VPN server near your location would result in better internet speed. Usually, this is because internet traffic increases in direct proportion to the distance between your location and the server. The higher the distance, the more complex the traffic becomes consequently slowing the VPN speed.
It's best to use a VPN location closest to you especially if you do not have a specific reason for doing it differently. For instance, if you live in Texas and you need to log into a US VPN server, use one in Dallas instead of using one in LA. Also, say your base is in China and you intend to use a US location, it’s most advisable to use one closest to China, which is the West Coast, rather than using one in the East Coast.
The VPN Protocols
There are several protocols that can be used during the creation of a VPN connection, some of which include; L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN (over TCP or UDP), PPTP and SSTP. Each protocol can result in a significantly different VPN speed. Each of these different protocols has different speeds, for instance, using OpenVPN on UDP gives a faster speed than OpenVPN on TCP.
There is no instructional manual telling you which protocol gives optimum speed. However, by default, OpenVPN over UDP is good, but you might have problems using it. In such cases, it’s advisable to try a different protocol to see if speed gets better than the others.
High-end encryption increases network complexity and consequently slows down a VPN. Of course, 128-bit encryption will give a faster connection compared to a 256-bit one.
But we must also note that when we lower the strength of the encryption, we get an insecure connection with vulnerable transmitted data. Hence, it's best to stick to stronger encryption, except there is a highly significant difference between both.
VPN Server and Load Bandwidth
The power of a VPN server would have a resultant effect on its speed. An overloaded server that has a bandwidth unable to meet up with the demand gives a slow connection.
Usually, the client software tells the number limit of the IP addresses and bandwidth size limit, if these numbers are high, it means the power of the server is also high. When you have an overloaded server, you can easily switch to another one.
The method via which your device is connected to the network can affect your VPN speed, i.e. wired or wireless method of connection. The difference is specifically relevant when there is a fast external connection. Usually, using a wired network connection is faster than the wireless setup. You can, therefore, try switching to a wired connection by connecting your computer directly to your router.
At this juncture, we must agree to the fact that even under ideal conditions, not all VPN providers are the same in speed, reliability, and efficiency offered. Having tried all the methods listed above and you still have a slow internet connection, considering changing your VPN provider might just be the next course of action.