10 Ways to Speed Up Slow VPN Connections – Using a VPN service is useful to increase our privacy. However, while great for avoiding region blocking, and censorship, and maybe even saving you money, VPNs can cause problems. One of them is the internet speed becomes slow.
How to Speed Up Slow VPN Connections 2024
So what can you do about this problem? If your VPN seems slow, here are some ways to speed up a slow VPN connection.
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Do VPNs Slow Down Internet Speeds?
At its core, a VPN’s job is to encrypt your connection and send it through a secure server. Since it adds an extra step between you and the internet, it will definitely slow down your connection. However, there are tips you can use to reduce its impact. If your VPN is slowing down your internet, here’s what to look out for:
The distance between you and your VPN server is one of the biggest factors that can lower internet speed. Selecting a connection location further away will cause your connection to travel further to its destination and vice versa, resulting in slower upload and download speeds.
You can test it yourself by connecting to a VPN server that is far from your location, try to browse the internet, then connect to a server in your country or a neighboring country. You will see an immediate speed spike when the server of your choice is closer to your location.
Any given server has the capacity to process any number of users. As the limit gets closer, users may experience slow connection speeds or even fail to connect.
This is a big reason why paid VPNs can offer higher speeds. They have more servers, which means less congestion on each server, and each of those servers can accommodate more connections because of their superior hardware.
Unfortunately, superior security and privacy come at a price. Encrypting and decrypting your data takes time (both on your device and on the VPN server), so the stronger the encryption, the bigger the impact on internet speed.
Weak encryption allows for higher speeds, but it will still impact your speed while offering little or no protection from specified attackers.
How to Speed Up VPN Connections
In most cases, your internet speed will drop when using a VPN. However, with the right tools, techniques, and settings, you can achieve the best VPN speeds. Check out these 10 ways to speed up a VPN connection.
#1. Check Internet Speed
If your connection is slow to start, your VPN is not the culprit here. Run a check of your Internet speed with and without a VPN. This will help you determine if the VPN is causing the throttling or if you need to upgrade your Internet plan or hardware.
#2. Choose the Right Server Location
This is probably the most important thing to remember and has to do with how VPNs work. As mentioned earlier, suppose you are in Indonesia and you play a game whose servers are also located in Indonesia. Usually, your data travels to the server using the fastest path, then returns to you on the fastest path. Latency may be 20 milliseconds (ms).
But now suppose you are connected to a VPN server in France. Your data is first sent to France, to a server in Indonesia, back to France, then back to your device. You can see the problem, that extra distance probably means your latency is now 250 milliseconds.
For that always make sure to choose a VPN location that is closest to your destination if you can.
#3. Change VPN Protocol
Paid VPNs come with extra security settings and other features that can change the speed of your VPN. Open Advanced Settings on your VPN app and try switching to another Internet protocol if available. Choose UDP for a faster connection, but be prepared to accept the risk of possible instability.
If you prefer to have a slower but more stable connection, choose TCP. Either way, you can switch between the two as much as you want. Remember that “slower” and “faster” are relative.
#4. Make sure the VPN is always up-to-date
One of the main reasons why your VPN is slower than you might expect is because the software you installed on your computer, phone, or tablet manages your connection to the VPN server. It also keeps an eye on the encryption of your internet connection.
From time to time, bugs and other issues can cause problems including slow internet. When these are identified and fixed, the VPN provider rolls out an update. The VPN provider should notify you when an update is available, make sure to download and install it right away.
#5. Restart Your Modem/Router
This one is as simple as it sounds. If your router/modem is running slower due to a memory leak or some other issue, a restart might help.
Also, keep in mind that the VPN connection on your router may be slower than connecting to the VPN from your device (unless you have a very powerful router).
If you have set up a VPN on your router and the speed is too low, you may want to use a VPN mainly on your computer/mobile phone. Never use both at the same time, as this will make the connection slower.
#6. Adjust Encryption Level
VPNs can use different security protocols to encrypt data passing through. Not all VPN services support all protocols, but many of the standard ones are widely supported.
The thing about encryption is that it can be computationally expensive. Every bit of data that comes out of your device must be encrypted, every bit of data received must be decrypted. The stronger the encryption, the more computing power you will need.
Slow CPU can cause slow VPN performance on your computer. Even if your internet can handle 100Mbps, it will be a problem if your encryption is too strong for the CPU and it will probably only process data at 10Mbps, being a bottleneck in how fast the data is processed.
Theoretically, the speed hierarchy from fastest to slowest is PPTP > L2TP/IPSec > OpenVPN > SSTP > IKEv2/IPSec. Step back one by one if your device doesn’t have enough computing power. Change this in your VPN client settings, see the provider’s support page for help.
#7. Use Wired Connection
Wi-Fi is great, but it can reduce speed, especially if you connect multiple devices to the same network. Wireless connections use a shared channel to transmit data to multiple computers and phones in your home, which can slow down your speed.
Maybe in most cases. Laptop computers often don’t even have an Ethernet port. Mobile devices do not have Ethernet. However, PCs, game consoles, TV boxes, and Smart TVs often all have Ethernet ports. Connecting these devices directly to your router with a good quality Ethernet cable will increase the speed significantly.
#8. Switch Device
Unfortunately, not all devices have the same capabilities as others. Some, like old PCs, routers, etc. Has a processor that can not produce high speed. Tunnel VPN uses heavy encryption which hinders this device’s ability to deliver efficient performance. Sometimes, you just need to switch devices.
#9. Turn Off the Firewall And Other Security Software
Your firewall and antivirus software can slow down VPN speeds as they filter through outgoing data. If you disable this tool temporarily, you can see if it is causing your VPN speed issues. However, at your own risk. Admins prefer to lose a bit of speed but keep data safe by leaving VPN, firewall, and antivirus always on.
#10. Restart Device
Your computer or smartphone may just be “tired”. Give it a fresh start by turning it off and on. This is another old-fashioned trick, but it can help increase VPN speeds and get you back to enjoying your content quickly.
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This is the explanation of 10 ways to speed up a VPN connection, give it a try, and see which one suits you best. Is a slow VPN caused by software or the VPN settings itself or is it caused by interference from outside the VPN software? If you’re still seeing speed issues, it’s best to talk to your VPN service provider.
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