Does a VPN slow down your internet? Expert view in 2023



How much slower is your connection while using a virtual private network? Over years, we have been asked *does a VPN slow down one’s internet when in use?*

No noticeable change should occur if the server infrastructure and settings are optimized.

Assume your download speed is 100 Mbps without a VPN, but after connecting to one, it drops to 80 Mbps.

For typical web use, you won’t notice any slowdown at all. You might also use it to watch videos while sitting in comfort. The download rate may increase (or remain the same; we’ll explain), but you won’t notice a difference.

But it is only sometimes the case. Your VPN speed may remain the same if you connect to a server in your area.

Therefore, it is crucial that you have a fast internet connection and that your VPN server is located close by. As a quick fix, switch to a wired connection or connect to the server that is physically nearest to you.

Can VPN service improve download times?

Does using a VPN slow down internet connection speeds? | T3

Yes. A virtual private network (VPN) may make your internet connection much faster in certain situations. If you’re using excessive bandwidth, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may limit your connection speed. This often occurs while downloading or streaming media from the internet. Internet service providers (ISPs) are in business to generate money, as much as we would hate to acknowledge it. Therefore, they will want to ensure that everybody consumes enough bandwidth.

Using a Virtual Private Network, you may hide your online actions from your ISP. They won’t be able to view your traffic, so they won’t know if you’re using unusually high bandwidth. Therefore, they need clarification about when to use the choke hold on you. And your VPN connection speed can even increase!

How a VPN service affects your connection speed may be tested in minutes with little effort.

You could begin by visiting a website that can test your connection speed. It’s good knowing that you can utilize Ookla too. Start with no Virtual Private Network and see how it goes. You’ll probably get much quicker than this, but consider this your starting point.

Try out the VPN’s speed before you connect

Join a virtual private network now. Surfshark and similar apps may be set to connect automatically to the nearest server. It’s safe to assume that this is the physically closest server to your location.

Have another go at the exam. There will be a little slowdown, but it will be visible.

Checking download rates after connecting to a VPN’s nearest server

Some further experiments are now within your reach. Establish a connection to ever more remote VPN servers. You should see a trend where server speeds degrade as their distance from you increases.

It is now possible to test whether your internet service provider limits your bandwidth.

Try the Netflix test first, and do it without a virtual private network. The next step is to activate the VPN and check for changes.

Inquire whether your ISP is restricting access to any other websites. Wehe is a free, multi-purpose speed testing program, and Wehe was developed as part of an academic initiative. They use this software to aid in investigating breaches of “net neutrality.”

Why does using a Virtual Private Network cause a slowdown in my internet connection?

The primary explanation is the nature of the VPN’s intended use. A virtual private network (VPN) requires an additional hop along your network’s path to encrypting your data. You may not even see the difference while using a premium VPN service like Surfshark, but it’s still there.

Let’s elaborate on encryption and other slowdown causes:

Secure communication protocols

Virtual private networks (VPNs) use encryption algorithms to keep your online activity confidential. The encryption process consumes some data transfer speed, and the more the complexity of an encryption method, the greater the bandwidth it requires. All premium VPNs, including Surfshark, employ industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption.

Let’s pretend you’re on a plane right now. If airports weren’t so tight about security measures, your journey time would be significantly reduced. On the other hand, doing so would put your life in danger. Using a virtual private network (VPN) may have the same effect on your internet speed as going through airport security. However, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Where to find a VPN server

Does a VPN Slow Down Your Internet in 2022 ? - Monsterkingproductions ...

A lot depends on the servers themselves and these safety precautions. There needs to be a more significant gap in proximity, and selecting a VPN server farther away will result in slower connection speeds. Because of this, Surfshark will always connect you to the quickest server available, which will often be the nearest one (either in your country or the closest one geographically).

Let’s keep using journeys as an analogy (albeit this one is relatively self-explanatory). It will take less time to travel to a place just 2,000 miles away than it would to a destination 5,000 miles away.

Traffic and VPN server overload

Strategic Overload | Vocal

The available storage space on the server is another factor to think about. Connecting to a highly trafficked VPN server (in cities like New York or Los Angeles) can cause your connection speed to decrease.

Here we are continuing on the road. YAY! You made it there! Make your way from the airport to your accommodation. Even if you’re familiar with the area and the roads, you may find yourself in a jam because of the influx of visitors. As a result, you should expect a lengthier trip time than normal to the hotel. Sitting in traffic is annoying, but it’s a fact of life when you’re on the road.

There are nine ways to keep your VPN from bogging down your connection.

You may limit VPN’s impact on your connection speed in a few different ways. Put them to the test to see which ones provide the most satisfying interaction.

Move the server somewhere else.

This is the simplest option. If you’re having trouble connecting, try connecting to a neighbouring server.

It’s time to try a new protocol.

Many VPN programs support encryption algorithms, each of which takes a different approach to protect user data. OpenVPN, for instance, is very flexible in terms of resource allocation to bolster security. You may improve throughput without sacrificing security by switching to IKEv2 or WireGuard.

Free OpenVPN

HOW-TO Set up a Privateinternetaccess client on OpenVPN | The FreeBSD ...

OpenVPN users have the option of utilizing either the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) in their VPN client software (User Datagram Protocol). You can accomplish this using Surfshark; give it a go and see if it improves your connection speed.

To Activate MultiHop, Press [CTRL]+[M]

This functionality lets you connect to TWO VPN servers simultaneously, although it is not supported by all VPN clients. Having servers in two locations may improve VPN performance, even if those locations are in separate countries. How? MultiHop may reroute your data via a less crowded or more robust server, and this means that MultiHop may provide a more rapid connection.

It would be best if you tried a reboot.

There might be a problem with the software on your computer, mobile phone, or other devices where you install a VPN. Attempt a re-start.

It may be time to reboot your router.

The age-old advice to “turn it off and on again” (or “reboot”) is still effective and likely always will be. Use your router to try it out.

Cut ties with unnecessary programs

Your data transfer rates may be affected by certain programs. If it’s not an absolute need, you may disable certain apps to see if it makes a difference.


Wi-Fi makes life easier. If you have a gadget that can connect to the internet, you can carry it wherever you choose. On the other hand, Wi-Fi is slower since it uses numerous channels simultaneously. A wired connection would really improve your internet speed. If you can do so, consider doing so.

Clean your internet browse 

It’s not often the web itself that’s slowing you down, but rather the browser. Our browser maintenance manual will tell you whether that’s the case: When will my browser stop being so slow?

Check out the Surfshark manual on increasing VPN speed for a more in-depth look at these techniques.

When using a free VPN, you may notice a decrease in speed

When compared to premium VPN services, free ones always have more users but less available servers. As a result, their end consumers often experience a slowing of their internet speeds.

Maintaining servers is expensive, and a free VPN service cannot afford this.

They are likely funding their operations in other ways, such as via intrusive advertising or the sale of your personal information.


You shouldn’t notice a major slowdown in your connection speed while utilizing a VPN; you could even see an improvement.

A few options are available for increasing a VPN connection’s speed, and paid VPN software has various customization options. We propose Surfshark to anybody interested in trying out new server software, switching protocols, or trying out MultiHop.

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