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January 14, 2021

VPN Speed: Why It’s Important and How to Get a VPN Speed Boost

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The internet is one of the most important inventions in human history. Yet, 2020 made it more important than ever. The World Wide Web became a lifeline for work, relationships, shopping, and more. But with rising use comes a rising need for a safer, more secure connection. 

A VPN, or virtual private network, is one of the most effective tools for protecting yourself online. This tool makes your activity anonymous, so it can’t be tracked back to you, and encrypts your data, so it can’t be stolen by unauthorized users (hackers, snoops, and the like). However, some VPNs may protect your data at the cost of your connection speed. This makes it much harder to remain productive at work, video chat without connection drops, game online without lag, and stream without buffering. That makes VPN speed one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a provider. However, if you’re using a virtual private network that’s slowing down your internet connection, there are a few tricks you can use for a VPN speed boost:

  • Why do VPNs slow internet speeds?
  • Change your server location
  • Try a wired connection
  • Use your VPN for your most important tasks
  • Pay for a service

Why Do VPNs Slow Internet Speeds?

Before we dig into the question of why VPNs slow your connection to the internet, it’s important to understand that not all VPNs suffer from this drawback, especially as the technology improves. In addition, even a good VPN may be subject to slowdowns occasionally; this is mostly due to temporary technical difficulty and won’t typically last. But, for those VPNs that suffer routinely from speed problems, these factors may be why:

  • Server Location: The farther away you are geographically from the server you want to connect to, the slower your VPN speed will be. 
  • Encryption Level: Some VPNs offer higher levels of encryption than others. Unfortunately, that increased security can slow speeds. Users may have to choose one feature over the other.
  • Encryption Type: There are several types of encryption a VPN service may use. They include PPTP, IPSec, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and SSTP. Some are slower than others; they also offer varying levels of encryption. You can read about different types of encryption here.
  • ISP Speed: Although a good VPN can help you avoid speed throttling from your internet service provider (when your provider deliberately slows your speeds during demanding activities like streaming or gaming), if your ISP is consistently slow, it will slow the speed of your VPN as well.
  • Server Load: If you connect to a server that a lot of other users are on, the server may be overloaded and slow down as a result.

Change Your Server Location

If you find your VPN speed lacking, take a look at the location of the server you’re connected to. If it’s halfway around the world, the sheer distance between it and your device can majorly slow your speed. If you don’t have to be on that server specifically, try switching to one closer to home. 

In addition, the server you’re using may also be overwhelmed with sheer numbers of users. Switching to a less busy server may also give you a VPN speed boost.

Try a Wired Connection

While wireless connections, like ones over wi-fi, are great, they can really slow your speed. This is especially true if a lot of people share that wireless connection. If possible, connect your device to the internet with a cable; wired connections have faster, more stable speeds. Once your connection is sped up, you may notice a VPN speed boost.

Use a VPN for Your Most Important Tasks

If you use a VPN that’s consistently slow and you’re locked into it (for example, if you’ve paid for a year of use), dedicate it to accomplishing your most important tasks. Things like online banking, for example, include vital details about your life that you don’t want being stolen. This is a situation where you want as much security as possible, and should put up with slower speeds if it means increased safety. However, you may want to forgo the VPN when you’re watching videos on YouTube; this activity is less likely to impact your privacy and therefore a VPN is less necessary.

Pay for a Service

It’s tempting to use a free VPN for your online activities. Why pay for something when free options exist? Unfortunately, most free VPNs have so many drawbacks that they’re not even worth the price of $0. Poor speed is one of those drawbacks. In addition to slow speeds, free VPNs often skimp out on the security they provide too. Rather than put up with them, it’s best to just pay for a service. Most VPNs on the market are priced reasonably and are well worth the money you spend, both in terms of speed and security.

Conclusion

VPN speed is a huge factor that all prospective users should consider before taking the plunge and selecting a provider. Understanding why speeds are slow, and how to increase them, can help you pick the right VPN for your needs.

Anyone looking for a fast, reliable VPN should give HotBot VPN a try. We offer top-of-the-line encryption without sacrificing any of the speed you deserve. Our service can be used on up to six devices at a time, so you can protect yourself and your family. Download our app for your Android, iOS, or Windows devices today!

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