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What is the Fastest VPN?

Whenever you visit a website, normally, your request to connect to that website as well as the website’s response are transmitted over the public Internet. When using a VPN, your traffic is first encrypted, then your traffic has to pass through a VPN server before your request reaches the site or the site’s response reaches your computer. That’s how a VPN works.

With these extra steps, don’t be surprised that using a VPN could slow down your connection speed very slightly. Some VPNs will slow you down more than others, and this article will look at five that will be sure to keep you moving at nearly the same speed as always.

Is the fastest VPN always the best?

Speed should not be the only consideration when looking for a VPN. Aside from raw speed, the following factors affect the quality of your connection:

  • The number of servers: A VPN provider with more servers will be better than those with few ones. Servers will be less crowded if they are plentiful. If not, you will find yourself competing with other VPN users for speed and bandwidth.
  • The location of servers: If you want plenty of options, go with a VPN that has a vast network of servers. This will help you spoof your virtual location and access geo-blocked websites. Also, get a VPN that has servers nearby. If you use the closest server, your connection will likely be faster.

  • Simultaneous connections: If you’ll be connecting more than one device, or your whole family wants to use the VPN service, then you should choose a VPN that allows multiple, simultaneous connections.  

As you can see, raw speed alone won’t give total satisfaction. Consider these factors too when choosing the fastest VPN for your use.

What are the fastest VPN services?

Three metrics are usually used to determine the fastest VPN: latency (ping time), download speed, and upload speed. You need a tool, like Ookla’s Speedtest, to measure these metrics.

We reviewed the five fastest VPNs and listed them here. Not only do they have unlimited speed and bandwidth; they also possess the extra factors we discussed in the previous section.

Fastest VPNs: IPVanish

Instead of decreasing Internet speed, IPVanish surprisingly boosted speed. The baseline speed without a VPN is shown below:

IPVanish Speed Test VPN Off

Here is the speed when we connected to an IPVanish server in the US:

IPVanish Speed Test VPN On US

Here is the speed when we connected to an IPVanish server in the UK:

Check out the download speeds when IPVanish VPN is on—the speeds are way faster than the baseline speed without a VPN. Even if we deliberately slowed down the speed, IPVanish remained strong throughout our testing.

IPVanish’s other features include:

  • High reliability: During our testing, there was never one instance that IPVanish crashed.
  • Excellent server distribution: 1,100+ servers is sprawled across 60+ countries. The number of countries alone shows the diverse geographic coverage of IPVanish.
  • Simultaneous connections: Among our list of the fastest VPN services, IPVanish has the highest number of devices that can connect simultaneously.

These features augment the already excellent speed of IPVanish, that’s why it ranks first in our fastest VPN list. Moreover, IPVanish has competitive prices and boasts great privacy features, like IP switching, a kill switch, and a no-logging policy!

Fastest VPNs: CyberGhostcyberghost-vpn-logo

If you’re into torrenting, then CyberGhost is the right VPN for you. Except for some servers in the US, Russia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, all of CyberGhost’s servers allow P2P traffic. Here is the speed data without a VPN:

CyberGhost Speed Test VPN Off

Here’s the data when tested on a CyberGhost server in Germany:

CyberGhost Speed Test VPN On

Observe how the download speed has gone beyond the speed cap. When it comes to P2P sharing, downloads are roughly 10-15% higher than without a VPN, which is still above average.

Other notable features of CyberGhost are:

  • High number of servers: CyberGhost has 3,550 servers—the highest in our list. Servers are located in 59 countries—almost the same as IPVanish. Many servers are in Romania (where the company is based), so the service is exceptionally fast in Europe. There are servers in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, and Japan as well.
  • Simultaneous connections: It is second only to IPVanish in this area.

These are great add-ons to the fast speed of CyberGhost. Also, CyberGhost sports privacy features like a kill switch, no-logging policy, and an ad blocker. Plus, if you’re planning to use a VPN for a long time, CyberGhost’s three-year plan is a killer, at a low monthly rate of $2.50.

Fastest VPNs: StrongVPN

With the VPN off, the download speed was around 11Mbps during testing. With the VPN on, average speed dropped to 9-10Mbps, 85-90% of the baseline speed. While there’s a drop in speed, StrongVPN’s impact is only minimal as we hardly noticed the effect.

Compared to CyberGhost and IPVanish, StrongVPN ‘only’ has 680+ servers, but the servers are concentrated in 24 countries, making StrongVPN’s network denser than the other two VPNs. It has covered popular countries like the US, Canada, Australia, England, and the Netherlands. StrongVPN has also placed servers in less frequented countries like Israel, Turkey, and South Korea.

With StrongVPN, you can connect up to five devices at the same time. This number is less than that of IPVanish (ten) and CyberGhost (seven), but it is the same as that of VyprVPN premium and PIA.

Fastest VPNs: VyprVPN

Like StrongVPN, VyprVPN brought minimal impact in terms of speed drop. Here is the speed data without a VPN:

VyprVPN Speed Test VPN Off

Here is the result when we connected to a US server:

VyprVPN Speed Test VPN On US

This is the result when we connected to a UK server:

VyprVPN Speed Test VPN On UK

At 700+ servers, VyprVPN has roughly the same number of servers as StrongVPN. Its reach is very high as it is present in 60+ countries, at par with IPVanish and CyberGhost. The servers are placed in North America, Australia/New Zealand, Europe, and Asia.

The number of devices that can be connected simultaneously will depend on the type of subscription plan. The basic plan allows three devices while the premium plan allows five. Also, the premium plan contains VyprPlan’s proprietary encryption technology—Chameleon—which can defeat anyone (ISPs, corporations, governments) who will attempt to throttle down your Internet speed.

Fastest VPNs: Private Internet Access (PIA)

Similar to CyberGhost, PIA boosted connection speed beyond the speed cap. Here’s a look at the speed without a VPN:

PIA Speed Test VPN Off

Look at the boosted speed with the VPN turned on:

PIA Speed Test VPN On

Other strong features of PIA are:

  • A high number of servers: With 3,200+ servers, PIA is second only to CyberGhost in this category. With servers present in 30+ countries, PIA has the densest network in this list.
  • Simultaneous connections: With PIA, you can connect five devices at the same time.

Apart from the increase in speed, these two features made PIA one of our fastest VPN providers. What makes PIA really stand out is its range of privacy features. With a kill switch, DNS leak and IPv6 leak protections, and its own PIA MACE blocker tool, PIA appears to be the most anonymous and private among the VPNs we have reviewed.

More ways to have the fastest VPN speed

To further enhance your connection speed with a VPN, use these features if they’re available:

  • Purpose-centric servers: Some VPNs have servers designated for specific tasks. Take torrenting as an example. A VPN may have servers dedicated for torrenting alone, or it may have an entire network of optimized servers. So if you aim to download movies only, then connect to a server designed for P2P sharing. Check our list of the best torrenting VPNs.
  • OpenVPN protocol: Among VPN protocols, OpenVPN is considered the fastest and most reliable. So if this protocol is present in your VPN, use it for a speedy connection.
  • Lower encryption level: If a VPN has more complex encryption, it will have a slower speed. If your VPN can switch between 256-bit and 128-bit encryptions, consider using the latter. However, before you use lower encryption, know the security risks and weigh if the switch is worth the speed gain.
  • Split tunneling: If your VPN has split tunneling, then turn the feature on. With split tunneling, the VPN will split your activities into two: sensitive tasks that need VPN encryption (like online banking), and non-sensitive tasks (like reading online news). This way, not all your activities must go through a VPN and suffer a speed bump. ExpressVPN has this feature; check our review on ExpressVPN.

These are just a few tips to help you reduce the speed-degrading effects of VPNs. To know more, check our article on how to improve VPN speed.

Why use a VPN

Despite the downside of speed degradation, there are plenty of reasons why a VPN is necessary. A VPN can:

  • Protect your security. A VPN encrypts your connection, making it hard for hackers, ID thieves, and other malicious users to read your data. A VPN also makes things safer when you use public Wi-Fi to go online.
  • Protect your privacy. VPNs hide your data and IP address from ISPs, corporations, and government authorities—organizations which can track what you do online. For instance, in the US, ISPs can now sell your private data to advertisers. For your protection, you may want to consider a VPN to maintain your privacy.
  • Spoof your location. With a VPN, you can make it appear like you are from a different country, say, in the US or UK. By using a different virtual location, you can go around geo-restrictions and access censored sites or blocked contents.

These reasons should convince you not to give up on using a VPN. While a VPN can slow down your connection, not all VPNs are like that. In our list of the fastest VPN services below, you’ll see that certain VPNs will either decrease Internet speed slightly or boost that speed in a big way.

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