VPN Articles and News

Can A VPN Make Your Internet Faster?

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Virtual Private Networks are increasingly being used to unlock GEO-IP blocked streaming websites. The speed and bandwidth delivered by service providers is an important and often the deciding factor which the users look at while subscribing to a VPN service. Many VPN service providers make outlandish claims regarding speeds delivered by them and some of them even claim to increase the overall speed available to their subscribers. But is it really possible to increase the internet speed just by connecting to a VPN? This article will try to unravel this puzzle and provide an honest answer to this question.

A VPN works by encrypting network traffic and routing it via a secure tunnel. This increases the networking overhead and should in theory reduce the overall speed available to the end users. However, the reality is that a lot of VPN users notice an uptick in browsing speeds soon after connecting to their VPN service. This primarily happens because a lot of VPN providers compress traffic passing through their servers. This not only helps in reducing networking overhead but also makes it possible to deliver better speeds to subscribers.

The speed available to the users also depend on VPN protocols used by the service providers. PPTP is often considered as the fastest VPN protocol though it is not the most secure one; OpenVPN is considered highly secure but it slows down the connection a bit while L2TP/IPSec is considered as the slowest protocol since it encapsulates data twice. If your service provider offers the service via all 3 protocols, you can experiment by switching from one protocol to another to achieve better browsing and streaming speeds.

It must also be said here that the speed delivered by a VPN service also depends on the location of the servers. You may also experience better speeds only for a specific website or service just because the content providers’ servers happen to be near to the VPN servers currently being used by you. Always remember, the more the physical distance between a subscriber and a VPN server, the slower would be the connection. Big VPN companies having servers at multiple locations are able to deliver better speeds to their subscribers. So if browsing speed is of utmost importance to you, consider subscribing to a service which has its infrastructure distributed all over the world.

Since a lot of ISPs throttle only specific types of traffic (such as bittorrenting), you may be able to boost speeds of certain types of online activities. Since VPNs encrypt traffic, it becomes impossible for the ISPs to distinguish one type of traffic from another. This explains why VPN users experience near consistent speeds regardless of the type of online activity that they are carrying out.

Some subscribers experience 10x improvement in speeds as soon as they connect to a VPN service. However, it is not possible to achieve faster speeds than what is promised by your ISP. If you notice browsing speeds that significantly exceed the maximum speed promised to you, you need to change the way of testing your current browsing speed. A lot of speed testing websites are not able to measure speeds accurately when the traffic is compressed or encrypted. To beat this, always test your browsing speed with services which measure the actual upload/download speeds rather than just the ping times.

To summarize, a VPN can indeed make your internet faster but you should not expect a tremendous increase in browsing, streaming or downloading speeds.

May 25, 2017

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