Using a VPN in this digital era is a necessity due to privacy issues and security concerns. But sometimes, using a VPN results into undesired frustrations. You might notice a drastic drop in your connection speed. Although when using a VPN, speeds somehow drop, but a huge drop can indicate a problem. This may be an indication that you might not be using the optimal setup.
A VPN speed is usually measured in throughput and latency. Most speed test tools will only show the throughput, and it’s what we will be referring to when talking about speed in this article.
Throughout can also be referred to as bandwidth, and it’s the amount of data that can be transferred in a given period. Its usually measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
Latency, on the other hand, can be said as the time it takes for the data to move from the server to your device. It’s usually measured in milliseconds. Latency is necessary when gaming. The lower the latency value, the faster the speed of a VPN is.
With all the above information, let’s dive into ways in which you can make a slow VPN faster. But before we start, you should know your provider’s speed as it helps to know if the VPN is slowing your connection. Below are the tips;
- Change the server location – A VPN’s server location is an important factor when it comes to speed. As a rule of thumb, the proximity of a server location influences the speed of a VPN and even its latency. Proximity can be measured using the ping value. The further a VPN server is located, the lower the speeds you might get. Usually, the ping value is higher in this case. For faster speeds, choose a server near you but avoid the ones in your countries in order to access global content.
- Look at the server Load – Despite the server location; server load plays an essential role in VPN speed connections. The load is the number of connections directed towards a certain server. If a server is overloaded, its performance decreases and hence its speed allocation will also drop to serve the connections equally. This is the reason why some servers located near you might have lower connection speeds. So before connecting to a server near you, be sure to look at the server load.
- Change the encryption protocols – Protocols ensure security and privacy as they dictate how communication and encryption are done in a VPN. Some protocols offer stronger encryptions with a high overhead, and hence they require more bandwidth than others. This translates to a decreased overall VPN speed. To avoid this decrease in speed, choose protocols which are secure and provide reliable speeds. You might want to choose between OpenVPN UDP and Ikev2 protocols. These protocols offer strong encryptions as well as faster speeds.
- Use a wired connection – Sometimes it’s not your VPN which is slow, it’s internet/network connection. Most people prefer to use WIFI as it offers portability and this means that the WIFI band will always be overloaded and its performance will decrease. If you are using a computer, plug in your LAN cable, you might be surprised how fast your connection will become.
- Restart your router/device – If it’s not the VPN and the connection setup, it might be a problem with your devices. This problem is hard to troubleshoot, but if all the other ways have failed, this is your last resort. Restart your devices including your router may eliminate unseen issues and hence help you reclaim your speed.
If your VPN connection is still slow, it’s time for you to upgrade your internet package or switch to another VPN provider or ISP.