Everyone wants to keep his/her browsing activity safe and secure, but compromising on speed isn’t a way to get it, right? According to Akamai’s report ‘State of the Internet’, an estimated 100 Mbps data transfer speed is enjoyed by the internet users globally. Now, that’s what you call fast! But is it safe?
While VPNs are famed for their excellent contribution to reclaim Internet freedom and privacy, there are a lot of concerns people raised on the reduction of internet speed that comes with the VPN usage. VPN uses strong protocols to safeguard netizens’ activity from snoopers and hackers with the help of encryption which causes a slight, or sometimes a visible reduction in your internet speed. That is where fastest VPN services or high-speed VPNs come in.
We know that streaming, torrenting and accessing websites not available in your region is why most of us use a speedy VPN service, right? Slow and interrupted connections make us frustrated, no? We need to have the fastest VPN installed on our PCs, Laptops and our mobile devices, so as to enjoy everything we love on the Internet. So, we took upon the daunting task to test almost 45+ VPN service providers that labeled themselves as high-speed VPNs in the market. The results were quite surprising and satisfactory, because we found the best fast secure VPNs for you. For sure, speed is one of the crucial things we look for before purchasing a VPN purchase, so consider these findings important and thank us later!
Who Ranks among the Fastest VPN Providers in our list – [Updated: February 2017]
As mentioned, we have tested dozens of VPN services providers to find out which VPN is the fastest; and below are the 5 best speedy VPNs that made up to our list of the Fastest VPN services for 2017.
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What causes slow VPN speed?
Since we all know the great benefits attached to VPN technology, it is also imperative to understand why our internet speed throttles when we connect to a VPN. A VPN is designed with consideration to protect our identity from hackers and allow us to access the geo-restricted content on the web. To do this, it adds highly encrypted protocols and other security mechanisms to make the technology efficient, and a right fit for netizens.
However, VPN speed is significantly influenced by a variety of factors including your Internet connection, VPN protocol you choose, and the device you are connected to. All these major factors result in speed undulation and interruptions while you connect a VPN on your PC or mobile device. However, with a few optimization techniques, you can turn your VPN into a speedy VPN connection in less than 60 seconds. We will discuss this later how you can optimize your VPN connection for optimum speed.
The process of our VPN Speed test
To perform our fastest VPN speed test, experts at ReviewsDir have carefully taken a lot of essential factors into account. This includes setting up uniform criteria where each VPN service fighting for the spot in the fastest VPN service list will go through rigorous tests. Since VPN speed issues have a lot to contribute with the location, we have tested our fast VPN performance test from all the seven continents; America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
We have split our fastest VPN speed test into two parts; without a VPN connection and with a VPN. We will be testing VPN speeds from a US connection with a stable internet connection. With VPN, we have chosen to connect to a location that is far from the United States, let’s pick the UK. It is important to understand that VPN speed is directly related with the distance of the connection. As the distance increases, chances are there that you might report slower VPN connection speed.
We have also taken into consideration the use of VPN protocols in our fastest VPN trial. All the testing are on PPTP and L2TP connection as they are designed to yield fast VPN performance to the end users.
All the high-speed VPN tests are carried out using Speedtest.net, a service that is used by almost everyone to test their internet connection. Below are the baseline speed of our Internet connection without a VPN:
- Download speed: 45.45 Mbps
- Upload speed: 14.76 Mbps
- Ping: 30ms
Test Results of High Speed VPNs
We have tested dozens of VPN providers in our quest to find the most reliable and fast secure VPNs. During our test, we found that a lot of VPN services falls short on the minimum speed benchmark requirements we have set. Hence we excluded them from our fastest VPN list. This doesn’t mean that those VPNs are not good, but we aim to rank the ones that give top-notch VPN speed on the grounds of many factors. Below are the top 5 fast VPN providers that secured their position in our list of high-speed VPNs to use in 2017.
ExpressVPN outranks quite a many VPN providers as it is well known for its overall remarkable performance. It comes handy both in delivering top speed and military-grade security. Having a wide range of servers located in 87 countries, ExpressVPN have this added advantage over its competitors. Although they don’t offer VPN free trial, their 30-day money back guarantee is superlative to all. It gives you enough time to use ExpressVPN for varied uses, hence to get satisfied with the performance. It also offers attractive features like the Zero-logging policy, unmetered bandwidth, multi logins, and unlimited switches that are considered as bliss for any VPN user. Below is the VPN speed test result for ExpressVPN, with and without a VPN connection.
|Without a VPN Connection||With a VPN Connection|
|Location we tested from: United States||ExpressVPN server location: United Kingdom|
|Download speed: 45.45 Mbps||Protocol selected: PPTP|
|Upload speed: 14.76 Mbps||Download speed: 41.05 Mbps|
|Ping: 30ms||Upload speed: 11.16 Mbps|
During our VPN speed test, we have switched in between different ExpressVPN servers to determine the latency; however UK was the one we tested several times. We noticed that despite choosing a distant location, ExpressVPN servers manage to deliver fast VPN speed, and the drop was not more than 15%, which is normal. Also, we didn’t experience any connection interruption throughout the test phase. It clearly states that ExpressVPN’s server are smartly optimized to give best streaming experience for Netflix, Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer and other media websites.
Note: These tests are conducted during different hours of the day and tested the VPN speed on multiple servers. The final results are based on the server far from the original location to get the best result.
2. IPVanish VPN
IPVanish is one of the very best and reliable VPN service providers with an extensive range of VPN servers in more than 60 countries. The wide range of server availability (more than 500 servers) makes their credibility stronger to be in the fastest VPN service provider list. IPVanish is also known as a Tier-1 VPN provider with all the required and advanced VPN features to offer. As a fast VPN option, it offers unlimited bandwidth that is best for all streaming lovers and other netizens. Not only this, but IPVanish has some remarkable features like KillSwitch, unlimited server switching and automatic IP-scrambler that makes a fast VPN connection. With IPVanish you can get your money back within 7 days in case you are not fully satisfied with their fast VPN connection. Here is the VPN speed test result for IPVanish:
|Without a VPN Connection||With a VPN Connection|
|• Location we tested from: United States||• IPVanish server location: United Kingdom|
|• Download speed: 45.45 Mbps||• Protocol selected: PPTP|
|• Upload speed: 14.76 Mbps||• Download speed: 41.05 Mbps|
|• Ping: 30ms||• Download speed: 39.55 Mbps|
|• Upload speed: 10.00 Mbps|
|• Ping: 23ms|
During our VPN speed test, we found IPVanish connection a pretty stable one. With the fastest VPN connection tested on UK server, we have experienced uninterrupted sessions on Netflix and Hulu. There was a slight drop of 18-20% in the overall speed which is normal. The best part which we noticed in our high-speed VPN test is that their servers not only deliver speed but are fully encrypted too, which is great for anyone looking for a combo of speed + security.
NordVPN is one of those service providers that not only focus on security, but super-fast VPN experience. Within a short span of time, it has managed to come in the limelight and have been praised by many experts and got featured on highly-reputable websites like PCMag, Forbes, and The Huffington Post. With over 550 servers plotted in 49 counties, NordVPN easily made its way to our fastest VPN service list. Their servers are capable of bypassing intense geo-restriction with high-speed VPN experience. We had the chance to get help from their support team, and they set a new benchmark of proactive customer services experience. And yes, 30-day money back guarantee is another thing that is much of a consideration when you are in search for a fast VPN service, and they have it!
|Without a VPN Connection||With a VPN Connection|
|• Location we tested from: United States||• NordVPN server location: United Kingdom|
|• Download speed: 45.45 Mbps||• Protocol selected: L2TP|
|• Upload speed: 14.76 Mbps||• Download speed: 35.55 Mbps|
|• Ping: 30ms||• Upload speed: 8.06 Mbps|
|• Ping: 20ms|
NordVPN connection is pretty stable, and we didn’t experience any VPN lag during the test. Their speed is quite impressive, and we recorded very less drop when we connect to their fastest VPN servers.
Being in the industry for long, HideMyAss needs no introduction. It is unfair not to include them in our fastest VPN speed test, and with no surprise, they made it to the list! HideMyAss offers a wide range of servers in over 190 countries (I’m sure they will have all 196 soon) with over 930 VPN servers. Their fast VPN servers are optimized in a way to deliver top speed to cater all type of VPN needs. HIdeMyAss works on all the internet-connected devices and also offer simultaneous connectivity packed with high-speed VPN connection. HideMyAss VPN is easy to use and you don’t need any technical knowledge to operate their VPN connection. 30-day money back guarantee is also an advantage as they promise to give you money back if you are satisfied with their service. Here are the VPN speed results we gathered during the test:
|Without a VPN Connection||With a VPN Connection|
|• Location we tested from: United States||• HideMyAss server location: United Kingdom|
|• Download speed: 45.45 Mbps||• Protocol selected: L2TP|
|• Upload speed: 14.76 Mbps||• Download speed: 42.05 Mbps|
|• Ping: 30ms||• Upload speed: 12.16 Mbps|
|• Ping: 27ms|
During the test we found HMA delivering a pretty decent volume of speed. However, we noticed a bit of throttling and interruptions in the connection. Overall, the fast VPN test was fine, and we didn’t experience much downstream. We discovered that due to highly encrypted protocols tied up with HideMyAss network, its connection is slow compare to ExpressVPN and IPVanish.
What major purposes need a High Speed VPN connection?
VPN is used for a variety of purposes; from protecting your internet activity to giving you free and unmetered access to the Internet, it covers all! The fastest VPN is indeed a need for everyone using the Internet, as it is not only privacy and security that we seek but entertainment also. With a fastest VPN connection installed on your PCs and mobile devices, you can enjoy the greater goods of the Internet and seamlessly benefit from the fun with any restrictions. We have listed down some of the main advantages attached to a fastest VPN service.
1. Privacy & Anonymity comes all-in-one
As discussed earlier, the principal use of VPNs is to protect your online identity from authorities and data snoopers. Having a fast secure VPN installed in your devices give you complete relief that no one can stalk you anymore! With strong encryption protocols, it enables you to surf internet with complete anonymity and privacy. It is important to understand that every country has different censorship norms, so selecting a right VPN protocol is highly advisable.
2. Fast and anonymous torrenting experience with High Speed VPNs
If you are a torrent lover, you know speed matters. Torrent lovers usually get foiled with slow internet connection and end up finding alternatives. With fastest VPN service, you can enjoy the top-notch downloading experience without any restrictions. High-speed VPNs not only give you the best torrenting experience but also anonymize all your activities. To be in a win-win situation, use fast VPN service today and not only increase your torrent speeds but encrypt all your data and get rid of ISP throttling.
3. Streaming Experience with no buffering & geo-locking
No one likes to wait for a video to load. We hate buffering! And no one wants to be restricted while a favorite show or movie is aired on streaming services like Netflix, HBO, Hulu and Pandora etc. A VPN is a solution, but frequent internet throttling kills the entertainment experience. With fastest VPN service you can enjoy and watch all your favorite content on notable channels and say goodbye to geo restrictions and lag. A fast VPN connection comes with added layers of security and anonymity that not only secure your internet journey but providing you unlimited bandwidth. Undoubtedly, this blend of great features makes a fastest VPN service worth a place in your PCs and mobile devices.
4. Experience lag-free Online gaming with Fast VPN Services
Games are another type of VPN users that don’t compromise on speed (like others). They play multiplayer games that demand a faster internet connection. When playing a game hosted on a server deployed in a distant location, server latency issue occurs. This is one thing that makes gamers go berserk. For example, you are playing CS Go and you’re about to headshot your opponent, and DAMN you missed it because of high ping rates. That can seriously make you furious and cost you a game. Be aware gamers! Using a fastest VPN service will certainly make you free from all the worries and focus on the game. A fast VPN connection will minimize the lag you experience and give you best gaming experience at a minimal fee. All the major players in the fast VPN category have optimized servers best designed to cater gamer needs.
5. Your travel companion to 196 countries
People love to travel because they want to experience the beauty of life. If you’re one of them, then your backpack should always be loaded. A high-speed VPN should be on your checklist as it gives you the free hand to access to all your local apps and websites when you are offshore. A fastest VPN connection not only offers global access to websites, but this travel companion safeguards you from online identity theft. So don’t forget to install a fast secure VPN app in your mobile when you plan your vacations.
Slow VPN Connection? Some tips to turn your connection into a Speedy VPN
When you connect to a VPN connection, a small drop in speed is bound to happen. Since the VPNs encrypt all the traffic, the drop in speed may be around 10 to 20% only. However, if you experience more than 20%, then you ought to look for a high-speed VPN connection. It is to understand that all vendors that claim to have a fastest VPN service sometimes fail to validate their service. There are many factors involved in VPN speed issues, which can be fine-tuned with small tweaks in the connection.
1. Choose a closest and underload VPN Server
Latency normally results in a poor VPN connection. If you are connected to a VPN server that is far from your location, the chances are that your VPN speed will lag. An ideal way to turn your VPN account to a fast VPN connection is to choose your VPN location smartly. Your connections will become a high-speed VPN if you select a server that is near close to your original location, and it not overfilled.
2. Choose a fastest VPN protocol
VPN protocols play a significant role in connection speed. A VPN offers PPTP, L2TP, SSTP and OpenVPN protocol, all of them are dedicated to bypassing geo restrictions. PPTP and L2TP protocols are undoubtedly the fastest VPN protocols among all, but it depends on the location you are connected from. If you are experiencing slow VPN speed, then try switching between different protocols to ameliorate your VPN connection and turn it into a high-speed VPN.
3. Wired connection works better
Wi-Fi is apparently more expedient than wired connections, but when it comes to speed, Wifi connections are little shady. Wired connection serves better speed (with VPN also), lower latency and stable internet connection. So if you are on Wifi, then switch to a wired Ethernet to turn your VPN into a fast VPN connection.
4. Turn off your Firewall
Some antiviruses and firewalls also cause VPN speed issues. A small tweak to make your connection a fastest VPN is to disable the firewalls and security 3rd party softwares that slow down your VPN performance.
5. Switch devices, or, restarting
Sometimes switching between different devices also help in giving a boost to your VPN speed. Many devices fail to deliver high-speed connection due to heavy encryption of a VPN. You can also restart your device to improve the performance of your VPN connection.
Which VPN Protocol is the fastest?
Not all the VPN protocols work fast. It is not that VPN doesn’t work fast, but all the protocols are designed to fulfill specific needs of the users. We have already discussed the fastest VPN protocols used in our VPN speed test. We are now detailing more features about each protocol to give you more reasons to choose the best one that fits your specific needs.
PPTP is undoubtedly one of the fastest VPN protocols that are pre-installed in major operating systems and consoles. The only downside of PPTP protocol is its low encryption method that is a prime concern of VPN users who take serious notes on privacy. It supports 128-bit encryption that is somewhat less secure than other VPN protocols. However, if your goal is to use VPN for streaming then using PPTP is a way to go. PPTP protocol is also considered as the fastest VPN protocol because it is very easy to setup, and you can get high-speed VPN connection in just a few clicks and taps.
Second on our list of fast VPN protocol is L2TP. It is more similar to PPTP protocol but with added layer of encryption that makes is more powerful in terms of security. L2TP/IPSec is easy to setup and considerably delivers high-speed VPN experience from any internet-connected devices. It comes built-in to Microsoft Windows, Android, and Apple devices. However, its offering is not extended to open-source routers and consoles. L2TP/IPSec is also considered as fast secure VPN protocol as it supports 256-bit encryption packets. The use of L2TP/IPSec protocol is more in practice for commercial uses to secure all the outgoing and incoming communication. It also acts as an alternative fast VPN protocol where PPTP fail to perform due to firewalls.
SSTP, Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol is designed to work on Windows only. It is considered as a fast secure VPN protocol as it supports up to 256-bit encryption to route the traffic. SSTP uses SSL channels to pass all PPTP and L2TP protocol that makes the browsing journey secure and fast. It is also designed in a way to bypass intense geo-restriction and break the firewalls. The only demerit we see in SSTP fast VPN protocol is its limited support on OS and devices. Although, if you compare PPTP and L2TP parallel to SSTP, you will not experience a high-speed VPN connection, it is to understand that SSTP is more focused on delivery privacy coupled with adequate speed.
Last on our fastest VPN list is OpenVPN, which is a blend of highly secured encryption keys, up to 256-bit session, and fast VPN nodes. It is an open source application that utilizes OpenSSL library SSLv3/TLSv1 protocols. OpenVPN uses both UDP and TCP protocols where UDP is faster while TCP is best known for breaking the firewalls. The downside of OpenVPN is that it doesn’t support any platform, but with the help of third-party softwares, you can install a fast VPN connection on your desired OS/Device.
Fastest VPN Services vs Security. Is there a balance?
When security and speed go hand in hand, a definite argument will take place. It is to understand that everything has a price, and sometimes we need to adjust according to the conditions. When you connect to a VPN, you can’t expect a high-speed connection (more than your ISP), as it passes different encryption layers for security. First, we need to understand that the use of VPN varies, and so as the speed and security. If you are primary reason of using VPN is to get access to foreign websites like Netflix, HBO, BBC iPLayer, Hulu, and others, then VPN speed will be your main concern. While if you are a torrent lover, and you want to keep your identity anonymous from NSA and copyright authorities, then privacy and security are your top concern.
Now the question is Fast VPN Services secured also?
As we already discussed in our guide of high-speed VPNs, VPN vendors use all essential privacy and security protocols to give everyone a safe-house access. However, it is subject to the protocol you use. As mentioned earlier, you need to select a right fast secure VPN protocol depending on your need. Use SSTP and OpenVPN protocols always if you are using torrent or bypassing firewalls like GFW, and NSA protocol. However, if only streaming is your concern, then switch to PPTP and L2TP protocols and get blazing fast VPN speed, with a little compromise on security. PPTP and L2TP are not unsafe, but they have low-security standards layers, that on the other hand, give you top speed for streaming.
Our Conclusion on World’s Fastest VPN Services
We hope that our take on fastest VPN service providers paid off well, and we were able to share all the important details on the subject. A little recap; VPN is undoubtedly a great invention, but when it comes to delivering high speed, a lot of VPNs fails. We have discussed many essential factors above that will help you with your search of high-speed VPNs. Remember, bandwidth is your biggest enemy in VPN speed also, and to give it a headshot requires a fast secure VPN installed on your PC and device.Throughout our fast VPN speed test, we have tested a dozen of VPNs, but if we have to recommend a single VPN only, then we would suggest you go with ExpressVPN – the all-rounder VPN!