We'll be the first to admit a fast VPN is a secret ingredient to fun and easy internet surfing. A fast VPN download can cut down your waiting time immensely, saving you a lot of time.
Nothing makes browsing easier, safer and more private than the fastest VPNs. These VPN providers ensure networks don’t lag and some even bypass ISP throttling for better internet surfing. In this piece, we will be looking at NordVPN, ExpressVPN and SurfsharkVPN as some of the fastest VPN providers in the market.
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The short answer is yes. The VPN you use goes a long way in determining if your internet speed will be faster or slower than when not in use, but the reason isn't as straightforward as you might think. There are several factors that can affect your internet speed when using VPNs, but the most common reason is the server distance. VPNs work by routing your traffic through a server before it reaches your destination. It is similar to covering your tracks by taking several detours to fake or hide where you are coming from. With this logic, you can quickly figure out that your internet speed depends on how close or farther away you are from the server you are connected to.
Server distance is far from being the only culprit that accounts for your internet speed. Another factor is the server load. If many users are connected to the same server, there will be a high amount of traffic which could affect the overall speed.
The last reason VPNs impact your internet speed is, ironically, one of the reasons we use it in the first place - encryption. The encryption used by VPNs ensures that your internet activities are secured, and adding this extra layer of security can slow down data transmission.
While using a VPN could reduce your internet speed, it can also increase it. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) often throttle your speed, especially when viewing specific content. With some VPNs, you can bypass this limit and watch your internet speed increase. The fastest VPN service tends to strike a balance. This is done by providing more servers with a broader range, informing users of servers in massive traffic, and using state-of-the-art encryption that makes encryption protocols faster. All these help some brands increase their internet speed, making them some of the fastest VPN providers.
You might wonder, "If my VPN affects my internet speed, how can I speed it up?" We hear you, so we are dedicating this section to answering that. If you ever have a slow VPN, here are some tips to increase its speed.
Doing one or more of these can be all you need to make your VPN fast.
It's a common notion that good things are seldom free, and we totally agree with that. Most free VPNs do not offer the same level of security, speed, and privacy as other best VPN providers, but this doesn't mean you can't enjoy the fastest VPN for free.
Several great fast VPNs offer great free options for new users, with the best being Surfshark VPN and Express VPN. Surfshark provides new users with a 7-day free trial that gives you access to all premium services and can be used on any device. Express VPN's free trial is tricky as it's only available for mobile use.
Alternatively, you can try out the 30-day money-back guarantee policy of all the three VPN providers we've highlighted. That way, you can enjoy free unrestricted fast internet surfing for a month.
Personally, we'd say everyone should use a fast VPN. Having to surf the internet with no hassle is what every netizen deserves. Having said this, it's also important to note that some would find the fastest VPNs advantageous and others. So if you fall into any of the categories below, you should definitely try out any of our recommended fast VPNs.
If you think testing the speed of a VPN to know the fastest VPN service is easy, you'd be wrong (and we'll forgive you for thinking that). There are hundreds of providers that claim to have the fastest VPN, but don't be fooled; you either get frustrated using them or, worse, won't get your money's worth.
To test the VPN speeds, we used the renowned WireGuard if supported by the VPN or the proprietary protocol of each provider. Of all the VPNs that make our list, only Surfshark uses WireGuard. NordVPN has NordLynx, while Express VPN has its own Lightway protocol, which is by far the fastest VPN protocol we've seen so far, partly thanks to its light weight.
Before testing the VPNs, we conducted a speed test in multiple locations to know the average speed the service provider was giving us. We did this several times in these locations to get the average non-VPN speeds.
When we were done getting the two averages (VPN and non-VPN speeds), we calculated the percentage loss or increase of each VPN.
Since 2012 when NordVPN was founded, it has proven itself to be a game-changer in the industry. So, it's no surprise that it's our best and fastest VPN. NordVPN uses a proprietary VPN protocol with the same speed but better security than WireGuard called NordLynx VPN protocol.
While testing, NordVPN was able to hold its own among others as we didn't experience any speed loss. Even when we chose servers farther away from our testing locations, we couldn't see any significant decrease in speed, and the most speed loss we got on average was a single-digit drop. For example our initial average non-VPN upload speed of 470Mbps dropped to 451Mbps with VPN and in some cases where we chose closer servers, the drop was above 2%.
Another advantage that sets it as one of the fastest VPNs is its use of IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols, specifically UDP and TCP. This allows users to choose the ones best suited to their needs.
As VPN technology progresses, so are VPN-blocking firewalls. Thankfully, you don't have to worry about that. NordVPN offers obfuscated servers which you can use to make it seem as if you are not using one. We'll be the first to admit that not everyone is interested in obfuscated servers, especially since most use VPNs for day-to-day use. However, below are some vast features that come with NordVPN
Despite falling from being the fastest VPN height, Express VPN remains a top contender and a close second on our list. During our testing, the VPN provider retained much of the initial internet speed, and the only time we saw any loss was when testing with a distance server. Even with this, we only experienced about 10-12% speed loss. In several testing where our average non-VPN upload speed is 420Mbps, we saw a drop of 11% making its VPN speed 373Mbps. However, during download testing, a 600Mbps non-VPN speed was able to be retained and sometimes slightly went higher with Express VPN.
One of the key reasons for ExpressVPN's speed is its Lightway VPN protocol. This is by far the fastest VPN protocol and even more secure than the popular WireGuard due to being lightweight. Besides this proprietary product, ExpressVPN also has IKEv2 and OpenVPN, which you can use for split tunneling. OpenVPN is often an excellent option for users looking for an added privacy layer without losing internet speed.
ExpressVPN has all the most common features offered by any reputable VPN provider, but it's obfuscated servers work differently. Instead of being separate, all servers have in-built obfuscation. So, whenever you visit a site with VPN-detecting encryption, the camouflage is automatically activated to give you access to the site. Other important features you will find at ExpressVPN are as follows:
Surfshark is an impressive VPN that did outstandingly well during our test. It features several VPN protocols like OpenVPN, UDP, IKEv2, TCP, and the ultra-modern WireGuard. Of all the protocols you can choose from, WireGuard is one of the fastest VPN protocols as we only got an average of 15% drop in speed. Others aren't too far behind, too, and some, like OpenVPN, even have an added layer of privacy. New users can get a 7-day free trial on Surfshark VPN and a 30-day money-back guarantee, which makes it one of the fastest free VPNs in the market.
During testing with WireGuard an initial speed of 390Mbps was dropped to 355Mbps and 338Mbps when we used OpenVPN. This also varies according to location but this was the result we got from one of the farthest servers from our testing sites.
Besides being a fast VPN, Surfshark is also one of the most innovative VPN providers, with two of its best features being dynamic Multihop and VPN obfuscation. The former allows you to select multiple VPN servers so every traffic you generate will pass through two encryptions. This makes it even more challenging than it already is to pinpoint your location or hack your data. VPN obfuscation is servers that specifically bypass VPN-blocking firewalls. This can come in handy if you travel to places with high censorship. Other features you will get from Surfshark are:
Discovering the fastest VPN is like finding a hidden treasure, but knowing where to find it is the key to unlocking the holy grail, unlocking super fast and safe browsing.
If one of the fastest VPNs above tickles your fancy, you can quickly head to its official website. There, you will find everything you will ever need. From signing up to getting the perfect VPN app for your devices - Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, you name it. The official website also has installation guides, so you don't have to worry about hitting roadblocks.
Feeling a bit adventurous and wanting to explore more options from the ones on our list? We've got you! You can check out our reviews of other reputable VPN providers. While they might not be the fastest in the market, they are also fast VPNs you can trust to give you optimum speed, privacy, and security satisfaction. Why don't you check them out today?
Given our research we can confidently say NordVPN is the fastest VPN as it has the lowest speed loss in all our testing. Check out our findings and how we reached this conclusion in this article.
Yes, there are some fast VPN with free options. Find out all about them in this article.
Yes, for the most part. However, the fastest VPN we highlighted in this article have unlimited bandwidths so you don’t have to worry about speed drop.
The fastest servers depend on so many factors. Read this article to find out which VPN server takes the crown.
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